Contingency plans for when things go wrong.

This post is based off of my own experiences. YMMV.

So you’ve decided to get into magic and/or spirit work, and something has gone wrong. Maybe this post can help. Hopefully you are reading this before anything has gone wrong, so we will start with preventative measures.

General stuff to have when you are doing any kind of magical work

  • Salt!! Salt salt salt salt salt. SALT. Supernatural wasn’t lying to you, salt works really well for containing malevolent beings and controlling magical energies. Buy a cheap box of salt and simply have it on hand.
  • A powerful protective and cleansing plant, such as rosemary, sage, rue, agrimony, angelica, anise, basil, bay leaf, caraway, castor beans, cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, hyssop, lavender, mint, mugwort, mullein, valerian, vervain, or wormwood. If you burn plants as incense, also have some charcoal disks with you. If you use plants to asperge, create the asperging potion ahead of time. Plants can otherwise be placed or sprinkled the same as you would do with salt.
  • A potion or brew such as war water or flying devil oil, or any number of the good banishing powders available (cascarilla powder, which is ground eggshells, works fantastically).
  • The most powerful protective amulet you can craft. In general I feel very differently about protection than I have in the past, but I would be very irresponsible to not recommend good magical protection.
  • A plan for grounding. For some this will be a visualization where they imagine energies leaving their body; this has never worked for me, and I’ve tried for years. For me, grounding means removing myself from any “witchy” or magical atmosphere, turning on Rick and Morty, cooking a meal, eating, talking to non-magical friends – anything to remove me from that magical headspace. Have 2-3 solid ideas of non-magical things you can do to distract yourself and ground. Anything involving your sense of touch and taste works excellently.
  • A banishing ritual or spell. Practice it ahead of time. It is okay to just go through the motions, or you could simply banish something like “negative energies around me” for practice.
  • A ‘Fort Knox’ safe haven with the most powerful protections you can find – hopefully this space is your bedroom.

So something went wrong…

Put on your protective amulet(s) immediately. The more, the merrier.

Close all magical portals, gateways, and access points you have opened.

If you are doing work in the moment and something has gone wrong, skip to the closing portion of your spell and shut it all down.

“I command all spirits to leave this place and return home.” Willfully imagine that any spirit is sent straight home. If you cannot imagine that the spirit has left, it has not left. Perform a full banishing.

“I close down the magical portals I have opened during this time.” Willfully imagine that any portals you have opened crumple like a piece of paper and disappear. Or, perhaps they shatter like glass. If you imagine your portals to be a door, forcefully close them and add a huge lock. Do whatever it takes to fully and completely imagine that the portals have disappeared. If for some reason you are unable to fully imagine your portals being closed, then they aren’t.

If your portals aren’t closing, take the focus object of the portal. This could be a candle, a gemstone, a sigil, whatever. Bury it in salt and vocally command it to close. “In the name of God [/Goddess/Spirit/etc], the highest power in the Universe, I command you to close, and you will obey.” Fumigate or asperge your protective herbs over the pile of salt, or sprinkle the herbs on top (to buy an item in salt, I like to fill up a little plastic baggie with salt and store the items within; this way I can re-use the salt later and it doesn’t get everywhere.) To be safe keep the item in the salt for three days, or however long it takes until you are ready to deal with it.

Destroy the work you have done so far. Suppose you are half-way through the spell. Imagine that spell in the astral. Perhaps it is a glowing light, a knot, or some other object. Just like the portal, imagine that it shatters, crumples, or somehow becomes destroyed. Imagine yourself throwing salt in the astral where your spell once was. “I destroy the spell I have created during this time.”

Shut down your magical circle. Remove physical traces of the circle such as a flour or rope marker.

Put out all candles. Toss out ritual ingredients. Throw out bowls of water. Get rid of your 'active ingredients’. Take your ritual tools and cover them with cloths and salt if they are being over-active.


Pull out those protective plants and fumigate or asperge yourself. If you feel it is necessary, brew one in to a magical tea and drink it.

If you are inside, sprinkle salt around the area where you did your magic. Do not do this outside as it will poison the ground. If you are outside, send a prayer to Nature to cleanse the space.

Anywhere you are, again, fumigate or asperge the space. Sprinkle your salt and herbs around (again, only salt inside, please). Use your best cleansing mantra. A simple one is to just repeat, “purify, protect, and bless” over and over again as you spread your cleansing ingredients.

At this point, it is time to stop doing visualizations. The more you visualize, the more you tune in to the magical world. If you are freaked out, that is the exact opposite of what you want. Instead of visualizing the area cleared out, trust in your tools to do the work for you. If you must visualize, that is okay. But we want to generally wind down in that area and remove you from that magical headspace.

If you feel it is necessary, leave a protective item in the space you are in. Try creating magical rocks with a protection radius around them.

Write down everything that happened

Please trust me when I say the smallest word or action could have had a big effect in the magic you cast. While everything is fresh in your mind, try to record the following points:

  • The exact spell you intended to use. Hopefully you planned out the spell and have your notes, or you found it online so the spell will be easily accessible again.
  • The exact way you cast the spell, including any changes to words or actions you made. If possible record every word you spoke or thought, if you do not vocalize your words.
  • Any visualizations you had, including spontaneous visualization (visions). Please include how these made you feel.
  • The exact actions you were taking when you felt things started to go badly.
  • Exactly what you said to close down the portals and banish the spirits, including your exact banishment ritual if one was used.
  • What you did with your ritual ingredients and tools afterwords.
  • How you cleansed the space afterwords.
  • How you grounded out and returned to “normal” headspace.
  • How you felt afterwords, and any feelings of something being “wrong”. If you feel something is “wrong” after you shut your magical space down, record what triggers those feelings, how intense they are, and exactly what you are feeling.

Keep these notes!! They will be invaluable to helping you figure out what went wrong. If you need to talk to someone (and always feel free to send me a message), these notes will help them understand what happened.

Correct any residual problems.

If there continues to be any feelings of scariness or “wrongness” around the space you did magic in, if you suddenly feel as if you are being watched, or if things otherwise don’t feel just right, you have a problem or two to take care of. If you feel you can handle it on your own, do so. If you feel you need help, reach out to myself or another magic-worker to assist you. Take care of these problems ASAP.

Cool down from magic stuff for a while, at least until you feel better.

Get more involved in your mundane activities. Take a few days off from magic. Wait to resume your magical activities until you feel better about the whole situation.

When you are ready, figure out what went wrong.

Troubleshooting of this nature can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you really have no idea what could have happened. Again, consider reaching out to a magical practitioner.

Sometimes the energies of rituals are just too intense and can cause anxiety. Sometimes something negative came through on accident. There are a thousand reasons why a spell could have gone wrong. Try to identify exactly when things went wrong and what happened during that time, so you can identify how things went haywire and prevent it from happening again.

Resume regular magical practices only after you have recovered from this incident.


When you can’t find the right ingredient, you can substitute the following herbs.
* As a basic guide use Rosemary for any other herb, Rose for any flower, either Frankincense or Copal for any gum resin and Tobacco for any poisonous herb. *

Acacia /Acacia Gum = Gum Arabic
Aconite = Tobacco
Arabic Gum = Frankincense, Gum Mastic, Gum Tragacanth (For Binding Wet Ingredients)
Ammoniac Gum = Asafetida
Asafetida = Tobacco, Valerian
Balm Of Gilead = Rose Buds, Gum Mastic
Bdellium , Gum = Copal, Pine Resin, Dragons Blood
Belladonna = Tobacco
Benzoin = Gum Arabic, Gum Mastic
Cachana = Angelica Root
Carnation = Rose Petals Anointed With A Few Drops Of Clove Oil
Cassia = Cinnamon
Castor Bean = A Few Drops Of Castor Oil
Cedar = Sandalwood
Cinquefoil = Clover, Trefoil
Citron = Equal Parts Of Orange Peel & Lemon Peel
Clove = Mace, Nutmeg
Clover = Cinquefoil
Copal = Frankincense, Cedar
Cowbane = Tobacco
Cypress = Juniper, Pine Needles
Deerstongue = Tonka Bean (Not For Internal Use), Woodruff, Vanilla
Dittany Of Crete = Gum Mastic
Dragons Blood = Equal Parts Of Red Sandalwood And Frankincense
Eucalyptus Oil = Camphor Oil, Lavender Oil
Euphorbium = Tobacco
Frankincense = Copal, Pine Resin
Galangal = Ginger Root
Grains Of Paradise = Black Pepper
Gum Ammoniac = Asafetida
Gum Bdellium = Copal, Pine Resin, Dragons Blood
Hellebore = Tobacco, Nettle
Hemlock = Tobacco
Hemp = Nutmeg; Damiana, Star Anise, Bay
Henbane = Tobacco
Hyssop = Lavender
Ivy = Cinquefoil
Jasmine = Rose
Juniper = Pine
Lavender = Rose
Lemongrass = Lemon Peel
Lemon Peel = Lemongrass
Lemon Verbena = Lemongrass, Lemon Peel
Mace = Nutmeg
Mandrake = Tobacco
Mastic Gum = Gum Arabic, Frankincense
Mint (Any Sort) = Sage
Mistletoe = Mint, Sage
Mugwort = Wormwood
Neroli Oil = Orange Oil
Nightshade = Tobacco
Nutmeg = Mace, Cinnamon
Oakmoss = Patchouli
Orange = Tangerine Peel
Orange Flowers = Orange Peel
Patchouli = Oakmoss
Peppermint = Spearmint
Pepperwort = Rue, Grains Of Paradise, Black Pepper
Pine = Juniper
Pine Resin = Frankincense, Copal
Red Sandalwood = Sandalwood Mixed With A Pinch Of Dragons Blood
Rose = Yarrow
Rose Geranium = Rose
Rue = Rosemary Mixed With A Pinch Of Black Pepper
Saffron = Orange Peel
Sandalwood = Cedar
Sarsaparilla = Sassafras
Sassafras = Sarsaparilla
Spearmint = Peppermint
Sulfur = Tobacco, Club Moss, Asafetida
Thyme = Rosemary
Tobacco = Bay
Tonka Bean = Vanilla
Trefoil = Cinquefoil
Valerian = Asafetida
Vanilla = Woodruff, Deerstongue, Tonka Bean
Vetivert = Calamus
Wolfsbane = Tobacco
Wood Aloe = Sandalwood Sprinkled With Ambergris Oil
Woodruff = Deerstongue, Vanilla
Wormwood = Mugwort

Cat-Toxic Plants

There are tons and tons of plants out there. Many of them can kill your cat even if they just nibble a tiny bit. So why risk it? Here is a list of plants to avoid if you are a cat owner. It’s probably a safe bet that if you are a dog person, this would poison them too. Please keep your fur babies safe!

• English Ivy
• Spanish Thyme
• Tulip and Narcissus Bulbs
• Yew
• Chrysanthemum
• Kalanchoe
• Lilies
• Peace Lily
• Sago Palm
• Amaryllis
• Autumn Crocus
• Azaleas
• Rhododendrons
• Castor Bean
• Cyclamen
• Marijuana
• Oleander
• Pothos

Castor bean (Ricinus communis)

A musical fruit if you’re into funeral dirges.

Castor beans, the seed of the Ricinus communis plant, aren’t actually beans, but they’re close enough that the name stuck. Ricinus communis produces castor oil, which is used for a wide variety of medical uses: a laxative, a skin conditioner, and an antibacterial/antimicrobial agent are just a few of its many jobs.

The bean, though? Well, it’s pretty good for killing political dissidents.

Keep reading

Castor bean: DO NOT EAT

Just planted two castor bean plants, from which you get both castor oil and ricin, in an open area where I can keep an eye on ‘em. This’ll be nightmare fuel for days.

Kinda surprised that the nursery I got them from, which is a pretty reputable place that’s gotten big in the area marketing organic gardening classes and selling chickens and that sort of wholesome thing…not only didn’t keep them behind glass in a locked cabinet like aerosol spray paint in the art store, but didn’t even mention anywhere on the label or the sign that these little guys were “THE WORLD’S MOST POISONOUS PLANT”.

Of course, that last is A. from USA Today and B. from 2006 and the angle they were pushing was terrorists are coming for your landscape plants. On a more reasonable note, the seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant, and you can avoid having to worry about those by just deadheading the spent flowers rather than allowing them to develop into pods. (Still pretty horrifying to read the castor bean section on, I think, Dave’s Garden, with at least one person asking what they should do if they wanted to make lotion from the deadly seeds, should they just, you know, mash up these seeds in a blender? WTF NO DON’T DO THAT.)

Poison has always been a long-standing friend and accomplice of the assassin, but none are more recognized as such like the infamous Castor Bean plant. This plant has made head way in both the entertainment industry and conspiracy theory sector. It draws the attention of the FBI, RCMP and the average home gardener. With showy red or green leaves and irresistible red seedpods this native Albertan plant contains ricin and oh goodness is it dangerous.

It is said to be used in terrorist and assassination attempts but do not fear as the only way for the poison to take full effect is for it to be careful extracted from the seeds of the plant and then infected directly into the victims blood stream.

In this embroidery (4 x 4 ft) which is featured on found upholstery fabric and embellished with discarded threads plays off of the idea of the assassin’s choice of murder weapon.