Samhain Death Walking Oil & Ritual

Samhain Death Walking Oil & Ritual October 16, 2018

The end of October is the perfect time for necromancy. Whether we seek advice from departed loved ones, wish to connect to our witch ancestors or wander around the other side, the thinness of the veil can be easily pierced by botanical specialists. Death walking provides us with the opportunity to better understand the mysteries of the afterlife.

If you are new to this sort of witchery, proceed with caution. I suggest contacting a beloved departed for your first time walking on the other side.

Preparing the Oil

This is an oil of the waxing moon. Blend the oil at least one week into the lunar cycle.

All the plants are proud members of Hekate’s Garden. I’ve carefully selected them to ensure safe passage, including avoiding attracting unwanted spirits. Follow the recipe except where I have noted acceptable substitutions.

Aster: Element of earth, Virgo, ruled by Mercury. Flower of September. Burn to ward off evil spirits. Loads of ancient Greek and Roman aster lore, especially the tale of Astraea. Asters, either white or purple, are abundant this time of the year in most of North America and Europe. If you can’t pick some in the wild (they love roadsides), purchase a few commercial stems.

Benzoin: Eases transition into the spirit realm and for shamanic journeys. Ruled by Mars, associated with earth and water. Especially useful during autumn when the veil is thin.

Lavender: Protection from wandering spirits, purification, calm and clarity. Ruled by Mercury and Venus, so its also a loving communication enhance.

Mugwort: The witches’ best friend. Excellent for opening one’s psychic abilities since it has the dualistic actions of enhancing connection while offering protection. Venus is the planet, earth/air are the elements. Lots of mugwort growing on the curb this time of the year.

Poppy seeds: Water/fire. In addition to Hekate, sacred to Persephone and Demeter. The afterlife, visions and messages. Note that poppy seeds are mild narcotics. Consuming them can result in a positive drug test. Poppy seeds can be purchased in bulk at specialty stores, such as my beloved Bulk Barn. You only need a small amount for the oil.

Wild Rose: Also sacred to Persephone and known as dog roses. A primary flower of the moon. Symbol of respect for the dead and of souls. Calming to the restless mind whether alive or departed. Reliever of grief. Element of water. Note that the wild rose is very different energetically than cultivated ones. Only use the latter in a pinch. One purchased stem will suffice for this oil.

Olive: as the base oil. All four elements. Jupiter for a planetary connection relevant to Death Walking. Purifying and binding, an excellent base oil. Healing, spirits and rebirth. Also helpful for making peace with the past.

I always include a poison in my sabbat oils, poppy seeds are playing the role in this Samhain Death Walking blend. A final touch is a pinch of locally harvested wild sage for added protection. If you can’t get aster, the sage will do as a substitute.

I added a drop of the Summer Solstice Sovereignty oil energy and a pinch of the Demeter Cornmeal (infused with botanicals for revealing the mysteries of the life cycle) from the Fall Equinox. I usually do this to help turn the Wheel of the Year and keep it all connected.

I used all fresh botanicals, excepting the benzoin resin. One small stem of each is sufficient, a tbsp of poppy seeds is enough and a tiny knob of benzoin. If using dried, about ½ -1 tsp of lavender, mugwort, rose petals (even rosehip tea) and sage. About 1/3 cup olive oil. Macerate together in a clockwise direction, concentrating on activating their powers as you combine them. I always talk to the plants while I work with them. Their spirits respond well to instructions and gratitude, generally speaking. Cover jar.

When anointing yourself, use sparingly. Test a tiny drop on the inside of your wrist prior to the ritual if you have any plant sensitivities, or even if you don’t.

Place jar on the altar besides any deities, such as Hekate and Persephone, who will be petitioned to guide your death walking. Let rest for several days.

In the meantime, prepare an ancestor altar using belongings, pictures, etc. from those who will be contacted if this is your goal. Perform the ritual honoring them prior to the death walking. Obtain a piece of red string about three feet long for use as a tether. You can also set a timer to pull you back into the Middle World.

The Ritual

When you are ready, anoint the objects of the ancestors with the oil, the imagery of the deities being evoked and yourself (last). This is a triangular grid. Envision the grid being created between the ancestors (or the other side), Persephone or Hekate, and yourself. Anoint three points on each (top, middle, bottom) in a clockwise direction (deity, ancestor, you) while concentrating on creating this grid representing the Higher Self/Upper World mystical energy, the Middle Self/World active energy and the Lower Self/Under World emotional energy.

Once this grid is activated, a portal will be opened in the space between the three of you. This is a safe and protected space. Release yourself from your physical being and step into the grid, leaving one end of the string where your body is and holding the other. This is your tether back to the mundane Middle World in case you need it. Your physical being sits comfortably waiting your return.

When you return from visiting with your ancestors or the other side, release the grid in a counter clockwise manner. Make sure you express gratitude to your deity guide and to your ancestor(s).

Join the Samhain celebrations at Keeping Her Keys and in The Witches’ Realm. 

All information about botanicals provided for educational purposes only.

About Cyndi
Cyndi Brannen is a witch and spiritual teacher, a trained energetic healer, psychic and herbalist. Merging together her training in shamanism, Tarot, past life work, meditation and psychology, she teaches and writes about better living through witchcraft. Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft explores Hekate from her ancient origins to modern understanding through magic and personal development is available now for pre-order from Moon Books. True Magic: Unleashing Your Inner Witch uses the magic of the elements and the three realms to activate your true witch powers and will be available later in 2019 from Moon as well. Connect with her on Facebook or at to learn more about her teaching and writing. Cyndi lives in rural coastal Nova Scotia with her two sons where she can often be found wandering the cliffs or wild foraging plants. She lives what she teaches: fierce love, emotional courage and true magic. You can read more about the author here.
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