Anointing

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Anointing

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Anointing is part of many religious rituals, be it the anointing of the whole person or the anointing of an object such as a simple talisman. It is, in effect, a symbolic cleansing, a clearing away of negativity, to make the anointed object spiritually pristine.

When a Witch enters the ritual circle, he or she is anointed by the priest. This is done in various ways, according to the tradition of the coven. It might be done with salted water or with oil. Typically, the priest will touch the oil to the Witch's forehead and draw a small pentagram while giving a blessing. If the coven works naked, or skyclad, then a typical anointing would be to the lips, right breast, left breast, and back to the lips, forming a triangle.

Anointings are also done in the various degrees, with traditions that have degree systems. An example is found in Gardnerian Wicca where a First Degree anointing is in a form similar to the triangle mentioned above: lips, left breast, right breast, lips. The second degree points are an inverted triangle: genitals, breast, breast, genitals. The third degree is in the shape of a pentagram: genitals, right foot, left knee, right knee, left foot, genitals. There are many variations on these points.

Candle magic is popular among Witches and others. A candle that is used in such a ritual should be anointed first. This is usually done with either a specially prepared candle-anointing oil or pure virgin olive oil. The candle is rubbed with the oil from its center outward, toward the ends, first to one end, all around the candle, and all around then to the other end. The anointer concentrates on the purpose for which the candle will be used while doing this.

Anointing an object, such as a talisman, is done as part of a consecration. This is usually done with salted water, after which the object is held in the smoke of burning incense.