This evening I finally dressed four vigil candles for my altar. They had been waiting to be prepared for several weeks. I dressed two black candles for the dead of my blood and spirit whose names are unknown to me, and I dressed two white candles for my ancestors whose names and contributions I do know.
For my unknown dead I pierced three holes into each black vigil candle (using a metal kabob skewer) and filled each hole with Shades oil from the Witch of Forest Grove. For my known ancestors I formulated an oil based on both the Florida Water and Kananga Water recipes from Stephanie Rose Bird. I wanted a very fragrant oil so I can’t vouch for its use on skin for any extended period of time; it may contain too much essential oil for that use. When dressing the white vigil candles with the oil it wasn’t really necessary to come into skin contact with the oil; I used a pipette to fill the three channels I pierced into each candle.
So with that said, here’s the ancestor oil recipe:
25 milliliters of carrier oil (I had grape seed oil on hand)
4 drops of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) essential oil
2 drops of Clove (Syzguium aromaticum) Bud essential oil
4 drops of Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) essential oil
3 drops of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
1 grain of Opoponax (Commiphora holtziana) resin
1 Snowflake Obsidian bead (helps to blend the oils together, and it aids spirit communication)
The essentials in the ancestor oil blend are common ingredients in lustral waters (Florida and Kananga) that have a long history as Hoodoo offerings to the dead. Opoponax has links to necromancy in some magical traditions. The snowflake obsidian bead I added in homage to Hekate, in her aspect as Anassa Eneroi (Queen of Those Below aka the dead). After loading them with the oil blend, to complete the white vigil candles I topped each one with finely powdered mullein herb because of its association with the dead and making contact with their realm. I used only a pinch on each candle because mullein will ignite fairly quickly when exposed to flame.
The candles will facilitate connection with my ancestors and make a nice offering for them as well. I have quite a bit of oil left over. I plan to get creative with it in the next few weeks. I have plenty of other ritual items to bless and anoint for my ancestors!