By Frater S.C.F.V.
A. Introduction: Roots of Healing Traditions in Hoodoo, Conjure and Rootwork
The roots of folk expertise in the art of healing through herbs and curios reach back to the earliest emergence of the Hoodoo, Conjure, and Rootwork traditions. As Dr. William Bailey (2012) notes, these traditions were the products of the ingenuity and resilience of American slaves throughout the southeastern United States, especially Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas.
On the plantations, African slaves could rarely count on their masters to ensure their health and well-being and had to take their healing into their own hands. As a result, Smith (2019) notes that “men and women known as root doctors or root workers, who had working knowledge of roots and herbs and their various medicinal applications, were the slave community’s chief means of medical care. Slaves were in a unique position to learn about local flora, as they worked closely with it at all times. The more specialized knowledge of the root doctor, however, usually required not only keen observation of the natural world but also training by an experienced mentor. This mentor was generally an elderly slave, although sometimes he or she might be a Native American who had married into the family or who was part of an Indigenous community that sheltered fugitive slaves.”
Bailey (2019) goes on to cite a former North Carolina slave named John Jackson, who told an interviewer: “You know, they lays a heap o’ stress on edication these days. But edication is one thing, an’ fireside trainin’ is another. We had fireside trainin'” (Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives).
Indeed, historian Sharla M. Fett (2002) notes that, for the first American root doctors, “physical suffering and spiritual outlook were linked in a delicate web of connections, and it was the root doctor’s job not only to provide the proper herbal remedy but to ascertain the source of imbalance.” Thus, from the earliest time, the root doctor’s craft involved proceeding from divinatory or observational “readings” to doing active Rootwork to remedy the illness or issue at hand. Moreover, as Yvonne Chireau (1997) states, on the plantation, root doctoring was not just “a quaint and marginal folk practice”—it was an essential aspect of the community bond (p. 239).”
Smith (2019) adds that “the ministrations of root doctors were often hidden from masters’ eyes—but not always. Sometimes, in fact, whites used their services for their slaves, or even for themselves. In 1729 an elderly slave named Papan was freed by the Virginia government in exchange for a recipe of “Roots and Barks,” which alleviated the effects of various venereal diseases. In 1749 the South Carolina Assembly freed a slave named Caesar in return for his poison and snakebite remedy; another root doctor, Sampson, was manumitted by the same body six years later in return for his rattlesnake bite remedy of “heart snakeroot, polypody, avens root, and rum.”
After the emancipation of American slaves, root doctors continued to operate in a context shaped by continued discrimination, oppression, and disempowerment of the freed slaves. As Smith (2019) indicates about this difficult period, “after emancipation, African Americans continued to utilize the services of root doctors and conjurers. Many lacked access to formally trained medical practitioners or could not afford the expensive costs of their services. Moreover, widespread racial hostility ensured that white doctors often provided inferior treatment to African American patients. Terrifying stories of physical abuse, experimentation, and mutilation circulated widely among African Americans, leading to a general mistrust of the white medical profession. In contrast, the services of root doctors and conjurers were relatively low cost, accessible, and trustworthy.” Moreover, their shared cultural heritage, common experiential background in facing struggles and oppression from white America, and the ability to trust fellow black root doctors to act in their best interests led many emancipated slaves to continue to rely on the expertise of root doctors.
Indeed, to this day, many rootworkers continue to do healing work for people who are struggling with physical and psychological ailments of all kinds. In this article, we will do a deep dive into the confluence of magical herbalism, Psalms, and prayers with curative aims and analyze 17 different formulas for Healing Oil from Hoodoo, Conjure, and Rootwork. Thereafter, I will share my own formula, which I have successfully used in my own healing work in the hopes of making this knowledge more accessible and helping to spread healing work more broadly to those who cannot afford to purchase such Oils.
B. Curative Herbal Synergies: An Analysis of 17 Hoodoo Healing Oil Formulas
In order to obtain a visceral sense of what makes an effective Healing Oil, we must start by exploring the wide assortment of herbs and curios that rootworkers have opted to include in their formulas for healing of various kinds. The Healing Oils we will consider here vary in their focus; some focus on physical ailments, others, on emotional and mental health issues, and still others focused on the impacts of crossed conditions on health. By analyzing the occult virtues of different herbs and roots as traditionally used, we will attempt to unpack the structure and functions of the Oils made by drawing them together.
First, among the most well-known and commonly used Healing Oils on the market is cat yronwode’s Healing Oil in the Lucky Mojo shop. Unfortunately, however, Miss cat’s website does not indicate which herbs the formula includes. However, as one possible clue, the Lucky Mojo catalogue does mention that the herb Woodruff or Master of the Woods is used “for mastery, strength, and control over adversaries, also used to prepare a healing oil.” The rationale here is likely that the Woodruff provides “mastery” over the causes of the illness in order to essentially “command health.” Master Root can similarly be used for the same purpose.
In addition, more candidates for herbs useful in a Hoodoo Healing Oil can be gleaned from yronwode’s (2002) Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African American Conjure. For instance, she states that Althaea, which literally means “Healer” is used “for medical and spiritual healing, to soothe, comfort, and bring in spiritual assistance” (p. 28). Interestingly, Miss cat named her daughter Althaea and it would be hard to imagine that she didn’t include this Herb in her Healing Oil given its use in a versatile range of healing work types from physical to emotional and even spiritual healing.
Angelica is another likely candidate herb for inclusion in a Healing Oil, given that yronwode (2002) describes it as “a powerful guardian and healer, said to enhance female power, protect children, ward off evil, and improve health and family matters.” Similarly, Golden Seal is used in Mojos because it is a “powerful guardian and healer” (p. 104). Myrrh could also be a helpful ally in aHealing Oil due to its rich scent and tendency to “be peaceful, healing, relaxing, and protective” (p. 138). Queen’s Root can be used to promote harmony and peace and is sometimes used in Peace Water; if illness is interpreted as “disrupting the peace of the body,” as in the classical Doctrine of Humors from Ancient and Renaissance medicine, then it could in theory be used in a Healing Oil also (p. 160).
Standing out from many other herbs, Self-Heal is the healing herb par excellence; it is used in a wide variety of healing works, often alongside Angelica and Sandalwood (p. 180). I recently had the occasion to ritually gather a fairly sizable harvest of Self-Heal, to dry it, and grind it myself and it will play a key role in my own Healing Oil formula, as we shall see.
From the perspective of healing illnesses caused by curses, crossed conditions, or jinxes, yronwode (2002) notes that Bitter Weed can be used specifically in a Healing Oil blend that is designed to address “a jinx that takes the form of an unnatural illness” and the plant is also astringent, diuretic, and tonic (p. 48). Similarly, Boneset “opposes unnatural illness” and is often used in combination with Angelica and Devil’s Shoe Lace, although mainly in a Mojo Bag context, to ward off “jinxing illnesses” (p. 57). Burdock and Calamus are also sometimes used in the context of clearing curses that express as illness (p. 63). As a tea, Boneset can additionally be used for coughs and colds as an herbal medicine.
In addition, Miss Cat (2002) writes that Buckeye “is said to prevent rheumatism, arthritis, and headache and to aid male vigor” and that Chestnut and Horse Chestnut are used in a like manner (p. 60).
To cite a few related examples, Willow bark is sometimes made into a tea that is drunk and rubbed into the head to treat headaches. Fig root and leaves are also regarded as “curative” in the context of “magical poisoning,” and used in spiritual baths for this purpose, with the bath water thrown towards the sunrise (p. 95). Some rootworkers equivalently use Garlic to ward off illness caused by Malefica or evil magic thrown against the target (e.g. using Four Thieves Vinegar, in which it is an ingredient).
Similarly, because of its ability to protect and clear up health matters, Rue can also be used in magical healing; it is sometimes burned on charcoal with Verbena, Mistletoe, and Benzoin to take off jinxes affecting health (p. 170). In contrast, for an outside perspective, though, one of my Espiritista friends cautions against using Rue to wash the body as he says it is “harsh to the Spirit Body, like paint thinner.” I leave the decision on this subject up to the individual practitioner, but simply share this to provide a balanced cross-traditional perspective.
Another herb that can be used for both healing and repelling evil would be Asafoetida or Devil’s Dung, which is praised for its healing properties worldwide; for instance, people in India both use it as a supplement and cook with it, lauding its properties to stimulate the brain and lower blood pressure. In the Medieval period in Europe, some folks wore Asafoetida gum on a string around their neck to “ward off disease” and in Hoodoo it is also used to repel evil. Moreover, it’s worth noting that Asafoetida contains Sulphur compounds and Sulphur is used both to ward and to do baneful work in Hoodoo.
Personally, smelling Asafoetida makes me nauseous–there’s a reason it’s called “Devil’s Dung”!–so it is not the healing herb for me and I wouldn’t bring it within 10 feet of a Healing Oil. However, folks who love it might want to consider including it in their personal work.
In addition, from a preventive health standpoint, Coriander could be a candidate for Healing Oil in the context of its use to “prevent illness;” it can be carried in a Mojo hand with Flax seeds, Angelica, Devil’s Shoe String, and Golden Seal root for this purpose. Dill is similarly used, “to ward off disease,” especially alongside Flax seeds and Angelica (p. 85). Furthermore, as a boost to health, Grains of Paradise are sometimes brewed into a tea, which is drunk in the morning, although they can also be used in uncrossing work for illness brought on by baneful magic (p. 107).
Another preventive healing herb is Life Everlasting, which is used to promote longevity (p. 125). Plantain is said to protect against fever, or be used to cure a fever (p. 156). Sampson Snake Root is used to grant fortitude and strength, which could extend to health as well (p. 175). Squaw Vine was traditionally used in Indigenous medicine to address “medical conditions relating to the health of women’s reproductive systems, particularly during pregnancy and at childbirth” and entered Hoodoo as a magical aid to protect the health of unborn children (p. 192). A final preventive herb of note is Ten Bark, which is used to ward off diseases and unnatural illness (p. 198).
As a second example, Art of the Root (2021) offers a Healing Oil that focuses on healing emotional pain, grieving, and other forms of psychological suffering; their formula for “Healing Oil includes lavender, thyme, allspice, eucalyptus, and other healing-related herbs and oils.” To help enrich my understanding of their approach, I cross-referenced their other healing products in search of more insights into their rationale. For instance, they offer a Healing Candle fixed with “lavender, thyme, violet, chamomile, and an array of others” alongside, interestingly, powdered Charoite and Quartz as these “clarity” minerals are sometimes used in healing work with the rationale that they ‘clarify the body by cleansing out sickness.’ Their Healing Bath Wash includes “allspice, lavender, eucalyptus, and thyme essential oils.” The same herbal ingredients are included in their Healing Soap and Healing Bath Salts.
As we analyze the Art of the Root (2002) formula, we find, first, that it includes Lavender, which can be used in many ways in Rootwork. Lavender, in Hoodoo, is often combined with Rose and Red Clover in to promote love, but Lavender in a bath can be used to bring luck or even power. The idea here might be to include it to promote emotional healing as it can help with healing the wounds left from relationships that did not turn out as we had hoped. Similarly, Violet is used in Hoodoo to heal heart-break, much like Lavender, and is also included in this Oil.
Thyme is often used to promote good health, so its role in this Oil is clear. In addition, it can also be used to heal insomnia. Since this formula aims to help ease emotional pain, which can disrupt sleep, perhaps this somnolent aspect of the herb is another reason it was included.
In Rootwork, Allspice is usually used to “spice up” money, luck, fortune, and business; however, yronwode (2002) points out that Allspice can also help relieve mental tension and ease the mind. It was likely included in this formula based on this latter tradition.
Continuing on with our analysis, Chamomile is mainly used to treat insomnia, calm stomachs, and promote relaxation and stress-relief, and is likely used in this way here. However, it’s worth noting that Chamomile in Hoodoo can also be used for uncrossing, so it is helpful as a gentler herb to help eliminate crossed-conditions intended to cause ill-health.
Lastly, Eucalyptus is helpful for driving off evil, uncrossing Malefica, and calming the mind with its pacifying scent. Therefore, the Art of the Root‘s Healing Oil formula appears to mainly address emotional healing and soothe the heart and mind, with Thyme also functioning as a more “generalist” herb here. This would be a good formula to explore if the primary issues to be treated are emotional and psychological. As another possibility to include in a similar formula, it is worth noting that Marjoram also helps with assuaging grief and sorrow and could work in this capacity here as well.
Third, and in contrast to the primary emotional focus of the last Oil, Elle Duvall (2022) states that she designed her Healing Oil to support both physical and mental healing. She includes “mint and peony” within an almond carrier oil in her formula. Mint is often used in uncrossing work in Rootwork, as well as to purify and to grant mental strength in times of adversity. As yronwode (2002) notes, “Peony is a long-lived garden plant with a beautiful flower; its root is said to have a great deal of power to protect against misfortune, bolster health, break jinxes and draw good fortune” (p. 144). The Mint-Peony combination, then, is mainly centered on uncrossing and bolstering health.
Fourth, Dr. E (2022) at Conjure Doctor uses a variety of herbs in his Healing Oil formula, some of which include “eucalyptus, mint and other health-promoting herbs.” As we’ve seen, both Eucalyptus and Mint are apotropaic and uncrossing and their combination helps calm and strengthen the mind. However, since Dr. E. omits mention of his other herbs here, we do not know if he included other herbs or curios with the virtue of helping to heal physical or somatic issues.
Fifth, Harry (2018) uses a simple three-herb Healing Oil, which includes “rosemary, juniper, and sandalwood.” By way of rationale, he states that “The combination of rosemary and juniper create a healing effect. (. . . ) Rosemary more specifically in Conjure is cleansing, wards off illness, and promotes peace and good dreams. In Hoodoo, Juniper is believed to foster sexual virility, especially in men; it would likely be best used in a healing formula for men to treat sexual dysfunction, weakened male nature, or low libido.” Harry (2018) adds that “Sandalwood is used for purification and the removal of negative energies;” since sickness is “negative” to the body, the principle is extended to using Sandalwood to cleanse the body of sources of illness. Yronwode (2002) notes that Sandalwood adds power to incense mixtures, and is used for health, safety, and peace. Thus, by combining this trifecta of herbs, we obtain a basic healing formula for uncrossing, warding illness, possibly promoting sexual vitality, and conducing to peace of mind.
Sixth through eighth, the anonymous Rootworker (2022) from Hoodoo Conjure generously shares not one, but three Healing Oil formulas, which are as given follows:
Hoodoo Conjure Healing Oil #1
4 drops Rosemary
2 drops Juniper
1 drop Sandalwood
As we note, this formula is exactly the same as Harry (2018)’s healing above, so we will not analyze it in detail except to say that what this version contributes are proportions. This addition is helpful, because it reveals that, at least in the estimation of the Anonymous Rootworker (2022), the primary driver here is meant to be Rosemary with Juniper and Sandalwood playing a supportive role. This makes sense with the logics we’ve considered thus far, and as a basic Healing Oil, this would likely be helpful; however, as we shall see, I favour a more intensive and holistic approach covering many areas of healing to make the Oil useful in a wide variety of situations of healing of body, mind, and spirit. In this respect, this formula would benefit from further expansion. The use of Juniper is also a little too specific in the Hoodoo context for a general Healing Oil in my humble opinion, which is why I would save it for oils specializing in targeting male sexual health and leave it out of my general Healing Oil.
However, in all fairness to this formula and to Harry’s version (2018), Juniper, in Ancient magic was apparently linked to a much broader range of healing uses. Even today, some herbalists claim that it can used in massages for rheumatism pain, treats coughs, relieves the liver and bile, lowers blood sugar, and helps cure acne, although. However, I have no experience with these uses and cannot speak to them.
Hoodoo Conjure Healing Oil #2
3 drops Eucalyptus
1 drop Niaouli
1 drop Palmarosa
1 drop Spearmint
In this second formula, Mint and Eucalyptus recur, both to heal crossed conditions and to bring peace and strength of mind. In addition, we find two new ingredients: Niaouli and Palmarosa. Niaouli does not appear to be commonly used in Hoodoo; indeed, yronwode’s (2002) Hoodoo herbal compendium omits it entirely. However, according to Andrew (2018), in homeopathic herbalism, it is sometimes used to calm the mind, treat acne, relieve pain, soothe UTIs when its essential oil is included in a bath, and many other applications, suggesting its possible versatility as a healing herb. Palmarosa is another “mind-soothing” herb like Allspice, Chamomile, and Lavender. Some folks, like Dr. E. also use it for “uplifting” people who are feeling lethargic and low-energy. Thus, the cumulative effect of this herb’s Spirits appears to be to uncross, soothe and strengthen the mind, and bring general mental and bodily healing.
Hoodoo Conjure Healing Oil #3
In 1/2 oz of base oil (jojoba, almond, grape seed ,etc.)
5 drops Lavender oil 5 drops Camphor oil
5 drops Eucalyptus oil
5 drops Orange oil
3 drops Rosemary oil
2 drops Pine oil
4 drops Sandalwood oil
This third Healing Oil from the same Anonymous Rootworker also draws on Lavender and Eucalyptus like the other formulas we’ve seen. Here, they function to sooth the mind and the body, heal emotional wounds, and improve our luck in health matters. Interestingly, Orange Oil occurs here for the first time; Orange in Hoodoo is often used for luck and marriage, but also has the effect of “enlivening” the spirit, which can be another aid to those who struggle with exhaustion, lethargy, reduced motivation, and low-energy states. Rosemary and Sandalwood also recur, with Rosemary helping to bring peace to the mind, improve sleep, and bring good dreams while Sandalwood functions to add power to the other herbs and bring peace and general health to body, mind, and spirit. My Espiritista friend adds that in Espiritismo, Rosemary is seen as both cleansing and nourishing, and it can play both roles in this formula. Camphor is also used for cleansing and serves that role here.
Lastly about this formula, a new ingredient that it includes is Pine, which, in Rootwork, is sometimes used for money work–indeed Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa links it to Jupiter, which rules money–but it can also be used for cleansing and improving mood to be more “jovial.” Taken together, this formula’s herbs collaborate to cleanse and calm the mind and spirit, bring general holistic healing to the body, enliven energy, lighten our mood, and improve sleep. As such, it appears to be a fairly well-rounded and versatile formula.
Ninth through eleventh, my Hoodoo, Conjure, and Rootwork teacher Aaron Davis kindly gave me permission to include three additional Healing Oil recipes in this analysis. These recipes come from different sources he has studied over the years and include the following:
Healing Oil #1 from Aaron Davis (drawing on Cunningham)
Red carnation petals,
*sit in sun 7 days. Frater S.C.F.V’s Note: Tony Morgan adds “in a green jar” here.
This first Healing Oil draws, Aaron says, on Scott Cunningham’s work rather than on Hoodoo proper. Here, we find Sandalo (Sandalwood) recurring to add synergistic power and promote peace of mind and general health. To this, this formula adds Romero (Rosemary) to ward off illness and promote peace and good dreams. This herb can be a solid complement to Sandalwood as we saw in the first and third Conjure Rootwork Healing Oils.
However, what this spell brings in which is new to what we’ve analyzed so far is Red Carnation. Red Carnation grants healing and vitality and is a more energetic option than say, the White Carnation which is often used in Nourishing baths in both Espiritismo and Rootwork. Taken together, this Healing Oil draws on the illness-warding power of Rosemary alongside the peace of mind that this herb yields when combined with Sandalwood sparked up with the vitality rom the Red Carnation. It’s a simple, but solid approach. The final instruction to let the oil sit in the Sun, both to infuse it with healing “light” from the Sun–indeed the Lucidarium grimoire links the Sun to the Archangel of Healing Raphael and the Greeks linked it to Apollo– and also to help the scents and essences develop and mature as they combine into the Oil.
Healing Oil #2 from Aaron Davis – Use a ratio of:
4 parts romero,
2 parts juniper,
1 part sandalo (sandalwood)
This Healing Oil recipe is the same as Harry’s (2018), as it uses Rosemary, Juniper, and Sandalwood, and uses the same proportions as Hoodoo Conjure‘s Healing Oil #2, which suggests either it was borrowed from Conjure Rootwork or both Aaron and Hoodoo Conjure drew this formula from a common source. The same comments as above, therefore, apply here.
Healing Oil #3 from Aaron Davis – Use a ratio of:
3 parts eucalyptus,
1 part niaouli,
1 part palmarosa,
1 part spearmint
This third Oil from Aaron is identical to the Conjure Rootwork Oil #3 above, so the same comments apply. It’s worth noting that in his current work, Aaron does not use any of these three oils, but one drawn from his Palo Mayombe practice, which will not be shared here out of respect for his wishes and obligations within Palo. All the same, his input is much-appreciated here for providing some confirmations from another rootworker.
Twelfth, in her Little Book of Rootwork, Paris Ajana (2022) includes the following formula to “promote a healthy lifestyle and help recovery from injury or illness:”
Sacred Healing Oil
- 1 cup jojoba carrier oil
- ½ cup vitamin E oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
- 20 drops sage essential oil
- 15 drops thyme essential oil
Ajana’s “Sacred Healing Oil” is likely augmented into “Sacredness” by the addition of, not just Rosemary and Thyme as we have seen, but also Sage. Sage is known to popular New Age culture as a “smudging” herb and cleansing and purifying; however, in Rootwork it is often used to give strength and do reversal work (yronwood, 2002). Here, the idea might be to cleanse out sickness and grant strength in combination with both the general health and sleep aid from Thyme and the illness-warding and peace-granting powers of Rosemary. We also note that Vitamin E is used here; this is a wise addition to any homemade essential oil because it helps prevent its herbal constituents from going rancid for a longer period of time, thereby improving its preservation and shelf-life. I learned from cat yronwode that all Lucky Mojo condition oils include it and I include it in all of my homemade oils as well.
Thirteenth, in her Conjure Cookbook (2010), Miss Talia Fenix provides the following formula for a Healing Oil:
Healing Oil (“Especially used for mental healing and relief, but also for recovery from illnesses”):
At 9 herbal constituents, this is one of the most elaborate formulas we’ve seen so far–although, in defense of the other formulas, simpler doesn’t necessarily mean worse when it comes to Rootwork.
Here, we see a return of Rosemary adding health, protection, and peace, Rose and Lavender adding floral sweetness, health and peace of mind and the soothing of emotional wounds, Rue bringing in heavy-duty cleansing of any malefica that may be tethering illness to crossed conditions, and Mint to purify and uncross as well as to add strength to cope with the illness.
In contrast to other recipes which use Myrrh or Sandalwood as the resin component, however, here we find Frankincense and Benzoin thus employed. Frankincense is a good all-purpose incense for consecration, intensification (“power-boosting”), and peaceful sleep. Here, it appears to be added to boost the power of the overall blend, add its aroma, and heal sleep issues. As for Benzoin, it is another herb used for good luck and peace of mind, so it serves a role here in healing mental health symptoms and promoting a healthy mental state.
Two other new additions in Miss Fenix’s (2010) formula are Cinnamon–for its ability to “heat up” and “energize” health–and Lemongrass. Lemongrass is most often used as a component in the famous Van Van Oil, which is ingenious here, because Miss Fenix is deploying it to clear “obstacles” to health, almost like a road-opener, while also conferring success in healing and good luck in healing more rapidly.
Fourteenth, rootworker Commaticus Lee (2019) shares the following “Resurrection and Healing Oil” recipe at Hoodoo Central:
- Rose of Jericho
- Aloe Vera
- Orange Peel
This formula brings in some familiar herbs we’ve seen already, such as Frankincense for consecration, intensification (“power-boosting”), and peaceful sleep; Cinnamon, to “heat up” and energize health, not to mention its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; and Orange for “enlivening” the spirit as an aid to those who struggle with exhaustion, lethargy, reduced motivation, and low-energy states. These three “vitality-boosting” herbs also tie into the “Resurrection” theme of this oil, as they help to, as it were, ‘raise energy as it from the dead.’ Another herb that serves a similar function here is Ginger; Ginger is often seen as providing “fiery protection” in Rootwork; for instance, many include it in their formulas for Fiery Wall of Protection Oil. Here, the aim seems to be to “fire up” healing and burn away illness, thereby helping to yield protection from sickness symptoms.
Further augmenting the “Resurrectional” aim of this formula, Commaticus Lee (2019) also includes Rose of Jericho. Rose of Jericho is the primary herb to symbolize resurrection because of its ability to return to thriving greenery from a dessicated state via the simple addition of water. Cat yronwode (2002) notes that the Rose can be kept in a place of business and watered every Friday with Psalms to “resurrect” business and wealth. I’ve also seen rootworkers anoint candles or statues (e.g. of Archangels) with its water to “wake them up” for magical work.
Next, we find a perhaps surprising addition: Mugwort. Mugwort is more typically used to help safe travel or to increase psychic abilities in Hoodoo (ywonrode, 2002). However, another use of the herb is in cleansing scrying tools (e.g. I bathed my black mirror in Mugwort as part of preparing it for magical use). So, “cleansing” the body of illness might be a magical implication of Mugwort in a Healing Oil, as it appears to be used here.
Finally, Commaticus Lee’s (2019) formula also includes Aloe Vera, which is lauded among herbalists for a variety of healing properties, such as its glycoproteins which reduce pain and inflammation, its antibacterial properties, and its adaptogenic ability to boost the body’s natural adaptation to illness. Its scent is also regarded as soothing by many, at least those who are not so unfortunate as to be allergic to it!
Taken together, the different elements of Commaticus’s (2019) Healing Oil appear to aim to help (1) “resurrect” energy and vitality, stirring up healing, and “burning off” illness magically, (2) cleanse the body of illness, while improving sleep, and (3) foster and promote adaptation and ‘bouncing back’ from illness. It’s an intelligent approach that hinges on the synergies of plants of similar types (e.g. “fiery “booster” herbs like Ginger, Cinnamon, etc.) eliding with different but complementary herbs of resurrection and generalized healing (e.g. Rose of Jericho and Aloe Vera).
Fifteenth, rootworker Brandon Lee (2018) shares the following Healing Oil formula, also at Hoodoo Central:
- Balm of Gilead
- Essence of Rose of Jericho
Here, Angelica and Rose of Jericho recur, for their benevolent, angelic associations and ability to resurrect health and vitality from illness and exhaustion. However, we also find Balm of Gilead used for healing for the first time. This is a very interesting addition because Balm of Gilead is often used for its “soothing” qualities, such as to soothe the pain of arguments, a broken heart, or problems in love or friendship (yronwode, 2002). Here, then, it appears to function as a source of soothing and comfort from the pain and unpleasantness of illness or emotional mental “ill-health.”
Taken together, these three herbs produce a Healing Oil that, unlike the fiery Oil of Commaticus Lee (2019), aim to provide a soothing, blessing, and gently revivifying effect. I see this formula being useful in healing emotional pain, working through bereavement, or providing comfort in times of sadness or spiritual doubt.
Sixteenth, worker Nathan Burkeen (2018) shares this interesting combination of herbs in conjunction with a Healing Oil:
Rosemary recurs here to ward off illness, crossed conditions, and aid sleep. Thyme recurs for general health and sleep promotion as well. Mint also helps with uncrossing, protection, and strengthening the person. Chamomile is a third uncrossing herb, which also helps soothe, promote sleep, and calm. Bay grants victory in the healing and/or uncrossing work. A final interesting addition here is Mullein, which is used here to protect the person by controlling the illness.
Taken as a unit, Nathan’s (2018) formula appears to function not only to promote health and soothe, but also address any potential crossed conditions that mighty be reinforcing the pain or physical or mental illness. This is a clever combined approach that seems like it would be effective in such work.
Seventeenth, and finally, for our purposes, I must pay homage to the local Christian folk practices here in my home city of Montréal and mention the Healing Oil of St. Joseph and Saint Brother André. To the right of the vast structure of St. Joseph’s Oratory here in Montréal, there is a tiny chapel where Saint Brother André not only lived and preached, but is reputed to have also healed many.
Indeed, crutches adorn the walls of the chapel from people allegedly healed here. His method? According to the official website of St. Joseph’s Oratory (2022), Saint Brother André “was inspired by a devotion that he heard was already being practiced in France. He took a bit of oil from a lamp that was burning in front of a statue of Saint Joseph. He offered it to sick people telling them to rub it on their aching body and to pray to Saint Joseph for relief. This tradition continues today at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Montréal. A basin containing ordinary vegetable oil is fixed in front of a statue of Saint Joseph, and a wick, floating on the surface, burns night and day as a kind of perpetual votive lamp. The oil is then put in bottles and made available to pilgrims.”
What could be more simple than a recipe of only 1 ingredient, and that, the lowest-cost ingredient of all, vegetable oil? If all of the other recipes in this article appear too intimidating or inaccessible, I suggest trying out this simple formula or ordering some from the Oratory itself. As an added bonus, Oil ordered from the Oratory is blessed by a Catholic Priest before shipping.
C. 11 Keys to Magical Healing: My Personal Healing Oil Formula
Having analyzed the above formulas, reflected on their herbs individually and in combination, and consulted with my Spirits, here is the formula I decided to use in my own practice. With18 being my personal lucky number, sharing this formula as the 18th Healing Oil in this article feels both apt and auspicious.
This Healing Oil formula is both complex and multidimensional; accordingly, it uses no less than 11-herbs in combination with Olive Oil as a foundation or carrying oil as well as Vitamin E to preserve the oil and add antioxidant health benefits:
- Olive Oil (as a base carrying oil and the Biblical classic herb for anointing oils).
- Self-Heal (assists in magical work to heal all physical and psychological conditions).
- Althaea or Marshmallow (helps with physical, mental, and spiritual healing, and draws spiritual assistance, synergizing with Angelica).
- Eucalyptus (for its powers to heal, protect, and soothe mind, body, and spirit).
- Sandalwood (to add power to the effect of the other herbs and promote health of body and peace of mind).
- Thyme (for general health and to help with sleep).
- Mint (for purification, strength to cope with illness, and uncrossing in case of crossed conditions being linked to the illness).
- Angelica (to promote benevolent and Angelic assistance in the healing work; to be used alongside prayers requesting Angelic support, e.g. from Michael, Raphael, etc).
- Lemongrass (to clear obstacles to healing and grant smooth and successful healing).
- Orange Peel (to add enlivening energy to balance out the lethargy and low motivation that can come with depression and different forms of illness, heal emotional pain, and increase health vitality).
- Rosemary (to ward off illness and promote peace of mind and good dreams).
- Lavender (to soothe emotional wounds and generate comfort and soothing quality, alongside the Eucalyptus and Sandalwood to balance out the vitality of the Lemongrass and Orange Peel).
- Vitamin E (as a preservative for the oil and for its health benefits as an antioxidant).
Tip: If you want to tweak this formula slightly to also promote longevity, consider adding Life Everlasting with Myrrh, a common Incense used in healing work, to bring the total to 13 herbs and keep the traditional odd number of ingredients.
Important Note: Legally, I must add that the above formula and the information in this article are provided for entertainment purposes only. Personally, I see healing magic as a complement and accompaniment to scientific and medical treatment, not as a replacement thereof. Therefore, I always recommend people to first consult a doctor and then use healing magic on the side to support the work doctors, medication, etc. This is the approach of holistic healing, which draws on all relevant sources to obtain an optimal end, specifically (1) medical science, (2) herbalism, and (3) spiritual means.
Some esotericists also swear by mineral alchemical treatments (e.g. imbibing metals that were put through different alchemical procedures) as an aid to healing. However, I recommend extreme caution in this regard because some mineral formulas can cause more health problems than they heal. I’ve known people who took such formulas and ended up poisoned and admitted to hospital. This should likely be avoided in most cases.
Personally, I find the three means given above sufficient for my purposes and my work. My experience has also shown that unfortunately, in healing work, we can make no guarantees; different people respond differently to different workings and the Spirits may achieve different results with different ailments.
To this point, I’ve seen some healings that are complete and appear nothing short of miraculous. However, other healing work has proven to be a “slow burn” that took time and sometimes my work failed entirely because the issues were too severe (e.g. in the case of stage 4 palliative cancer). In addition, sometimes, more than one working is needed on an issue and there are limits to what can be done in some cases (e.g. some palliative illnesses). So, it is important to balance remaining open to the miraculous while also being compassionate and fair to ourselves if things do not work out as planned, as is sometimes the case.
D. Invoking the Healing of God: Psalms and Prayers for Healing Work
While working with a Healing Formula like one of those given above, whether in the form of a Healing Oil, Healing Sachet Powder, Healing Fixed Candle (e.g. blue or white in Conjure, orange or multi-colour for Mercury in grimoire work), Healing Floor Wash, or working on a person by proxy via a Poppet or Doll Baby, many Psalms and prayers can be used to add spiritual power to the working.
First, for Psalms, we can include the following depending on the type of ailment we are looking to heal:
- Psalm 3 can be used for relief from a severe headache or from back pain. Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says to write the first 8 verses and and Holy Name on parchment then wear as necklace; pray over target with psalm and this prayer “Lord of the world may it please Thee to be my physician and helper. Heal me and relieve me from severe headache/backache because I can find help only with Thee, and only with Thee is counsel and action to be found. Amen!”
- Psalm 4 can be used to help heal insomnia and sleep disorders. Laremy (2001) says to “recite psalm before bed, then meditate on the following, “The Lord’s presence is my sanctuary, his company is my strength, knowing this I will peacefully sleep and be safe.” I suggest making a chamomile tea, reciting Psalm 4 over it and asking the Chamomile Spirit to help soothe your mind and bring sleep, and then going to bed. A small bag of Thyme under the pillow can also help with sleep issues.
- Psalm 6 and Psalm 12 can be used for work on healing diseases of the eye.
- Psalm 9 can be used for work to heal male children. Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says to write psalm on parchment with new pen, hang around patient’s neck. After, repeat Psalm with reverence, then say this prayer “All merciful Father, may it please thee to take away from this child the pains from which he suffers, release him during his life from all plagues, injury and danger. Amen.”
- Psalm 15 can be used to provide relief from depression; Laremy (2001) recommends the target to “pray psalm, pronounce the Holy Name “Lali” over a new pot filled with well water; bathe body of sufferer and repeat prayer during the bath, “May it be Your will, Oh God, to restore the senses of this individual who has been grievously plagued by the devil. Enlighten his mind for the sake of Your Hole Name. Amen.”
- Psalm 16 can be used both for work to help decrease symptoms of depression for work to reduce pain.
- Psalm 18 and Psalm 89 can both be used if you plan to anoint the sick with Healing Oil as part of the spell as anointing the sick is a theme of this Psalm. A base of prayed-over Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil–as in St. Brother André’s approach–is a solid base for a Healing Oil. Similarly, Laremy (2001) says to “fill small flask with olive oil and water, pray 18th psalm over it reverently; anoint all limbs and pray over patient.” In the Bible, Olive Oil is commonly used to anoint both the sick and Kings like David (1 Samuel 16).
- Psalm 19 can be used in healing or preventive health work relating to childbirth for both the mother and baby.
- Similarly, Psalms 127 and 128 are used to ensure a smooth, fortunate, and uncomplicated pregnancy.
- Psalm 27 can be used in many types of healing work; it is versatile and general.
- Psalm 30 can be used for work to facilitate recovery from very severe illnesses or help with coping with chronic diseases when recovery is not possible.
- Psalm 31 can be used for treating chronic stress, stress at work, and anxiety; Laremy (2001) says to “burn a light blue Candle, fill a tub with warm water and previous mix/boiled combo of Flor del Mar, Sea Water, Ache de Santo, and Kolonia 1800; sit in tub and contemplate Psalm 31 to relieve tension.” Psalm 39 also helps relieve mental tension.
- Psalm 36, according to Robert Laremy (2001), can be used to improve memory; he says to “anoint forehead and temples with Memory Oil and pray psalm with yellow Candle.” By extension, this Psalm can be used to help slow the progression of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Korsakoff’s Syndrome, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and other issues involving memory losses. Were I to use this with such patients, I would anoint their forehead first with a cross of Memory Oil then with a cross of Healing Oil then with a cross of Blessing Oil while reciting the Psalm for a triple-effect.
- Psalm 43 can be used to help someone psychologically and spiritually to cope with a difficult situation; in other words, it heals by granting courage and resilience to cope. Psalm 118 is a good follow-up to Psalm 43 to help with finding solutions while coping.
- Psalm 46 can be used to heal relationship issues and bring couples closer together. It can also be used to call a ‘fortress’ of healing around the ill, seeking refuge in God.
- Psalm 49 and Psalm 50 also used for work on serious illnesses, but also, more specifically, on work to speed recovery from fevers and contagious diseases. In addition, Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says that Psalm 49 can also be used for inherited illnesses that run in the family and instructs the sick person to “with new felt pen, write 49th psalm and first 6 verses of psalm 50 on parchment; hang around neck with silk string.”
- Psalm 58 and Psalm 147 can be used in work to help people heal from bites from wild animals (e.g. snake bites). Laremy (2001) also recommends that people who are at risk of dog bites “copy first three verses on parchment and carry to prevent bites.”
- Psalm 67 is useful for work on al kinds of illnesses; also, for fever.
- Psalm 69 and Psalm 101 can be used to help people who are striving to find healing from addictions of all kinds.
- Psalm 71 can be used to heal mental anguish, guilt, bereavement, and depression under the principle that these are a “mental prison” from which the patient needs assistance to break out.
- Psalm 77 is useful for many purposes ranging from chronic illnesses to recovering from malnutrition and dehydration.
- Psalm 84 is useful for all kinds of bodily healing and specifically when there are symptoms that cause unusual odors (e.g. boils, sores, etc.).
- Psalm 87 can be used as a preliminary “cleansing” prayer before healing work, especially work done to heal relationships between people in a community. It is usefully followed up with Psalm 96 and 97 to heal family relationships and bring harmony back to a community in which there has been a split.
- Psalm 89 can be, according to Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook, read day and night while focusing attention and healing energy on the affected body part that needs healing until it is healed.
- Psalm 90 is useful for blessing all work of the hands; as such, it is useful in work to ensure good results from surgery and supporting recovery after surgery. Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says it can also be used to help someone who is trying to emerge from depression.
- Psalm 98 is useful for healing rifts between two families who previously got along but have turned against one another.
- Psalms 105, 106, and 107 are useful for healing work to address recurrent illnesses that flare up or return, especially if linked to recurrent fevers. They are best used all together as a trio, as they compound each other’s power and work synergistically.
- Psalm 117 can be used in work to treat depression; Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says to read Psalm 117 every morning and evening by light of white Candle and adds that this Psalm “may have been read by Jesus at Last Supper the mystically strengthen the disciples for what was to come” so it can be used for granting psychological fortitude as well.
- Psalm 125 can also be used to grant fortitude and mental strength to those needing healing from a feeling of being weaker than they are; pray Psalm 125 over a Sampson Snake Root anointed with Healing Oil and have them carry it.
- Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Psalter; it has 22 sections that cover all human problems and can be used if doing healing work in a complicated situation with many causes and factors involved (e.g. not just illness in the body, but poor housing, lack of finances to address the problems, poor access to doctors, etc.).
- Psalm 127, as noted above, can be used in preventive health work to ensure the health of a newborn baby. Anoint a Mojo bag with Healing Oil with some Personal Concerns of the baby and give it to the mother to carry on her person or sew into the crib cushioning. Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says to – write psalm on paper, cover with white chalk; fold small and place in red mojo with camphor square and gold. Make one for each child, attach with safety pin inside clothes worn by child (e.g. jacket).
- Psalm 126 is used for work to help support a grieving mother after the death of a child or a miscarriage and to help pray for the next child to live.
- Psalm 129 is used in prayers for a long, healthy life; it is best used for the herb Life Everlasting.
- Psalm 142 is useful in many types of healing work from recovery from an injury, to restoring health after a sickness, to alleviating pain, and even to work on psychological pain and depression. Similarly, Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says to pray this Psalm when overwhelmed with confusion or melancholy. After psalm say “David prayed this psalm as he pondered in a cave, so I hope and pray the Lord will save my mind.” Psalm 60 is related; it helps prevent injuries.
- Psalm 143 can be used alongside Psalm 142 for injuries affecting the arms, legs, hands, or feet, and to alleviate pain.
- Psalm 144 is especially useful for mending a broken arm, but also, by extension, healing and recovering from fractures in all bones in the body.
- Psalm 146 is useful for healing after incurring a wound of any kind and also battlefield wounds for soldiers or wounds from fighting for fighters. Robert Laremy’s (2001) The Psalm Workbook says this can also be used for people who struggle with hunger and want to heal this aspect.
- Psalm 147 can be used to grant peace of mind, and healing from bereavement, depression, and anxiety. This is another prayer that invokes a “fortress of healing” around the people to be healed.
- Psalm 150 can be used to give thanks and glorify Adonai Rapha, the Lord of Healing, after all successful healing work.
Second, for prayers to include in healing work, the possibilities are nearly endless. Indeed, within a folk Christian framework, whether that be African American Conjure, Rootwork, Hoodoo, or one of the many European Christian folk magics, a wide range of prayers can be employed.
A useful Divine Name, for those who draw on Hebrew from the Torah or Old Testament and Kabbalistic sources in their work is “ADONAI RAPHA” (אֲדֹנָי רָפָא), which means “Lord of Healing.” This Name of Power can be integrated into prayers and invocations for healing, inscribed on healing talismans or carved into Candles invoking the healing of God in their burnings.
In terms of specific traditional prayers, the most logical choice among Archangels with whom to work healing is Archangel Raphael, whose name literally means “the Healing of God” — compare with the Divine name given above.
In addition, Sam Block (2020) of The Digital Ambler formulated a prayer based on the Chaplet of Raphael to include in healing work. It goes as follows:
“In the name of God, the Holy, the Light, the All-Knowing, the All-Aware!
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of your glory,
and your glory is known to us through your glorious angel Raphael.
Holy, mighty, and wondrous is your angel Raphael!
O Raphael the Healer, angel restoring us to health!
O Raphael the Guide, angel giving us Light on the way!
O Raphael the Companion, angel accompanying us to joy!
Divine physician, heavenly scientist, celestial traveler,
it is upon you we call, to you we lift our hands seeking succor!
When all hope is lost, Raphael, you give us hope.
When all health is lost, Raphael, you give us health.
When all love is lost, Raphael, you give us love.
When all life is lost, Raphael, you give us life.
When all seems lost, Raphael, you turn back the tide
of darkness, of sorrow, of misery and misfortune
and restore us to a whole, hale, happy and holy life.
In every trial, holy Raphael, stand for us!
Be our advocate in Heaven at the end of days!
Be our support in every problem we face!
Be our sight in every dark night we see!
Be our healer in every illness we suffer!
Be our leader in every journey we undertake!
Be our strength in every battle we join!
May God send upon you peace, holy Raphael,
and upon your wings, may you send peace upon us all.
Sam Block (2020) also includes two creative prayers drawing on Islamic sources to use in healing work. The interested can read these in his informative article on the subject of prayers for times of healing and disease. One involves using a tasbih (set of Islamic prayer beads); a similar practice could be adapted for use with a Christian Chaplet or Rosary.
To broaden our toolkit of prayers to add into healing work even further, my dear friend Agostino Taumaturgo (2018) in his excellent My New Everyday Prayer Book provides the following Catholic prayers for use in healing work.
I would combine the appropriate prayers with relevant Psalms and use Healing Oil in combination with Candle work and Incense Offerings (e.g. Myrrh, Sandalwood, Benzoin, or a Healing Incense blend) as needed depending on the issue:
- Prayer for Healing
Dear Lord of Mercy and Father of Comfort: to you I turn for help in
times of weakness and need. I ask you to be with your servant during
this illness, because I know you send out your Word and heal. I thus
ask you to send your healing Word to your servant, and in the name
of Jesus to drive out all infirmity and sickness from this body.
I ask you to turn this weakness into strength, suffering into
compassion, sorrow into joy, and pain into comfort for others. May
your servant trust in your goodness and hope in your faithfulness,
even in the middle of this suffering. Let him (her) be filled with
patience and joy in your presence as he (she) waits for your healing
touch. Restore your servant to full health, dear Lord. Remove all fear
and doubt from his (her) heart by the power of your Holy Spirit, and
may you, O Lord, be glorified through his (her) life.
As you heal and renew your servant, Lord, may he (she) bless and
praise you. I pray for this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
- For Healing
Lord, you invite all who are burdened to come to you. Allow your
healing hand to heal me. Touch my soul with your compassion for
others. Touch my heart with your courage and infinite love for all.
Touch my mind with your wisdom, that my mouth may always
proclaim your praise. Teach me to reach out to you in my need, and
help me to lead others to you by my example. Most loving Heart of
Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve you with all
my strength. Touch gently this life which you have created, now and
- Prayer for Healing
Lord, look upon me with eyes of mercy, may your healing hand rest
upon me, may your life-giving powers flow into every cell of my body
and into the depths of my soul, cleansing, purifying, restoring me to
wholeness and strength for service in your Kingdom. Amen.
- Renew My Mind, Body and Soul
Lord, I come before you today in need of your healing hand. In you
all things are possible. Hold my heart within yours, and renew my
mind, body, and soul
I am lost, but I am singing. You gave us life, and you also give us
the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the
path you’ve laid out for me. Guide me towards better health, and give
me the wisdom to identify those you’ve placed around me to help me
In your name I pray, Amen.
- Prayer when Health Is Failing
Sweet Heart of Jesus, my health is failing, and I am hurting.
Thank you for my body, which is a great and marvelous gift and a
temple where the Holy Spirit chooses to dwell.
I offer up my current suffering for (Name), accepting whatever
you permit to happen to me.
I believe in your healing power and claim your promises of peace,
help in all my afflictions, and the grace of final perseverance. Help
me to resist all fear, and hide me, Lord, in the haven of your precious
heart. Give me the strength to accept this current state of my health
with joy, holy resignation, and lively hope for the future. Amen.
- A Prayer against Disease
Lord, your scripture says that you heal all diseases and whoever
believes in you will not perish but have eternal life. Strengthen your
servant, Lord, in this time of illness. Sustain him (her) as he (she) lays
sick in his (her) bed. When you were on earth, you did all things good
and healed all kinds of sickness.
You healed those who had diseases. You died and rose for our
sins that we may have eternal life. I believe in my heart that you are
here with us today and that with your most holy power will remove
all sicknesses and evils that roam the earth. Let it be done in your
We praise and glorify your name, O Lord, for you live and reign
forever and ever. Amen.
In addition, Agostino (2018) also provides the following prayers for the sick and dying. I have successfully used Prayer 454 and Prayer 455 in particular in my own work:
- Prayer for the Sick
Almighty and eternal God, you are the everlasting health of those
who believe in you. Hear us for your sick servant, (Name), for whom
we implore the aid of your tender mercy, that being restored to
bodily health, he/she may give thanks to you in your Church.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Another Prayer for the Sick
Dear Jesus, Divine Physician and Healer of the sick, we turn to You
in this time of illness. O dearest Comforter of the Troubled, alleviate
our worry and sorrow with Your gentle love, and grant us the grace
and strength to accept this burden.
Dear God, we place our worries in Your hands. We ask that You
restore Your servant to health again.
Above all, grant us the grace to acknowledge Your holy will and
know that whatsoever You do, You do for the love of us. Amen.
- Prayer for Those On Medication
Gracious God, You have given us many healing remedies that are a
benefit to us when we are sick. Through the miraculous intercession
of St. Anthony, we ask Your blessing upon the medication prescribed
for (mention name) so that he/she may experience healing, and be
restored to full health in mind and body. Amen.
- For Someone Who Is Addicted
Lord, my heart is filled with concern for (Name), who is addicted.
You know and see the disorder and chaos that the addiction is
causing, and your heart grieves over the distortion of personality and
danger to the soul that results when someone is in the throes of
I pray that you will please give me the wisdom and spiritual
fortitude to detach with love and trust in your tender mercies
and that you will give (Name) the humility and strength to seek
recovery. I ask this through the saving grace of your Sacred Heart.
- Prayer Before Surgery
Loving Father, I entrust myself to your care this day; guide with
wisdom and skill the minds and hands of the medical people who
minister in your Name, and grant that every cause of illness be
removed, I may be restored to soundness of health and learn to live
in more perfect harmony with you and with those around me.
Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Into your hands, I commend my body and my soul. Amen.
Prayer After Surgery
Blessed Savior, I thank you that this operation is safely past, and now
I rest in your abiding presence, relaxing every tension, releasing every
care and anxiety, receiving more and more of your healing life into
every part of my being. In moments of pain I turn to you for
strength, in times of loneliness I feel your loving nearness. Grant that
your life and love and joy may flow through me for the healing of
others in your name. Amen.
As if these were not enough, Agostino (2018) also includes prayers for health professionals such as doctors, nurses, and medical Social Workers such as myself:
- Prayer for Doctors and Nurses
O merciful Father, who have wonderfully fashioned man in your own
image, and have made his body to be a temple of the Holy Spirit,
sanctify, we pray you, our doctors and nurses and all those whom you
have called to study and practice the arts of healing the sick and the
prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them in body and soul,
and bless their work, that they may give comfort to those for whose
salvation your Son became Man, lived on this earth, healed the sick,
and suffered and died on the Cross. Amen.
- A Nurse’s Prayer #1
Dear Lord, please give me strength, To face the day ahead.
Dear Lord, please give me courage, As I approach each hurting bed.
Dear Lord, please give me wisdom With every word I speak.
Dear Lord, please give me patience, As I comfort the sick and weak.
Dear Lord, Please give me assurance, As the day slips into night.
That I have done the best I can, That I have done what’s right.
- A Nurse’s Prayer #2
Be my voice to the deaf. Be my faith where there is doubt. Be my
hope where there is despair. Be my light where there is darkness. Be
my joy where there is sadness. Be me in the world.
Be my eyes to the blind. Be my consolation to those who need to be
consoled. Be my understanding to those who need to be understood.
Be my healing to those who need to healed. Be my love to those who
need love. Be my forgiveness to those who need to be forgiven. Be
my death to those who need me. Be me in the world.
- A Nurse’s Prayer #3
When I falter, give me courage. When I tire, renew my strength.
When I weaken because I’m human, inspire me on to greater length.
If doctors and patients become demanding, and days are too short
for all my duty: help me remember I chose to serve, to do so with
grace, and spiritual beauty. In humility, Lord, I labor long hours, and
though I sometimes may fret; my mission is mercy. Abide with me,
that I may never forget.
- Prayer for a Sick Person Near Death
Almighty and Everlasting God, preserver of souls, who dost correct
those whom Thou dost love, and for their betterment dost tenderly
chastise those whom Thou dost receive, we call upon Thee, O Lord,
to grant Thy healing, that the soul of Thy servant, (Name), at the hour
of its departure from the body, may by the hands of Thy holy Angels
be presented without spot unto Thee. Amen.
- Offering for the Dying
O My God, I offer Thee all the holy Masses which will be said this
day throughout the whole world for poor sinners who are now in
their death agony and who will die this day. May the Precious Blood
of our Savior Jesus Christ obtain for them mercy. Amen.
- To Be Said by the Dying Person, or by Another for Him or Her
V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. For by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
O GOD, Who for the redemption of the world didst vouchsafe to
be born, to be circumcised, to be rejected by the Jews, to be betrayed
with a kiss by the traitor Judas, to be bound with cords, to be led as
an innocent Lamb to the slaughter, and in the sight of Annas,
Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod, to be treated with indignity, to be accused
by false witnesses, to be afflicted with scourges and reproaches, to be
spit upon, to be crowned with thorns, to be beaten with blows, to be
struck with a reed, to have Thy face veiled, to be stripped of Thy
garments, to be nailed to the Cross and raised high thereon, to be
ranked among thieves, to be offered gall and vinegar to drink, and to
be pierced with a lance: Do Thou, O Lord, by these Thy most holy
pains, which I, though unworthy, now call to mind, and by Thy holy
Cross and death, deliver me (or this Thy servant, Name) from the
pains of Hell, and vouchsafe to lead me (or name the person) whither
Thou didst lead the good thief who was crucified with Thee. Who,
with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest forever and
- Prayer for the Dying
Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray you by the agony of your
most sacred heart, and by the sorrows of your Immaculate mother, to
wash in your most Precious Blood the sinners of the world who are
now in their agony, and who will die today.
Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. Assist me
in my last agony, and grant that I may breath forth my soul in peace
with you. Amen.
Moreover, in another wonderful section of his book, which Agostino (2018) generously gives away for free on his website, but which I purchased in hardcover to support his hard work, concerns prayers with the assistance or intercession of the Angels.
If we are using Angelica in a Healing Oil or other Healing formula, as I would suggest, then we can also integrate Angelic invocations and prayers. One possible way of doing this is through the Litany of All the Angels, which Agostino gives as follows:
- Litany of All the Angels
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Queen of the Angels, pray for us.
Holy Michael, pray for us.
Holy Gabriel, pray for us.
Holy Raphael, pray for us.
Holy Uriel, pray for us.
Holy Metatron, pray for us.
Holy Raziel, pray for us.
Holy Cassiel, pray for us.
Holy Sachiel, pray for us.
Holy Camaël, pray for us.
Holy Anaël, pray for us.
Holy Sandalphon, pray for us.
All ye holy Archangels and Angels of the Planets, pray for us.
– Prayers and Devotions to the Angels and Archangels –
Holy Sharhiel, pray for us.
Holy Araziel, pray for us.
Holy Sarayel, pray for us.
Holy Pakiel, pray for us.
Holy Sharatiel, pray for us.
Holy Shelathiel, pray for us.
Holy Chedeqiel, pray for us.
Holy Saitzel, pray for us.
Holy Saritiel, pray for us.
Holy Sameqiel, pray for us.
Holy Tsakmiqiel, pray for us.
Holy Vakabiel, pray for us.
All ye holy Angels of the Zodiacal signs, pray for us.
Holy Hassan, pray for us.
Holy Aral, pray for us.
Holy Thaliahad, pray for us.
Holy Phorlakh, pray for us.
All ye Holy Angels of the Elements, pray for us.
Holy Seraphim, pray for us.
Holy Cherubim, pray for us.
Holy Thrones, pray for us.
Holy Dominations, pray for us.
Holy Powers, pray for us.
Holy Virtues, pray for us.
Holy Principalities, pray for us.
Holy Archangels, pray for us.
Holy Angels, pray for us.
All ye Holy Orders of Angels, pray for us.
All ye Holy Angels and Archangels, intercede for us.
All ye Holy angels and Archangels, bless the Lord forever.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Our Father (inaudibly until)
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. Pray for us, all ye Holy Angels and Archangels.
R. And intercede for us in the sight of the Lord Almighty.
Let us pray. Almighty God, Who givest graces according to Thy good
pleasure, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of
Thy blessed Archangel N., to grant us peace in our days, victory over
all enemies and impediments in our paths, protection from the snares
of the adversary, and to grant our prayers. To send also Thine holy
Angel from the heavens, that he may assist towards the manifestation
of those same petitions, that the world, seeing Thy glory, may glorify
and magnify Thee always and everywhere, more and more. Through
our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. R. Amen.”
He also provides the following prayer, useful in all Angelic work; we need only add the healing petition at the end:
Prayer to the Holy Angels
Bless the Lord, all you his Angels, you who are mighty in strength
and do his will. Intercede for me at the throne of God, and by your
unceasing watchfulness protect me in every danger of soul and body.
Obtain for me the grace of final perseverance, so that after this life I
may be admitted to your glorious company and may sing with you
the praises of God for all eternity.
O all you holy Angels and Archangels, Thrones and
Dominations, Principalities, Powers and Virtues of heaven, Cherubim
and Seraphim, and especially you, my dear Guardian Angel, intercede for me and obtain for me the special favor I now ask (here mention your healing intention). Amen.”
A final section of prayers from Agostino’s (2018) work which are relevant to the healing purposes of this article are some of the prayers to and with Archangel Raphael that he includes, namely:
- Collect on the Feast of St. Raphael
“O God, you sent the blessed archangel Raphael to accompany your
servant Tobias on his journey. Grant that we, your servants, may also
be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance.
Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.”
2. Archangel St. Raphael – Prayer for Healing
“Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court,
you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide
of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted,
and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all
the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his
travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to
heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body.
I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your healing intention), and
the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy
3. Saint Raphael Prayer
“Blessed Saint Raphael, Archangel, we beseech thee to help us in all
our needs and trials of this life, as thou, through the power of God,
didst restore sight and give guidance to the elder Tobit. We humbly
seek thine aid and intercession, that our souls may be healed, our
bodies protected from all ills, and that through divine grace we may
be made fit to dwell in the eternal Glory of God in heaven. Amen.”
4. Novena to St. Raphael the Archangel
Frater S.C.F.V’s Note: I would use an Orange, White or Light Blue Novena Candle for this purpose. Puncture 7 thin holes in the top and anoint with Healing Oil as well as some of the herbs from the Oil if you have any on-hand. Use a consecrated Chalk Marker to write the name of the person to be healed on the glass of the candle. Write your petition on a petition paper and place it under the candle. Light the candle each night while praying the following prayer for 9 nights in addition to relevant Psalms from the list above, depending on the issue to be healed:
“Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.
Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court,
you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide
of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted,
and refuge of sinners. – Recite one Glory Be.
We ask you to assist (person to be healed) in all his/her needs and in all the
sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his
travels. Because you are the medicine of God,” we humbly pray you
to heal the many infirmities of his/her soul and the ills that afflict
his/her body. – Recite one Glory Be.
We especially ask of you the favor, the intersession of conversion of
heart and the great grace of purity, to prepare (name), to be the temple
of the Holy Spirit. Amen. – Recite one Glory Be.
St. Raphael, of the glorious seven who stand before the throne of
Him who lives and reigns, Angel of health, the Lord has filled your
hand with balm from heaven to soothe or cure our pains. Heal or
cure the victim of disease. And guide our steps when doubtful of our
ways. May God hear and answer our prayer according to His holy will
and for His greater glory. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
E. Anointing Pentacles for the Warding of Illness: An Example of Using Healing Oil with a Solomonic Pentacle
How can the Healing Oil we’ve explored in this article be used by magicians versed in Solomonic grimoire magic in combination with Solomonic seals with healing virtues? The answer, as in most things in magic, is that we have options.
First, a grimoire-Purist approach would be to follow the grimoire procedure for making the Pentacle to the letter, and then integrate the Conjure Healing Oil by anointing the Pentacle with it after this is completed. For this purpose, we could, for instance consecrate either the Second Pentacle of Mars from the Key of Solomon or the Jupiter Health Pentacle from the Veritable Key of Solomon.
According to Joseph H. Peterson’s edition of the Key of Solomon (2018), the Second Pentacle of Mars “serveth with great success against all kinds of diseases, if it be applied unto the afflicted part:”
About this Pentacle, Peterson (2018) includes the following interest ing editorial notes:
“The letter Hé, in the angles of the hexagram. Within the same the names IHVH, IHShVH Yeheshuah (the mystic Hebrew name for Joshua or Jesus, formed of the ordinary IHVH with the letter Sh placed therein as emblematical of the spirit), and Elohim. Around it is the sentence, John i. 4:— ‘In him was life, and the life was the light of man.’ This may be adduced as an argument of the greater antiquity of the first few mystical verses of the Gospel of St. John. -SLM. This pentacle is in Harley 3981, but is not found in M276, Ad. 10862, Sl. 3091, L1202, K288, Aub24, or W. The verse reads “In ipso vita erat et vita erat lux hominum.” -JHP.”
Another example of a Pentacle suitable for healing would be the Jupiter Health Pentacle from the Veritable Key of Solomon (MS Wellcome 4670) — see Practical Occult‘s version of it for an example, shown below in zoomed-in cropping (Chicosky, 2021):
About this latter pentacle, Alison Chicosky (2021) notes that the effect of Jupiterian influence in this Pentacle seems to “manifest in pain reduction, light regeneration, metabolic changes, ”feeling good” when worn, and securing “a healing sleep.”
Second, if we do not wish to take a grimoire-Purist approach, we could also employ a folk magical approach and use a stripped-down methodology as was historically done since the 20th century by African American rootworkers. As yronwode (2019) notes in her brief history of Hoodoo, Conjure, and Rootwork:
“The African aspects of hoodoo — foot track magic, crossroads magic, laying down tricks, ritual sweeping and floor washing, and ritual bathing — have been well documented by folklorists interested in exploring what are called “African survivals” in American Black culture. What is less well recognized is the evidence that hoodoo practice during the 20th century (and arguably in the late 19th century as well), was greatly admixed with European folk-magic, Mediaeval conjuration, Jewish Kabbalism, Allan Kardecian Spiritism, and even a smattering of Hindu mysticism.”
In historical context, it is worth noting that when grimoire elements were included in Hoodoo, 20th century American rootworkers often dispensed with the extensive ritual tools and ceremonial procedures and simply worked with the Seals themselves (yronwode, 2019).
One way to integrate them could be to draw them onto a plate–such as Balthazar’s dedicated plate for this purpose, which he calls the Tablet of Lights, and which I also use in my work–and do candle work with candles anointed with Healing Oil over them. I’ve done workings like this with great success.
However, I also carry health Pentacles, which were made following the strict grimoire procedures by myself or others like Alison, which can be anointed with the combination of Fiery Wall of Protection and Healing Oil. In addition, I have an amulet bearing the Names and Seals of the 7 Heptameron/Lucidarium Archangels and 7 Olympic Spirits, which I also anoint with Fiery Wall of Protection and Healing Oil and wear over my heart.
Finally, such Pentacles can be included in a Healing Mojo Hand (e.g. a light blue flannel bag containing things like dirt from a hospital, some of the herbs noted above, personal concerns of the person to be healed (e.g. hair or nails), a petition paper with their full name written 7 times with HEALTH AND WELL-BEING written 7 times over it, a John the Conqueror Root anointed with Healing Oil and Fiery Wall of Protection Oil, Angelica, and a St. Raphael the Archangel Charm on the outside).
F. Healing by Tea, Bath, and Soup: Three Final Homestyle Folk Magic Techniques for Use in Healing Work
Another series of techniques that are worth including in the discussion of Healing Oil and healing magical methods and belong to the domain of Christian folk magic. When I was sick recently with a bad cold, I made the following Spiritual Bath to Aid Healing and Sleep, my personal formula, which features a combination of Herbs to foster both conditions along with Angelica to be included along with prayers requesting Angelic help:
Spiritual Bath to Aid Healing and Sleep
How To Perform a Pour-Over Style Spiritual Bath (a folk Catholic method taught to me by an Espiritista):
- Place the herbs or curios to be used in the spiritual bath into a coffee filter at the bottom of a white bucket, never used for any other purpose. As you add each herb, speak to its spirit and ask it what role you want it to serve in the bath such as cleansing, uncrossing, or healing (e.g. “Angelica, please assist with drawing in Angelic assistance that this bath might prove successful and empowered by their aid…”). The roles of the other herbs can be easily figured out if you review the section analyzing the herbal formulas in this article.
- Pray to God to assist in the work you are trying to do with the bath. Pray appropriate Psalms over the bath to empower it and add sacredness to it (e.g. Psalms 49 and 50 for this bath).
- Set up a second basin or plastic bin to catch some of the bath water. Stand in this. When you feel your bath herbs have steeped enough, remove the coffee filter full of herbs. If needed, add a little more hot water to the basin.
- Now, while praying Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be continuously, proceed to take some of the water from the basin in your two hands and rub it into the bath of your neck. Rub HARD.
- Take some of the water and rub it into your forehead.
- Then take more water and rub it into your right armpit.
- Then left armpit.
- Then take water in your hand again and start to rub from your neck down on the front of your body. Flick out at your waist.
- Then do the same on right side from the armpit down, flicking our at waist.
- Then do the same on left side from the armpit down, flicking our at waist.
- Then intensely rub water along your whole left arm from shoulder to the tip of your hand, flicking out past your fingers.
- Then your left arm.
- Then your right leg, starting from the hip and moving down to flick out at your toes.
- Then your left leg.
- Now pour half the remaining water over the front of your body from your neck down.
- Next, pour the other half down your back from the neck down.
- Now sit and let yourself air dry.
- To finish the work, take a cup of the bathwater from the basin you were standing in and set it aside. Pour the remaining water in the basin down each sink, toilet, and bathtub in your house; I learned this method from cat yronwode.
- Finally, take that last cup of water, go out your back door, toss it over your left shoulder and go back inside without looking back. I do it on my balcony. This technique was taught to me by my Rootwork teacher Aaron Davis.
I also like to make a chamomile tea to go with this Spiritual Bath. As noted above, I prayed Psalms 49 and 50 over the tea and bath, while they both steeped together. I drank the tea, performed the bath, and went to bed immediately after air-drying. This combination was very helpful along with a candle working done to foster healing the next day, which proved very successful.
As another Rootwork tip for healing work, when people are sick, many of us make them chicken noodle soup. We can get creative and add a magical twist to this folk practice; if we include Rosemary, Thyme, and Basil in the soup, we can then pray Psalm 49 and Psalm 50 over them and request that the one who consumes the soup be made healed and whole. I did this as well in combination of the tea and spiritual bath above, for a multi-pronged approach, alongside wearing a Pentacle anointed with the Healing Oil.
D. Healing on the Shoulders of Giants: Final Thoughts on Extending the Light of the Spiritual Healing Tradition
The call of healing has long resounded through the history of spiritual work from its earliest incipience. Indeed, the world’s heritage of healing ranges far and wide, from the medicines of Indigenous Elders, whose descendants went on to influence the methods of Hoodoo alongside African healing traditions to Ancient Greek prayers to Asklēpiós, and Egyptian invocations of Sekhmet to make war on illness. On the African continent, the ancestral homeland of American slaves, prayers and songs of healing had long rung out to !Xu in the South, Sonzwaphi among the Zulu, and Aja among the Yoruba. Invocations of health rose up by campfires and by trees calling for the grace of Obalúayé, the power of Erinlẹ, or the herbal wisdom of Ọsanyìn. The Aztecs called to Ixtlilton and Patecatl; the Celts invoked Airmed, Lugh, and Ianuaria; the Chinese supplicated Bao Sheng Da Di, Shennong Da Di, and He Xiangu; and the Etruscans praised the healing of Fufluns and Menrva. The litanies of spirits of healing go on and on from Vaidyanatha, Dhanvantari, and Mariamman in India to Eeyeekalduk and Pinga among the Inuit, Sukunahikona in Japan, and Eir in the Norse lands.
When the Root Doctors among the American slaves were denied the “privilege” of medical attention, they reclaimed healing power for themselves with the Herbs and roots at their disposal. The rootworkers that descended from them knew the Bible well and used it to fuel their work; they called on the God of Psalm 107, who “sent out His word and healed” and Psalm 147, “who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Like the European Rosicrucians, they too saw in Christ a Master Healer of the Oppressed and the Downtrodden and called upon him to help them work the roots to healing. We today who strive to continue this work stand on the shoulders of these giants, with gratitude, humility, and the same compassion that drove their hands to work and lips to prayer. My hope is that this article will provide some useful ideas to those in search of Herbs, Roots, and Formulas to continue the work of spiritual healing today.
May health, blessing, and goodness follow you in every work of your hands and every prayer of your lips. Amen!
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