how to use magical sounds during spells and rituals

i know of witches who practice their craft without spoken words and those who shout their intentions and incantations as loudly as possible.

i think either way is fine, as long as your intent is pure and communicated clearly.

but what about other sounds in spells and rituals?

some of the things that can be used to produce meaningful or symbolic sounds during spells and rituals are:

  • bells
  • gongs
  • flutes
  • cymbals
  • clapping
  • finger snaps
  • music (pre-recorded)
  • other instruments
  • humming
  • anything else you want, really

sound can represent several things during a spell or ritual. it could be symbolic of an element, it could represent an animal, person, or thing, it could simply amplify your intent, or it could be used to increase and amplify your energy during the process.

let’s take a look at the first part of that statement – how sounds can represent elements, because this is really interesting and i’ve found that in this context, sound really enhances my spell work.

earth

  • percussion is ruled by the earth sign
  • clapping
  • drums/drumming
  • tapping
  • these are associated with fertility, career, money

water

  • bells are associated with the water element/sign
  • in addition to a brass bell, try hand bells or blowing on a windchime for something different
  • you could also use actual water sounds, like a small fountain or pouring water from one vessel to another
  • these are associated with healing, fertility, friendship, psychic powers, love, beauty, and happiness

air

  • naturally, air-based instruments like flutes, reed instruments, and brass instruments are associated with the air element
  • whistling
  • singing
  • humming
  • these are associated with business, intellectual pursuits, education/learning, and thoughts

fire

  • stringed instruments like violin, viola, cell, bass violin, harb, lyre, and dulcimer are associated with the fire element
  • think of the reverberating sound of the string’s vibration after being drawn or plucked and the flames moving outward from a central spark
  • these are associated with creativity, passion, sensuality, sexuality, enlightenment, inspiration, self-confidence, and energy

how do you incorporate sound into a spell or ritual?

i don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do this, and i’ve given some suggestions based on what has worked for me in the past, but play around with these and see what feels and works the best for you.

open your spell or ritual with a sound or sounds to call in the element(s) you wish to work most closely with; example: *slowly drumming on an overturned pot or cup* “i call the element of earth and ask its energy to lend me…”

you can also use a sound throughout a spell or ritual, marking pauses or to emphasize important words or statements; example: *plucking a harp string and letting it vibrate* “goddess of inspiration, guide my work” *pluck the string once again* “reveal my path through your wise counsel” *pluck the string once again* …and so forth.

use a sound as a background noise or foundational element in your spell or ritual, symbolizing the element most important during your work; example: playing a recording of wood flute notes during your spell or ritual to enhance the energy of the air element.

there are probably many more ways to use sounds during spell work or rituals, and the ones mentioned here are only a few suggestions specific to the elements. sounds like chanting and humming can also be used to build one’s own energy, or that of a larger group. if you have more ideas and suggestions, share them! i’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

a (self) love spell

ugh, babes, how many of you are spending all this time at home, isolating, introspecting, and picking yourselves apart?

a little self-honesty is important, for sure, but there’s a fine line between being honest with ourselves and being horrible to ourselves, right?

i’m usually totally fine with who i am, where i am, what i look like, how i feel, and where i’m going…99% of the time. but lately, i’ve been having trouble resisting the pull of self-criticism and internally imposed limitations. maybe just all this time i can’t spend doing other things or maybe that particularly rough mercury retrograde, or who knows.

so i created this spell to use with my love spell oil and i have to be honest. i cried this morning repeating this to myself, admitting all the years i wasn’t very nice to myself and said terrible things to myself because, well, that’s what we’re taught as young girls all through life…you’re never good enough.

but i am good enough. you are good enough and we are good enough.

what you will need:

  • a crystal(s) of choice (i used rose quartz and smoky quartz)
  • an oil or blend of oils of choice; i blend special spell oils, but a simple rose essential oil in a carrier base such as almond or jojoba will do the trick nicely if you have nothing else on hand
  • a quiet place

dab the oil on your chest, arms, forehead or any other area you want to focus. simply anointing yourself just over your heart is enough. do not rub the oil in yet, let it run as it will over your skin while you repeat the following, as many times as you feel you need:

“i see me now

in present form

and recognize

how my words have harmed

from this point

i look upon me with loving eyes

all past doubt

and self-hate dies

i am glowing, beautiful

from crown to toes

through my veins

only this love flows”

as you recite this, picture a glowing orb, whatever color represents healing and love to you, beginning from the crystals you hold and radiating into your hands, then flowing up your arms, into your heart, and downward throughout your torso, hips, reaching your legs, knees, and finally your feet. as it does this, it also flows upward through your chest, neck and head, covering your crown. you are glowing with this love.

hold this sensation for several deep breaths and forgive your past harsh words. look at yourself through your third eye and see how beautiful you really are. y0u are a gift.

feel free to open yourself, let emotions out, purge them if you need to. now is the time to let them go. the full moon this week should be a time of growth and anything holding you back does not serve you anymore.

once you feel you are finished and your words have indicated your intent, rub the oil into your skin, taking deep breaths in and out. this is the new you. love this version of you unconditionally.

what is scent magick? (and how do you do it?)

i started out writing this talking about how i ended up here in my magick practice, but that became a whole other post on where i started and where i’ve ended. you can read my (re-)awakening story here.

knowing that bit of background on me, let me just start out by saying most of us experiment with many different modes of magick and our craft before we settle on a few we use most of the time, a few we use sometimes, and a few we use rarely – like special occasions only.

scent magick quickly became one of my primary forms of practice, because it is so so simple for me. i have been making perfumed oils for some time. what started out as a hobby eventually became something i realized had some real value to me in my craft.

Scent magick

this is what i call the practice of magick with the use of scents or smells as powerful visualization tools to either directly bring about your intended outcome, or to amplify your energy and intention during your spell or ritual.

scents can come from probably an unlimited number of sources:

  • incense
  • oils
  • body oils/perfumes
  • burning herbs/plants/etc
  • candles
  • real plants/flowers
  • and so on

but what i specifically do is create a spell oil that contains the elements necessary to create an entire setting in which i want my work to function.

let me explain.

if you’ve ever watched a movie or read a book and thought to yourself that the director or author really made the experience real for you, the setting really felt like you were there, you could virtually smell the scents, feel the textures, and so on, you’ve had a potent sensory experience.

and within that sensory experience, there is a bit of magick. much like Disneyland is universally adept at creating sensory experiences for the guests at their park to forget they are in an amusement park and feel as if they are literally in another world, we too can use sensory elements to create something that functions like a very specific setting in which we feel our magick is most potent.

when you think about a bit of magick you want to perform, where do you picture it happening? or where does the outcome manifest? or what things are present during or after?

let’s say i want to perform a spell that requires working with a spirit. when i think for some time and picture the setting i envision, a strong image of a graveyard comes to mind. we often associate graveyards with the spirit world or afterlife, so, naturally this makes sense for me (what you envision may be totally different, and that’s totally fine).

to me, a graveyard smells of earth, leaves, grass, decaying funeral flowers, maybe some smoky elements, as i associate those with spirits myself, and perhaps moss or other outdoor scents.

i would craft this spell oil over the course of a week or two, depending on how strongly i want the scent to sit. it may take me several mixtures to get the balance just right, but what i’m looking for in the finished product is this:

  • instant transportation in my mind to the setting
  • i can close my eyes and ‘feel’ that graveyard
  • i can picture the every detail very distinctly because of the image being conjured
  • i am somewhere else entirely

once i have achieved this, the spell oil is ready. i don’t have to be in that graveyard in order to perform my spell. i can be in my office, my basement, my backyard. it doesn’t matter, because i’m going to be taken there once i begin.

a well-crafted spell oil will take you there.

when it is ready, that spell oil will be so potent that not only do i feel as if i am there, it will call to the spirit i am working with (or the person i want to attract, or the money i want to receive, and so forth).

other scents used in ritual can potentially do this, but i personally have yet to experience the feeling of actually being transported elsewhere when just smelling incense or a candle burning. many scents are simply symbolic in nature, which is totally fine, and can still be used with intention to get what you want.

but, for my purposes, i want that be as real as possible, so that my intent cannot possibly be mistaken.

Make your own

if you’re into making your own scents for this type of practice, a really good habit to get into when you think about a setting is to note not just how it smells to you, but what it looks like. is it an old library? are you in a dark basement crypt? are you in a bathtub of rose petals with your intended lover?

what else is around you? is it dark? light? day? night? indoor? outdoor? sounds? animals present? think of every single element. these are all important details initially.

write it all down, sketch it out, whatever you need to do to create the entire picture, then start adding scents together.

these can be purely essential oils, but it is difficult to create more complex scents without using at least some fragrance oils (think about leather, tobacco, and smoke – these are all blends of other scents but can be difficult to make on your own if you are new to this).

when your spell oil is ready, it meets those criteria above, most importantly, it takes you there. dab a drop on your wrist and let it settle into your skin for a moment. then close your eyes and when you are still, inhale the scent from your wrist.

where do you go? does it conjure the right setting? are there inconsistencies like things that don’t belong? make sure its exactly what you want before you use it in a spell.

Can you use a spell oil as just a perfumed body oil?

why not? i’ve made a few that make me feel particularly empowered or sexy or otherwise just take me somewhere else when i need to escape reality for a moment. and there’s nothing wrong with that.

but again, a well-crafted spell oil will take you somewhere else. if you don’t need to be particularly present at work or hyperfocused on other things, then yeah, go for it. there’s no harm in that in my opinion.

i do find that my ‘lust spell’ oil makes for a potent aphrodisiac if i wear it out with my partner on a date night or if we’re just chilling around the house, (i guess that means it works?), so in that regard, it can be used as both an intention setting element for your magick in addition to a simple sensory element (if my goal is to create a lustful evening, i may only use this potent spell oil and not need additional ritual or spells, tbh).

i recently had a handful of people reach out to purchase some of the spell oils i have made, so i am working on crafting those into products others can purchase. here are the ones i will initially have available:

  • Love Spell (when you need Cupid’s arrow to strike hard)
  • Lust Spell (when you just need some heat, steam, and passion – love is optional)
  • Wood (for him, which is kind of also for you, right?)
  • Fuck me in the Forest (self-explanatory, really)
  • Grave Situation (for darker spells or work with spirits/daemons)
  • Thin Veil (for general work with spirits)
  • Rich Bwitch (for money or financial spells)

if you want to be the first to know about these as they become available, subscribe below to my email list because that’s where you’ll get initial access to purchase them. if you’re already subscribed, no worries – you won’t miss out!

(re-)awakening your inner witch

there are lots of books and articles out there for new ‘witchlings,’ as it were.

if you’re young and delving into the exploration of the craft or associated beliefs and practices, then welcome! i hope that your witchy journey is everything you want to get out of it.

but what about the stories or ‘guides’ for those of us who are older, who already knew this was our calling, but for one reason or another, drifted away from it, forgot it, suppressed it, or just didn’t nurture it for a while.

what about those of us who re-awakened after many years away?

i guess there doesn’t really need to be a ‘how-to guide’ so much as there should be a ‘while you were away’ guide. my lapse was over 12 years, in which a LOT changed.

for starters, social media didn’t exist when i was a very young witch, not even remotely in the form we’re used to now. if you wanted to look up info on witchery, you could probably find some really poorly designed websites from a Geocities template with alternating neon broomsticks and cat faces flashing at you as you tried to ignore them, scrolling through badly formatted walls of text and blurry images (*shudders*)

but coming back into this a number of years ago, i think i was struck most by how well-connected the entire community is in order to create a strength in numbers. i was also glad to see the outpouring of new books and resources for new witches.

everyone was welcoming, supportive, and there is clearly a push within most circles to provide education and personal growth, while dispelling myths and harmful generalizations.

i don’t want to pull a ‘when i was your age,’ but when i was your age, there were not many good books or ‘how to be a new witch’ guides you could just get your hands on (the internet wasn’t much of a thing back then, but certainly shopping on the internet didn’t exist yet).

so you had to learn from someone else, who often had very strong opinions and dogmatic beliefs about the ‘right way to be a witch’, but those were often incongruent with how you wanted to be a witch.

or, like me, you struck out on your own, learned, experimented, and took note of what you liked, wanted, needed, and enjoyed, even if that made you not quite fit in perfectly with other witches around you.

i started out in witchy endeavors much like a lot new witches: as a teenager, a friend of mine who was really into Wicca gave me deck of tarot cards and it was like a gateway to self-exploration and coming to terms with the feelings, urges, and tug of what i had always known was inside me.

i cannot remember a time when i was young, in childhood or adolescence, that i didn’t feel drawn to the craft, or pagan rituals or traditions. it just clicked and felt right, even despite the years that i fell away from it as an adult who tried desperately to conform to what i thought was ‘acceptable’ in my first marriage, or professional colleagues, or my (fake) social circle at the time.

re-awakening my inner witch took many years after that early adulthood of self-oppression and emptiness. as i slowly let that energy burn brighter in me and accepted myself once again, i began to ask myself what kind of witch i was at this point.

certainly, as a young witch, it had been all exciting with cards, candles, poppets that looked like that girl i hated at school, ‘love’ potions, and all the things that are important to you when your life is no more complicated than high school, after school jobs, and getting high on the weekends with your friends.

but now, in my late 30s, my perspective and experience is astoundingly different, as it should be. i’ve seen some shit. i know the true nature of things and people. and myself, more importantly.

i find myself drawn to many different forms of practice. one day i may be more interested in green magic and the next i may feel that crystals or psychic meditation are going to be best for my purposes.

but, in the midst of all of this, i find that i have always always always been drawn to scent and smell. a well-crafted perfume, body oil, or soap can literally transport your mind, body, and soul somewhere else if you are open to it.

because of that, i started creating ‘spell oils’ for lack of a better term, that are geared toward creating the setting in which i wanted my spell or craft to function. they create the setting for me, as a powerful visualization tool that amplified my intent and i find they are quite potent at getting me the results i want from my spells.

and then i began bwitch. it started out as a creative project, something to let my inner artwitch out to play, but it morphed into something much more powerful: a movement, an ideology, a purpose. and so, there is my abbreviated story of witch > self-oppression > witch again.

if you’re like me, and have experienced a re-awakening for any reason, you may be returning to practice your craft from a totally different perspective than you did at an earlier time in your life. and i think that’s cool. we should all be evolving.

if you have a re-awakening story, i would love to hear it (or even feature it)!

a general protection spell for these weird times…

so, wow, things are kinda strange for all of us right now, right? I’m sure there’s nobody reading this (if you’re reading it in March 2020) that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at this point, in some small or large way.

Protection is on everyone’s mind. Whether its protection from illness, protection from economic disaster, protection from social unrest, or other possibly terrible outcomes we may all be afraid of at this time.

I’ve put together a very basic protection spell that you can use as is, or which you can adapt to further personalize for your own needs.

If you want to read a little bit about protection spells in general, or want something you can do quickly that does not require anything other than yourself, check out this post on what protection spells are.

What you will need:

  • an oil or two of your choice. These oils are great for protection magick:
    • basil
    • cedarwood
    • geranium
    • lemon
    • oregano
    • sandalwood
    • thyme
  • an herb or two of your choice. These herbs hold great power and symbolism in protection magick:
    • basil
    • black pepper
    • coriander
    • fennel
    • garlic
    • lime
    • rosemary
    • there are lots of others, so please feel free to substitute based on your specific needs!
  • a pot of water or a mortar and pestle (choose one, you don’t need both)
  • if using a mortar and pestle to grind your herbs and oils, I recommend getting a small piece of fabric (at least 6″x6″) and a string, in which you will place the contents to keep with you or to hang above the entrance to your home
  • salt, to cast a circle in which to work

How to cast the spell:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Optional: you can dab a few small drops of each of the oils you’ve chosen onto your forehead, heart, belly, wrists, or other places on your body before beginning. I’m a huge fan of scent magic, and find that our sense of smell can play an enormous role in how powerfully we channel our energy and get into our best state of mind for spellcasting!
  3. Gather all of ingredients
  4. If using a kitchen pot, sprinkle a circle of salt around you and your workspace (this is probably the space immediately surrounding your stove). Fill the pot with ~2-3 cups of purified, spring, or distilled water. Place a couple tablespoons of each herb and 5-6 drops of each oil in the water. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. If using the mortar and pestle, sprinkle a circle of salt around you and your workspace. Place a tablespoon of each herb and about 3-4 drops of each oil in the mortar. Grind them together thoroughly, turning the mortar bowl clockwise as you do so with your free hand.
  6. As your spell mixture either boils or is ground, feel free to call upon any deities or energies with whom you work or feel compelled to entreat with, then repeat the following words five (5) times:

“Encircle [name what/who you wish to protect] in your mighty arms

Protect [name what/who you wish to protect] from all harm

Reflect back and return all ill

I have spoken, this is my will”

7. If you are boiling on the stove, leave your mixture to boil for at least one hour afterward, permeating your home and all its corners. Hint: sometimes I let this cool off after a couple of hours and then put into a spray bottle, which I save and re-apply to the doors, windows, and passageways periodically throughout the next month. If not saving to spray later, dump the content out into your garden or other outdoor space to return the herbs and oils to the earth.

8. If you are using the mortar and pestle, scrape your mixture from the mortar bowl and place into the center of the fabric scrap. Bring all 4 corners of the scrap together so that it makes a pouch and tie the string around the fabric to create a sealed charm bag. Keep the bag with you, give it to the person you are protecting, or place it near the entrance to your home, depending on your desired target of protection. When you feel like you no longer need this, or if it has been a year, empty the contents of your charm back to the earth.

all the women in my life were witches

Everyone has their own kind of magic. I don’t mean like Harry Potter and wingardium leviosa. I mean like the kind of inner magic that other people can just feel. They can tell that there’s something really exceptional and amazing about you, but can’t always put it into words.

This isn’t charisma and it isn’t charm or beauty. It’s just…magic. It’s your inner energy and will, making itself known and establishing itself in, on, and around you.

My grandmother on my dad’s side had magic that made you feel comforted and loved and cared for. She ran a farmhouse full of kids, cooked for everyone, and kept things tidy. There were always fresh muffins or bread or lemonade in her kitchen. And she had a way of making you feel special, even if you were helping her do chores.

My grandmother on my mom’s side had magic that broke social barriers. She was a microbiologist in the 60s and 70s when women just didn’t do those things. She got her PhD and traveled the world. Grandma’s apartment was full of curiosities and information and science. She inspired you to learn things and never told you that your idea would never work or that you couldn’t be whatever it was you wanted to be that week. She inspired at least one little girl to be strong, passionately pursue her goals, and never care what others thought.

My mom’s magic was togetherness. She managed to bring the family together around the dinner table at the end of every single day. Even if we didn’t want to eat the canned spinach she put on our plate, we were still a family and we learned about each other’s days. We did things together and we learned the value of that contact and family connection.

Plenty of other women in my life had their own magics, as well.

And none of these women considered themselves witches. Indeed, my grandmothers would have panicked at being referred to as such, one being devoutly Catholic and the other a staunch atheist. My mom, tattooed and neon spiky hair in her 70s, would likely smile and embrace it, honestly.

But, to my point, magic is not always flash and spells. Its not a grimoire of incantations or a ritual practiced in secret. Its energy and how we use that energy with our will and intention. And some of us do so without even realizing it.

I have been a healer in one way or another all of my adult life. That is my magic. I have helped people stay physically fit, overcome physical barriers or limitations, and finally, as a clinician, heal from chronic diseases they had given up hope of finding answers.

I rarely take new patients these days, but I believe that its still my duty to contribute to the greater good and health of the people around me.

My own practice is kind of all over the place, really. I can’t call myself only one or two types of witch. I love herbs for their potent healing properties; I love energy concentration; I love divination; I love using my will to concentrate on bringing about the change I want to see; And so many more ways my craft has evolved.

So, here’s to the women in all our lives who were witches, even if they didn’t know it. And to their magic, be it emotional, physical, metaphysical, or any other kind.

it’s finally ok to be a witch

Throughout history, the witch was often a symbol for a woman who lives by her own terms, and embraces or embodies the traits, thoughts, or behaviors that the rest of the social group or society want to embrace, but do not, for fear of stepping outside the normative established culture.

Witches were often very independent women. Witches were women who marched to their own beat. Witches were women who didn’t need men to run their lives. They made their own way.

And they were a threat to a heavily patriarchal society systematically created, built, implemented, and maintained by organized religions, all of which promoted the concept of the one (male) god.

No more divine feminine for you guys. And while we’re at it, let’s burn anyone who disagrees.

Estimates of the number of (mostly) women (but some men and children) who were persecuted and murdered during the witch hunts of history across the world put the total number of deaths between 100,000 and 1 million people.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that the UK even formally and officially de-criminalized witchcraft.

But despite these advances in religious freedoms in the Western world, there are still many societies where the practice of witchcraft remains outlawed. And what constitutes witchcraft can vary widely from place to place.

In the United States, there has been a resurgence of interest and embrace of the Old Ways since the 1940s, with everything from Wicca, to Paganism, to Satanism, to Druidry and beyond finding its way back into the milieu of belief systems and personal practices.

With this explosion of self-expression through religious or spiritual beliefs, we now find ourselves in an era where its totally okay to be a witch (at least, that’s what you want to believe). Some friends of mine that live in certain parts of the US still experience social ostracism, harassment, and even threats for openly practicing their religious beliefs that do not jive with the majority Christian system that persists here.

If you fall into that category, just know that you’re not alone. The beautiful thing ab0ut the Internet these days is that where we lack physical community and fellowship, we can find loads of it virtually.

bwitch was started with one goal in mind: support the free expression of humanity through spiritual, religious, artistic, political, and all other means. If you’re into that, and you also like cool witchy shit, consider subscribing to our newsletter so you can be the first to find out about new products.

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