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Rev. Joel

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I've been commisioned to ghost write a book about the history of anointing within various cultures. I can handle the Christian part OK, but there is not much information of the history of oil usage within other cultures and belief systems.

If anyone has any knowledge of pagan usage of essential oils, history, ceremonies, etc.... I would make sure you get full credit in the book.

Wiccan, Native American, Druidic, and any other cultures are welcome.

If you don't want to go public, feel free to PM me and I will protect your anonymity.

Thanks to you all.

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I've been commisioned to ghost write a book about the history of anointing within various cultures. I can handle the Christian part OK, but there is not much information of the history of oil usage within other cultures and belief systems.

If anyone has any knowledge of pagan usage of essential oils, history, ceremonies, etc.... I would make sure you get full credit in the book.

Wiccan, Native American, Druidic, and any other cultures are welcome.

If you don't want to go public, feel free to PM me and I will protect your anonymity.

Thanks to you all.

Anointing with scented oils is common in the Arabian Gulf, as is "fumigating" with burning incense.

At weddings, vast pots of Arabian scented oils are brought round to the guests on trays and they are anointed with them on the neck or hands by a member of the family whose son is getting married (the groom's family, not the bride's. hosts the weddings). If the guest is very honoured, they may also be anointed on their feet, but I personally have never seen it done. If the guest is very junior to the host or hostess they may anoint them on the forehead also.

I must say, the first time I saw this anointing I thought of Mary Magdalene and the story of the jar of scented oil...

This is what happens at the women's wedding: the men and women's ceremonies are held separately in different buildings so I have no direct knowledge of how the chaps do things. I believe the anointing used to be done by the chaps, but it is very old fashioned and highly ceremonious now.

Similarly, if you go to visit an Emirati family, when the time comes for your visit to end they will bring a tray of very ornate glass perfume jars and anoint you with the oil (nowadays they may also have perfume sprays, which doesn't have the same feel at all).

They will also bring an incense burner and burn frankincense (which grows in neighbouring Oman) or other incense woods. You are supposed to hold your robes open (or as I have seen done, even squat astride the burner!) to scent your clothes before leaving.

It is one of the most important rituals of hospitality and is enshrined in proverbs and hadith (saying attributed to the Prophet Mohammed but not part of the Quran).

Muslim culture has no theology of sacraments, as far as I know. But certain ritual practices are highly sacramental in fact, and this is one of them.

If you want to use this pm me for credit details.

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Rev Joel,

Grace and peace!

All best with the ghost writing. I hope that you will pass along a link to where to get the book upon its publication.

Please find below a few interesting excerpts and resources pertaining to your research:

[....] Before the 20th Century, most cultures and most communities on earth valued fat. Fat was precious, and those animals and plants that yielded it were precious as well. Fat was used as food, and also for lighting, and for religious ceremony -- such as anointing with oil.

Indigenous people of all continents valued the fat from the wild game or seafoods or nuts that they hunted. The bison was sacred to the Plains Indians such as the Lakota who hunted it, and the fat was rendered and used in staples such as variations of 'pemmican' -- dried pounded meat mixed with rendered fat. For the Inuit, seal oil and other fats were a critical part of life -- both a staple food and a source of light.

In northern Europe, lard from pigs, tallow from sheep and cows, schmaltz from chickens, duck fat and goose fat were all highly prized. Throughout Europe, cream and sour cream were precious, wonderful things, as well as the butter churned from the cream. Skimmed milk -- milk stripped of most of its fat -- was not eaten but rather fed to the hogs. In India, ghee (clarified butter) is ceremonial and medicinal, and the cows it comes from are held sacred.[...]

SOURCE

Kersey Graves, in his seminal, and highly controversial book, THE WORLD'S SIXTEEN CRUCIFIED SAVIORS (available online HERE) has this to add:

THE custom and ceremony of anointing with oil by way of imparting some fancied spiritual power and religious qualification seems to have been extensively practiced by the Jews and primitive Christians, and still more anciently by various oriental nations. Mark (xiv. 4), reports Jesus Christ as speaking commendingly of the practice, by which it was evident he was in favor of the superstitious custom. The apostle James not only sanctions it, but recommends it in the most specific language. "Is any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." (James v. 14.)

The practice of greasing or smearing with oil, it may be noted here, was in vogue from other motives besides the one here indicated. We find the statement in the New American Cyclopedia (vol. i.p. 620), that anointing with perfumed oil was in common use among the Greeks and Romans as a mark of hospitality to guests. And modern travelers in the East still find it a custom for visitors to be sprinkled with rose-water, or their head, face and beard anointed with olive oil." "Anointing," we are also told, "is an ancient and still prevalent custom throughout the East, by pouring aromatic oils on persons as a token of honor. ... It was also employed in consecrating priests, prophets and kings, and the places and instruments appointed for worship." (Ibid.) Joshua anointed the ten stones he set up in Jordan, and Jacob the stone on which he slept at the time of his great vision.

The early Christians were in the habit of anointing the altars, and even the walls, of the churches, in the same manner as the images, obelisks, statues, etc., had long been consecrated by the devotees of the oriental systems. Aaron, Saul, David, Solomon, and even Jesus Christ were anointed with oil in the same way. David Malcom, in his "Essay on the Antiquity of the Britons," p. 144, says, "The Mexican king was anointed with Holy Unction by the high priest while dancing before the Lord." (Vide the case of David "dancing before the Lord with all his might." Dr. Lightfoot, in his "Harmony of the New Testament," speaks of the custom among the Jews of anointing the sick on the Sabbath day (see Works, Vol. i,p. 333; also Toland, Sect. Naz. p. 54), as afterwards recommended by the apostle James, as shown above. This accords exactly with the method of treating the sick in ancient India and other heathen countries several thousand years ago. For proof consult Hyde, Bryant, Tertullian and other writers. The custom of anointing the sick, accompanied with prayer and other ceremonies, was quite fashionable in the East long before the birth of either Jesus or James. One writer testifies that "the practice of anointing with oil, so much in vogue among the Jews, and sanctioned by Christ and his followers, was held in high esteem in nearly all the Eastern religions."

The foregoing historical facts furnish still further proof that Christianity is the offspring of heathenism.

From Chapter 28: Annointing with Oil of Oriental Origin

Wicca, the religion of nature and witch-craft, of necessity draws heavily upon those elemental correspondences that lend themselves to the healing arts. The anointing of altar appointments, including candles, athames, chalices, cauldrons & etc., along with the practitioner him/herself is standard ritual. Elemental correspondences regarding base oils, (animal or vegetable)

colors, scents, and personal intentions - also known as sympathetic magic - each interrelate to create a desired effect.

While the scientific applications of such practices have long been disputed, the overarching testimony of history has upheld Wicca's relevence to nature's medicinal faculties. We must weigh the evidence against the outcome. Does mandrake root cure impotence? Does willow bark vanquish a headache? Do the shells of shrimp or lobster counteract fat absorbtion in the human body? Or, is it faith in such remedies that gives them credence?

[...] Dress (anoint) your spell candles with Wiccan ritual oil for extra energy to your candle magick. Anoint yourself, spell implements, tools etc... to add a little "oomph" to your magic. Dip your finger in the altar oil and draw a plus sign on the biggest denomination of money you have so it will draw more money to itself. Add a few drops of ritual oil suited to your intention to bath water to feel blessed and know that you have support from spirit.

How do ritual oils work? Each type of altar oil is a blend of natural ingredients: herbs, resins, essential oils and gemstones in an all natural base oil. I have chosen ingredients that have a vibration near that desired effect. Example: red rose petals represent love (with color and scent). It is one of the ingredients in the love ritual oil. By dressing a candle, soaking in a ritual bath or anointing objects with Wiccan ritual oil, you are concentrating on love and feeling loved. The herbs, essential oils and resins give off a pleasant aroma that help you maintain that focus through aromatherapy. Everything that comes from nature has a vibration. By adding these herbal ingredients to your energy work, you are increasing the potency of your desire. [...]

SOURCE

A Wiccaning Ritual similar to a baptismal or christening of a child/infant can be found HERE. I quote in part:

[...]Such is the Miracle of Life!

What name do you give this baby? _________. I anoint you little one with oil and give you the name of _________. I anoint you _________, with Water that you may embrace your Feminine Energy and come to understand All The Goddesses of Nature, of This Earth and of This Universe. I anoint you ________, with Wine that you may embrace your Masculine Energy and come to understand All The Gods of Nature, of This Earth and of This Universe. [...]

From another forum addressing the indgenous practice of Hoodoo...

I do alot of candle magic in my practice. I dress candles with approiate oils and colors etc for the purpose and even etch sigils into them depending on what I am trying to do. Alot of people from where I live refer to themselves as "Spiritual Advisers". Living in the Bible Belt " Rootworkers" are frowned upon and those people are shunned and also respected because to the average Joe they seem very powerful.I personally( because of my belief in Karma) do not do anything that will harm others. -Shalaye Sabariego

_________________

In blessing, bless

Wayne

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