I have been selling witchcraft books and supplies for sixteen years behind the counter of a metaphysical shop, and there is one conversation that I keep finding myself having over and over again with customers, seekers, and practitoners of all ages. It almost always starts with the same question: “What is THE spell I need to make X happen?” Many witches assume that in a book somewhere there must be a magical working that is perfectly geared to our specific needs or that we have to follow a working to the letter in order for it to manifest. When it comes to magic, however, the only constant is change, and often the best solutions come by way of tailoring a working to meet our unique circumstances.
Making magic our own needn’t be a difficult thing, however. Roses are a universal symbol for love, but do you know your lover’s favorite flower? We are tempted to break out a correspondence chart to find the right herbs and ingredients to make our spells work, but that may not always be the best way to go. A spiritual teacher of mine once told me that a keen eye that pays attention to detail was a witch’s greatest strength when knowing what to do in magic. If your spouse isn’t much for flowers but loves a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, you may just consider using a chocolate chip cookie-scented candle in your next romance working instead of a rose-scented one. Since the point of a working for romance is to entice desire, then it makes more sense to work with elements that truly encapsulate your lover’s desire.
Similarly, if you wanted to ward off someone or something, then working with ingredients that are known to be repulsive to them is an excellent idea. For example, I have used cologne that I knew someone didn’t like in a witch bottle protection spell with much success.
This all being said, we use ingredients like roses in a spell for love because they have the power to inspire love, and we do not want to substitute every ingredient if we don’t have to. In the case of the witch bottle protection spell, which traditionally requires urine, one of the reasons for using the fluid is to connect the spell to the person being protected. We wouldn’t want to get rid of that element. Personalizing our magic often means finding a synthesis between the powers that we traditionally pull from and the unique situation we are applying them to. So, don’t ditch the roses altogether, but don’t limit yourself to them, either.
Our thanks to Devin for his guest post! For more from Devin Hunter, read his article, “The Seven Secrets to Effective Spell Casting.”