City Witch Tips for all of my fellow witches stuck in apartments, dorms or other city areas.
If you can’t burn incense you can make your own sprayable incense by mixing alcohol (usually vodka or rubbing) with essential oils and a bit of oil, spray in the air to act like incense
If you are unable to go outside for whatever reason to get rain water (in my case just no where to collect it safely), fill a jar or glass with regular water and keep it near a cracked window to charge it with the wind, sound and scent of the rain outside. Same goes for storm water
Trapped in city and unable to get ocean water? Sea salt mixed with rain/storm water can be an excellent substitute
To continue on with water substitutes, if you can’t collect snow crushed ice from your fridge will suffice
Low key warding/protection you can use: spray moon water, salt water or sprayable incense about your apartment or dorm, place sigils under doormats, furniture, inside cupboards, etc; place crystals about hidden or out in the open, sweep and dust out the door or towards windows
If you need melted wax to seal a jar or for any other magical purpose, but can’t burn candles, by a wax melter and melt that wax and imagine the light from the burner acting like a flame (plus they are rather cheap, I got mine for 25 bucks)
Need stars in your craft but too much light pollution? Glow in the dark stars on your ceiling or wall can work just as well for visualization. Print out pictures of your favorite constellations or planets and place them up on your walls or on your altar. Live video feed of the night sky can also be easily found on the internet
Bath magic is amazing for low-key ‘in the woods’ witches. Use teas, milk, oils, herbs, bath bombs, bubble baths, salts, etc that relate to your intent. It is also a good place to meditate if you have roommates or family around that would disturb you otherwise
If you do for whatever reason need to burn a candle, birthday candles are small, melt fast, and don’t create a lot of smoke or smokey scent
Sigils are another great low-key form of magic. To boost them up, use color magic related to the color you draw them in, write them using quills made of feathers related to your intent, use colored paper, rub a drop of essential oil on them, charge them with crystals or in your windowsill
You don’t have to burn sigils to activate them, which is hardly an option when you are in a dorm or apartment. Other options are: Shredding them, erasing them, soaking them in a bath or shower, using body heat or your own pulse, etc
Miss having the outdoors and plants around? Windowsill gardens can really help. Small plants you can consider keeping in your windowsill or counter-tops: succulents, cacti, bamboo, lemongrass, basic, rosemary, mint, rosemary, mosses, aloe, snake plant, pothos (and other vines), carrots, beets, shallots, lettuce, spinach, garlic, chives, parsley, oregano, thyme, and marigold
Open your window to let the wind and air from outside to help energize you and clear out negative energies inside
Fun places to put sigils: under furniture, carved into soap, onto shampoo/conditioner bottles, on your make up, inside phone cases, in shoes, under bandages, sewn into pillow cases and blankets, behind pictures in frames, underside of nail polish, carved into wax squares for your wax melter, keys and keychains, behind mirrors or in medicine cabinets, on bookmarks, on or in binders and pencil cases, on medicine bottles, and water bottles/travel mugs
Easy to make and dispose of poppets: carrot sticks (one of my personal favorites), apples or other fruit, clothe, paper, popsicle sticks, paper towels/napkins, toilet paper rolls, eggs, celery stocks, and cotton balls
The internet is an amazing thing. Need some sounds to help you focus or meditate? Easily look up the sounds of rain, storms, wind, ocean waves, jungles, forests, etc
Christmas lights are fun and great way to use discrete witchcraft. Select ones in the colors you wish for them to bring ie green for growth, yellow for inspiration, white for protection, purple for psychic abilities, etc.
Some everyday things you can use for discrete witchcraft that don’t cost much at all or that you most likely already have: water, table salt, black pepper, paper, crayons/pencils/pens/markers, vinegar, milk, tea, highlighters, make up and beauty supplies, shampoo and conditioner, rubber bands, paperclips, thumbtacks, computer/phone/tablet, music/music player, playing cards, dice, air freshener, perfumes, toothpaste, rice, flour, sugar, honey, and all kitchen herbs and seasonings.
Can’t afford gemstones or crystals on college budget? Crackle and dyed quartz you can find super cheap at craftstores and online. I bought a whole bag for 4 bucks. Use them based on their colors and shapes. Can’t afford that but still want to use rocks in your craft? Find some rocks you like outside, again use their colors and shapes to determine their correspondences. Want to use them for a specific purpose? Paint sigils on them in the color that corresponds with what you want! Charge them in your windowsill or with your own energy and intent. There you go!
Pocket mirrors are cheap, easy to carry around and great for glamours and on the go magic.
Seriously though, glamour spells are going to be a good option for you. use your make up, skin products, hair care products, brushes/combs, perfume, mirrors, toothbrush/toothepaste and intent. Good to do while you are getting ready for your day
Dream magic is another friend of the city witch! Use crystals, sigils, herbs, etc near your bed before you go to sleep, drink some chamomile, get yourself a dream journal (mine is literally a notebook with construction paper on it), keep it and a pen near you. In the morning write down your dreams, your thoughts, how you feel (tired, refreshed, groggy, etc), and interpret them.
Can’t afford tarot cards? Print out some, you can usually find them online and they won’t last as long as a real deck but it is a good temporary solution. Want a Ouija board but can’t keep one or need it to be easily hidden? Print one out, draw on one on paper or cardboard, fold it up and store it once you are done. Want a pendulum but can’t afford one? Use your favorite necklace, bracelet or keychain!
Tea and coffee magic is great, make your own tea blends with the herbs you like. Or just buy simple green or black tea and add sugar, milk, etc depending on your intentions
As I said before, crock pot magic. The Modern Cauldron: brew and cook all day with it, fill your apartment with the scent of the herbs and food to fill it with the energies they correspond with and you get a delicious meal to come home to! Most dorms allow them. Rice cookers also work well.
Can’t afford fresh food? Have to survive on ramen, canned soup, and microwaved meals? That is okay! They even correspond with things! Tomato soup for love, beauty and passion. Beef ramen noodles for strength, courage and longevity. Microwave mac n cheese for beauty and feminity. Look at their ingredients and what they correspond with. Sure its not as glamorous as a making a huge made by scratch traditional meal but its kitchen magic none the less. Stir it with your intent while you cook. It isn’t fancy but it works just as well!
Use a notebook or binder for a nice grimoire, decorate it as much as you want on the inside. Print out pictures of nature, animals, planets, stars, places, crystals, etc that you cant’ access/afford and use them in your craft. Spell books and grimoires are powerful tools
Don’t have a wand? Use a wooden spoon. Tie a colored string or ribbon to it to correspond with what energy you want it to have and move and flick it as you would a wand.
Knitting, crocheting, and knot magic is very apartment friendly. As well as sewing and embroidering plus it is super calming.
Glitter, sequins, and beads are great in witchcraft! Use their colors to determine their correspondences. Put them in spell jars, sachets, bottles, etc. Glitter tip: if you spill any don’t fret, get some packing tape, wrap it around your hand with the sticky part outwards and dab at that glitter spill. You will literally pick up all of the glitter in seconds!
Enchant and charge your pots, pans, skillets, and other cookware to make every meal magical
Make moonwater in your windowsills. Use it for cleansing, beauty, divination, clarity, protection and purification
Take walks. Even if it is a city there is still nature about. Pigeons flying about, potted flowers outside of stores, grass growing in front lawns, etc. Enjoy yourself, even if it is not some wild, vast forest you can still connect with your local nature.
Pick up litter or garbage you see outside, being in the city we all see it. The natural world around you will appreciate you helping out. Bring a bag with you when you take your walks or travel and fill it with wrappers you see on the ground.
I hope this was helpful to all of my fellow city and dorm witches!
It’s all about the “how” to me and the spirit of the thing. Are you trying to allow a person to be a full human being or are you trying to degrade them? Her life has redemption in it, and storytelling is about that, allowing a story to be complex. To me, it’s actually damaging to try to sanitize a story. If you tell my story one day, let it have all my issues in it. It is deeply important to step into the uncomfortable, because then is when we give it truth. That is my job. Danai Gurira photographed by Todd Williamson