Graveyard Magick: A Witch’s Guide

Just about every Witch loves to poke around in old cemeteries and graveyards. And yet, actually doing magick in graveyards is a guarded subject, even among people who practice their craft without shame.

Is it discomfort with death? Fear of not being taken seriously? The overwhelming influence of the white-light crowd? Who knows. Graveyards are often associated with curses and hexes, with secrecy, with people who take angsty selfies and write vampire poems—but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s a handy Witch’s guide to finding, exploring and working within graveyards—no black nail polish required.

Why Graveyards?

Graveyards are Amazing Places for Magickal Work for Several Reasons:

Cemeteries are a shared spiritual space that doesn’t belong to any one religion or group. After all, death is the thing that we all have in common. No matter what words are said over the casket, we all return to Gaia in the end. For Witches and Pagans, graveyards can function as a neutral religious space, or even a temple when none is available.

Burial places are also one of the few types of land that has been mostly immune to commercial re-development. Even our materialistic society draws the line at digging up great-grandma to build more mid-rise condos. In mature cities, cemeteries are often among the last public green spaces available. If you want to be close to nature (but not run over by joggers and bikers) you could do worse than to cozy up to some tombstones.

Finally, there are the metaphysical traits. Graveyards are set apart from the hustle and bustle of everyday life—they remain quiet and sad while the world grows up around them. There is a stillness and a timelessness in graveyards. They often hold strong emotional energy, which can be attractive to visiting entities. They are a symbolic boundary between the world of the living and the Underworld.

Finding Old Cemeteries

You can often find quaint little cemeteries just by driving around, especially in older communities. Old churches and funeral homes usually have burial plots attached. Some large city cemeteries are historic landmarks in their own right, with splendid monuments to the city’s heroes, villains, and well-off boring chaps.

In witchy cities like New Orleans and Salem, graveyards can be a huge tourist draw. A tour company or visitor’s bureau can give you a list of cemeteries to visit. As ghost hunting and witchcraft have become more mainstream, many cemeteries offer special occult-themed tours. (Take the tour to scope out points of interest, then come back later without the crowds.) When traveling in rural areas, watch the side of the road for cemetery markers—the graveyard itself will usually be off the main road and up a hill. (To keep dead bodies out of the drinking water. Hooray!)

Another cemetery scouting tip: Photographers love graveyards almost as much as Witches do. Follow your local photography club, as they will do a lot of the legwork of sniffing out old and picturesque graves.

For cemetery visits that are off the beaten path, check in with the local historical society or civic clubs. Retirees and veterans often do the work of maintaining gravesites year-round. Historical groups can clue you in to little-known or neglected burial sites. Slave cemeteries, Jewish cemeteries, and pioneer cemeteries all have incredible stories to tell, and energies that are very different from what you will find at large memorial parks.

Some traditional graveyard spells call for a certain type of gravesite. (A murdered person for a revenge spell, rich man for money spells, child’s grave to conceive a baby, etc.) This is another case where it’s helpful to have history buffs for friends.

Like all other cultural artifacts, burial sites change over time. Headstones from the colonial period and earlier often gave a lot of biographical details, but later ones tend to have simple inscriptions. The stories of the deceased are in danger of being lost to time. Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. The graves of regular people can sometimes become local legends, pilgrimage sites for wish-making and little rituals.

As colorful as old cemeteries are, don’t neglect modern ones for you magickal needs. (In fact, some Witches prefer fresh gravesites for gathering graveyard dirt and certain other tasks.) If your home is near a cemetery (old or new) I highly recommend spending some time there. The practice will help connect you with the history of the land and people who helped build your local community. Your magick will be better for the experience.

Know the Rules

There are mundane rules and occult rules for working in cemeteries. First, the mundane rules. These will usually be posted at the entrance, especially in newer and commercially maintained burial grounds.

The mundane rules should also be obvious to anyone with a trace of manners and common sense. Don’t litter (duh), don’t plant or bury anything, don’t vandalize graves, don’t disturb mourners or memorial services. Open flames and glass may also be prohibited for safety reasons. Very old and historic cemeteries sometimes restrict grave rubbings in the interest of conservation. But normally it’s not against the rules to take paper rubbing of an interesting stone or marker.

Observing visiting hours is a very important consideration for graveyard Witches. These are not always posted. In many places, cemetery hours are covered by state laws or local ordinances. The laws are on the books and you’re just supposed to know to leave at sundown.

I know, I know—but we’re Witches! We do our best work at night. Unfortunately, it is usually illegal (and bad luck, some say) to be hanging around in a cemetery after dark. Some Witches and ghost hunters rely on their stealth powers to get around this rule…but I don’t recommend it.

There’s still a lot of ignorance about the Craft. Caretakers may not be able to tell the difference between the itinerant Witch and the ordinary vandal (or may not care). Cemetery owners and neighbors will call the police if they catch you there at night. Nothing kills a magickal buzz like a criminal trespassing charge, I promise.

At night, you also run a greater risk of encountering living people who are up to no good: Drug deals, furtive sex, and goth kids drinking wine coolers. They might even try to read you some vampire poetry. Not cool.

The mundane rules are easy enough, but what about the magickal ones? Ah, that’s where it gets complicated. As human beings, we don’t know very much about death—and we’ve had thousands and thousands of years to make crap up. There are about a billion superstitions involving graveyard visits.

Here’s a sampling:

  • Don’t point at graves or photograph them. (This rule probably gets broken the most.)
  • Say “sorry” when stepping over a gravesite. (Observed 100% of the time in Irish cemeteries, I’ve noticed.)
  • It is bad luck to wear anything new to a cemetery, especially shoes.
  • Don’t whistle in a graveyard, or you tempt Death.
  • Leaving coins on a grave is a token of respect.
  • Don’t yawn near a grave, or ghosts could get inside your body.
  • Smelling roses when there are none around is a sign that a benevolent spirit is nearby.
  • The person who takes something from a graveyard will return more than he took.

As silly as some of these adages sound, there is a grain of occult wisdom in most of them. However, don’t assume that they apply in all cases. Every cemetery is different. Different Earth energy, different spirits, and different customs mean different rules for the magick worker.

Well…that’s not very helpful. How do you learn the rules? As much as I would like to be able to generalize about cemetery work, there are few absolutes.

The only constant rule is respect. Respect for the dead is paramount while working in graveyards. If you behave like an ass with your actions or your intentions, you might or might not suffer some unpleasant consequences. Most likely, you will just find that the gates of magick are closed to you there while you are there.

Listen Harder

I can share one helpful tip for embarking on a cemetery working: Every graveyard has a guardian. In my experience, this has been true without exception. The guardian is a presiding spirit who watches over the boundaries and entrance of the site. The guardian is like the bouncer at a nightclub, basically. You won’t get very far without checking in with Him/Her/It, so follow the dress code and try not to get 86’d.

Tradition has it that the guardian is the spirit of the first person buried in the cemetery, who is bound to stay behind and watch over it. In the past, communities would sometimes try to cheat the curse by burying an animal or a vagrant in the first plot.

I don’t think this idea of guardianship is correct. However, I can’t definitively say who or what guardians are. They may be senior human spirits, Gods or emissaries of Death, psychopomp Fae, genii loci, random thoughtforms assembled from the social norms of visitors, all of the above or something else. (Insert your magickal worldview here, basically.) But guardians are real (enough) and powerful.

Cemetery guardians have a lot of jobs. They are largely responsible for setting the energetic tone of the site. They help control what entities can enter the ground, or stick around. They work with the caretakers and visitors to maintain the place physically, also. Sometimes cemetery guardians will set up a collaboration with a local sorcerer or priest/ess who works there often. If a graveyard you visit has been “claimed” in this way, you’d be wise to tread lightly and keep your magick compatible with theirs.

Open-feeling, peaceful cemeteries have guardians that welcome visitors. Haunted, forlorn, and forbidding burial places have guardians that don’t care for human company. The guardian(s) will ensure that you know which is which. They will also give you hints and nudges about the types of magick their domain supports. They may send you somewhere else if it’s not a good match. Remember that you are in their space. Respect it.

Developing a relationship with the guardian(s) is one of the best things you can do for your graveyard magick. It’s much better than just tromping through the gates with your candles and sticks and bones and expecting all the energies to fall into place for you.

So introduce yourself! The first time you visit a graveyard, pause at the entrance and share your energy and intentions with the guardian(s). Take in some of the energy of the place in exchange. See if you like the vibes—collaboration is a two-way street, after all. It’s not a bad idea to ask permission to enter or bring an offering to show you’re not a threat.

Once inside, open your super-special magickal antennae senses and see if there’s anything they’d like done around the place. Picking up trash is almost always a welcome contribution. Perhaps there’s a neglected area that needs visiting. Sometimes there’s a spirit with something to say, or a bit of energetic cleanup to be done somewhere. It only takes a few minutes, and then you can get on with your Voodoo, Hoodoo, or whatever it is you do.

What kinds of magick can be worked in graveyards? Just about all of them. Witches go to cemeteries to cast spells for love, money, healing, and success, as well as the darker workings like binding and revenge spells. Cemeteries are a good place to charge amulets, tools, and talismans. Since they are left alone most of the time, they are energetically “cleaner” than areas frequented by lots of people.

Plenty of graveyard magick involves the spirits of the deceased. Practitioners of many forms of magick believe that spirits of the dead can empower spellwork by the living. Prayers and offerings are made to spirits to earn their sympathy and support.

Graveyards are kind of temple for Pagans who connect with gods of Death or the Underworld (such as Hades, Morrighan, and Hecate). Witches and Pagans go there to contemplate mortality, to connect with ancestors, or just be in the company of the dead.

Burial places are a traditional spot to practice mediumship and spirit communication, and for a good reason: Cemeteries are where spirits go to be heard because they’re where the living go to listen.

As I mentioned before, a major part of effective graveyard magick is listening. If you’re not sure what to do, listen harder. Your instincts will guide you toward the right time and place to perform your working.

When in cemeteries, pay attention to particular areas that pull you in. You may see movement or light. Something may draw you to a certain gravesite—a visiting bird or pretty flower, a significant name or date. Cemeteries are an ideal place to receive oracles from the other worlds. Sit down and listen when invited to. The speaker is not necessarily the occupant of the grave. Keep an open mind.

On Offerings: Flowers, liquor, coins, tobacco, and food are traditional offerings to a spirit who has helped you. Some offerings will be more appropriate than others. You wouldn’t want to offer whiskey to a non-drinker, for instance. On the other hand, anything offered in love and trust is unlikely to offend. Consider the ecology of the place—take trash home with you. Offer energy and prayers if you’re not sure what’s okay.

Some Witches trek into cemeteries for ritual ingredients: graveyard dirt, stones, tree branches. Specific magickal rules govern the removal of these items (though they vary by tradition). In short, don’t take anything that isn’t freely given, or fairly bought and paid for.

When choosing a gravesite for a ritual activity, check in with any guardians or spirits in the area. Necromancy—magick involving the dead—has come a long way in the last 500 years. Once upon a time, a magician would wave a magick wand and command earthbound spirits to do his bidding. But there has been a major paradigm shift in Western magick. These days, most Witches think of discarnate beings as collaborators, sentient folks with independent wills that should be respected. You will occasionally meet a Witch who claims to bind or boss around spirits as part of their magick, but this is quite rare.

Some people might argue that the right to give consent ends with death…but that’s a rabbit hole for another day. If you get a strong feeling that your intrusion is not welcome, move on to another spot. You’ll get better results from willing spirits, anyway.

Be Safe

Let me get this out there first: Graveyards are not unsafe places for magick. They’re not inherently dark or evil or unlucky to work in. That’s superstition. What they are is portal places. As such, they carry certain magickal power and certain risks. It is possible to encounter negative or chaotic energies that you don’t want to bring home with you. At times, even the psychic impressions from ordinary human emotions can be overwhelming.

If you have a protective amulet or protection ritual, now is a great time to dust it off. Ground and center yourself before beginning your working. Ask your guides/angels/higher self to surround you with protection. Scan your body for attachments when you leave.

Scrying, channeling, and trance work should only be practiced in cemeteries if you’re confident in your ability to screen out unwanted garbage. This is yet another reason why building a relationship with the site’s spirit guardians is a good idea. They know the psychic geography of the place and can spot trouble before you can. They can be your allies and will act as gatekeepers if they support your work.

Remember that spirits don’t know everything just because they’re body-less. Don’t obey orders from a spirit that you wouldn’t obey from a person, and take anything they tell you with a grain of salt.

With just a few simple precautions and courtesies, graveyards can be a wonderful place to work your magick. Happy exploring!

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

The No-Nonsense Smudging Guide: Easy Tips and Tricks for Clearing your Space

Freshen up your life with the cleansing power of herbal incense! Smudging questions are some of the most common ones we get around the shop, so I’ve put them together in little bundle (heh). We cover why and when to smudge, some popular smudging herbs, and other questions people ask about smudging and space cleansing. Skip to the bottom of this article for a sample smudging ritual that is easy to do and suitable for most situations.

What is Smudging?

Smudging is the practice of spiritual cleansing with smoke, especially from sacred herbs. You can smudge a person, a place, a building, or an object. “Smudge” is both a noun and a verb—a bundle of herbs burned as incense is also called a smudge.

The term derives from the Middle English word smogen, from which we also get the words smoke, smog, and besmirch. (Those who lived in smoky medieval cottages might be puzzled that we now use smoke to purify our homes, but hey—history marches on.)

Why Smudge?

Smudging is done to remove bad energy and bring a feeling of peace and clarity. Most people can tell when a place just doesn’t “feel” right. Smudging is a remedy for that. Smudging uses the natural qualities of aromatic plants, along with the smudger’s prayers and intentions, to improve the psychic environment.

Smudging is a basic ritual, but it can be a very effective one. It is an act of will that removes negative influences and sets a positive intention for your home, tools, or workplace.

Some people also use smudging as a first step in setting sacred space. Smudging is a way to invite higher spiritual vibrations into a place of healing or meditation.

What tools do I need to Smudge?

The only thing you really need for a smudging ritual is your choice of natural incense or herbs. You’ll also need a source of fire—matches, lighter, or flint (for purists). Other than that, the most important tools you can bring are a clear mind and an open heart.

There are all kinds of other accessories that can become a part of your smudging practice. (Links go to our store, and your purchases help support this site.)

Abalone shells are a traditional vessel for catching the ashes from smudging. They come in various sizes. (Abalone shells should not be exposed to direct heat, as they can scorch.)

Smudge pots are made of stone, ceramic, or metal. Unlike shells, they can be used to hold burning smudges. Smudge pots are very useful when burning loose herbs or individual leaves.

Wooden stands may be used to hold the shell or smudge pot steady. Stands elevate the smudging vessel and prevent heat from transferring to your altar or tabletop surfaces.

Incense charcoal is used for burning loose or herbal incense. While not always necessary, it can be useful to have it on hand in case your smudging herbs don’t want to stay lit.

A dish of sand helps absorb the heat from smudges and/or charcoal. You can use colored ritual sand, plain sand, or even dirt from the earth. A layer of sand is also excellent for putting out a smudge when you are finished with the ritual. (Water is not traditionally used to extinguish smudges. However, it is a good fire safety practice to have water or a fire extinguisher nearby anytime you are working with open flame.)

Smudging feathers and smudging fans are used to direct the smoke where you want it to go. They represent the element of Air and the circulation of energy through the world. (Their use is optional.)

Smudging prayers and posters contain pre-written words for directing your smudging ritual. Voicing the words aloud causes your intentions to resonate more strongly. The level of spontaneity is up to you. If you don’t want to compose or memorize your own smudging prayer, it’s perfectly okay to use a cheat sheet.

What are some Common Smudging Herbs?

Theoretically, you can smudge with any fragrant smoke, including conventional incense. But there are certain plants that have a reputation for raising the vibration of your space. Each of these plants has a different energy and aroma to contribute to your smudging rituals.

When most people think of smudging, they think of White Sage. White Sage is a shrub that grows in the American Southwest. It has a fresh herbal fragrance and benevolent cleansing energy. White Sage is part of an extended family of sages, including Blue Sage and Mountain Sage.

Sweetgrass is a long prairie grass with a calming, Vanilla-like aroma. It is burned in small quantities to perfume and purify the environment.

Palo Santo is a small, slow-growing tree that is distantly related to Frankincense trees. Palo Santo wood is a rare and expensive incense with a spicy, complex fragrance. It is native to South America.

Many evergreen trees have dry, resinous leaves that may be used for smudging. Cedar, Juniper, and various Pines are especially favored by Witches of the mountains and forests.

Where do I get Smudging Herbs and Tools?

You can get smudging herbs from most spiritual supply shops and even health food stores. Other smudging tools can be purchased or improvised from household items. (Do reserve them for sacred use, though, once that function has been assigned.)

Some people like to grow or gather their own smudging herbs. If you live in a climate where this is practical, it’s a wonderful way to connect with the plant spirits.

How Often Should I Smudge my Home?

Most people smudge on an as-needed basis. These are the most common occasions for performing a smudging ritual:

– When moving into a new space. You wouldn’t wear used clothes without first washing them, and some people won’t move into a new home or office without smudging. Smudging helps clean up the psychic debris from previous occupants, so their energy won’t influence your thoughts and emotions. (If you’re a real sweetheart, you can also smudge when moving out to make the space welcoming for the next resident.)

– When there has been a psychic disturbance. Some events will leave their mark on a space in the form of yucky energy. They can be major disturbances (such as hauntings or acts of violence), or minor disturbances, such as when people in the house have been quarreling).

– To mark an important positive change. Smudging is a way of hitting the reset button on a home’s energy, so it makes sense to do it when you’re ready for a fresh start. For example: When you’ve finished seasonal housecleaning, when a toxic person moves out, or when you’re celebrating breaking a habit or addiction.

– When it’s that time again. Some people do smudging at regular intervals, as a kind of scheduled spiritual hygiene. Regular smudging keeps your home’s vibe fresh and stops anything negative from taking hold. Like clutter, the buildup of stale energy may not become noticeable because it’s so gradual.

Annually, monthly, weekly? It all depends on your needs. You may wish to use magickal timing or personally significant dates for your smudging regimen. You can schedule smudging rituals for the New Moon, New Year, your birthday, solstices or equinoxes, or other important anniversaries.

Do you Need to be Religious to Smudge?

Smudging is associated with various Pagan, shamanic, and New Age ideas. However, the practice itself does not require any specific religious beliefs. Smudging, like all magick, is based on intention. All you really need to believe is that you can cleanse yourself, your space, and your possessions. Even skeptics and atheists have told me they see benefits from performing self-cleansing rituals.

Many spiritual paths use incense to help draw one’s thoughts to the Divine. Most also hold in common the benefits of prayers, blessings, and acts of hospitality. I don’t see a conflict between smudging practices and any world religions. However, if you have concerns, you can always speak with a leader within your faith.

I’ve Heard That Smudging Shouldn’t Be Done by People who Aren’t Native American.

What’s up With That?

Some of the best-known smudging tools—White Sage, Abalone shells, Sweetgrass and bird feathers—were first used in the spiritual practices of natives of the American Plains and Southwest. Some people feel that you need to be initiated in one of these traditions to use these tools. Other people believe that because native peoples were systematically oppressed by whites, it’s not in good taste for white people to work with these objects.

Cultural appropriation is a complex topic, and one that always stirs up strong feelings. These are issues that should be (and are being) hashed out in our various spiritual communities through respectful dialogue.

My two cents? I’ve found that the smudging debate gets routinely re-ignited by well-meaning but easily offended people. These people—while they may have some justification for their concerns—are often driven by a desire to control and limit others people.

Nobody “owns” the energies of certain plants. They are gifts of the Earth, and they confer their blessings (usually) without regard for ancestry. While they’re often willing to cooperate with human magick workers, they’re not that interested in human concepts of ownership and racial division. These beings were here before us, and they’ll likely be here long after us.

However, it is important to be respectful and humble, especially when sharing ritual space with others. It is rude and ridiculous to borrow willy-nilly from every tradition you encounter.

If you don’t feel it’s right to use herbs and tools from other cultures, you need not miss out completely. Spiritual use of herbs and incense is common to most world traditions and there are plenty of plants to choose from.

Some European-tradition Witches smudge with green Sage or Rosemary—both Old World plants associated with wisdom and healing. Try reaching out to ancestors or spiritual guides (or to the plant spirits themselves), and you will be able to learn what herbs are most appropriate for your own practice.

Is it True That You Shouldn’t Blow Out Smudge Sticks?

At least once a month, someone tells me that candles and/or smudge sticks should never be blown out with the breath. This is one of those witchy superstitions that never seems to die. Like most magickal “don’ts,” I think it’s mostly silliness with a grain of truth.

Blowing a smudge out with air could cause sparks to fly around, and there’s always a chance that the smudge could still be smoldering inside. It’s better to tamp it out in a dish of sand or on cleared ground, and then leave it in a heatproof container just in case.

Water is said to cancel out the cleansing power of Fire, and is never used to extinguish magickal incenses. But there’s a practical reason for that, too—soggy smudges can attract mildew.

I’m Sensitive to Smoke and/or Allergic to Sage. How Do I Smudge?

Not everyone experiences Sage smoke as a gentle, healing breeze. Some people collapse into coughing and watery eyes whenever the stuff is around. Smudging can also set off smoke detectors and (Goddess forbid) fire sprinklers in small homes and offices.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Sage, Sweetgrass, and Palo Santo are widely available as scented oils and water-based sprays, for those times when smoke is not practical or welcome.

You can also cleanse your space with light, water, crystals, sound (voice or bells), or visualization. These smoke-free methods are not technically smudging, but they can be just as effective when combined with your focused intention. For those who host public workshops and gatherings, it’s smart to have a few smudging alternatives in your toolkit. That way, you can be prepared to accommodate allergic and scent-averse ritual participants.

Keep in mind that closely related plants may still affect you differently. For example, I’m fine when someone’s burning White Sage, but a close cousin, Blue Sage, makes me itch and sneeze like crazy. It may take some trial and error to find your go-to smudging partner.

I’m New to Smudging. How to I Begin?

Here’s a simple, effective smudging ritual that even a first-timer can do. It doesn’t require any special tools, and it’s easy to adapt to your needs and spiritual beliefs:

A Simple Smudging Ritual for Houses and Apartments

The keys to a successful house cleansing are intention (knowing strongly what you want) and visualization (being able to “see” your actions being effective).

First, clean your house. Sweep the floors, throw out the garbage, and just tidy your belongings as best you can. Physical clutter and dirt can trap stagnant energy, and make it harder to feel the effects of your efforts.

Choose a smudging herb that you like—one whose energy and aroma is agreeable to you. Hold it between your palms and thank it for lending its energy to your rite.

As you light the smudge stick, say a prayer that your home is a place of love, peace, and harmony. Ask that all who live there and enter as guests be blessed and protected.

Before you begin smudging the house, you may want to smudge yourself first. Wave the smoke around your body, starting at your head and working down to your feet. Visualize any fear, anger, or worry you carry in your body blowing away into the air or traveling down into the ground, to be absorbed and cleansed by the earth. (Some people “see” or visualize negative energy as dark, cloudy energy.) Take a deep breath and replace it with clean fresh air and white light. Allow the white light to flow down from your lungs and heart, joining the clean smoke in your hand.

Now you’re ready to cleanse the home, room by room. (I usually do a full circle of my house, starting and ending at the front door.) Let the smoke float into every hallway and corner. As you walk from place to place, see the old, unwanted energy dissolving and floating away. You can speak your intention aloud, or just use a silent prayer or visualization. If any areas feel particularly thick or heavy with bad energy, spend some extra time there.

When you’ve returned to where you started, extinguish the smudge by rubbing it out in a dish of sand. Affirm that your work is done, such as by clapping your hands and saying, “So it is!” Then sit for a moment and savor the difference in how the energy feels.

Smudging isn’t permanent and will need to be repeated eventually. I smudge my house usually twice a year, but once a month is better.

Thank you for reading! Happy smudging, and may you (and your home) be blessed.

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

Eight Famous Magickal Oils (and How to use them)

A row of little potions with colorful names and indescribable fragrances: Uncrossing Oil, Black Cat Oil, Four Thieves…where did they come from, and what are they used for?

Most of these oils have their origins in American root work, Hoodoo, or Conjure. They were developed by magick workers in rural and minority communities, and the recipes were often passed down by word of mouth. Families might hang on to a formula for generations, or an apprentice of the magickal arts could learn them from an elder teacher.

Conjure oils are often partially descended from—and yet distinct from—Western high magick. It’s not hard to see the shadow of the old medieval grimoires hanging over many of these formulas. And yet, poor country folks didn’t normally have access to the recipes recorded in obscure books by European occultists. And if they did, they wouldn’t have been able to source the rare, expensive, and mostly Old World ingredients in those recipes.

Instead, they used what they could get their hands on from their own gardens and kitchens. The result was some very powerful homegrown formulas, some of which have been around for decades, even centuries. Practitioners use these pre-blended oils to anoint the body for specific purposes, dress candles and charms, bless, curse, cleanse, and basically perform all varieties of spells and fixes.

Oftentimes, even the contents of the oil bottles have a lineage. A new batch of oil will be started from the last of the previous batch. Or an initiate’s first batch will be “seeded” from the master (or mama) bottle owned by the initiating priest or priestess.

Needless to say, there are no official recipes for these traditional oils. Each brand is a different. Like a really good gumbo, part of the charm of formula oils is not knowing exactly what’s in there. These folk magick concoctions pre-date the current craze for essential oils and natural bath products, when every ingredient must be listed on the label and explained for the buyer.

When buying oils from a root worker or crafts person, try and resist the temptation to ask what’s in it. People can get really, really sensitive about being asked for their recipes. And that’s understandable. Sometimes a little bottle can contain a guarded initiatory secret, or years of trial and error. As a merchant, I ask the maker about common allergens (especially nut oils) or animal ingredients in the products I carry…otherwise, I let it be.

Too much information can spoil the magick. So, rather than providing recipes for each oil, this article gives general notes about what they smell like, what the correspondences are, and how and why they work. (This is far from a complete list. It’s just a sampling of some of the magickal blends on the market.) That way, you can decide which types of traditional oils are right for your craft. We also touch on the history and usage of each oil. It’s fascinating information whether you work regularly with magickal oils, or are just curious to learn their stories.

Making your own? Refer to a recipe to get the gist of each oil. Afterward, don’t be afraid to (mindfully) tweak recipes according to your needs. All the cool Witches do it. Now, here are eight popular oils, de-mystified (but hopefully not de-magicked):

Uncrossing Oil

Uncrossing Oil is used to shake off jinxes, hexes, and plain old bad luck. Being “crossed” means feeling magickally out of sorts. Being down on your luck, off your game, hitting a wall, losing your mojo—everybody knows what that feels like. Uncrossing magick is sometimes necessary to get the good vibes flowing again.

Sometimes crossed conditions are due to negative energies attached to a person or their home. But often, the root cause of the condition is actually internal. Blocked energy, fear of success, bad thoughts or habits—all of these things can trip you up and make you into your own worst enemy. Uncrossing yourself gets you back on your own side. It sends a loud and clear message that you’re ready to have your groove back, thanks. An uncrossing ritual is one of the most powerful forms of magick—sometimes, it’s the only way to fix the problem.

How to use Uncrossing Oil: Uncrossing Oil is a central element of many uncrossing rituals. There are many, many variations on the theme of uncrossing. Try anointing your feet with Uncrossing Oil to get yourself back on the right path. Incorporate it into your candle-burning rituals, especially purification, protection, and reversing spells. Combine Uncrossing Oil with sea salt and sprinkle in the four corners of your home to clear out negativity. Pour on haunted or cursed items before disposing of them. Because uncrossing is a form of psychic cleansing, Uncrossing Oil is a fine addition to purifying baths or floor washes.

What’s in Uncrossing Oil: Most Uncrossing Oils contain garden plants with a high spiritual vibration and/or a reputation for cleansing. Verbena, Hyssop (and its relative, Mint), Lavender, and Rose are common ingredients. Their aromas help break up stagnant energy patterns, impart a holy aura to places and people, and basically function as mood-lifters to get the magick back on track.

However not all uncrossing oils can smell very nice! Sometimes, the energies and correspondences of each ingredient are more important than making your ritual space smell like a day spa.

Come To Me Oil: Come To Me is an old Hoodoo formula for drawing a lover. It is one of the most popular magickal oils, naturally.

Traditionally, Come To Me Oil is used in love spells with a specific target (that is, someone that you already know). However, it may be employed for love-drawing in general—to find a new person to romance or to overcome a sexual dry spell. Technically, the object of desire does not even have to be a person. The experienced magick worker can harness their own sexual energy to achieve almost any objective…and Come To Me Oil can be used to attract whatever you desire.

How to use Come To Me Oil: Come To Me Oil is a top choice for anointing love spell candles and figure candles. Choose one candle to represent yourself and another your intended partner, dress them with oil and burn them together. Visualize your partner in your arms while reciting Psalm 23 or the erotic passages from the Song of Solomon (traditional), or any love poem that turns your crank.

If you’re looking for a new love, wear Come To Me Oil as a personal perfume. Stir a few drops into your bathwater before going out in order to be noticed by an attractive stranger. For best results, perform Come To Me magick when the Moon is waxing to full.

What’s in Come To Me Oil: Come to Me Oil is usually composed of voluptuous sweet florals, sometimes with Catnip or Honeysuckle to help lure the intended lover. Patchouly or Musk may be included to amp up the desire factor. The simplest version I’ve seen is Rose oil tarted up with a dash of Cinnamon and spice.

Van Van Oil

A traditional New Orleans Voodoo oil, Van Van is worn as a sort of all-purpose lucky oil, protective ointment, and bayou Witch’s signature fragrance. It’s hard to describe, but once you’ve smelled it you would recognize it anywhere. Says cat yronwode, “At one time, it is said, a person could not walk down a street in the Algiers district (of New Orleans) without smelling the scent of Van Van oil.”

Variations of Van Van have been around for at least 100 years, and probably longer. Some of its pungent herbs and Oriental grasses are natural insect repellants. This advantage would have been noticed in the humid South, and surely enhanced Van Van’s reputation for shaking off evil.

Classic Van Van has a fresh, lemony fragrance with green notes and an underlying herbal muskiness. Despite what you might guess, Van Van Oil does not (usually) contain Vanilla. One of the traditional ingredients in the formula is the herb Vervain (or Verbena). “Vervain,” when pronounced in an American Creole dialect, sounds something like “van van.”

How to use Van Van Oil: There are about a bazillion magickal uses for Van Van Oil. Use it to anoint lucky charms and magickal tools. Dress candles. Cleanse and bless. Mix into floor washes and room sprays to banish negativity. Splash some into a cleansing bath to boost your mojo before any spellworking.

With its zingy freshness and lucky vibe, Van Van Oil is a premier fragrance of the planet Mercury. Use in Mercury-type workings: Luck, business opportunities, and communication. Put it in your Mercury retrograde toolkit to help shake off the blahs when Mercury’s acting wonky.

What’s in Van Van Oil: Lemongrass and/or Lemon Verbena form the backbone of Van Van Oil. Citronella (a cousin of Lemongrass) and Ginger also appear in some recipes. Patchouly or Vetiver can be added for an earthy base note. When making your own batch, it’s common to infuse the bottle with luck-drawing objects—pieces of Lodestone or Pyrite, a lucky horseshoe or clover charm, etc.

Black Cat Oil

Black Cat Oil is another traditional New Orleans preparation. It is a lucky oil, particularly for Witches, tricksters, charmers, and loners—that is, people of a feline nature. European tradition says that a black cat is unlucky, but in Afro-American folk magick, black cats are considered good luck and the wise man or woman’s helper.

Black Cat Oil is a component of gamblers’ lucky charms. It also lends power to spells for second sight, stealth and luck. In rootwork stores and botanicas, you will sometimes see figure candles in the form of a cat. They usually come in red, green, or black and may be used for a variety of purposes—red for seduction, green for prosperity, black for banishing and reversing spells. Black Cat Oil is an obvious choice for dressing one of these candles.

How to use Black Cat Oil: Use Black Cat Oil as an anointing oil to boost witchy powers and slip away from bad luck. Invisibility, enthrallment, clairvoyance, charisma—all of these fall into the domain of Black Cat magick. Work Black Cat Oil spells during the waning or dark moon.

What’s in Black Cat Oil: Black Cat Oil is usually amber to dark in color. Its aroma is complex due to the mélange of exotic ingredients. (The best way to describe it is that it smells like a Witch shop.) Ingredients may include Sage (or Clary Sage), Myrrh, Bay leaves, Grains of Paradise, lodestone filings, and various carrier oils.

One of the traditions surrounding Black Cat Oil is that the master bottle it is blended in must contain a bone from a black cat. Old books on magick detail all kinds of gruesome ways the bone can be obtained. Later, mail order businesses would sell raccoon bones painted black as the fabled Black Cat Bone. As legitimate black cat bones are hard to come by, some practitioners will substitute the hair of a black cat. (This goes without saying…but please avoid animal cruelty when making or buying your Black Cat Oil.)

Abramelin Oil

The oldest recipe on this list, Abramelin Oil’s recipe appears in the late medieval grimoire The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. It was originally used by Jewish Kabbalists as a holy anointing oil. The formula was later seized upon by members of the 19th-century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Today, it shows up in modern high magick traditions (notably Thelema), and has also trickled down into the altars of Pagan and folk-magick conjurors.

Abramelin Oil has deep symbolic meaning. Abramelin the Mage writes that the oil can confer all kinds of magickal boons, including gifts of treasure-finding, invisibility, and flight. Aleister Crowley regarded it as the highest of anointing oils and used it liberally throughout his magickal career. Crowley says, “The Holy Oil is the Aspiration of the Magician; it is that which consecrates him to the performance of the Great Work; and such is its efficacy that it also consecrates all the furniture of the Temple and the instruments thereof.” Much of ceremonial magick is based on controlling spirits and elementals—holy tools (like Abramelin Oil) are supposed to help give the magician the authority to do so.

How to use Abramelin Oil: Consecrating altar tools, evoking or communing with not-nice spirits, anointing the body for Great Work-y high magick stuff. Abramelin Oil is highly stimulating and purifying. When applied to the brow or other chakras, it creates a warming sensation that enhances focus and energy flow for ritual.

What’s in Abramelin Oil: Abramelin’s recipe calls for Myrrh, Cinnamon, Cassia (a close relative of Cinnamon), and either Galangal or Calamus root (a huge controversy). These ingredients are then macerated in Olive oil and stored in an altar cabinet. The recipe is similar to one for holy anointing oil in the Old Testament (Exodus: 30:22-25).

Because of possible mistranslations of the German manuscripts, nobody’s sure whether it’s Galangal or Calamus root that belongs in Abramelin Oil. Plenty of recipes conflate the Cinnamon and Cassia ingredients (doubling up on Cinnamon because proper Cassia is hard to find). Crowley cheekily substituted essential oils for the macerated herbs—fine for Thelemites, but many purists prefer to muddle and soak as prescribed in the older recipes.

The common DNA running through the Abramelin family is Cinnamon. All versions smell strongly of Cinnamon. (And essential oil-based mixes will burn the heck out of your skin, as any Abramelin-soaked neophyte will flinchingly attest.)

Road Opener Oil

Open doors create new opportunities. Along with uncrossing, road opening is one of the most versatile kinds of magickal spells. There are few problems that can’t be lessened by a good road opening ritual.

Unlucky in love? Open a road. Bored at work? Open a road. Broke? Sad? Stuck? Wish you could just catch a break? Open a road, and be ready for what new vistas you will encounter.

How to use Road Opener Oil: Road Opener Oil belongs in any spell for a new beginning. Put it on job or loan applications. Anoint your shoes, your car, tools of your trade—whatever object will (literally or figuratively) move you to the next place in life.

What’s in Road Opener Oil: Road Opener Oils are usually blended from scents that are fresh and clean. Solar essences like Orange and Lemon lend intense positive energy. Verbena or Sandalwood raises the spiritual vibration of the mix. Latin American recipes always include a sliver of Abre Camino (a native root whose name literally means “road opener”). Other formulas include a pinch of Five Finger Grass (Cinquefoil) for the five blessings of health, money, love, power, and wisdom.

Do As I Say Oil

Do As I Say Oil is used to bend others to your will so you can reap some advantage. To some practitioners this is considered black magick—to others it is business as usual here on Earth.

There are many variations: Commanding or Controlling Oil, Follow Me Boy (or Girl), and (my personal favorite label) Bend Over Oil. Commanding oils run the gamut from mild persuasion and seduction to the so-called “zombie” oils, which are rumored to have the power to erode free will completely.

How to use Do As I Say Oil: Use Do As I Say Oil to gain the upper hand in a relationship, either business or personal. Anoint a ritual candle—red for power or lust, black for more nefarious magick. Use on a poppet or photo of your intended target. One of the slyest uses of Do As I Say Oil is to sneak it onto places you know the object of your spell will step or touch. If you transfer it to your target’s hand with a handshake, it is said that they will be unable to break an agreement with you.

What’s in Do As I Say Oil: Most recipes for Do As I Say Oil mention Calamus. This is the obscure root that appears in the original formula for Abramelin Oil—which makes Do As I Say Oil a distant cousin of that old formula for dominating spirits.

Calamus root is used in Hoodoo to sweetly get your way. Secondary ingredients may include Patchouli, Licorice, Mandrake, Sweet Almond, Bergamot, and Orris. Every commanding oil formula is a little bit different. Generally speaking, a sweet-smelling commanding oil is best for persuasion and seduction. Baneful and spicy herbs imply coercion.

Four Thieves Oil

The legend of the Four Thieves supposedly goes back centuries ago, when Europe was in the grip of the Black Plague. All through the city, people were dying from the dreadful contagious disease. Meanwhile, a gang of four spice traders were getting rich robbing houses and pawning the possessions of the dead and afflicted. Strangely enough, the four thieves never got sick.

Eventually, the story goes, the burglars were apprehended by the authorities. They were ordered, on pain of death, to reveal the secret of their immunity. The health potion was revealed to be a blend of herbs that warded off the plague. Four Thieves Oil (and Four Thieves Vinegar) has been hailed as a cure-all ever since. Today, the blend is used for magickal purposes as much as medicinal. Because most of the components are commonplace pantry herbs, it’s not unusual to walk into a Witch’s kitchen and see a homegrown vial of Four Thieves a-brewing on the countertop.

How to use Four Thieves Oil: For a quick protection spell, draw a pentagram on your body with Four Thieves Oil. Mix into floor washes and baths. Place invisible sigils with the oil over window sills and door jambs. Anointing your doorknob with Four Thieves Oil is said to foil burglars and swindlers.

What’s in Four Thieves Oil: A bouquet of aromatic herbs, often including Cloves, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary. Some recipes include Peppercorns, Garlic, and Chilis. Many of these ingredients have antimicrobial and infection-fighting properties, which certainly contributed to Four Thieves’ reputation as a warding potion.

Disclaimers and disclosures: All anointing oils are for external use only. (Ingesting them can seriously mess you up.) Oils may cause allergic reactions or skin irritation in some people—perform a skin test and/or consult a doctor if you have concerns. No outcome is guaranteed from the use of any ritual oil.

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

Purple Candle Magick

Wisdom, dreams, and psychic vision. This article takes a long look at most of the things you can do with a purple candle.

Purple is one of the most versatile and magickal colors. Here’s an overview of the types of spells you can cast with just a simple purple candle:

Wisdom and spiritual attainment

Psychic awakening

Honoring and remembering the dead

Friendship spells (lavender)

Making a wish

Healing and cleansing the aura

Creativity (especially the visual arts)

Good luck

Success in business

Connecting with guardian angels and spirit guides

Discovering the truth

Magick involving Sagittarius (zodiac sign corresponding to purple)

Balancing the emotions

Just triumph over enemies

Altar candles and devotionals

To repair someone’s reputation

Attracting a same-sex lover (lavender)

Harvest, abundance, gratitude

Glamour and seduction

Spells for safe travel

Finding a mentor

Getting attention for accomplishments

Conjuring the ghost of Prince (just kidding)

Correspondences of Purple Candles

Purple is often attributed to the kingly planet of Jupiter. When used for protection and wisdom, purple shows its Saturnine qualities. And its association with dreaming and psychic matters means there is some Moon energy in there, as well.

In modern Paganism, a purple candle tends to correspond to sky gods and gods of wisdom. A notable exception is the Egyptian pantheon. Purple was not one of the pigments that ancient Egyptian artists had at their disposal, so it is rare to see the Egyptian gods honored with purple.

A color of luck and abundance, purple most closely matches the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. Like the centaur, purple is a compound creation, a fusion of blue and red. As a symbol of spirituality, purple nudges Sagittarius’s philosophical mind toward greater heights of awareness.

Planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Moon.

Deities: Zeus, Jove, Hecate, Dionysus, Bacchus, Athena, Shiva, Odin, Oya.

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius.

Tarot card: Temperance.

Variations of Purple Candles

Purple candles come in many shades, from palest lavender to inky dark violet. Obviously, they’re not all interchangeable. Each shade has a slightly different energy and a different effect in magick. You’ll want to be mindful of this when choosing a purple candle for a spell.

Generally, lavender-hued candles are used for spells of healing, blessing, and wishcraft. They combine the high spiritual vibration of purple with the purity of white.

Lavender is historically associated with gay love. Sometimes queer folks will substitute a lavender candle for the more common pink candle in love spells.

Vibrant, medium purple is the color of royalty and riches (both temporal and spiritual). This is the shade that corresponds most closely with the third eye or brow chakra. True purple is the classic choice for divination and astral workings. It’s also good for Jupiter magick—good luck, expanding success, wisdom, and justice.

Purplish-red is called burgundy, after the classic French wine. It carries an Earthier version of purple’s power. A burgundy candle may be employed for workings of passion, willpower, and manifestation.

Purple Candle Scents

Usually, candles used in spellwork are unscented. This is so the magick worker can add their own herbs and scents—or so that they can avoid being distracted by candle smells while casting the spell. However, as every Witch knows, you don’t always have an unscented candle handy when you need one. Sometimes you’re stuck with whatever’s at the dollar store. In those cases, it’s good to make sure that a candle’s scent isn’t working at cross-purposes with your intention.

A stroll through the local Yankee Candle outlet reveals that the most popular purple candle scent, by a long shot, is Lavender. (Lilac and other variations on the light-floral theme make up the rest of the purple candle shelf.) Fortunately, Lavender is a time-honored magickal herb and is quite appropriate for most purple candle spells. Its fragrance is mood-enhancing and relaxing, and will do nothing but complement most beneficent spells.

Lavender candles are usually pale, but dark purple candles often come in food flavors. Luscious Plum, Vineyard, and Boysenberry Pie carry the jovial energy of generosity and indulgence. These mouth-watering scents are just groovy for good luck spells and offerings. (But don’t let them make you too hungry during meditation or astral travel. Nothing like a grumbling stomach to spoil your concentration!)

Rounding out the purple candle category are heavy oriental and exotic blends: Musk, Amber, and Opium. They often show up on eggplant-colored candles with names like Midnight Tryst. Use these ancient scents for the darker side of purple candle spells—glamours, dream magick, communing with ancestors.

Purple Candles for Psychic Development

Purple corresponds to the Third Eye Chakra (or in some systems, the Crown Chakra). Clairvoyance, intuitive wisdom, and openness to higher spiritual planes are some of the functions of these important energy centers. According to color magick theories, viewing or even being near a color stimulates the energy of the corresponding chakra. Purple candles are a great choice for opening the third eye and astral travel.

If you practice divination (for example, reading Tarot cards or runes), you may wish to keep a stash of small purple candles on hand. Bless the candles under the light of the full moon, and keep them in a closed box with a Quartz crystal or Moonstone. Light one candle each time you perform a reading.

Another simple psychic development ritual is to burn a purple candle while meditating upon the flickering flame. Watch the flame for approximately a minute, then close your eyes and see it projected behind your eyelids. Imagine that the candle flame is warming and caressing the third eye. Draw energy from the candle’s light, while at the same time allowing it to burn away any part that is stagnant or wounded. This exercise of good for anyone who works with their upper chakras a lot, including psychic readers, artists, priests and priestesses, and healers.

Whenever you perform magick to unlock psychic powers, don’t forget to set your intention that any psychic openness you receive is for your highest good. There are good and bad reasons to pursue psychic development; there are good and bad results that can occur from it. Sometimes our psychic access is limited for our own well-being. Sometimes (as annoying as it is), our elder spirits, guardians, and guides really do know best. Seek to awaken psychic gifts only at the pace of your ability to handle them.

Purple Candles For Spiritual Strength

Purple is associated with high magick and spiritual attainment. As a compound color, purple blends red (passion, physicality) with blue (wisdom and intellect). The integration of these opposites is also the aim of the magickal adept. If a red candle is for Power and blue is for Truth, the purple candle ritual is performed for Understanding.

Purple, as it relates to the Crown Chakra, symbolizes oneness, consciousness, and openness to enlightenment. Mindfully burning a purple candle is a way to signal to your higher self that you are ready to receive spiritual advancement. In times of trouble, a purple candle ritual can help to balance the emotions and keep your mind on the big picture.

In Christianity, purple candles are a symbol of penance, used only during Advent and Lent. Along with white, it is considered one of the most spiritual colors, and invites contemplation of the divine. Purple candles are appropriate for most rituals of devotion and prayer. Try them on your meditation or deity altar.

But that’s not to say there aren’t Low Magick uses for purple candles—there are many! Purple candles may be used for protection from evil, and even triumph over enemies when you know your cause is just. Most commonly, the candle is dressed (or anointed) with a ritual oil and burned while reciting an incantation. Here a few traditional uses for a purple candle from American Hoodoo:

To cast out corrupt influences from a person and place.

To overcome attackers and robbers.

To quiet gossip and slander.

To regain your reputation.

To avoid persecution in court.

These purple candle rituals summon divine protection and judgement, using a spiritual hue to signal that the spell-caster is taking the magickal high road. Due to its high vibration, purple is not an especially good choice for hexes and tricks. The nastiest possible outcome of a purple candle spell is that everyone will get what they deserve.

Purple Candles For Expansion and Ambition

Purple has been known for ages as the color of royalty. The dyes used to make purple cloth were rare and expensive extracts of sea snails, so these garments were reserved for kings and emperors. Ripe fruit is purple, and so is wine, a consummate beverage that has long inspired poets and epicures. Purple is a lucky color—it’s hard not to feel blessed when your eyes alight on this rich hue.

As the color of royalty, imperial power, and riches, purple is an excellent choice for spells of earthly success. Don’t be shy about using it to get what you want on the physical plane. Purple corresponds to Jupiter, the sky god, who can grant boons to the deserving and undeserving alike. You can use a purple candle spell to stir up an advantage in almost any area of life—love, business, politics, or travel. Light up that purple candle and let your ambition fuel your magick!

The relative scarcity of purple in the natural world makes it a head-turning color to this very day. Burn a purple candle when you want to be noticed and praised for your accomplishments.

As purple is a color of completion, I find that success spells with purple candles are best performed as you approach the final stages of your efforts. Save that purple candle until you’ve done at least some of the (non-magickal) work. Then use the energy of purple to culminate and expand your projects, and savor the glory of your success.

Herbs and Oils for Purple Candle Spells

Choose herbs or essential oils to further empower your candle-burning ritual. Oils are usually used to “dress” the candle prior to burning it. Herbs can be placed in a ring around the base of the candle. Alternatively, you can melt the candle wax slightly (a hair dryer works great) and roll it in the crushed herbs.

Here are Some Suggestions of Herbs to Use With Your Purple Spell Candles

Healing/cleansing: Lavender

Success: Orris Root

Psychic vision: Bay, Anise

Lucid dreaming: Jasmine

Meditation and spiritual growth: Palo Santo

Protection: Mandrake

Gemstones for Purple Candle Spells

Purple candles can be used alongside these stones in ritual




Lapis Lazuli


Black Onyx

Examples of Spells With a Purple Candle

Now that you know all about purple candles, it should be easy to craft your own purple candle spells and rituals. Need more inspiration? Here are some sample purple candle spells from various authors:

For Mental Clarity

Light a Purple-colored candle and focus your attention on it. Become aware of any negative thoughts or feelings you are experiencing, saying each aloud as you burn the candle. Imagine the negativity being consumed by the flame of the candle, then say the following statement, “Divine Intelligence, please delete this negative thought from my mind, body, and energy field.”

Now focus on creating a positive state of mind. Say positive affirmations that can help you feel more inspired and peaceful in your life. Say: “Divine Spirit, please install thoughts and feelings of clarity, peace, and gratitude.”

Keep practicing this exercise until your mind is purified of all negativity.

To Attract Healing and Good Health

To attract Good Health and Positive Healing Energies; dress a PURPLE (VIOLET) CANDLE with one teaspoon of ground LAVENDER, one teaspoon of ground LEMON PEEL, and one teaspoon of ground CHAMOMILE. Using a PIN/SHARP NAIL, inscribe your name or the person’s name that is need of Healing. Anoint the CANDLE with LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL, charging the CANDLE with intentions of Healing and Good Health. Light the CANDLE and allow it to burn out completely, you may want to state aloud a prayer or magickal incantation, focused on Healing and attracting Good Health.

To Share the Same Dream

Decide with you absent lover to dream of a future special occasion the two of you will attend. Synchronize your bedtimes for the same hour on the same day of the week. Both of you should light a purple candle for half an hour before going to bed. One person may dream the premonition before the other, but by repeating the formula, both of you will dream, perhaps on the same night. Tell each other your dreams and watch as the events seen in the dreams transpire.

Psychic Attunement Bath

Have a light purple candle burning as you bathe, and ring the candle with amethysts to sharpen the “sixth sense.” Some keep an amethyst with their tarot cards, I-Ching yarrow stalks or coins, or rune stones to heighten their inner energies.

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

Pennies, Acorns, and Cracks: The Magickal Truths Behind 7 Old Superstitions

“I don’t really believe in it, but I’ll do it just in case.” That’s the definition of a superstition. Even though such practices seem quaint or illogical, some part of you feels that you should heed them…just in case. Superstitions are remnants of old occult beliefs preserved in folklore for the rational age.

If you practice magick, as I do, it’s easy to see that many folk sayings conceal old truths about how magick works. Their core ideas are so old and so true that they cannot be erased. Though we may think of them as relics of a religious past or as silly lies told to children, they offer precious secrets about how to work our Craft more effectively.

In this article, we’ll consider seven old wives’ tales and the universal magickal principles hidden in these “outdated” beliefs.

1. Speak of the Devil

The full version of this old English saying is, “Speak of the devil and he doth appear.” It was originally meant as a pious warning against summoning Old Scratch. In current speech, it’s used jokingly when the object of a conversation suddenly enters a room: “Did you hear what David did yesterday? Oh, speak of the devil—here he is.”

This old-fashioned little saying conceals an esoteric truth: Names have power. To speak the name of a being, even casually, is to invoke it. This is one reason why many ancient prayers consist of little more than a long list of divine names. It’s also why we have so many euphemisms for figures like the devil, and why so many of the gods have secret names.

Even if you don’t believe in the devil, demons, angels, or gods, the principle behind “speak of the devil” applies to human interactions, too. Words and even thoughts about another person attract their attention on a quantum level. If you gossip or talk negatively about someone, some part of their soul’s intuition will know it. (They may even walk into the room at exactly the wrong moment and embarrass you!) The idea that a person’s ears tingle or burn when they’re being talked about is a related belief.

“Speak of the devil” has a New Age corollary. It goes something like, “Don’t talk about negative things if you don’t want to manifest them.” Some believe that talking about ill effects—whether it’s a car wreck or an ulcer—is enough to draw that particular misfortune to yourself.

As magickal initiates know, energy follows thoughts, and thoughts follow words. While human magick isn’t as simple as speaking your desires into existence, beginning with the right speech is a critical first step.

2. Spilled salt

If you accidentally spill salt—for instance, by knocking over a salt shaker—bad luck will surely follow. The only way to keep it away is to throw a pinch of the salt over your left shoulder. One belief is that the devil (who is always creeping behind your left shoulder) will be chased away by the salt.

This superstition is centuries old, and may even date to Roman times. Leonardo DaVinci referenced it in his famous painting of the Last Supper, in which a spilled salt cellar can be seen next to the arm of Judas Iscariot. Salt was prized in ancient and medieval times as an emblem of sanctity—as well as a necessary commodity for preserving food. In inland settlements, salt could be expensive and rare. To spill or waste it suggests corruption, wantonness, and impurity.

The modern Witch knows that salt is a peerless magickal tool. Salt cleanses and purifies, it grounds and protects. It is a pure expression of the Earth element. Flouting superstition, some Witches intentionally spill or scatter salt, particularly in home-blessing and warding spells.

What about accidental spills? These days, salt is mundane and plentiful, and we no longer need added salt to keep our food safe to eat. Overturning the salt shaker at Denny’s should be a non-issue, and most Witches don’t believe in the devil. And yet, you will sometimes still see witchy folks toss a pinch of salt over their shoulder.

Why? Well, it’s a habit, for one thing. It can’t hurt. But I think it’s more than that. Doing a tiny act of penance for the sin of spilling salt is a way of reminding ourselves that we still rely on it. No matter how cheap and accessible food and salt and water have become in the industrialized world, we would all die miserable deaths without them. Magickal people feel awareness of (and gratitude for) Earth’s gifts and the body’s material necessities. To take these things for granted is to invite…if not bad luck, then a sense of disconnection and spiritual malaise.

3. The swing of a ring

This old wives’ tale involves tying a ring to a string and dangling it over the belly of a pregnant woman. (It’s best if it’s a wedding ring belonging to the couple that conceived the child.) If the ring moves in circles, the baby is a girl. If it swings back and forth in a straight line, it’s a boy.

Before prenatal medical screening, women relied on this and other superstitions to determine the sex of an unborn child. Recently, mommy bloggers have re-introduced the ring-on-a-string method to the public, with mixed results. (Obviously, doctors insist that the only accurate way to determine an unborn baby’s anatomy is with an ultrasound.)

The magickally inclined among us will recognize the swinging ring for what it is—a makeshift pendulum! A pendulum is a device for accessing intuition and is frequently used to answer yes-or-no questions. Pendulums work by bypassing the conscious mind and allowing the truth to be expressed through involuntary muscle movements. Anything can be a pendulum if it’s weighted and allowed to dangle.

The iffy record of the ring-on-a-string illustrates the principle that magick is in the person, not in the tool. Pendulums can be very accurate, but they are only as accurate as their user. In the hands of a skilled intuitive, a pendulum could absolutely be used to determine the sex of a child. In the hands of your average unpracticed person…eh, its probably about 50-50.

4. Picking up pennies

“See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck. See a penny, let it lay, and bad luck you’ll have all day.” So goes the popular rhyme. Even though the hassle of dealing with pennies long ago eclipsed their worth as a currency, there are plenty of people who just cannot leave a coin lying on the pavement.

Some say this old superstition comes from the belief that metals were originally gifts from the gods, and therefore lucky. Other theories are rooted in practical magick: If you discard a token of wealth, even a small one, then opportunities for financial gain will surely pass you by. “Don’t keep your purse on the floor or you’ll stay broke,” is an Afro-American folk belief that follows similar logic. Pennies are made mostly of copper—a Venus metal—so to spurn a penny is to reject love and money in a single pass.

I am wholeheartedly a penny picker-upper. (Nickels, dimes, and quarters, even more so!) When I was a child, I’d occasionally find Mexican pesos on the sidewalk or at school. Although they were next to worthless at that time, I thought they were exotic treasure and would hoard them away in a little box. There is something that just feels lucky about finding any sort of coin.

The coin occupies an important place in the Witch’s toolkit, as an emblem of prosperity and the element of Earth. The coin combines a natural resource (metal) with human inventiveness and intellect (the concept of currency) to create something we all know and love: Money.

Ever since its invention several thousand years ago, the coin is recognized as a source of power by almost every creature that walks on two legs, and many non-corporeal beings, as well. With both a front and back side, the coin embodies the paradox of duality—two things that make up the One Thing. As a magick worker, what’s not to like?

Coins are sometimes used as offerings to spirits and gods. This probably comes from early funeral customs, when coins were placed with the body to pay for the dead person’s journey or ensure he was well-funded in the afterlife. The ancients also placed coins in springs, streams, and lakes as offerings to nature spirits—a practice that has morphed into the modern-day practice of tossing coins into fountains. Conversely, some people interpret found coins as gifts from the spirit world. The “pennies from heaven” phenomenon is recorded in countless heartwarming anecdotes from people who believe the coins are signals from deceased loved ones.

What does it mean when you find a coin? As the rhyme has it, it’s an omen that good luck (especially of the financial kind) is about to flow your way. Finding a coin with your birth year on it is especially fortunate, and such a coin should be immediately placed in your wallet as a lucky charm. (Don’t drill a hole in the coin, though—holes will cause all the luck to “drain out”.)

If you practice coin magick for any length of time, some types of coins may acquire special significance to you. I often find a coin (especially a nickel) at my feet when my spirit guides want to remind me to take care of my energy and to ground. Rare and unusual coins often carry a message from Spirit. Pay attention to the metals, the dates, and any symbols that jump out to you. (State quarters—with their buildings, birds, and flowers—can be fabulously expressive!) If the meaning isn’t obvious to you right away, place the rare coin on your altar for further consideration.

You can also use coins for divination, and coins found by chance are said to be best for this task. coins are one of the handiest little divination tools ever conceived. A coin is binary: It will (almost) always land either upright or upside-down, so it’s perfect for answering yes-or-no questions.

If flipping a coin seems rather un-magickal, you can always leave the coin oracle in the hands of the Universe. Formulate your question, then go about your business. The first coin you see on the ground will be your omen: If it’s heads, the answer is yes. If it’s tails, the answer is no.

Certain coins should be left alone: Coins found in graveyards are usually offerings to the dead and must only be removed by caretakers. Coins in fountains and outdoor water features may belong to nearby Fae and should also be undisturbed by passers-by.

5. Stepping on a crack

Yet another superstition expressed in a child’s rhyme: “Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back.” This is a folk belief with many variations, including “Step on a line, break your father’s spine,”—or that the number of lines stepped on equals the number of broken bones that poor Mama will suffer.

The myth that stepping on cracks in the ground will bring misfortune to you or your family is common in the Americas and in Europe. A 2010 survey in the UK found that 1 in 20 adults currently avoid stepping on sidewalk cracks, even though they admit that doing so is irrational.

Long ago, people believed that cracks and crevasses were gateways to the underworld. They were boundaries between the world of the living and the world of spirits, places where danger could lurk. It is said that Persephone was spied upon and abducted by Hades through a fissure in the ground. People thought that putting a foot on a crack might disturb a witch or demon who could then fly free and cause mischief.

Modern-day Witches realize, of course, that there is no causal relation between walking on sidewalk cracks and spinal injury. But we also know that cracks and ground fissures are examples of liminal space—the in-between places where magick tends to congregate. We also know that underworld journeys, spoken of in so many of the world’s mythologies, are real spiritual ordeals that should be undertaken deliberately and with great reverence.

Unnoticed by most pedestrians, a sidewalk crack is an opportunity to contemplate the vast world of Earth and Fire underneath our thin human infrastructure. Are such gateways unlucky? Not necessarily. But mindlessly stepping on a crack is a metaphor for stumbling unaware into the threatening and transformative realms of the unknown.

6. Carrying an acorn

The Oak tree is famous for its robust health and long life. In medieval times, people would carry an acorn for longevity, a superstition still practiced in some parts of the world today. Acorn motifs also appear on pocket charms and talismans for health and good luck.

The acorn charm is a textbook example of sympathetic magick. It’s probably one of the first spiritual principles ever devised by humans, and it is still at the core of most kinds of witchcraft.

Sympathetic magick is the magick of correspondence. Key concepts include:

1. Similar objects act on each other at a distance, even though a physical link may not exist.

2. Parts (of a plant, animal, mineral) contain the essence of the whole.

3. A symbol or representation of an object can stand in for the object itself.

Carrying an acorn may seem silly if you lack a connection with this specific tradition. But if you indulge in any spellwork or possess any lucky objects, you are probably participating in a form of sympathetic magick.

7. Knocking on wood

The superstition of “knock on wood” or “touch wood” originates in Britain and is also widespread in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. To avert bad luck, you are supposed to touch a wooden object whenever you speak of good fortune or express a hope for the future. The tradition, some say, comes from an old Pagan belief that envious or malevolent spirits who dwell within the wood might overhear your boasting and bring misfortune upon you.

Another theory is that the wood has protective qualities. In this version, you “touch wood” not to pacify evil spirits, but to request the protection of benevolent ones. Green Witches know that tree spirits can make powerful magickal allies if you cultivate relationships with them. Energy workers know that wood acts as both an insulator and a conduit and is useful for gently grounding one’s energy. To “touch wood” is one way to anchor yourself. Grounding with a physical object helps to seal your energetic field off from any psychic interference. (Similarly, Italians “touch iron” when trying to avoid tempting fate.)

There is another magickal truth bundled up in “knocking on wood”—that is, the concept of magickal silence. It’s not just Witches who practice magickal silence: Around the world, it is considered bad luck to talk about wealth, success, and health out loud, especially when it concerns a future event. Many people believe in the Evil Eye, jealous ghosts, and unruly spirits—but even skeptics will joke about “jinxing” oneself by boasting too early of some future triumph.

Careless speech, for whatever reason, does seem to affect the outcomes we experience as luck. Seasoned magick workers know that talking or writing about a spell working (either before or after) is one of the quickest ways to mess the whole thing up. Keeping your mouth shut is the first and final step of successful magick. But it’s hard! When you’re proud or happy or brimming with anticipation, sometimes the words just pop out. Knocking on wood is a time-honored way of expressing gratitude for good luck…and apologizing for the magickal faux pas of mentioning it.

The more I think about old wives’ tales and superstitious beliefs, the more I realize that many share fundamental principles with magick as I understand it. Visit again for the second installment, where we’ll consider broken mirrors, birthday wishes, and more!

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

Circling Back to Magick: 55 Ways to Live a More Spiritual Life Every Day

Working magick can transform your life, but the last time you felt its full power was…well, a while ago. Burnout happens.

No matter how experienced you are, or how dedicated you are to your Craft, sooner or later you will find yourself stuck in a rut. You may feel uninspired or disconnected from what drew you to magick in the first place. It’s time to get back to basics, re-charge, and reconnect with your super-awesome witchy self.

There are dozens of simple rituals and practices that can help the erstwhile Witch recover their mojo. Most people hear “ritual” and think of an elaborate ceremony with candles and chants, but it doesn’t have to be that way. For the sake of this guide, I’ve stretched the definition of ritual to include any purposeful action, no matter how small. The actions are the 55 items in this article, and the purpose is getting you back in step with your personal magickal path.

I compiled this list with the intermediate practitioner in mind. But beginners can use it, too. If you don’t know how to work with energy, draft a sigil, cast a circle, and so on…don’t worry about it. Those are skills you can learn later. In the meantime, just do any of the exercises that appeal to you.

Some of the items on this list require an investment of time or money, but most are things you can do with little planning ahead. The focus is on feeling more magickal right now—not in the future, and certainly not in the past.

A few of the items on this list may not seem specifically magickal, because they’re focused on the basics of self-care. Remember the Hermetic axiom: As above, so below. As within, so without. If your body, mind, and spirit aren’t in top condition, then any metaphysical work that you attempt will yield subpar results.

So here are some tried-and-true ways to invite more magick into your life. You can do these little rituals in any combination and in any order:

1. Get moving! Physical activity clears out blockages and sluggish energy. Finish a home project, go for a run, take a yoga class, have sex—anything active.

2. Take an inventory of your magickal tools and supplies. Refresh and re-consecrate your favorite items. Retire anything that no longer serves your magick.

3. Visit with an elder in your spiritual tradition.

4. Treat yourself to a new magickal book (or revisit an old favorite).

5. Spend time with an animal familiar or pet.

6. Do a solo meditation or energy session. If you have trouble getting motivated on your own, download a video or podcast to guide you through it.

7. Update your altar. Out with the dust, in with fresh items that fit the season and your current magickal mood.

8. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and read/scry the tea leaves or foam.

9. Take the scenic route. The beauty of the world outside is inspiring, whether it’s a tree-lined road or the marvelous lights of the city at night.

10. Don’t wait on the calendar to do magick: Take note of the current season, moon phase, day of the week and select (or write) a simple ritual that you can do today.

11. Take a sacred bath—complete with salt, candles, and anointing oil to make you feel like the God and/or Goddess you are.

12. Re-visit your dream journal or Book of Shadows. Sometimes, seeing how far you’ve come can be the push that helps you keep going.

13. Soak up some sunlight or moonlight (Witch’s fuel)!

14. Find a devotional poem or invocation that inspires you and read it out loud. (Stumped? You can’t go wrong with the Charge of the Goddess.)

15. Write a note of gratitude to someone who has helped you on your magickal path. This could be an author, teacher, spirit being, or friend.

16. Charge a Quartz crystal under the full moon and place it under your pillow to encourage lucid dreaming.

17. Identify a magickal skill you’ve always wanted to learn (pendulum dowsing or writing chants, for instance) and take the next step. Sign up for a class, grab a beginner’s book, or track down someone who has the knowledge you seek.

18. Teach a beginner’s class or chat with someone who’s just getting started in the Craft. Newbies have an enthusiasm for magick that’s simply unmatched.

19. Smudge your house, altar, or yourself.

20. Practice guerilla magick: Create positive sigils and omens and leave them in unexpected places for others to find. (Please no graffiti or outdoor litter.)

21. Heal your heart. Identify someone or something that has hurt you and perform a ritual to put them/it behind you.

22. Cook a healthy, energy-rich meal with fruits and vegetables from a garden or farmer’s market. Wash it down with a big glass of water.

23. Create a work of art or poetry that honors a favorite deity, place, or person.

24. Go someplace new in your city or town. Keep your eyes open for signs and oracles. Magick can enter your life in many ways—from a found object to a chance encounter with a stranger.

25. Choose an attribute of your zodiac sign (good, bad, or neutral) and give yourself permission to fully embody it for an entire day. Enjoy being an impulsive Gemini, brooding Cancer, or sexy Aries.

26. Do a daily draw from your Tarot deck or rune set.

27. Attend a Pagan festival, Pagan’s Night Out, or Witch’s meetup.

28. Start decorating for Halloween (yes, even if it’s only February)!

29. If your health allows for it, consider a brief fast. A day or two without food can be energetically and creatively stimulating.

30. Clean house. Clutter and unwanted junk can cause energy to stagnate in your home, mind, and body.

31. Browse social media for new witchy ideas for your home or altar. (One caveat: Only do this as long as it feels inspiring. If you start feeling overwhelmed or envious from altar porn, disconnect from Instagram and reconnect with what you’ve got right in front of you.)

32. Create a labyrinth with stones on your property. A labyrinth is a tool for contemplation that can be big or small, indoors or outdoors. Walk it with your feet—or fingertips!

33. Practice automatic writing or drawing.

34. Visit a craft store or vintage market and dream up magickal uses for mundane items. An old planter could become a magickal faery herb garden, a piece of costume jewelry might be your new scrying ring.

35. Do a simple prayer/ritual to thank your ancestors for the blessing of life and for your magickal gifts. (Don’t worry if you don’t know who your all your ancestors are—they know who you are.)

36. Create and charge a sigil that represents a current goal.

37. Energy practice is like kegels—you can do it anywhere, anytime, and (probably) no one will know. Flex your chakras on the bus, at the grocery store, sitting in traffic.

38. Cast a circle (or your version of sacred space) just because.

39. Hug a tree. Play in the dirt.

40. Re-watch a movie that inspired you to become interested in magick, and feel the thrill of discovery all over again. (Was it Practical Magick? I bet it was Practical Magick. Mists of Avalon? Harry Freakin’ Potter? Go ahead, we won’t judge.)

41. Visit a cemetery or memorial park.

42. Explain something about your path to a person who doesn’t participate/believe in witchcraft. Get in touch with your own convictions. Practice not worrying about what others think.

43. Choose a special outfit or piece of jewelry that you will only use in a magickal context. Bless this item and store it in a safe place.

44. Burn something! Fire evokes transformation and change—so meditate with flame, whether it’s a single candle or a backyard bonfire.

45. Get excited about the next Sabbat. Select recipes and words for a solo ritual, or plan ahead to celebrate with your community.

46. Make friends with your neighborhood Fae and nature spirits. Make gifts of your labor, reverent attention, and material offerings (when appropriate).

47: Choose a Tarot or oracle card that stands for something you want to draw into your life and display it on your altar.

48: Learn about the magick of a group or culture that’s unfamiliar to you. Read a book—or, if possible, sit in on a ritual. Every civilization in history has had its own Mystery traditions and studying another system can put you in touch with what’s true about your own.

49: Get a psychic reading from a friend or professional.

50: Create a special ceremonial beverage with ingredients that are significant to you and your magick. Charge the mixture and consume it alone or with (consenting) others.

51: Craft a mojo bag or talisman and carry it with you. Try a Lunar charm for psychic awareness, Mercury for increased energy flow/communication, or Jupiter for wisdom and opportunity.

52: Take a trip to your local metaphysical shop and see what’s new.

53: Your body is a temple—remember to treat it that way. Gift yourself with a new outfit, haircut, orgasm, massage, favorite food, or whatever else makes your vessel feel fabulous.

54: Light some incense: Frankincense-Myrrh, Copal, or Amber are all magickal fragrances that call up deep ancestral memories.

55: Meditate or do energy work with a partner. Afterwards, take a few moments to talk about your experiences.

56 (extra credit): Create a simple magickal routine that feeds your spirit and that you can—realistically—stick to. Try your damnedest to make it a daily practice.

As you perform the rituals on this list, I hope you will seize the opportunity to fall in love again with your spiritual self. When you’re stuck in a blah daily existence, you may wonder where the magick went. The answer, of course, is that the magick has been there all along—it was you who stepped away for a bit.

Living in the mundane world doesn’t make you less of a Witch, it makes you a balanced human being. Psychically dormant and latent periods are part of learning and growing in the Craft.

Above all, don’t blame yourself for lapses in your magickal practice. Guilt and regret are enemies of the ecstatic self-love that is the basis of all constructive magick. Just pick up where you left off, and coming home will feel all the sweeter.

Much love (and welcome back),

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

Red Candle Magick

Human beings, it seems, have an irresistible attraction to the color red. Rubies are the most precious of all gems, wearing red has been shown to increase attractiveness in dating studies, and marketing experts tell us that red-hued ads get more clicks than any other color. It should come as no surprise that red candles are among our best-sellers here at the Grove!

Most beginner Witches can tell you that a red candle is used for spells of power and passion. Let’s go deeper into the meaning of each candle color to help you refine your candle choices.

What can you conjure up with a red candle? Here’s a big list of the red candle’s magickal uses:

To achieve fame or power

To attract a sexual partner

To ignite vitality in oneself

Drawing wealth and good luck

Increasing passion in a relationship

Root Chakra work/connecting with the physical body

Triumph over rivals in love or business

To get over a bad relationship or job

To return negative magick to its sender

To keep an enemy away

Increasing willpower and confidence

Invoking Fire gods/goddesses

To make a fresh start


Red belongs under the dominion of the warlike planet of Mars. In Mars, we find the energy and courage to seize what’s rightfully ours. Mars magick is aggressive, arguably self-centered, and fueled by the pulse and throb of the physical body.

Red is the color of danger and of rage. In many cultures around the world, red symbolizes victory and martial power. Red evokes the spilled blood of the martyr or vanquished foe. Danger and disruption are signaled by the color red in warning signs and desktop alerts.

However brutal that sounds, its wise to remember that Mars (and his Greek counterpart, Ares) is also a lover, not just a fighter. The physical prowess and charisma of Mars is enough to woo the most beautiful of the goddesses, Venus/Aphrodite. It’s not surprising then, that the color red has a prominent place in sexual magick.

As the color of the element of Fire, red expresses all the sharpest, quickest emotions. Lust and anger, but also pride and excitement. Red can be a powerful partner in a whole range of spellwork: Strong emotions and deeply-felt needs are at the heart of all successful magick.

Bold, sexy, and in charge, red finds its zodiacal match in the sign of Aries. Because of red’s association with Fire and ego, a secondary planetary correspondence is the Sun.

Planets: Mars, the Sun/

Deities: Ares/Mars, Seth, Sekhmet, Durga, Lakshmi, Hephaestus/Vulcan, Morrighan, Babalon/

Zodiac Signs: Aries/

Element: Fire/

Chakra: Root/

Tarot Card: The Tower/


True red is by far the most popular of the red spell candles. Red is such a primal hue that to mix it with any other color feels like it dampens its impact.

Red-pink, ruby, or rosy red candles are occasionally used in love magick. These candles combine the sexual urgency of red with some of the sweetness and tenderness of the color pink—a kind of compromise between love and lust.

Red-orange candles are suitable for spells of power, victory, and motivation. Fiery red combined with Airy yellow suggests success in business or creative ventures.

Berry red or burgundy candles contain mostly red with a hint of blue and/or brown. Choose these colors when you want the energy of your red candle spell to be tempered by wisdom and grounded in the element of Earth. Burgundy is an excellent choice for spells of manifestation, courage, loyalty, and earned success.

Dual-color or reversing candles are half-red, half-black. This type of candle is used for reversing negativity and undoing spells cast by another. Commercially made reversing candles are available from metaphysical shops—but I’ve heard of resourceful Witches sawing off two pillar candle to make their own. Red candles are unscented but can be dressed with Reversing Oil before use.

The reversing candles we sell are black on top and red on the bottom—which is the proper way to construct a reversing candle. The black portion burns first, and neutralizes/absorbs the curse or bad juju. The red portion burns second, and its function is to empower the magick worker to fight back and/or return the spell to its origin.


All of our spell candles are unscented. Wherever you shop for magickal supplies, you will usually find this to be the case. Most Witches prefer to add their own scented oil to suit the working, or to skip the scent entirely.

Still, there is nothing wrong with using scented candles for spellwork, if that’s your preference. Just remember that scents (just like colors) have their own meanings that work on your unconscious magickal mind. The sensory input can either amplify or weaken the energy of your spell.

Red candles are popular for holiday décor, and retailers trot out red candles every Yuletide season. The best of the holiday scents (for candle magick) is cinnamon. Cinnamon corresponds to Fire, Mars, passion, and protection magick—so it is a perfect match for most red candle spells. Other red candle scents in the holiday category include Christmas spice, cranberry, apple cider, and occasionally, peppermint.

Most people either love or hate holiday scents. If smelling them makes you feel like a sparkling sugarplum, then go for it! If you have emotional baggage around the holidays, though, don’t let Christmas spice anywhere near your red candle spell.

A second category of red candles scents is florals. Red rose, honeysuckle, hibiscus, and other red blooms make an appearance on the red candle aisle. Red flowers stand for attraction and seduction. Their sweet aromas are perfect for spells of romance, but less appropriate in spells of protection.

And then we have the food category: Cherry pie, candy apple, blood orange, strawberry, tropical punch. In general, foodie-scented candles are better for mundane use than for candle magick. However, if one of these fruity flavors is particularly appetizing to you (or to your intended partner), why not try it for your next love spell?


As the color of the warrior, red is an obvious choice for protection spells. Red emboldens and fortifies the spell-caster to stand up against any adversary. A human being’s automatic reaction to the color red seems to be innate and cross-cultural. Studies have shown that just viewing the color causes increased heart rate and breathing—physiological responses associated with both sexual arousal and anger. “Seeing red” is a real visual phenomena that some people experience while overtaken with rage.

Red is linked to the element of Fire, the fastest-acting and most overtly destructive of the four elements. It’s also—as we mentioned earlier—attributed to Mars, the planet of aggression and conflict. A burning red candle can be used to cast a powerful circle of protection and fight back against wrongdoers. Many protection spells combine red candles with other

Martial ingredients: Iron nails or chili peppers, for example.

Anger gets a bad rap in some spiritual communities, where everyone is supposed to be made of rainbows and white light. But to reject anger entirely is to leave a powerful magickal tool on the shelf. Warriors of bygone days understood that raw fury is a way to tap into special reserves of courage, agility, and strength—similar to what science now calls the fight-or-flight response. The magickal adept is never consumed by anger, but he or she knows how to manipulate anger to create a desired outcome.


Red is considered an auspicious color, especially in Asian countries. Brides in China, Japan, and India wear red on their wedding days. Holiday decorations often include red and gifts of money are given in red envelopes.

It’s not just an Eastern tradition to associate red with wealth and power. In the west, red garments signified majesty and authority as early as the Byzantine Empire. Rich red dyes (often sourced on the Asian continent) were a favorite status symbol of the merchant class in European cities.

By this logic of symbols, red candles are a fine choice for spells of good luck, success, and prosperity. Choose the most vibrant, saturated red candle you can find, pair it with a gold candle holder, and dress it richly with Frankincense or Dragon’s Blood oil. 


“Red candles for sex, pink candles for love.” It seems corny, but there is some truth in this old folk magick adage.

Red has the ability to alert, unnerve, arouse, and intensify. Prostitutes once wore red to advertise their profession, and many cities around the world have red-light districts. Red evokes human sexual responses: Engorged genitals, flushed skin. Many people have a sense that red is just not proper. Pink is offered as a substitute—it’s the same thing, only toned down a notch with pure, spiritual white.

Some people are looking for a lifelong love affair…other people want to get laid without commitments or attachments. No judgment here! Just keep in mind that candle magick gurus usually reserve red candles for the “extra spicy” type of love-drawing spell. I should note here that some people have ethical objections to love spells…but red candle magick is not for the timid.


Do you have a bad relationship or crappy job you’d like to leave in the past? Need inspiration to start a project or kick a bad habit? Does it just feel like its time for a clean start? A “new beginnings” spell might be just the thing to drum up some fresh energy to get your life moving again.

Most of the time, I recommend white candles for this sort of magick. But don’t forget about red—an inspiring, high-energy hue that’s also, as we’ve mentioned, the color of elemental Fire.

Evoking Fire invites rapid transformation into any spellworking. Fire is aligned with life-force energy, the source of all creative endeavors. Fire creates as it destroys, it provides as it consumes. It’s the perfect helper for forging new pathways—especially when there’s some old crap you need to burn up first.

Red is also associated with the Root Chakra, and so carries a practical, back-to-basics vibe that’s useful for starting new projects on a firm foundation. Contemplating the Root Chakra puts you back in touch with what really matters most to an incarnate creature: Your safety and your body’s happiness. When you meditate or do yoga, you start by grounding and awakening the Root Chakra.

Why? When the lower chakras aren’t whirring along, the upper ones quickly get out of balance. It’s hard to accomplish anything if you don’t start from a strong position, with a sense of possibility and well-being.


Combining your candle-burning spell with the appropriate herbs and oils can amplify the working by engaging even more of your senses. Typically, the candle is anointed (or “dressed”) with a matching oil prior to being lit for the ritual. Herbs can be sprinkled over the top of a burning candle or laid around the base. Whether you like to work with fresh/dried herbs or distilled oils, here’s a few herbal suggestions to amp up your red candle spells.

Spiritual protection: Cinnamon.

Power: Dragon’s Blood.

Banishing/revenge: Chili pepper.

Love: Rose.

Willpower: Lemon or Orange.

Wealth: Frankincense.


(Red candles can be used alongside these stones in ritual)

  • Carnelian.
  • Red Jasper.
  • Ruby.
  • Rose Quartz.
  • Hematite.
  • Tiger’s Eye (red or gold).

Now that you know a bit more the magickal energy of red candles, you can easily craft your own candle spells for love, wealth, power, and protection. Here’s a few examples of red candle spells to get you started!


String six horse chestnuts on a red cord, with three knots between each one. When the moon is full, burn a red candle and say (thrice)

                                                              “O Diana, goddess of love and of the hunt,

I pray to thee!

I pray these knots will tie up the heart of [X].

May she neither rest nor sleep

Until she sleeps with me!

Until she submits to my will, my love.

O Diana, bring about our love, and bless it!”

Then throw the charm into a blazing fire. She will come to you.


You will just need a red candle, a tablespoon of almond oil, three drops of lemon oil and it must be full moon. You must go outside under the full moon and so combine almond oil and lemon oil. Anoint it into your wrists, inhale the scent and so concentrate on the energy that the smell could give. Light the red candle, close your eyes, and repeat this chant five times: “Fiery candle, bloody red, clear the slowness from my head. Mother moon of glowing light, give me fierceness through the night.”


When two lovers are quarreling it is best to etch both names into the side of a PINK or RED candle, and coat it with Honey. Burn the candle on a Friday evening to

How You’re Performing Magick Everyday and Don’t Even Realize It

Under this definition, each one of us is performing magick with every thought, every word, every action. And you’re either doing it subconsciously or consciously.

Every day:

The goal here is to take it from being an unconscious process so that we might turn it into a conscious decision… because once you do, your life will never be the same. I promise.

But first, we need to better define the channels through which Magick is actualized into your life.

Let’s get started.


Your mind is the center of your being.

It is the source of your potential, the guiding hand that leads you through the choices you make on a daily basis

For better or worse, It is where manifestation begins.

You may have heard the following saying –

“The mind is an excellent servant, but a terrible master”

This is absolutely correct — and switching the dynamic, controlling your mind rather than your mind controlling you, begins with your self-talk.

What does your internal dialogue sound like?

How do you speak to yourself?

Do you internally use “if” statements instead of “when” statements?

Or “maybe” instead of “absolutely”?

Because that’s manifestation. That’s Magick.

Do you break yourself down or lift yourself up?

Do you obsess over the simplest of mistakes, or do you roll with the punches?

These are questions you need to ask yourself and truly reflect upon, because it matters greatly to your overall well being.

If you’re constantly shitting on yourself, how could you EVER expect to have a good life?

Why would you ever expect others to treat you with respect if you can’t first respect yourself? Changing this is absolutely paramount, and the first step to executing effective manifestation.

But it isn’t easy, especially if you’re deeply embedded into the habit of a negative self-talk.

It will take CONSTANT observation of your thoughts, and a continuous and conscious effort on your part.

But gradually, little by little, you’ll begin to notice a change. And as you continue to consciously mitigate and alter the nature of your self talk, the better you’ll ultimately feel.

Trust me on this. Cut the bullshit, stop harping on your weaknesses and start building up your strengths.

The way you think will undoubtedly, beyond any shadow of a doubt, determine who you’re capable of becoming and what you’re capable of doing.

So you need to get your mind in order, because your life literally depends on it.


The next step is utilizing your words.

Words are arguably the most powerful force available to humans. What has started religions, wars, empires, and revolutions?


When you understand this, you begin to take them far, far more seriously. But how can you use words to your benefit?

I recommend developing a mantra.

I have developed my own mantra, and I have thought it or said it to myself every single day, often multiple times a day, for the past year. And it has been nothing short of amazing to see how it manifests constantly in my daily life.

It outlines my personal goals, my expectations of myself, and who I ultimately would like to be as a fully actualized man.

And I only use “IAM” statements.

Let me say that again, because it’s that important.

I only use “I AM” statements.

There is SO much power in the phrase “I AM.” It leaves no room for doubt internally, and it is a means of programming your mind to THINK, SPEAK, and ACT in accordance with your ambition and goals. It naturally brings you TOWARDS the direction of that which you claim “you are.”

You will inevitably fill any role you give yourself, so choose to make it one that will bring you fulfillment and a greater sense of purpose. But words alone aren’t nearly enough. You can sit down and say “I AM” until you’re blue in the face, but what you want isn’t going to magically come to you without effort. Nothing can truly happen without the next, and most important, step.


Your actions are the vehicle through which your thoughts and words move. They are what ultimately determine the outcome of your life. Ironically enough, your actions are the simplest part of the equation. Once you have your mind and your words in check, your actions will naturally follow suit. But nonetheless, we’ll discuss how to better optimize your actions.

First, start by detailing what it is you need to act on.

-What do you enjoy?

-What are you good at?

-What can/should you improve?

How do you envision your dream life, and how can you leverage your current skills so that you might move it from your mind’s eye and into your reality? And if you don’t have the current skills necessary, how can you go about learning them?

Brainstorm, make it an exercise.

List out actions you can take right now.


-A year from now.

-5 years from now.

Don’t take yourself too seriously while doing this, play with it. Once you have your list, ask yourself seriously –

-“Why am I not implementing these?”

-“What’s stopping me?”

The answer, if you’ve truly tamed your mind and your voice, should be one word and one word only – Nothing.

Act accordingly.


There is no other way. Utilize the tools available to you. USE the methods outlines in this article.

Make them your own, and I PROMISE you will begin to see change. You will begin to see how your reality conforms to your will. And you’ll never go back. Such is the power of Magick, and what becomes possible when you consciously manifest.    Until next time,

Thanks for reading.

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

Using Bones, Fangs, Feathers, Claws, and Shells in Animal Magick and Ancestor Work

Bone Magick: the usage of bones is helpful for necromancy and animal magick, as they help to build a bridge from the earthly plane, thus facilitating your communication with ancestors or spirit animals. It also allows you much easier to draw from their qualities and powers.

Bones, fangs, feathers, claws, and shells are potent tools for animal magick and ancestral communion, However, I find it absolutely necessary to state in this article, that animal remains should be treated with respect, they should be ethically acquired and I do not encourage or endorse the harming of animals in any way shape or form. The bones I use in my craft are gathered and hand-picked by myself from the local woods and the river’s bank and all of them were already old and weathered by the time I came across them.

Bones, fangs, seashells, and a crab claw are very potent and work well especially in ancestor work.

On the same note, I do no encourage the use of human skulls or bones, especially since most of them are acquired as the result of grave robbery, something that I personally find unnecessary, disrespectful, and disgusting. Also, human bones may contain impure energies which will not serve anyone, unlike animal bones which are imbued with pure and natural energy. Human remains contain energetic imprints made by the intentions, will, and even reactions of those they belonged to. This makes them impure as opposed to animal remains which are attuned to the natural flow of things.

In animal magick, bones and skulls can work as effigies or fetishes that represent the genus of a spirit animal and they can be inhabited in order to facilitate communication or draw energy from the spirit animal during ritual.

Human spirits can be disruptive through those energetic prints, whereas the spirits of animals rarely disrupt the natural flow of things and they’ve most likely never broke through the flow, since it is their condition of existence. Unless your own will is to bind and control human spirits, working with human remains may be disruptive. For these reasons, this article is focused only on animal remains which are ethically acquired and re-purposed, and not on human remains or animal entrails.

Bones in Animal Magick and Ancestor Work:
Animal remains such as bones, feathers, fangs, and even shells are used since the oldest of times and throughout many of the world’s cultures and traditions for divinatory and shamanic purposes. In animal magick, bones work as fetishes or effigies of your spirit animals. Fetishes or effigies are usually inanimate objects which can be either manufactured or occur naturally. They are representative of supernatural powers, such as spirits. Animal bones, which occur naturally, are representations of their respective spirit animals and when they inhabit them they become active.

Upon summoning or invocation, a spirit animal may inhabit such an effigy for communion or spellwork. It ties them to the earthly plane, thus facilitating your communication with them and allowing you to draw from their qualities and powers. Likewise, in ancestor work, the animal spirits inhabiting the bones will work as messengers or guardians during ancestral communion or ancestor work. This will help you especially if you don’t already have an established cult of the ancestors. Spirit animals will protect you from unpleasant spirits, they will guard your sacred space and help guide you towards ancestral spirits that will serve you.

Drawing symbols or sigils unto the bones help bind the spirit animal to the earthly realm and consecrates the animal remains as a home for said spirit.

To bind a spirit animal to an animal bone, you may decorate the bones with symbols or words that are relevant to the spirit animals you wish to call upon. They may also be primeval symbols of life and death, that together may reconcile the gap between the two by creating a space for the spirit animal to come into. Another common practice throughout the world is the reddening of bones. By making the bones red, one imbues them with Eros, lifeforce, and it mimics the vitality of blood that once covered them. Usually, the bones are reddened with a mixture of red ochre and red wine in which the bones are laid to rest for a few days until they are stained with red color.

Bones in Ritual:
Animal remains can be kept on your altar or sacred space, either on display or kept in bags or boxes, and depending on their size and provenance, you can even wear them. You can keep them in small glass vials or bags to carry them on you, or you can use them as ritual adornments in your jewelry.

Ritual Adornments: Fangs, shells, small bones, claws, or feathers can be used for protection, luck, for shamanic practice, or in order to draw from the qualities and abilities of the spirit animals that inhabit them. For example, a crow feather or claw may help balance your life and enforce your quest for knowledge of the greater mysteries, or fox fangs or bones may help you attain the wits you’d need in order to sail through a difficult situation. Likewise, they can be used during shamanic work for protection and guidance when traveling between worlds.

Ritual Tools: Various bones, fangs, antlers, and shells can be used to adorn ritual tools with, such as wands or daggers, or they may be used as object rituals in and of themselves. They may also be used as divination tools, by carving or painting Runes on them, or you may even create your unique divination system by assigning a different meaning to each particular bone, fang, or shell that belong to the same divination set. You can also use large bones as vessels for the candles you use in your work. You may also use feathers among the bristles of your broom to enforce its power of “flight”.

Smudging Rituals: Feathers are particularly potent for smudging rituals. You may use a feather from your spirit bird or make a wand that consists of multiple feathers, in order to spread the smoke throughout the space you are cleansing. Additionally, you may use a large bone or skull as a vessel in which you may burn the smudging herbs or incense.

Witch Bags: You can use bones, feathers, fangs, and shells of your choosing in your witch bags for various purposes, as well as for witch bags you create for the sole intention of working with spirit animals. You may carry this on you, or you may use it while meditating or sleeping in order to help you travel between worlds.

Ritual Arrangements: You may use animal remains to form a pattern on your altar or “work shrine”, which is only built for a given ceremony, in order to allow the energies of the spirit animals bound to the bones to flow throughout the altar. You may also meditate on these patterns, as they facilitate communication with the spirit animals present within them.
Bones in Witchcraft

Certain animal remains can be very potent for ‘dark magick’. For example, the claw of a rooster or a crow is believed to represent the cross with its arms broken and bent down, which makes it symbolic of ‘dark magick’. While this is obviously a Christian influence, it actually reinforced the belief in its potency for ‘dark magick’, because for example the rooster’s first song is considered sacred and able to break spells, while the crow is highly revered as a funeral and solar bird whose killing is a blasphemy. So, whoever would have a rooster or crow claw would be looked at as someone who obtained it after committing a blasphemy against these sacred animals.

I personally believe that any animal remains obtained as a result of directly or intentionally harming or hurting an animal are indeed potent for dark feats. But old animal remains that you find, whether you actively sought them or not in places you’d know you’d find them, are released from the superstition of ‘dark magick’ as long as you honor them. And speaking of bones you find, some people like to actively seek only certain animal remains and dismiss others. Go with what resonate with you and that is all that matters.

This is a example of a ritual arrangement using canine bones, deer antlers, seashells, crab claw, and shark fang through which the energy of the spirit animals they belong to flows. This is a meditative arrangement, for it is only used to refresh the atmosphere and uplift your spirit.

The bones can be used as ritual adornments, arrangements and tools during ancestral communion and animal magick work. I tend to use the same methods instinctively for different purposes. My magick is what a friend of mine endearingly calls ‘felt magick’, which means that I work primarily on instinct and intuition, and when my work happens to coincide with the ‘book’ or ‘special occasions’, it is just right and perfectly aligned in the great scheme of things.

In this case, what I mean by this is that you can arrange the ritual in the way that you feel at that moment either to form a flow of energy generated by the spirit animals that the bones belong to in order to form a wall of protection during communion with the dead or the ancestors, or to commune with a certain spirit animal. You can also burn incense in a vessel made from an occipital bone and spread the smoke with feathers so that the spirit animals they belong to enforce the cleansing ritual. You can also purpose smaller bones for good luck and use them as charms that you can wear as earrings or necklaces.

Bone Magick and Spirit Animals or Totems:

In order to truly benefit from the power of the bones you are using, you should learn more about the spirit animals they belong to, what deities are associated with them, and which are the messages they most commonly convey. While the lore of animal magick is very important to take note of, the way you feel about the bones and their spirit animals is also very important.

Whenever you acquire animal remains, make sure you read the energies they bring. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to read bones, so trust your instincts when they tell you that some bones may serve you and others may not. This is important because there might be dormant or remnant energies tied to the bones that may not resonate with you, there may be pain and suffering that there is no way you would know of other than by reading them, or there may be certain spirit animals that would not like to serve you, and that is ok. But make sure you don’t bring bones into your sacred space before you attempt to read them.

And lastly, don’t forget to clean the bones you pick. Try to pick bones that have no smell or soft tissue on them and that have been out in the open for a while. I call them weathered bones because they are usually old by the time they reach this state. Once you’ve picked your weathered bones, simply soak them in warm water with biological washing powder, clean them with hydrogen peroxide, or simmer them in hot water, and then leave them in open air to dry for a few days.

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.

13 Goals Of a Witch

I hope that this was informative and helpful. If so, tell me in the comments below.