remove your ego from your practice and become a better witch

I want to share some thoughts based on a discussion I had the other day with my husband. He had been reading Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday. It’s a great book, and one I recommend all the time, regardless of whether you’re on a magickal, occult, or spiritual path at all.

But especially if you’re on a magickal, occult, or spiritual path. So, let’s talk about ego in magick or the occult.

Ego is something I see in a ton of new witches, but experienced ones alike. I see it in witches of all paths and cultures. Its not something that anyone is immune to. I had to battle with it myself when I first started this journey, and do occasionally still have to check my ego from time to time.

But why I’m writing this is the simple fact that so many of us could be doing so much better if we would completely remove ourselves from the equation. What I mean by that is that 90+% of the time, something someone said to you or did to you has nothing to do with you at all.

That person is miserable, unhappy, chaotic, or otherwise struggling to hold on, and you were just convenient.

They may have bad or destructive habits that affect you, but they’re not consciously trying to affect you. They’re just not in control and they’re projecting all that out around them to whatever and whoever is closest.

Most of the time, you don’t even need to be involved in anyone else’s bullshit. Most of the time, you’re focusing on what others are doing and how you think they think about you, instead of fixing the way you think about yourself.

Someone called you a name on the internet? It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them being a shitty, small, insecure person. Someone gave you the evil eye? It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their ego and pettiness. And so on. You get the picture.

And you continue to feed their ego when you continue to let them affect you. Your own ego drives this.

What is Ego?

Let me go here for a minute so we’re all on the same page with what I’m referring to.

Dictionary. com defines this in two ways:

the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.

Psychoanalysis: the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.

In this post, I’m referring to the second definition, as it pertains to psychoanalysis. The ego is the sense of self-importance.

Self-Importance Will Ruin Your Magick

Of course you should be the most important person in your life. So this isn’t some diatribe on always putting others first. Put yourself first almost all of the time, and help others as much as you can without depleting yourself in the process.

Many of us find, choose, or stumble upon this path because we feel pulled or called to it. Or maybe they are healers of one kind and decide the magickal or spiritual healing path is better suited to them.

Others because its something they’ve grown up with in their family or culture. And others, still, because they want to obtain power, influence, material wealth, exact revenge, or some other reason of personal gain.

Whatever the reason, we’re here now. But the last group, let’s be real. There’s a little bit of this in all of us.

Who hasn’t at least once wanted to be more skilled, more powerful, wealthier (crystals are fucking expensive ok), or some other intent that centers around a personal or selfish desire?

And that’s okay. Its human nature to want to fulfill your basic human needs like shelter, food, warmth, and socialization. Not mad at anyone ’cause this is me, too.

But then we all know at least one person (or maybe its our own self) that is on this path to seek power and control. They’re driven by their ego’s need to be recognized as important. They won’t think twice about throwing a curse. Their only end goal is to be smarter, more skilled, more whatever than everyone else, simply to be able to say they are and have control. They prefer being feared to being respected.

And everything with those people is personal. You know exactly what I mean. They constantly think someone is criticizing them, trying to curse them, doesn’t like them, is a threat to them, is attacking their ideas, and so on and so forth.

This person’s ego is massive. They are incredibly self-important. And its 1000% preventing this person from truly realizing spiritual enlightenment.

I can guarantee you that the more you think of yourself as better, and the more reactive you are to what others say and do, the more you limit your own growth. The minute you head down this path of thinking, you effectively shut off the access your spirit has to higher consciousness.

You are literally what is standing in your own way.

The biggest lesson in this is that you, yes you, are connected to everything. And everyone. We are all one big ‘All One’ of energy. So, when you energetically send your ego after someone, the ripples effect you just as much.

And I’m not talking about the rule of 3. I’m talking about energetic connectedness. Every effort you put into caring what someone said or did, you create an energetic bridge to them, and you just keep on laying bricks down across it for as long as you care.

What if You Stop Giving a Fuck?

This is where my life changed dramatically. And if I can pass on one tip as my legacy to new witches it is this. Stop giving a fuck about literally everyone else. Your family, your partner, your boss, your kids. Remove all them for a second and look at just you. Just who and what you are.

What would make you happy (extremely, truly, unreservedly, unapologetically, ecstatically happy) with yourself so that you can achieve anything in life you want? Do you need any of those other people’s opinions to get there?

How much time does your brain spend per day occupied with other people compared to occupied with you?

This is where we differentiate between loving yourself and knowing that you are valuable and important, yet at the same time insignificant in the greater picture, as are we all…

and

being self-important, thinking everything should revolve around you, using people, looking down on others, letting insecurity guide your decisions and reactions, or generally being self-centered to the extent of unnecessarily and excessively harming others in the process.

Option A is where we remove ego and act from a place of realizing that every action, thought, and spoken word has power over others, but also over us.

Every time I throw shade on someone, I’m throwing a little back on myself. Every time I worry about someone’s opinion of me, I hand them power over me. Every time I don’t live to fulfill my own happiness, I am telling myself that I don’t matter to anyone, especially me.

So, what I’m saying here is not to not do magick for yourself. Always do magick for yourself, and for others if you can.

But if you approach magick and spirituality with the mindset that the vast majority of the time, you do not need to be involved in whatever energetic bullshit is dragging other people down, and you don’t need to take things personally, and you do not have to let someone affect you if you don’t want them to, its like the best fucking energetic shield you can conjure.

Start asking this one question every time you feel yourself getting ready to react to someone or something: Is this really even about me? And is it my responsibility to do something about this?

I think you’ll find you free yourself of many energetic burdens and connections you’ve likely been carrying around for a while.

10 magickal ways to use dandelion

If you think dandelions are just a weed, think again! These hardy, bold little flowers are not only completely edible, but contain a whole host of herbal, medicinal, and magickal properties.

You Can Eat Every Part of the Dandelion Plant

This is one of the coolest things about the dandelion. Many flowering plants are partially edible, particularly the petals or perhaps the leaves, too, but the dandelion is completely edible. You can eat the flowering part, the leaves/stem, and the roots!

The flower heads have a mild sweet flavor and make a great tea which can have diuretic effects, as well as can be used to make wine.

Dandelion leaves are commonly eaten on salads or sandwiches, and the roots can be used to make tea, support healthy liver function, and bile production.

*none of the information on this website is meant to be used as health or medical advice and should not be used to treat or cure medical problems. Consult a qualified healthcare provider before consuming any plants or medicines.

You Can Make Wishes With Dandelions

I don’t know if I know anyone who hasn’t picked up a dandelion that has turned from yellow to its fluffy white cloud of seeds and blown them into the wind. But did you know that you can make a wish (which is kind of a spell, right?) while you do that?

This is a great spur of the moment and budget spell that virtually all of us can do if we happen upon a seeded dandelion while outdoors.

Picture your intended outcome, blow the seeds into the wind and picture them carrying your wish out into the universe.

You Can Enhance Your Psychic Ability

Dried dandelion flowers, leaves, and roots can be made into a tea to open up our receptivity to information downloads from spirit or universal consciousness.

You can also keep the dried flowers or herb in a sachet under your pillow to enhance psychic dreams.

Drink a dandelion tea before reading cards, bones, working with the pendulum, or other forms of divination.

You Can Use Dandelion to Communicate With Spirits

The dried flower placed on your altar or workspace will aid in calling spirits. The dandelion tea mentioned above can also enhance your ability to communicate with spirits.

If you keep dandelions with you or near you, you may be more likely to invite spirits to visit with you.

You Can Use Dandelion to Let Go of Thoughts and Habits

Just like the wish, you can visualize a particular bad habit or negative thought process flowing from you into the dandelion, and, as you blow the fluffy cloud of seeds away, blowing away what you want to let go of.

This can help you to offload negativity, limiting thoughts or behaviors, or other things that hold you back.

You Can Use Dandelion to Become Stronger

If you find yourself with a lack of boldness, courage, or assertiveness, incorporate dandelion into spells or meditations that are geared toward increasing your ability to stand your ground, stand up for yourself, and get what you want in life, relationships, and careers.

If you think about how dandelions are often viewed as an invasive weed, and are difficult to eradicate once they show up, you can draw from that strength and assertiveness of the plant to call those qualities to yourself.

You Can Connect to Hecate Better With Dandelion

Dandelions have historically been associated with a number of goddesses, but very closely to Hecate, especially in her triple goddess form.

The dandelion can help you connect to your three selves (higher self, shadow self, and mundane self).

You can make offerings of dandelion wreaths, teas, or other creative crafts to give to the goddess.

Use Dandelions on Your Altar in a Spring Beltane Bouquet

These colorful blooms make an excellent addition to bouquets of freshly picked flowers to place on your Beltane altar, or around your home on Beltane.

Dandelions do wilt quickly, so you may only have these bright blossoms for a day or two, and its best to gather them the day you want to display them.

Use Dandelions to Bring Sun Year-Round

Dandelion has solar energy, so is most associated with spring and summer rituals, but you can also use it to bring a little sun to the rest of your year when things get darker and colder.

If you gather a bunch of them during the warmer months, you can press them between the pages of old books so that they will dry out and remain preserved for when you need to add some sun to your magick or just to your life later in the year.

Use Dandelions to Welcome Helpful Spirits

Because of their aforementioned connection to spirits and spirit communication, placing dandelions in bouquets in your home or creating wreaths or art with dried dandelions can aid in creating a welcoming environment for beneficial spirits, such as ancestors and spirit guides.

Because of their cheerful disposition and bright color, these are also good for making yourself feel welcome and comfortable in your space.

a candle spell for healing a broken heart

venus is in retrograde, and she is challenging us in our romantic relationships, if we have one, right now. you may be experiencing communication breakdowns, arguments, and personality or priority conflicts with those you are close to.

to compound that, with stay-at-home and social distancing recommendations still in effect for many of us, we are spending more time around those people we are in romantic relationships with.

maybe we’re seeing their true colors for the first time, or maybe we’re now realizing after all this ‘quality time’ together, we’re no longer compatible, or we just aren’t as invested in making this relationship work as we thought we were.

all of this can lead to increased feelings of ‘i’m done with this,’ ‘fuck him/her,’ and ‘i want out of this relationship.’

even if you’re the initiator of a break-up, there are likely still going to be some feelings of loss, grief, or regret for you, and certainly if you’re not the one who arrived at the ‘i’m done with this’ point first, and were on the receiving end of a breakup notice.

just know that this, too, shall pass. everything eventually does. and when something ends, its because it wasn’t for you, no matter how much you may have thought you wanted it to be.

you can do a lot to help yourself move on and to heal from some of the emotional weight of a breakup, but a spell to speed the process certainly can’t hurt.

what you will need:

  • a white candle (you could also consider a green candle, which corresponds to the heart chakra)
  • a flower that has begun to wilt or is broken/torn, has petals that have fallen off (any flower will work, but something pink or red is ideal)
  • a pot of dirt
  • a seed (any kind of seed, as long as it can be planted and grown)
  • 12 inches of white ribbon
  • a rose quartz crystal

the spell:

light the candle.

hold the rose quartz in your hands, enclosed, and take deep breaths, concentrating on releasing tension anywhere you find it. picture letting go of sad or negative emotions or feelings as you breathe out, and taking in light and peace as your breathe in. after several minutes of this, place your crystal next to your lit candle.

grab your ribbon and, holding the flower, begin to wrap the ribbon around it until you have just enough left on each end to tie it off (loosely, don’t cause any more damage to the flower).

universe, goddess, power of light

shelter and hold my heart tight

i weave this ribbon, soft and fine

around this broken heart of mine

cast out my pain and fill me with love

from near, far, below and above

as you are saying the words, picture the ribbon enfolding your own broken heart, protecting it, but bringing it back to whole.

bury the flower with the ribbon in a pot of dirt. plant a seed in the pot and water it regularly as it grows, symbolically transforming your broken heart into a new life.

what is tea magick?

it’s exactly what it sounds like.

here’s how i would define this, though: using the consumption of the energy and magickal properties of plants, primarily herbs, roots, and flowers, to focus your will and intent on a desired outcome.

this is something i’ve been doing for some time, sometimes intentionally, but not always, and its frankly an easy way to get into the practice of witchcraft, if you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by a lot of other paths out there.

its just tea, right? well, yeah, but its so much more than tea. its a message you send, a request you file with the universe, and a willful direction of energy toward a goal or outcome.

do you need a spell for tea magick?

i tend to think not necessarily, but words do have power and i do think that carefully chosen words, spoken out loud, confidently and assertively, by you, will pack a hell of a lot bigger punch on the cosmic scale than just thinking in your head what you want.

such is the case for all magick, in my opinion.

a spell could simply be you stating exactly what you want to get from this magickal routine. perhaps ‘with these herbs, i call forth the elements of earth, air, fire, and water to carry my will. by the drinking of this tea, i ask for the following: i get the job i applied to at XYZ company and am offered a starting salary of $95,000 annually with benefits.’

now, words alone are not enough, obviously. if you’re not new to magick you know this. but if you’re newish or dabbling, whatever you are asking for must be something you really really want. your desire for it must be so strong that you can picture yourself manifesting this. you can feel it as if it had already happened.

what else makes tea magick work?

i’m glad you asked.

as with all spells or forms of magick, you need to be able to clearly visualize your outcome. it is really your visualization of your outcome, in a clear and very specific picture, along with the accompanying emotions and energy it conjures within you, that is the beginning of your will and what you will eventually send into the environment around you to begin working.

visualization is a powerful tool of witches, and IMO required for a successful spell working. an example i will give is that when i drink my prosperity tea (for money and financial gain), i close my eyes and picture stacks of money sprouting legs, jumping out of a nearby bank, and running in single file down the street to my house. me and the stacks may or may not snuggle at some point.

hopefully this is so ridiculous of a picture that its now also stuck in your head. but it works for me. its vivid, specific, and powerful. its very useful to be able to hold whatever your intended outcome image is in your head for the duration of the tea consumption, in order to really develop its energy and marry it to your own.

what do you do after you drink the tea?

there are two schools of thought here.

first, some witches will say that once the spell has been worked and you have stated your intention, and indicated you are finished, the magickal elements no longer serve a purpose. you can throw them away or dispose of them however you see fit (ideally in an environmentally friendly manner).

second school of thought says ‘omg no! that tea holds your magick and if you throw it away, its like you’re throwing away the spell and it won’t work! you have to bury it in your yard/at a crossroads/in a shoe/throw it in the river/smoke it/etc etc’

i’m kind of in between, and i go with whatever feels intuitive to me at the moment. if my spell is destructive in nature, i’m not keeping those tea remnants. i’ll flush them or perhaps at most, let them dry out and burn them.

if its constructive in nature, i may bury them in my yard or garden, or perhaps add to a potted plant. i think it just depends on what feels right to you, personally. is the energy of the spell something you want to keep around? or is it something you want to work, then move on?

FYI, and just because i like you, this week, you’ll see some prosperity tea magick in my shop. i may also put up a couple other blends i’ve been working with, if the fancy strikes me. subscribe or follow me on IG, FB, or Twitter if you wanna know when its available.

a garden spell for planting

its that time of year that we’ve already begun planting, or maybe you’re a more organized person than i am and you’ve planted everything like a month ago.

either way, how can we infuse our gardens and lovely baby plants with the best positive energy to grow beautiful?

earlier this week, i posted on pest control and a spell for that, but how about a garden spell for healthy soil?

what you will need:

  • a small clay, glass, metal, or ceramic planting pot or glass jar (must be heat-proof)
  • some good quality soil, potting soil or topsoil
  • a piece of paper and something to write with
  • a green or white candle
  • something to light your candle with
  • a length of twine or ribbon that can wrap around your candle at least 3 times
  • a small dish of spring water (about 1/4 cup at most)

the spell:

  1. start out by listing everything you have planted or plan to plant in your garden. be as specific as possible about which plants, which varieties, colors, and so forth. (e.g.- 7 mixed color gladiolus)
  2. light your candle
  3. hold the jar/pot of soil in your hands and close your eyes. picture seeds sprouting from it and stretching toward the light. picture them growing taller and healthier. picture the blooms or fruits they will bear. your visualization here is very important to let your energy know exactly what outcome you expect.
  4. place the soil back down and holding the twine or ribbon in your hand, wind it around the candle once as you say:

may my plants grow

row by row

5. list out loud the plants you have written down as you wind the twine or ribbon around a second time

[state your list of all specific plants here

6. as you wind the twine or ribbon around the 3rd and final time, say the final verse:

with this soil

nourish my plants

feed them well

where they stand

7. tie off the twine or ribbon after it has wrapped around your candle 3 times. hold the piece of paper with your plant names above the jar/pot of soil and light it with the candle. let it burn down on top of the soil.

8. douse the embers with the small dish of water and stir the soil, ashes, and water together. spread the soil over your garden.

spell oils: launching this friday in the bwitch shop

so, i had hoped to write this post to announce a total of 5 new spell oils available this friday in our shop. i have been toiling in the lab the last 2 months to perfect these and they are sooooo ready to go!

but, alas, due to a delay on the part of my label printer (and i can’t completely throw them under the bus, i mean, there’s a pandemic right now), i won’t have my normal labels until after May 20th.

faced with the option of not even launching for another 3 weeks, or launching and using another label printer than can get me labels printed faster, but for a slightly higher price, i went with option 2.

so, instead of launching all 5 spell oils, i have decided to prioritize these 3:

love spell

love spell is for any spell involving love, commitment, self-love, passion, or even sex magick. this is to inspire and instill love, deep and wonderful as it can be. it’s emotional, gripping, and fluid. you can get caught right up in this bliss in a bottle.

it has floral top notes of rose and lilac, both known for their magickal properties of love and romance, followed by rich high-vibe ylang ylang and vanilla, and finishing off with spicy cloves and musk, to really seal the deal.

love spell also works awesome as a perfumed body oil, to get yourself or someone else in the mood. its a deeply sensual scent!

wood

this is a spell oil for all forms of earthy magick. whether you are planning to actually work in forest, or planting an herb garden, or any other kind of green magic, forest magic, herb magic, even kitchen magic.

this will focus your intent and will so powerfully with its potent elements of cedar, pine, and eaglewood, with vetiver, sandalwood, birch, and fern, too. its got notes of fresh dirt, cloves, smoke, and grass, to cement the experience and call in all those energies to your spell.

it perfectly captures the energy of the forest and the earth and takes you right to the woods anytime you need to go.

it is a super earthy, woody scent.

and the best part? if your partner starts wearing it as a beard oil like mine did, you will spontaneously start wanting to roleplay lumberjack fantasies

release

and then finally, release.

i’ll be honest, this one wasn’t initially my favorite of the collection. not because it doesn’t smell good, but because, you know, we tend to think of love spells and such as flashy or trendy, but we tend to forget all about how much more important it can be for us to let shit go.

and that is what release is for. this is the perfect complement to any new moon or waxing moon spells you’re doing, anything involving destructive magick, or letting go of people, places, things, emotions, habits, negativity and so forth.

i quickly found myself applying it every morning before meditating, as it really helped me clear my mind and focus. i found my daily tarot card pulls were far more intuitive and i was able to just be intuitive so much easier while using this spell oil, which was such a profoundly surprising and welcome outcome, frankly.

so, while i call it release, because that is its intent, it is so. much. more. its been like therapy in a bottle for me, for real.

what’s in it?

besides just pure magick, there are heavy top notes of jasmine and sandalwood to help you open up and prepare to release, myrrh and cedarwood for protection, but also purification, ginseng – master healing root is like a bristle brush for your mind and soul, and thyme, honeysuckle, and orange leave you with that squeaky clean feeling.

you couldn’t release more if you poured fabuloso all over yourself 😉

how do you use these spell oils?

each spell oil itself is blended with all the elements needed to make a spell work (whether its a love spell, earth magick, or a release spell of some kind), apart from just your specific intention.

you can use them alone or in combination with anything else (other objects, oils, candles, etc). each small artisan batch is infused with powerful intention by myself to help guide the energy of the elements within it.

the spell oils also come with a magickal element infused within, such as rose petals, cedar leaves, or honeysuckle, plus a magickal charm instilled with the energy as well, which you can keep long after the oil is gone.

they can also be worn as scented body oils for every day wear, or special occasions. i sometimes to just wear them to lift my mood because they really do make you stop and close your eyes for a moment, while you’re mind is taken elsewhere, away from daily monotony and the grind of life.

where/when can you buy them?

this Friday, May 1st they will be live in the bwitch shop at 4pm CST!! bookmark the site or set a reminder. there will be limited stock this first round.

our shop has free shipping on orders of $35 or more, so if you feel compelled to pick up more than one, or other stuff, too, take advantage of that.

i hope (all my fingers are crossed right now) that my label situation will iron itself out in the next week or two, the additional two spell oils (lust spell and fuck me in the forest) will be able to launch together shortly. i know some of you have been dying to try those out and i don’t want to disappoint you (and i have the feeling the oils will definitely not disappoint you)!

if you want to be on the list to get notifications of product launches first, subscribe to our email, because email subscribers get the heads up first on new products before we list on social media!

how to ground yourself after a spell

have you ever performed a spell and become overwhelmed by the energy you called in or raised, either before or after you focused it toward your intention?

have you ever felt absolutely drained, run over by a bus, a drowned cat, right after a spell?

if these are things you’ve experienced (and i think most of us have or will at some point in our practice), then congratulations, you’re working with powerful energy, but its also a bit imbalanced.

you either are calling up an excess – more than what you need for your particular intention- or you’re sending too much out with your focused intent.

this has happened to me a few times in the last month in the form of tears spilling over uncontrollably after i call in energy.

i don’t mean like i’m sad or angry, there’s just such a focused and intense concentration of energy in me, i’m vibrating so high, and there’s nowhere else for it to go, so it leaks out. its ok, though. i have found that grounding myself has helped immensely, so i’m here to share this for those who need to hear it today.

basic grounding exercise

grounding is simply the act of anchoring yourself to the earth and its energy, where you can balance your own internal energy most easily. humans are on the same wavelength as the planet on which we reside, all being carbon-based, so its our easiest source of balance.

in this exercise you’re either going to give back some of the excess energy you drew in or you’re going to take in a little more energy because you gave too much away during your spell.

refilling your cup

if you’re feeling drained, this is what you’ll do:

  1. sit or stand, soles of your feet on the ground. its most helpful if you do this outdoors, but if that’s not possible, on the ground floor of a building is the next best option, and if you can’t get to that, as close to a ground floor as you can find.
  2. take deep breaths in and out until your heart and mind are calm. picture a blank mind, focus on just one color, whatever that is you choose, and keep it in your mind as your breaths slow and become deeper.
  3. picture the core of the earth, glowing, bright and hot. picture a ray of that energy gradually flowing up toward you, like a river, going through layers of the earth’s crust, dirt, layer by layer.
  4. it reaches the surface and makes contact with the soles of your feet. bring it into you. picture it flowing upward through your legs, your hips, your torso, and now your heart. let it keep going, all the way to your crown.
  5. hold the energy in there as you take a few more deep breaths.
  6. picture the connection with the earth’s source disconnecting, like its cut or turned off. what you’ve taken in is yours now and you’ve let the rest go back to the earth.
  7. take a few more deep breaths here until you feel steady and refilled.

giving a little bit back

if you’ve called in too much energy and are feeling crushed or overwhelmed by it, you’re basically going to envision the opposite of taking in energy:

  1. calm your breathing as much as you can and still your mind to the extent possible.
  2. picture all the energy you’ve called in, slowly condensing into one great glowing ball within you.
  3. pull a small string of it out and let the string flow down your body, through your legs, and through the soles of your feet into the earth.
  4. now send that string down through the layers of the earth, down through the dirt, the crust, the rocks. let it reach the core where it connects to the energy there.
  5. gradually push some of that energy out of you through that string until you feel centered and balanced once again.
  6. let your breathing slow and your mind focus on this until you are no longer feeling overloaded or overwhelmed, and you have reached a state of calm.
  7. picture cutting the string with a pair of scissors. you keep what energy still remains in you, letting that ball start to dissipate and redistribute all throughout your body.
  8. continue to breathe deep here for a few more breaths until you are sure you’re fine.

as with all grounding, this is most effective when you can direct all of your focus to it, like a form of meditative visualization. if you are distracted, this will be less successful, so its best to perform this somewhere reasonably quiet where you can be undisturbed for however long you need to accomplish your grounding.

do you need to cast a circle before spellwork?

ooooh, controversy. i like.

new witches often (hopefully) read a ton of books, blogs, social media, and so forth and many or most of those sources discuss opening a spell with casting a circle. but some witches don’t cast a circle, or only before some spells, but not others.

this begs the question(s) of many newbie witches: do i need to cast a circle every time i prepare to perform a spell? if not, which spells should i cast a circle? what is the best way to cast a circle?

what is casting a circle?

casting a circle is the practice of creating a container in which to work your magic. the function of the circle is, depending on who you ask, to either keep in the powerful energy you are raising or to keep out distracting or unwanted energies.

i personally think its both of these, and most seasoned witches would probably agree. the circle simply provides you with a safe and clear space to work.

the circle can be cast a number of ways, and none of them are wrong. followers of Garderian Wicca will likely prefer to actually mark a circle on the ground. others will simply use a knife, wand, or other implement as an extension of themselves to direct their energy to mark where the circle’s boundaries exist, without leaving an actual visible marker.

if you read a book like Buckland’s Complete Guide to Witchcraft, which i personally think is rigid and outdated, but not altogether without value, there are specific ways to mark the circle, how big it should be, which direction you enter from, and where your altar must be placed within it.

and then you can read probably 1000 different opinions of others who have much looser ideas of what a circle is, where to cast it, how big it should be, and what purpose it serves.

all this to say: how you cast your circle will likely not impact the outcome of your spell as long as it is cast with the appropriate attention to your intent and the boundary you create, visibly or not.

i tend to view the circle as really any space in which you perform your spellcasting that you have purified or cleared, whether with smoke, burning herbs, sounds, or other methods.

should you cast a circle?

i think this depends. if you’re performing some really intense magick that is heavily emotionally charged (which, i would argue most magick should be, if you want it to work), then consider casting a circle if you want.

i personally only do so if i’m working with energies that i’m asking a lot of. if i’m working with a deity or spirit, or perhaps some heavy psychic work, i feel more comfortable working in the confines of a circle.

if i’m simply casting to send something positive out in to the world, or ask for a favor of the universe that i deem mundane or related to daily life, then i usually won’t cast a circle before doing so. i always purify my space before and after, however, regardless.

i can’t tell you with absolute certainty when you should or should not cast, but here are some things to consider that i think you can find a decent amount of support for in the occult and magickal community, specifically referring to the concept of the circle functioning like a container for the energy you raise and direct:

  • if you are working with a deity or spirit whom you would not want to simply have free reign of your space, consider casting a circle
  • if you are working with forces that require a heavy emotional investment on your part, consider casting a circle
  • if you will be doing any psychic work, particularly that which involves a trance, this may leave you vulnerable to unwanted energies, consider casting a circle
  • if the intent of your spell is to control another person, such as a hex, revenge spell, binding spell, or so on, consider casting a circle
  • if you are calling in a lot of energies (living, dead, or otherwise), consider casting a circle

what do you do with the circle once the spell is over?

if the circle functions like a magickal container, we don’t necessarily want our magick to stay within that container so that it cannot ripple out into the universe, right?

once you have completed your spell work, directed your emotion and energy in the appropriate way and you consider your work to be done, you’ll want to release the circle. depending on who you talk to, this can also be called either opening or closing the circle, which is confusing as hell.

again, you’ll hear varying opinions on exactly how to do this. wiccans will usually walk around it counterclockwise (the initial casting is done clockwise, so think of this as rolling back up an unrolled spool of thread) and draw the energy from the circle that they initially ‘drew’ back into their athame, hand, or other implement. they may also create a physical break in the line of salt/salt water to signify that it is broken now.

generally, if you use a formal series of steps to cast a circle, you will want to perform those steps in reverse to release the circle.

if your circle is more informal, you may simply state the closing of your spell, thank any deities or spirits with whom you worked or acknowledged during your spell or ritual (if this applies to you), and then imagine the barriers or walls of your circle slowly crumbling or disappearing.

some witches also believe that leaving your circle un-released can provide a portal between our world and the next through which unwanted or wayward spirits or entities can travel. if you subscribe to this opinion, its definitely best to make sure your circle is released after any spell or ritual you perform within it.

a spell for creating a protection charm

first of all, i need to say that i don’t think most people need a protection amulet or charm. and i tend to agree with statements like this one below, from notable author Scott Cunningham:

“I’m often asked if I have a good luck charm, a piece of jewelry, an amulet, or some other power object that I always have in my possession. I don’t.

This often comes as a surprise, but it is part of my magical philosophy. If I determined that one piece of jewelry (a ring, pendant, quartz crystal point, ect) was my power object, my link with the Gods, my assurance of good luck, I’d be crushed if it was stolen, lost, misplaced or otherwise parted company with me.

p. 52, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Llewelyn Publications, 2004

so, i tend to agree with this statement. why put all my eggs in one basket and rely on an extrinsic object or symbol when my power, energy, and magic is ultimately what’s responsible for my protection or power?

but….

what if you did want to make a personal protection charm?

what if its for someone else who just needs a little boost to their confidence that they are not alone in their struggles?

what if it’s reassuring to you?

what if you are going somewhere that you feel requires a greater amount of particular protection and you just want to make sure…

there is nothing wrong with creating a personal protection charm or object, especially if you do it right and with the appropriate intentions.

what you will need:

  • the object you wish to imbue with protective energy (this could be jewelry, a piece of clothing, a keychain, a small pouch of herbs or flowers, really anything you feel like you can carry with you for these purposes)
  • a white candle
  • a red candle
  • a handful (1/4 cup) herbs, ideally dried: basil and/or mugwort (you can use one or both)
  • a cauldron or other heat-safe dish/vessel
  • a handful of honeysuckle (can be freshly picked or dried)
  • a stone or glass bowl
  • 1 cup freshly boiled spring water (ideally boil this on your stovetop, but a microwave may do in a pinch)

the spell

  • cleanse yourself (bathe, shower, use ritual purification oils, etc)
  • cleanse your space (burn an herb bundle, incense, or use a bell or other sound to remove unwanted energy and fill it with your own)
  • have all of your items on your altar or ritual workspace before beginning
  • pour the freshly boiled water into the bowl
  • add the honeysuckle to the water and wait approximately 5-6 minutes until it has cooled enough to touch it without scalding your skin
  • light the candles with a match or other candle
  • hold the herbs in your hand for a moment, feeling their vibrations and melding your own power to that of the herbs. it may be beneficial at this point to meditate briefly on any specifics that you want this protection spell and object to cover (health, ill will, a threatening person, physical harm, accidents, etc); place the herbs in the cauldron or heat-safe vessel
  • light the herbs and let the smoke waft gently; breathe it in and out, forming a picture of what your intended protective outcome would be as regards this charm or object
  • hold your protection object or charm in your left hand and say out loud:

white of bone

red of heart

heat of fire

life of earth

bestow upon this [ring, charm, amulet, etc]

protection of the whole

protection of the bearer

protection of the wearer

repel malice, harm, and ill

protect the bearer ever still

  • as you finish the incantation, pick up the bowl of honeysuckle and hot water and gently use it to douse the flames/embers in the herb bowl a few drops at a time
  • hold the protection object over the smoke and steam rising from the doused herbs and let it be enveloped until all the embers have gone out and no more smoke or steam remains

if you are intending to give this to someone else, keep it in a safe place such as a cedar box or velvet-lined bag until you can give it to the intended recipient.

if you plan to use it for your own protection, wear it on your person or carry it with you, or perhaps hang it over the threshold of your door, place it in your vehicle or otherwise in a place where you feel it will be the most efficacious to your needs.

magickal properties of maca root

as a clinician, i work with herbs and roots often with patients, because they can certainly be highly medicinally potent when used correctly. taken internally in the correct doses for the right duration, they can effect many positive changes.

maca, because of its potent adaptogenic properties, is one i work with often with those who are in need of balance in a variety of ways:

  • endocrine (hormones, including sex hormones, adrenals, thyroid)
  • energy (fatigued, drained, burned out)
  • focus (chaotic, restless, and distracted minds)

so it got me thinking, does maca also have properties that would make it an ideal root to work with for spells concerning any of the above outcomes?

a little maca history, first

maca is a root indigenous to parts of South America, principally Peru and Bolivia. it grows mostly in high altitudes, and true maca is grown above 9,000 feet.

natives in this part of the world traditionally used it for a sexual elixir to promote fertility, healthy or virile sperm, and libido; as an energy compound for those who have physically demanding jobs or tasks to perform; and as a mental booster for things like focus, concentration, and even connection with psychic forces or divine beings.

it was even imported to Spain at one point, where it was used by royals for a variety of medicinal purposes, but has since been forgotten, until recently, when interest in this superfood plant surged once again.

forms of maca

you can buy maca root in various forms, including:

  • dried powder (most common)
  • freeze-dried juice
  • gelatinized
  • roasted or cooked (this form may contain goitrogens – compounds that interfere with thyroid function)

how to use it in magickal practice

because of its influence on hormones, sexual function, libido, fertility, energy, and focus, it could be used both symbolically or as a consumed product before or during spell work that concerns these topics.

consider any or all of the following ways to incorporate maca into a spell:

  1. place a small bowl of maca powder on your altar, from which to draw powerful energy to affect desire, libido, hormonal balance, fertility, energy, or mental clarity/focus
  2. blend a teaspoon of maca root into a cup of hot water, add honey to taste and drink before or during your spell, visualizing the vibrations of the root transferring from the powdered plant to yourself as you consume it, instilling in you the energy you seek to bestow for whatever your outcome is
  3. mix a small amount of root or powdered root in with herbs and/or oils of your choice which you burn during your spell as you call upon the energy to balance hormones, libido, fertility, energy, or provide focus or clarity
  4. boil a section of root (1/4 lb or more) in water for 20 minutes; save the water and use it as your ritual offering of water during spells concerning these issues; you can use the boiled root in any of the ways mentioned above in place of powdered root or other forms
  5. make a face mask paste using maca, bentonite clay, a drop or two of essential oils, and a tsp of coconut oil; spread on your face and let dry, as you soak in a therapeutic bath, drink your favorite tea, or just meditate on the problem you are attempting to resolve

other things you might consider would be incorporating it into charms or sachets, which you place under your or someone else’s pillow, consuming it daily with a magickal smoothie, or drinking it daily in tea.

i personally love beauty and bath magic, and came up with the face mask idea a couple weeks ago; i feel like it made my skin super soft, clear, and reduced inflammation. i plan to make this mask in greater quantity and have it up in my shop for those interested. if you’re on my email list, you’ll get notified when that is 🙂

i’m interested to hear what others try and what they find works, so if you give this a whirl, comment and let me know how it turned out

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