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Magic Oil - Sanctuary RoseSanctuary Rose Oil
The rose, which is such a prevalent symbol for love in various cultures, in its form symbolizes the great power of the feminine divine, layers within layers. The rose is not just about the sweet petals but also the thorns. It is not just about the lush red flowers but also the tough, woody roots that abide through the winter. With this oil, I wanted to combine beauty, toughness, and power of rose with myrrh, which for me is one of the most mysterious and deep of all the plant resins. Myrrh stands for the dark aspect of the divine feminine, the crone, cold and forbidding, stern. Myrrh has a long association with the afterlife, since it is the primary resin used in the ancient world for embalming. And there are roses that are known to have the scent of myrrh. top

I was surprised to find that the rose also has a long connection with death. The Romans had a festival called Rosalia where people offered rosebuds to their beloved dead. The rose stood for eternal life because of its perennial aspect - that it appears to die in fall (and there is hardly anything more dead looking than a dormant rose bush) but then comes back to life in the spring and blooms. Perhaps it is for this reason that Hekate is sometimes depicted wearing a coronet of roses. In Dark Age Egypt, roses were used in funeral wreaths. At that time roses were also a tool for protection against attack by demons during ritual magic. top

In Sufi Islam, roses represent perfect union with the divine. I think of the layers of petals of the rose as representing the veils of being or layers of knowledge one acquires while on the spiritual path. Christianity adopted the rose as a symbol for Mary, but it was also often a symbol of the death of martyrs, so it maintained its connection with the afterlife. This connection of the rose with death and life is even depicted on some versions of the Death card in Tarot, where Death carries a flag showing a rose, symbol of life. top

Many consider myrrh to be the perfume of Binah, which represents the divine feminine in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life system. Rose, in contrast, is connected to Netzach. In this way I hoped to unite two types - the welcoming, erotic goddess of a lush abundance and reproduction and the stern, demanding goddess of death and the underworld. I don't usually go for binaries, but these two just fit together. top

Other ingredients in this oil are there to help the primary scents of myrrh and rose to work together. They are turmeric, cinnamon, rose geranium, opoponax, palmarosa, and balsam.  This oil offers sanctuary from the mundane, a stillness within which one may explore the spiritual world. It is excellent as a preparation for ritual work, since the rose scent is known to be protective against spiritual attack. Consider it for working with the Underworld, for protection from demonic forces while doing ritual magic, and for honoring feminine aspects of the divine. top

Sanctuary Rose Oil
1/4 oz. (2 drams/7.5 ml) $13.50


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Honoring the Feminine Divine
Working with the Underworld
Protection from Demonic Forces
Binah/Netzach Connection

Using Magic Oils

2007, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission