For hundreds of years, people have used magic to bring abundance and wealth of one type or another into their lives. Let’s look at some of the various customs involving money around the world.
In parts of the Ozarks, it is believed that you’ll soon receive a letter with money in it if a honey bee buzzes around your head, according to Vance Randolph’s Ozark Magic and Folklore. There is also a legend, in some parts of Missouri, that if you see bubbles in your coffee, if you can drink them all before they disappear, a large sum of money is coming your way.
There’s a legend in some parts of Appalachia that if you burn onion peels rather than just throwing them away, you’ll never be poor.
In Hoodoo, there are numerous potions and “tricks” designed to bring money into your life. Jim Haskins says in his book Voodoo and Hoodoo that burning green candles anointed with money-drawing incense works well, and if you own a business, money oil is a good way to increase your abundance.
The use of a lodestone is found in some magical traditions as a way to attract money. The lodestone is “fed” with magnetic sand that is drawn to it — as money is drawn to your wallet.
This practice has been dated back as far as the days of ancient Rome — prostitutes figured out that carrying a lodestone as an amulet would attract the wealthier clients.
A practicing witch who asked to be identified as Eowynne says that in her family, which hails from Cornwall, England, there is an unusual custom involving babies and money. When a baby is six months old, she is given a large silver coin to hold onto. If the child is able to grasp the coin without dropping it, she’ll have no trouble attracting money as an adult. If she drops the coin, then she’ll have a hard time holding onto her cash when she grows up (important safety tip – if you’re going to have a baby hold a coin, watch to make sure it doesn’t become a snack).
Russia is the home of a superstition that scattered money draws even more wealth. Leave coins lying around in various places around your home — in drawers, under the bed, the back of the closet, etc. — and even more abundance will come your way.
Carry a Buckeye nut in your pocket to bring money your way at the gaming table or at the races.
In many magical traditions, wood is assigned various properties that make it useful for ritual and spellwork. By using these correspondences, you can include different woods in your magical workings. Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list and there are plenty of other woods that are not included here. Also, some people find that they find a particular wood resonates with them in a way that is completely different than the standard assigned correspondence. If that’s the case for you, it’s okay – use the wood in a way that best makes sense to you.
The Alder is associated with making spiritual decisions, magic relating to prophecy and divination, and getting in touch with your own intuitive processes and abilities. Alder flowers and twigs are known as charms to be used in Faerie magic. Whistles were once made out of Alder shoots to call upon Air spirits, so it’s an ideal wood for making a pipe or flute if you’re musically inclined. The Alder represents the evolving spirit.
Apple wood dries strong and sturdy. Because of the apple tree’s association with immortality and the divine, it is often used in tools such as Ogham staves, which can be used for prophecy and divination. Apple is also strongly tied to abundance and bounty, due in no small part to its connection with orchards and the harvest season.
In Norse lore, Odin hung from Yggdrasil, the World Tree, for nine days and nights so that he might be granted wisdom. Yggdrasil was an ash tree, and since the time of Odin’s ordeal, the ash has often been associated with divination and knowledge. In some Celtic legends, it is also seen as a tree sacred to the god Lugh, who is celebrated at Lughnasadh. Because of its close association not only with the Divine but with knowledge, Ash can be worked with for any number of spells, rituals, and other workings. Associated with ocean rituals, magical potency, prophetic dreams and spiritual journeys, the Ash can be used for making magical (and mundane) tools — these are said to be more productive than tools made from other wood. Use an Ash branch to make a magical staff, broom or wand.
The bamboo plant lives a long time, and will just continue growing until it is harvested. Because of this, some Pacific Island tribes regard it as a symbol of longevity and life, and include bamboo in some creation stories. In some parts of the Philippines, bamboo crosses are placed in the fields to bring hearty crops in at harvest time. In parts of India, bamboo symbolizes friendship. It was also used to form spears and longbows. Because of this, some magical traditions associate bamboo with strength and the warrior’s path. In Japan, bamboo walls are believed to protect Shinto shrines from evil spirits.
When a forested area burns, Birch is the first tree to grow back, and thus is associated with rebirth and regeneration. Workings using Birch add momentum and a bit of extra “oomph” to new endeavors. The Birch is also associated with magic done for creativity and fertility, as well as healing and protection. It is the first month in the Celtic tree calendar, following the Winter Solstice, and is related to the Ogham symbol Beith. Use Birch branches to craft your own besom for magical workings, and in spells and rituals related to enchantments, renewal, purification, fresh starts and new beginnings.
Although the Elder can be damaged easily, it recovers quickly and springs back to life, which makes Elder a great wood for workings related to creativity and renewal. It is connected to both beginnings and endings, births and deaths, and rejuvenation. Elder is also said to protect against demons and other negative entities. Use in magic connected to Faeries and other nature spirits.
Hazel is often associated in Celtic lore with sacred wells and magical springs containing the salmon of knowledge. It’s often associated with workings related to wisdom and knowledge, dowsing and divination, and dream journeys. Hazel was a handy tree to have around. It was used by many English pilgrims to make staffs for use upon the road — not only was it a sturdy walking stick, it also provided a modicum of self-defense for weary travelers. Certainly, it could have been used as well for ritual. Hazel was used in weaving of baskets by medieval folk, and the leaves were fed to cattle because it was believed this would increase the cow’s supply of milk.
The Hawthorn is associated with magic related to masculine power, business decisions, making professional connections. The Hawthorn is also associated with the realm of Faerie, and when the Hawthorn grows in tandem with an Ash and Oak, it is said to attract the Fae. This prickly-thorned tree, one of the nine sacred woods of the bonfire, is associated with cleansing, protection and defense. Tie a thorn with a red ribbon and use it as a protective amulet in your home, or place a bundle of thorns under a baby’s crib to keep bad energy away.
Maple is often associated with healing modalities, both physical and spiritual. Unlike many other woods, which are typically considered either masculine or feminine, Maple draws on the qualities of both. It is associated with a wide variety of aspects, including beauty and art, intellectual pursuits, and wisdom. Considered in some magical traditions to be a “traveler’s wood,” Maple is a powerful wood for those who are always in motion, both mentally and physically, and can be used to help bring focus to a situation.
The mighty Oak is strong, powerful, and typically towering over all of its neighbors. The Oak King rules over the summer months, and this tree was sacred to the Druids. The Celts called this month Duir, which some scholars believe to mean “door”, the root word of “Druid”. The Oak is connected with spells for protection and strength, fertility, money and success, and good fortune. In many pre-Christian societies, the Oak was often associated with the leaders of the gods — Zeus, Thor, Jupiter, and so forth. The strength and masculinity of the Oak was honored through the worship of these gods.
This evergreen was once known as the “sweetest of wood”, and its needles can be brewed into tea which provides a good source of Vitamin C. Pine is associated with clarity of vision, and alleviation of guilt. In Scotland, the Pine was a symbol of the warrior, and in some stories it was planted over the graves of those fallen in battle.
Known by the Celts as the Ogham symbol Luis (pronounced loush), the Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success. A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long. Rowan is also associated with the Celtic hearth goddess Brighid.
A Willow planted near your home will help ward away danger, particularly the type that stems from natural disaster such as flooding or storms. They offer protection, and are often found planted near cemeteries. In addition to its use as a healing herb, Willow was also harvested for wicker work. Baskets, small curricles, and even bee hives were constructed with this bendable, flexible wood. This wood is related to healing, growth of knowledge, nurturing and women’s mysteries, and is represented by the Celtic Ogham symbol Saille.
The Yew is known as a marker of death and endings. This evergreen tree has leaves that are attached in a spiral pattern to the twigs. Because of its unusual growth pattern, in which new growth forms inside the old, the Yew is strongly tied to rebirth and new life following death. It is also connected to periods of great transition – not necessarily good or bad, but definitely significant.
So a couple of weeks ago we talked about solar eclipse magic, and one of the things I did during the August 21 eclipse was put a few jars of water outside to charge with magical energy. I keep different kinds of water on hand, for a variety of magical purposes, and I thought this would be a good time to share some of the types I have handy.
First, it’s important to keep in mind that water in general, as an element, has some pretty specific connotations – it’s associated with healing, cleansing, and purification, just for starters. In most traditions, it also corresponds to goddess magic, and to the direction of West when you start looking at the four classical elements and their related directions.
All of that said, you can use different types of water for different things. For me, I’m a bit obsessive about collecting water from different places, all of which can be used for some pretty specific spellwork.
Gather water during a storm to use in spells associated with increasing personal power, energy, big changes, and even causing a bit of chaos. You get bonus points if there’s a lot of thunder and lightning going on!
Standing water is vile and stagnant… so if you want to do a bit of magical binding, use water that ain’t going anywhere any time soon. You can bind someone by immersing a photo or poppet in stagnant water.
Ocean water has a lot of energy and power – gather up a bottle or jar, and use it for cleansing and purification. You can even use it to protect against negative energies – after all, it’s full of salt, which is often used as a protective item. However, because of this, don’t use ocean water in rituals in which you actually want to work with spirits, such as ancestor workings.
War water is one of my favorite magical items to make, and I’m sometimes a little sad that I don’t have more call to use it. War water is water in which you’ve soaked rusty nails and added a bit of graveyard dirt or salt. There are about a zillion different methods for making this, so find the one that works best for you.
Spring or Well Water
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a natural spring, or a sacred well, gather up some water. In general, sacred well or spring water is associated with localized deities or land spirits, and can be used in healing magic. If you’re collecting water from a spring or well that doesn’t have a particular spiritual connection, don’t worry, you can still use it for blessing rituals and spells.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most magical of them all?
Well, YOU ARE, if you incorporate mirrors into your magical practice. From scrying to repelling spells to beauty rituals, mirrors can come in handy in a number of ways. Here are a few of my favorite magical uses for mirrors:
Scrying is one of the best known forms of divination, and can be done in a variety of ways. Basically, it’s the practice of looking into some sort of reflective surface — such as water, fire, glass, dark stones, etc. — to see what messages, symbols, or visions may appear. A scrying mirror is a simple black-backed mirror, and it’s easy to make one yourself.
Get your favorite color of lipstick (for me, it’s Urban Decay’s Mrs. Mia Wallace or MAC’s Ruby Woo), and a bowl of rose petals. Stand in front of your bathroom mirror, or use a handheld one, and place the lipstick in the bowl of rose petals. Say Beauty within and outside of me, beauty I feel and what others now see. Luscious color to last a while, on my spirit and on my smile. Apply the lipstick, blow yourself a kiss in the mirror, and admire how awesome you are. Keep your lipstick handy for touch-up applications as it wears off during the day. When you go to bed at night, keep the lipstick in the bowl of rose petals beside your mirror.
Spell for Self-Love
This is a great one to do around Valentine’s Day because candy hearts are everywhere, but you can do it any time you need a little boost to your self-esteem. Pour a bag of candy hearts into a bowl, and then close your eyes and pick one at random. Open your eyes, look into a mirror, and read yourself the message on the heart. Does it say You’re Awesome or Hot Stuff or Kiss Me on it? Repeat the message to yourself in the mirror three times, and say it like you mean it! After you’ve done this, eat the candy heart – and then do it again, until you’ve read yourself nine different messages and eaten the candies. Spend the rest of the day thinking about how fantastic you are, and how you’re worthy of love from yourself and others.
There are several methods of creating a magic mirror. The first, and simplest, is to use a single mirror. First, consecrate the mirror like you would any other of your magical tools. Place the mirror, standing up, in a bowl of black salt, which is used in many hoodoo traditions to provide protection and repel negativity.
In the bowl, facing the mirror, place something that represents your target – the person who is cursing you. This can be a photo, a business card, a small doll, an item that they own, or even their name written on a piece of paper. This will reflect that individual’s negative energy back to them.
You can also create a mirror box. It works on the same principle as a single mirror, but uses several mirrors to line the inside of a box. Just hot-glue them in place so they don’t move around. Once you’ve done so, place a magical link to the person inside the box, and then seal the box. You may use black salt if you wish to add a little more magical oomph.
One of my favorite methods of making a mirror box is to incorporate the shards of a mirror you’ve smashed with a hammer while chanting the person’s name. This is a LOT of fun – and smashing anything with a hammer is pretty therapeutic – but be careful not to cut yourself. Wear gloves and safety glasses if you opt for this approach.
I know, I know, at least ten of y’all are going to see that headline up above and comment with DON’T U TELL ME HOW 2 MAGICK, but I really need you to hear me out on this. If you Google “Wiccan spells,” you’re going to get a metric fuckton of garbage from a lot of different websites, and nearly all of them are literal and total crap.
They’re crap because they don’t work, and they’re crap because they encourage people to do spellwork for stuff that spellwork can’t do, and thus set you up for automatic failure. And then you’re going to email me or one of the other people out there who write about magic and Paganism and you’re going to ask why it didn’t work, and I’m going to tell you “because it’s crap,” and you’re going to get your panties in a twist and tell me U DON’T NO MAGICK U PROLLY NOT EVEN A REAL WITCH!
So I’m going to save you the hassle of going down that road, and tell you the four crappiest of the crap spells that you’re going to find on the Interwebz, and I’m going to use basic logic and no small degree of metaphysical knowledge to tell you WHY they’re crap. But never fear, I’m not going to just leave you peeing into the wind here – I’ll offer you some better alternatives, k?
If you still want to do them after that, have at it.
Change Your Eye Color:
This one seems to surface a lot – the fact is that while magic is useful to change the way people perceive you, it’s not going to work against the laws of physics and science. You can’t change your eye color, no matter how many episodes of Charmed tell you otherwise. Don’t like the color of your eyes? Not everyone does, but you’re stuck with them. However, what you can do is try some mundane tricks like using cosmetics to alter the way people perceive your eye color, and then doing a bit of magic to change other things about yourself that you may not like. If your self-esteem is low, do a working to boost your confidence. If you feel anxious in social situations, do some meditative exercises to help keep you calm when you’re meeting new people.
Magic is not going to make you lose weight, period. It’s just not. And the reason for that is because you can cast spells all day until the cows come home, but if you want to lose weight, you have to take mundane steps to make it happen. Eat less, and mostly green things. Move more, working on cardio to burn fat and build muscle. Want to cast a spell to help you along? Do one to push yourself to feel motivated to get to the gym, or to help you focus on healthy eating.
Win the Lottery:
Magic isn’t going to help you win the lottery. Keep in mind that successful magic is dependent upon two things – the possibility of it working, and the probability of it working. Your odds of winning the lottery, whether you use magic or you don’t, are the same as that of everyone else who’s playing. Also, let’s say half a million Pagans cast spells to win the lottery – what makes you think the Universe is going to favor you over the other 499,999 people working magic? Instead, do small workings for gradual, attainable, realistic prosperity. Do a working to get a better job, get an improved return on your investments, or pay off some of the bills that suck down your checking account every month.
Turn You Into a Unicorn/Dragon/Mermaid/Whatever:
Remember that whole possibility/probability thing I mentioned above? You’re not going to turn yourself into some sort of mythical creature, because they’re mythical. If you’re really unhappy being a person – and some people are – do a working to make yourself into a person you like being. Spellwork for courage, self confidence, and generally being charming goes a long way towards changing the way you view yourself, and with a little bit of effort, you can be so awesome of a person that you won’t want to be anything but human.
July is the season of the Blessing Moon – this year, 2017, it appears on July 9 – and it’s a time in which our gardens are abundant and fertile. We’re watching the orchards and fruits trees ripen, the vegetables and herbs blossom and bloom, and our fall crops are rapidly growing towards the sunny sky. It’s a good time to do magic that focuses on counting our own good fortune – this simple spell uses hyssop, which is associated with not only purification, but with abundance and blessings.
You’ll need some fresh hyssop leaves, and a cup of consecrated water. Go outside after the full moon has appeared in the evening sky.
Hold the cup up to the moon, closing your eyes, and think about all of the blessings you have in your life. Consider your good fortunate and abundance – not just of material things, but your spiritual bounty as well. Crush the hyssop leaves into the water, saying, I am blessed, I am fortunate, I have abundance in my life. New journeys begin with a single step, and I move forward each day. I count my blessings, I count my fortune, I count my abundance.
Count off all of the things in your life that you consider a blessing. Do you have good health? A loving home? Friends who always have your back? A career you love? Once you’ve finished enumerating your good fortune, offer the cup the the moon once more, and then pour the hyssop water on the ground at your feet. Take a few minutes to bask in the moonlight, considering your good fortune once more, before you go indoors for the night.
I’m a big fan of any kind of magic that involves stuff you already have around your house, and I find a LOT of magical whatnots in my kitchen. I always have honey on hand because (a) it’s freakin’ delicious and (b) it’s good for you, from a health perspective, to eat locally sourced honey.
You can use honey to bind things together – after all, it’s all kinds of sticky – so why not incorporate it into a bit of binding magic? Bind a couple of poppets together with a layer of honey between them to sweeten the relationship, and then wrap them in a cord to hold them in place.
In some magical traditions, the honey jar is used to sweeten someone’s disposition. Got a cranky landlord or that one coworker who’s really salty? Can’t get your significant other to stop being a Negative Nancy? HONEY JAR!
There are a number of different methods for this working, but this is the one I’ve found most effective – feel free to play around and modify it until you find the one that works best for you.
Put a photo of the person whose personality needs some assistance into the bottom of an empty glass jar. Next, you’ll need to do a bit of creative writing – in some traditions this is called a petition. Write on a piece of paper what you want to see happen – it can be simple, but it should be specific, like Mary will stop being rude to her coworkers or Bob will feel happier about his life and quite complaining about things he can’t control. Fold the petition paper up as many times as you can, folding it towards yourself, and when you can’t fold it any more, place it in the jar.
Pour enough honey in to cover the photo and jar completely, and then cap the jar. Light a candle in an appropriate color – yellow for persuasion, for instance, or light blue for patience and understanding – and place the candle on top of the lid. Let it burn down so that the wax runs down onto the jar, and allow the flame to burn out on its own. Once it’s all melted and extinguished, bury the jar (with the wax still on it) somewhere that it won’t be disturbed.
About a thousand years or so ago, some clever soul sat down and wrote, in Old English and Latin, a collection of folk medicine, charms, and prayers. Later named the Lacnunga by a nineteenth-century editor, this text included what has come to be known as the Nine Herbs Charm.
In addition to referencing Woden himself, the Nine Herbs Charm lists – wait for it – nine different medicinal herbs, which translate into the modern mugwort, betony (although some scholars say it’s cockspur), nettle, plantain, thyme, fennel, crabapple, lamb’s cress (or watercress), and chamomile (mayweed).
Ben Slade over at Heorot has a great translation of the text, so I won’t rehash it here, but suffice it to say that this was considered some pretty powerful healing magic. Essentially, a practitioner would sing a chant calling out the names of these nine herbs and their various attributes, and then crush them into a powder. This powder could then be used in a salve which was applied directly to the patient in an effort to heal or stave off infection and illness.
So… how do we, as 2017 practitioners, translate an early Anglo-Saxon charm into healing magic? Here’s what I’ve come up with, and it seems to work pretty effectively. I’ve used this healing salve on my skin for a number of purposes – and it also works well as a massage oil, if you’ve got someone who likes you enough to give you a rubdown.
Equal parts of dried:
1 Cup coconut oil
1 – 2 oz shaved beeswax
Use your mortar and pestle to blend all nine herbs together into a fine powder. Combine the powdered herbs with the oil, and place them in the top pot of a double boiler (if you don’t know how that works, here are the basics). After the water in the bottom pot has come to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and let the herbs infuse into the coconut oil for about an hour.
Place your cheesecloth over a bowl, and CAREFULLY pour the herb-infused oil into it, so you can strain out the herbal residue. Then place the beeswax in a pan, over a VERY low heat, and slowly pour the oil from the bowl on top of the wax. Once it’s all melted together and smelling amazing, pour it into a mason jar and refrigerate it for about half an hour just to firm it up. Now you’ve got a magical healing salve that you can use for any number of purposes!
Note: the amount of beeswax you use will determine how creamy or firm your salve is. I like mine easily spreadable with a couple of fingertips, so I use slightly less beeswax. If you want your salve harder, use more.
So I know this is technically Sunday, but honestly, I had this post scheduled to drop yesterday… or at least I thought I did. Instead, I actually had it set to drop on June 10, 2018, and when it didn’t appear in my feed… well. There it is. Anyhoo —
This is a simple spell that you can use to change your own fortune – and let’s face it, we’ve all had some runs of bad luck, where it seemed like nothing would ever get better. It does, eventually, but using a bit of magic is a great way to move the process forward.
You’ll need a cup of unused coffee grounds, a clean washcloth, and a green ribbon, because green is associated with luck. Put the coffee grounds inside the washcloth and tie it up in a bundle, securing it with the ribbon so the grounds don’t come out. Go take a shower, and use your handy dandy coffee bundle to scrub yourself from head to toe. As you do, say, Bad luck goes down the drain, wash all my bad luck away. Brand new fortune come to me, good luck is all my life will see.
After you’ve given yourself a good scrubbing, wait until you see the last of the coffee grounds go down the drain before you get out. And yeah, you’re going to smell like coffee, but who doesn’t love that, amirite?
Protection magic is right up there with love magic and money magic, as far as Stuff People Ask About the Most. I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite basic protection magic workings. Play around with them and see which works best for you!
Witch Bottle or Witch Bag
The idea behind this is to not only protect yourself but also send back the negative to who or whatever is being sent at you. To make a witch bottle, get a small glass jar with a lid. Fill it halfway with sharp rusty objects like nails or razor blades, pins, needles. When it is halfway full, there are two things you can do, depending on whether or not you are easily repulsed or not. One is to fill the remainder of your bottle with your own urine. Some folks are grossed out by that, and if you’re one of them, whatevs – fill it with salt instead of urine. Sea salt works best, but in a pinch regular old table salt is fine. Cap the jar, and seal with melted wax. I like red wax best but you could probably use black, because it’s good for banishing negativity. Dig a hole in the ground, at least six inches deep, more if you have time, and bury the jar. The further away from your home the better ~~ maybe even drive out in the country to bury it somewhere isolated.
The witch bag is similar, only you wear it on your person (so don’t pee in it). Use a small cloth pouch, and instead of sharp objects, put small items such as stones (lodestone is good for drawing positive energy to you) or agates, which bring good luck to a home, or turquoise. Fossils are great too if you can find a small one. Also include some dried herbs such as rosemary, basil, or dill which have protective properties. Tie the bag shut (preferably with red yarn) and either carry it in your pocket or wear around your neck.
House Protection: Stake Out Your Turf
Get a handful of iron stakes, like railroad spikes or something similar, and engrave messages on them. Make the messages something to the effect of “this is my turf and nasty things will happen if you do not respect my turf,” though you should capture this in words, runes, or sigils of your own design. Drive these into the earth along the boundaries of your turf.
Amulets are protective devices that can either be worn on your person or placed in your home. I make amulets out of Sculpy clay, carve symbols in them, and then bake them. You can use protective runes as symbols, or create sigils of your own design. This is nice for kids, because they look cool. In the absence of clay, you can use stones with naturally made holes, which are considered magickal anyway. You can use hazelnuts strung on a cord, or pieces of hazel wood with holes drilled in them. Also, around your home, mistletoe can be used to guard against hostile spirits.
Spells to protect kids
Believe it or not, teddy bears are considered luck-bringing talismans for kids. You can increase a bear’s influence by saying a protective chant over it before tucking the kid into bed at night. The one I use with my little ones is a bit silly but they seem to like it: “Power in this teddy bear, chase the bad things out of there.” Sounds goofy, I know, but guys, it’s effective. Another ideal spell with kids is a kite spell. If it’s windy out, buy or make a kite with the child. Have the child tell the kite what is bothering him, or what makes him anxious. Take the kite out and fly it, and as the kite dips and sways it will release the child’s problems to the element of Air, which will carry them far away.