It’s a New, and Exciting, Season for Precious Oils

Dear Friends,

It’s been quite a while since I had the time to fully devote to my ministry, Precious Oils. Thank you to all who’ve been patient and understand of my life’s first calling as wife, mother (of six, nearly all grown children) and grandma.

Precious Oils is in the beginning of our third decade and I am in a season of my life where I can finally devote my time to Precious Oils and what I’ve been called to do. I’d like to take a few minutes this morning to share some of our plans.

This fall I will be making my 27th journey to Israel. I know, many of you have never been once and it is a dream of yours. Israel became one of the Lord’s gifts to me; He has miraculously provided for each journey. Those stories could be a book in itself. Each time I go to Israel I take love and comfort to Israelis in hospitals, the Messianic Community and to people on the streets. It is a special ministry and I’ve been honored to continue to bring blessings to the People of the Book.

The connection of the land of Israel and my Precious Oils ministry really began on my first journey in September 1999 when I was at The Temple Institute in Jerusalem. I tell this story in my teaching book called Ketoret (The Holy Incense). It was when the lecturer was telling us about the Holy Incense and we smelt the ingredients of it (at that time only seven of the 11 had been discovered) that I had an encounter with the Lord somewhat like I did when the Lord initiated me into this ministry on May 1, 1991.  I wrote down the ingredient list and asked my guide if I could hold the bottles of the spices a second time. I had already had one other “spice related” experience that day as we were walking to the Temple Institute; both experiences in the Old City was very much part of why I wrote my Precious Oils and the Fragrances of the Bible study years later in 2008.

Through the years I’ve had opportunity to experience Israel in profound and exciting ways. I’m now at another season where some of the encounters I’ve had in Israel pertain to an exciting project my husband and I began discussing last December when he took the time off of work to accompany me to a conference. We were full steam ahead, but I took a detour that allowed me to once again know the loving patience of Abba and how He will get you back to your calling. Gracious and loving Father is all I can say.

Today I am writing because this year, I believe, is the NOW moment to go the next step with Precious Oils by bringing my Precious Oils Studies to life through video teachings. Not just video teachings from my kitchen or a studio, but from the Holy Land. This is where I need your help, and your prayers. I’ll try to be brief, but you need a little background over the last few years and how you can help us.

David and I have been on a 21 year journey with Precious Oils Up On The Hill. In 2011, after 13 months and the assistance of DC attorney who helped us put our thoughts in the correct wording, we were granted a registered trademark from the US government. This was no small task, but it was important to protect Precious Oils.

The story of how our legal, registered name has its own story, and it’s just like the Lord to give you things in your call and service to the Kingdom and then show you later why you did “such and such”.

Precious Oils Up On The Hill was named in different settings. My encounter with the Lord on May 1, 1991 is when Precious Oils got named. In 1993 we lived in a rented home that was on 50 acres. My legal business name at that time was “Somewhat Limited” d/b/a Precious Oils. But I had the most frustrating time with my UPS guy; he could never find our house. It was then I made a change to our legal name calling ourselves Up On The Hill. When the UPS guy read the address and the name all he had to do was look up the hill to find us. When opening a new checking account I asked the bank if I could have both my legal name and my d/b/a name on my account, which they did. Then one time when I was on the Temple Mount (anointing it where the Spirit of the Dome & where the Holy of Holies is thought to have been) the lights went on in my spirit and a glimpse into the future of Precious Oils Up On The Hill. You see, Precious Oils was used on The Holy Hill of Jerusalem and throughout Israel. It is the only place in Scripture where the blessing is commanded, in Psalm 133.

A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1-3 KJV)

Some Historians and Bible Commentators describe this Psalm as possibly being written at a time of David’s life when all twelve tribes assembled in Jerusalem, and when he was anointed King. It is the psalm of unity and blessing and it is the Scripture behind the purpose of Precious Oils and also explains why going to Jerusalem during Succoth, The Feast of Tabernacles, is important. (Zechariah 14)

We need partners during our next stage of Precious Oils Up On The Hill. There are two ways to help; by donations and by purchasing products from our web site. You are very welcome to e-mail me at with any questions that you have.

Tax deductible giving is available as follows.

Make checks out to Liberty Ministries, Inc. Memo Precious Oils/Israel 2012. Send to:

Cynthia Hillson

107 Bradberry Street

Mooresville, NC 28115

We’ve added a 16 month calendar called “Watercolors of the Beautiful Land”. The images were painted in Israel. Later this month look for our new product line of shea butter soaps that will include Rimon (Pomegranate), Honey, Milk, Shoshanna (Lily of the Valley) and Spikenard.

Thank you and God Bless. I’ll be posting a number of blogs over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.



Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord ~ Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel, Succoth 2011

The Ancient Secrets of Keterot ~ Part Two

The Holy Incense  קטרת   Ketoret

Ketoret is the transliteration of the Hebrew word קטרת which is translated into English as Ketoret (or Qetoret); it means incense. It is referred in the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish writings of the Siddur, Mishnah and Talmud.  It is also referred to as the HaKetoret Kodesh (the Holy incense).

Ketoret was offered on the golden altar of incense during the time of the Mishkan (The Tabernacle in the Wilderness) and the first and second Temple periods in Jerusalem. The Ketoret was part of the daily offerings and burned twice a day. Today there isn’t a Temple in Jerusalem, but the prayer of remembering the incense is part of the daily traditional morning prayers.

It is You, Hasehm, our God, before Whom our forefathers burned the incense-spices in the time when the Holy Temple stood, as You commanded them through Moses Your prophet, as it is written in Your Torah.

The footnotes of The Complete Artscroll Siddur tell us that Arizal wrote that the careful recitation of this section (the ketoret) helps bring one to repentance. It goes on to say that Hirsch comments that the ketoret symbolizes Israel’s duty to make all its actions pleasing to God.

I wrote the following symbolic meaning of Ketoret in my books Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible (2008) and Ketoret ~ The Holy Incense (2009).


Symbolic Meaning

Sweet Spices

“Joyful” (to be fragrant in all things


“To fall or to drop”;  freedom


“to roar or to groan”; the anointing is Holy and will roar and flow out of our hearts



“fatty or rich” It’s the”sap”  from a broken shrub



“to be pure and white”


The Vignette of The Holy Incense ~ By Cynthia Hillson

© Precious Oils 2008 ~ All Rights Reserved

To be a sweet-smelling sacrifice daily we must be broken and fallen. It is in the times of prayer and worship that the ability to intercede for the freedom of others can flow from our hearts. The joy and sweet fragrance allows us to be pure day and night. It is the holy and acceptable offering of our service to the King.

Stay Tuned for additional thoughts on Ketoret. In Part Three of Ketoret I will expound on the present day health properties of each ingredient. In Part Four and Five, I will expound on the 11 ingredient list of the symbolic meanings, the health properties of the ingredients and the vignette.


Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

The Ancient Secrets of Keterot ~ Part One

As we are approaching the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur  I am going to tread on a some-what controversial topic, The Holy Incense written about in Exodus 30. I understand the controversy and hope that those who oppose the thought that we can have modern-day apothecaries consider the Holy incense and Holy Anointing Oil are what they are. . . Holy unto the Lord. A portion of my setting aside time to write this blog is quite frankly because of the number of e-mails, written notes and queries from conference attendees on the subject. While the questions are valid, so is the call of God on my life. That is to bring a portion of Scripture to life through the fragrances of the Bible using the elements found in today’s botanicals. I like to call it “connecting you to the Creator of the Universe”.

Over the next few days during the time known as “The Ten Days of Awe” I’m going to share some insights on the ingredients of the Holy Incense known as Ketoret. (Ketoret also is spelled Qetoret.) I will be using the ingredient list from the Scriptures that list five ingredients. The Jewish prayer-book, The Siddur, gives the tradition of 11 ingredients that should be noted is not known with absolute certainty. Pray that you will find a few moments to read this blog over the next few days as we unfold the Ancient Secrets of Ketoret.

I am a simple and old-fashion, line-upon-line girl. Feel free to copy these notes for your personal study or to share with our Bible-Study group. And please feel free to comment or e-mail me with any questions. I really would like to know your thoughts on the Holy Incense.


Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

The Ancient Secrets of Ketoret ~ Part One

We begin with our Scriptural reference found in Exodus 30:34-38. (KJV)

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; [these] sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like [weight]: And thou shall make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure[and] holy: And thou shall beat[some] of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy. And [as for] perfume which thou shall make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD. Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.”

From The Siddur (the Morning Prayer service) before the incense offering prayers is the prayers for ashes and Tamid (which is the continual offering asking for God’s mercy).

“It is You, Hashem, our God, before Whom our forefathers burned the ketoret (incense-spices) in the time when the Holy Temple stood, as You commanded them through Moses, Your prophet, as it is written in Your Torah:”

“Hashem to Moses: Take yourself spices – stacte, onycha and galbanum- spices and pure frankincense; they are to be of equal weight. You are to make it an incense, a spice-compound, the handiwork of an expert spice-compounder, thoroughly mixed, pure and holy. You are to grind some of it finely and place some of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Appointment, where I shall designate a time to meet you; it shall be a holy of holies for you. It is also written: Aaron shall burn upon it the incense-spices every morning; when he cleans the lamps he is to burn it. And when Aaron ignites lamps in the afternoon, he is to burn it, as continual incense before Hashemyour generations.” Exodus 30:34-36, 7-8

The Siddur continues with a list of the 11 ingredients of the Holy Incense that comes from oral tradition. The morning service continues with the prayers for the other offerings (guilt, sin and peace) which when all said could fill up your morning. The point I am suggesting is the importance of the incense in the Jewish religion and their desire to come close to God is found in their daily prayers. I believe that we also need to be awakened to something that may possibly bring us closer to God and is the purpose of this study.

Before closing today it is of vital importance for me to share how holy the Lord considers the oil and incense, not just holy but extremely HOLY. The word holy in Hebrew is kodesh. It means to be set aside and kept separate. The concept of Holy includes not only the incense and anointing oil it includes our places of worship, our tongue and speech, God’s Word, marriage and family, Shabbat and the Holy City of Jerusalem. The true nature of something being Holy is to recognize the fact that holiness is something that needs to be guarded and protected. There has been enough misuse in our modern day culture, perhaps more from those of us who live in the West, on what true holiness is. I believe the Lord is giving us a time to consider what He considers Holy during this season prior to Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year.


8 September 2010

Dear Friends,  

First, may I greet you with the blessing of the day L’Shana Tova on this Yom Teruah, the Day of  Trumpets. May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life. 

I’ve added a wonderful piece of art on my web site “Moses’ Tabernacle in the Wilderness” print by the Norbert McNulty. I’m including free shipping until September 14th. Great gift for the High Holidays that begin this week. 

Copyright Selah Art

As I am preparing for my 23rd journey to Israel next week  I felt it was important to share insights from my Ketoret teaching just in time for the upcoming High Holy Day of  Yom Kippur. From September 9 to September 13, 2010 I will be a sharing the ingredients found in The Holy Incense to include historical facts, today’s modern uses of the botanicals and the symbolic meanings of the ingredients. I hope that you can join me in the daily blog of The Ancient Secrets of Ketoret.  I depart for Israel on September 14th until October 5th. Be sure to check in as I’ll be using this blog to update you on my travels throughout the Holy Land. Thank your for your prayers.


Here is a portion of the introduction of my Ketoret teaching that you will find on my web site. 

How does one begin to explain the journey with the Holy Spirit since the establishment of Precious Oils Up On the Hill on May 1, 1991? Surely, even I, Apothecary Cynthia Hillson, is unable to explain how I am continually led to share more about this ministry through products, writings and lectures all centered around true Biblical fragrances. I do know that The Holy Spirit doesn’t need an explanation . . .  He is  . . . Who He is . . . And He is Perfect. 

Over the last 19 years I often wanted to write everything and begin to distribute the insights from His Word and the incredible natural fragrances all at once. But as everyone who is on their own journey with Our Beloved we must remind ourselves “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”     Ecclesiastes 3:1  As I pondered this Scripture I found the Holy Spirit amazing in the timing of the unveiling of my Ketoret teaching. But first a little background of this teaching. 
In 2008 I published two books: Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible and The Precious Oils of the Bible: Ancient Secrets ~ Modern Uses. I had just returned home from Israel  where I had spent a lot of time in the botanical gardens of Israel as well as the Temple Mount and The Temple Institute. Upon my return home I wrote those books as it was at this time I knew that the next few months, and years, would continue to reveal His purpose of this ministry of connecting Biblical botanicals with words and pure essential oils from Israel and around the world.   My love for Ketoret, The Holy Incense, actually began eleven years ago in September 1999 during my first journey to Israel. As I sat in The Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, the message of Ketoret was planted in my heart. Fascinated with the jars of botanicals on display I wanted to open them up and smell the ingredients of the Holy Incense. I took my notepad and jotted down the ingredients. When I got home I began to do an in-depth study of them knowing that there had to be the Ancient Secrets held within the Holy Incense and Holy Oil recipes given to Moses in Exodus 30. I also knew that one day these messages needed to be published and shared. At this time we are expounding on The Ancient Secrets of the Ketoret.

I gathered all of the ingredients for the Ketoret using pure essential oils from around the world, except for the mysterious onchya that still to this day is not identifiable.  Today, the common substitution for the claw-like botanical onchya is cloves. I blended a small bottle of the oil and let it rest for two weeks just as an Apothecary would do when blending a fine perfume.

To read further please go to my web site 


Apothecary Cynthia Hillson


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