Spiritual Death Walking: Crafting An Activating Oil And Journeying To The Other Side

Spiritual Death Walking: Crafting An Activating Oil And Journeying To The Other Side October 16, 2018
Whether we seek advice from departed loved ones, wish to connect to our witch ancestors or wander around the other side, crafting an oil that activates, opens and protects will ensure a powerful experience on The Other Side.
Death walking is the experience of separating from your physical body, allowing it to “die” temporarily while you walk in the World of Spirits. Death walking is practiced when we connect with Hekate, our allies and do spiritual workings. It is very different than embodied practices, such as rituals and meditations, where we remain within our corporeal self. Anointing using this oil hastens and strengthens your ability to separate from your physical being, and also assists in returning from your journey. Botanical spirits are our allies in witchcraft, given to us from Hekate.
Read more about Hekate’s Garden.
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. This is a most excellent oil for anointing ourselves to connect with Hekate and her goddesses.

Aster flowers can be purchased or wild harvested during early autumn. If not available, substitute pennyroyal. This oil is not to be consumed, but is generally safe on the skin. Useful for anointing statues of Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Circe and Medea.

For the beginner practitioner, lavender essential oil, about nine drops, can be combined into 1/4 cup olive oil as a substitution.

Preparing the Oil

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.


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. Substitution: pennyroyal or sage.


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. Substitution: Juniper


Protection from wandering spirits, purification, calm and clarity. Ruled by Mercury and Venus, so it’s also a loving communication enhance.


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. Substitution: fresh chopped garlic.

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.

Creating The Oil

Get your ingredients ready. Aster and wild rose are often available on roadsides in the autumn. Richter’s and Mountain Rose are my preferred suppliers. 

Supplies: mortar and pestle, or a meat tenderizer with a sturdy plastic bag. Jar with lid.

The ingredients: In the original recipe, 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 (fingernail sized). If using dried, about ½ -1 tsp of lavender, mugwort, rose petals and the aster petals. About 1/3 cup olive oil.

Blend the botanicals: Put the poppy seeds in first, release their oil by gently pounding them, then add all the benzoin and pound it down into a powder so it blends with the seeds. Add the remaining botanicals in this order: aster, rose and mugwort.

Combine the botanical spirits: Macerate together in a clockwise direction, concentrating on activating their powers as you combine them.

Vox botanica: I always talk to the plants while I work with them. Their spirits respond well to instructions and gratitude, generally speaking. Sing your oil into life.

You can use this right away, but it will grow stronger with time.

Creating The Sacred Space

The journey takes place at an altar honoring the spirits and deities being evoked. Use images, statues, their symbols, etc. These are talismans that help evoke their presence.

Don’t fuss about elaborate altars if that’s not possible. A candle will be sufficient if that’s what you have. The power to create the sacred is within you. Talismans and statues are our allies, but not necessities.

Offer garlic to connect with the spirits and Hekate. Old screws can be used as a talisman for connecting to the past. 

Preparing Yourself

This is a journey to The World of Spirits, you will encounter whomever you evoke. The altar focuses the energy, and the oil “lubricates” the way there. The oil protects and activates.

It is recommended that you begin with The Khernips Ritual to purify your space. It can be found in the RITUALS topic.

This is a sacred rite of Hekatean Witchcraft, so the recommended dress is black.

Using The Oil

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.

Basic procedure is to anoint the root (area under belly button, don’t put directly on your genitals unless you really need to), heart and crown.

The Journey

The anointment:  This journey creates a portal to the World of Spirits. You anoint your objects and talismans and yourself in a clockwise motion. First your talismans (candle, etc.) and then you, then back to the talisman, etc.

The energy is three-fold: anoint the root of all, then the heart, then the crown. 

When you are ready, anoint your sacred talismans, such as images of your spirits, ancestors and the goddesses. This activates their power, beginning the evocation process. 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.

The portal: 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. Your physical being sits comfortably waiting your return.

The journey: Slide out of your physical body, allowing your etheric self to cross into the portal. Your awareness will attune to what your spirits need you to see. Each experience of the Other Side will be unique.

The release: When you return, take time to breathe yourself back into your body slowly. Express your gratitude to the goddesses and spirits.


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About Cyndi Brannen
Cyndi Brannen, PhD, is a healer, teacher and author focusing on personal development, spirituality and true magic. Founder of the Keeping Her Keys Mystery School, she teaches and writes about the true magic of healing and personal power. You can read more about the author here.

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