Guide to Flying Ointments

Since childhood, we have seen fantastical depictions of Witches flying! As we grew, we put make-believe aside and with it the notion of witches on broomsticks. Yet, the truth is, witches can fly! This is often a spiritual journey, rather than a physical one, flying from our realm into others beyond the veil, hedge jumping. Traditionally, hedge witches would craft flying ointments or salves to be applied to the body. When absorbed, they created the feeling of flying, inducing trance and enriching shamanic journeying.


The use of deliriants and hallucinogenic for rituals and ceremonies dates back to 8,000 BCE. Across cultures, shamans have used psychoactive drugs to facilitate journeys of spiritual awakening and ancestral communion. The use of flying ointments, in particular, predates the BCE era.

Many choose to write about the mysterious use of flying ointments and their ingredients during the middle ages. Recipes were varied, though the salves often included one or more nightshades such as belladonna, henbane, hemlock, mandrake, opium, or wolfbane, valued for their psychoactive effects and ability to induce flying.

Occasionally, there are depictions of inhaling or ingesting these herbal blends, though most flying ointments were rubbed onto the body.  Perhaps to mediate their intense and possibly deadly effects.

Because they were massaged into the skin, these salves were often made with fats like rendered animal lard or vegetable oils. It would be remiss to omit a very dark yet pertinent aspect of the history of flying ointment. When the atrocities of the witch trials began in the late middle ages, the bizarre allegation that witches used fat from children and babies in their flying ointments arose. At times the sensational accusations involved grave robbing, at others, sacrifice. A devastating example of the dangers of misogyny, mob mentality, and religious fanaticism.

Modern Resurgence

Over the last few centuries, those who practice the craft have sought healing by reconnecting to their ancestors, their truth, and their gifts, leading to a modern resurgence of witchcraft, cosmic, Green, Kitchen, Elemental, Eclectic, and Hedge witches alike! There has been a rebirth and renewed interest in ancient practices.

Among them, the use of flying ointments and salves to induce spirit flight and shamanic journeying. Concurrently, an abundance of new information comes forward every day about herbs both in our own backyard or worlds away. Then again, even items worlds away are often only a few clicks from our doorstep in our modern ages.  

Can the more historically authentic ointments or their ingredients be obtained? Of course, they can. Do people still use these blends? Probably, yes, but most people lack the herbal or medicinal expertise to safely craft or use them, given their poisonous nature and potentially deadly effects.

Yet, any devoted witch can attest, necessity is the mother of invention! There remain many herbs that can be used much more safely to open the third eye, elevate consciousness, induce trance, enhance shamanic journeys, communicate beyond the veil, jump the hedge, and let your spirit fly!

Flying Ointment Recipes

Modern flying ointments now include high-vibrational herbs that induce theta brain waves associated with deep meditative states and astral projection like

Clary Sage




Valerian Root


These salves and oils can still be used by massaging them into the skin or specific chakra points, but there is a broader scope of uses. The blends can be used for dressing candles, ritual baths, pillow sachet for astral travel during the night, and to diffuse in preparation for flight.

When crafting your own ointments, let intuition and inspiration lead the way using herbs that suit your purpose and correspond with your intentions. The following recipe should help get you started.

Flying Ointment Oil

Infuse the herbs in a carrier oil of your choosing, using roughly 1-part herbs to 3 parts oil.

The importance of carrier oils is often overlooked. Many add their own magickal energies. For example, almond oil is great for wisdom, hemp oil fosters psychic abilities, while jojoba oil is deeply healing.

Steep in oil for 2-4 weeks in an air-tight bottle, agitating contents every day. Strain herbs and store the flying ointment oil in an amber glass vial for future use.

Flying Ointment

You can use the flying oil you crafted as a base for a salve for a thicker consistency.

Warming the oil in a double boiler over medium heat, add beeswax. You can test the consistency by placing a spoon dipped in the blend in the freezer. If you prefer a firmer balm, you can add more beeswax.

Pour the oil and beeswax mixture into containers. Now is the time to add any additional oils you choose.

Store flying ointment in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

Never be afraid to fly. Your soul is the sky. Here’s to you finding your wings!