Magic & Witchcraft In History and Folklore (Part 3)

Flying Ointment

A reader says, “I’ve been reading some books about the history of witchcraft, and I keep seeing reference to something called “flying ointment.” What is that, and do people still use it?

Flying ointment, in a historical context, was basically a salve containing a blend of fat and psychotropic herbs, which allegedly gave witches the ability hop on their brooms and fly off to their Sabbat celebrations. Keep in mind that because this concept became a popular one during the witch hunts, or so-called Burning Times, in Europe, part of the legend included the grisly idea of this ointment made from the rendered fat of murdered unbaptized infants. This, of course, was part of the fear-mongering spread with the purpose of getting people to accuse unlikeable neighbors of witchcraft.

Occult artist and author Sarah Anne Lawless points out,Some may think flying ointments only go back as far as the Middle Ages as the majority of written accounts and recipes are from that period. But if we look in mythology, ancient literature, and folktales, we find a rich source of lore that leads back to pre-Christian times.” She adds that remnants of various psychoactive drugs have been found and dated back as far as the Neolithic period.

For the rest of this article by Patti Wiggins please click on this link:


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