An oleum is just a fancy word for an oil used for ritual purposes. They are different from infusions in that they are heated to incorporate the properties and components of the plant matter in them, rather than left in a warm location for weeks, such as with an infusiono.
And they are ridiculously easy to make.
What You Will Need:
- about 1/2 – 1 cup base oil (if just making for yourself, you don’t usually need more than 1/2 cup)
- about 1-2 tsp of each herb, plant, resin, or other ingredients of your choice
- a pot, but a double boiler works for this too
- a stovetop
- a wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- a clean bowl or glass measuring cup (easiest to get something with a pour spout)
- a funnel (preferably glass, but silicon or plastic will be ok in a pinch)
- clean glass bottles with lids or droppers; preferably dark glass to limit how much light gets to the oils inside
What You Will Do:
- Bring your oil to a soft rolling boil on the stove.
- Add whatever ingredients you have chosen.
- Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 20 min.
- Remove from heat and strain into a clean glass measuring cup or other clean bowl through the solid out with a fine wire mesh or cheesecloth.
- Let the oleum cool for about 5 min. Pour into the glass bottles using the funnel.
- Label them however you prefer and store away from direct sunlight or heat. These can keep for up to a year if you keep them away from sun.
What type of base oil should you use?
Because this will be an oil that you heat up or boil to create it, you will probably want to choose a base oil that is more stable at higher temperature.
Avocado oil has the highest smoke point of most oils you’ll be able to get ahold of, so it makes a great base oil for ritual oleums.
Olive oil also has a decently high heat stability, at least enough to withstand boiling and not break down. Olive oil is also considered sacred in many spiritual belief systems, which is why I tend to lean toward this as my base oil.
Coconut oil can be an option if you use some that is fractionated, which means it remains liquid at room temp, unlike most other coconut oil which is solid at room temp. If your ultimate goal is to create an oleum that is more solid, then you can certainly go with standard coconut oil, though.
Regular old vegetable oil is also very heat stable and if you are on a budget, you can go this route. It’s usually made from corn in the US.
Canola has essentially the same effect as vegetable oil for these purposes and is also affordable.
Any other plant-based oils may not be ideal for high heat (boiling) and I would avoid using them, as they have a higher likelihood of going rancid.
As I stated before, I lean toward olive oil because it has a pleasant aroma, and its magickal meaning is important to me. I find it makes a great oleum, and its vibrations are higher and much more pleasant to me than the vegetable oils.