Reference Shelf

You will notice words throughout Pagan Path are highlighted and linked to these definitions.  To see the full article for each brief entry, just click on the word.  You will find some great information while browsing around this area!

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Term Definition
Fixative
In aromatherapy, essential oil magick and perfumery, a fixative is a substance used to stabilize or preserve, and especially to reduce the evaporation rate of a blend. Slowing the evaporation rate allows the blend to be more stable, last longer, and stay true to its intended fragrance and magickal uses.

Volatile oils such as lemon essential oil and pine essential oil loose subtle \notes\" quickly because they evaporate fast. Adding a fixative keeps these oils around longer and can help fine tune their uses in magick and aromatherapy. For example pine can be mixed with sandalwood as a fixative, thereby increasing the \"wood\" energy and adding stability to the blend. Note that you will also be adding the spiritual properties of sandalwood.

Most fixatives are considered \"base notes\" in blends, because they evaporate slowly and are usually the last thing you smell before a scent fades. Musk, oak moss (and one of my favorites, pine moss) amber, ambergris, orris root, vetiver and sandalwood are good fixative choices. Patchouli can work as a fixative in blends where it's potency is welcome. Refer to each oil for its properties in aromatherapy and magick when creating your blends.

There are many synthetic chemicals used as fixitives in perfumery, however most Magickal and aromatherapy practitioners avoid these. If you need to maintain the true fragrance without the additional energy of a common fixative like those suggested above, try blending with castor oil, jojoba oil (really a liquid wax) or other carrier oils. You do not have to dilute your blend, just a few drops can help stabilize your evaporation rate. Practitioners here at PaganPath have used this for many years as a way to harmonize a blend without diluting it.

For example, if you mix four drops of mandarin orange oil with two drops of lemon essential oil, your \"top note\" (the first thing you smell) will be lemon. Next you will get a hint of orange. If you a drop or two of sunflower oil to this blend, you will smell lemon-orange together in your top note."

Genotoxicity

When referred to in herbalism studies, Genotoxic substances refer to chemicals that damage DNA (genetic information) within cells, causing mutations.  Anti-genotoxic is an agent or substance that has shown to protect from such damage.

Grimoire

A grimoire is a textbook of magick, like a primer.  Although the term grimoire is used by some Pagans interchangeably with Book of Shadows, the flavor of this term is somewhat more specific, and not exactly Pagan, due to its historical roots.

Grimoires became very popular from the 1600's to the 1800's.  These texts were often used by ceremonial magicians to conjure and control demons, angels, spirits, etc.

Grimoires contain elaborate rituals, many of which are echoed in modern Witchcraft rites such as consecrations and quarter calls. The Key of Solomon is a famous grimoire that contains the most correlations with Witchcraft rites.  Doreen Valiente and the Farrars (Janet & Stewart) suggest that the material was adopted by Gerald Gardner to fill the missing gaps in some rituals. It has also been suggested that Aleister Crowley aided or encouraged these adaptations.

To read more about grimoires, see the PaganPath Library article in the Cauldron area <a href='http://paganpath.com/library-2/the-cauldron/43-grimoire'>here</a>.

Hag

When someone refers to a hag, it usually indicates an ugly, aged woman.  However the word has similar roots to hedge (Old English haga, portion of woodland marked off) and hawthorn (a magickal tree often associated with hedges).  In Paganism and the Craft, a hag is seen in the older sense of the word indicating a woman with prophetic and oracular powers, a seer, diviner, soothsayer, Witch, wise one, healer, hedge-priestess or one who dwells by the hedges.

Humectant

A substance that attracts and retains moisture from the air.  Honey and glycerin remain liquid because they are hygroscopic.  Sugar and table salt will also attract moisture and anti-caking agents or desiccants are used to keep them from clumping due to their hygroscopic nature.  Here on PaganPath, humectant and hygroscopy are used interchangeably unless otherwise noted.  For example, honey may be referred to as a humectant or as a hygroscopic ingredient.

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