witch spellbook

Calming Spell

You will need the following items for this spell:

  • A blue candle
  • A purple candle
  • A white candle

Put the candles in a triangle. The blue candle should be at the right point. The purple candle should be at the left point. 

The white candle should be at the top point. Light the candles in the order of blue, purple, then white. Chant:

In this time, and in this place, make this a peaceful space.

what to put in a grimoire

Stuff that is relevant to you. Don’t waste time and effort filling out pages of astrology if you aren’t interested in astrology. If you are never going to use the page for that information, don’t waste the page on it. Don’t be worried about what other witches have in their book. This is your book, not everyone’s. And if you are planning on creating some fantastic book that you’ll pass down to your future witch children, know that the your first one probably isn’t going to be the one you’ll want to pass down anyway. Likely information you once thought was important you’ll later find doesn’t matter to you at all. Let your first book be the one you can mess up and explore in. You need room to learn and grow, not worry about every little detail of what you might be missing.

With that said, here is a list of ideas for what you might want to put in your grimoire. This is a collection of ideas taken from all over. Remember to fearlessly scratch things that you aren’t honestly interested in:

-A book blessing/protection to protect it from wandering eyes

-Your personal pages: a page about you and your goals for the craft, the day you decided to be a witch, your natal chart/zodiac info for you and/or your so/birth tarot cards or birth playing card, your craft name or personal sigil if you have one, any psychic abilities you have

-A page for your personal correspondences: your signature herbs/rocks/scent/sound/animal, your craft name/sigil

-A page for your familiar/s if you have any: their given/secret name, their sigil, info about when you met them and when they left/died, what they helped you with, what they like, how they can be contacted

-A portrait of your shadow self

-A list of your current witch tools, where you got them, whats special about them, how they were consecrated (if they were), etc

-An ancestor page: this could be your family tree, pictures of your deceased, locations of graves, etc

-Info about the plants/animals/rocks in your area

-The wheel of the year, if that’s applicable to you

-Esbat/Sabbat information if that’s applicable (personally I only observe the full moon)

-The monthly moon names if you observe the changing of the moon: you can google and see which ones speak to you, or since they’re outdated you can make up your own (for instance I have a Coyote moon because the coyotes howl outside my house, rather than a Wolf moon)

-Any rites/rituals/songs/poems/pictures/quotes/spells/recipes/etc that are important to you and/or your practice.

-A page to keep a list of all your active spells/wards/enchanted items

-Deity: history/picture/correspondence of any deity you are interested in, for secret witches you can have an altar for them inside your book, entries of your relationship/experience with them, family tree of the pantheon if applicable. Even if you worship an entire pantheon, you don’t need to have a page for everyone in the pantheon. And even if you are a secular witch, you can still make a deity page if you so decide.

-Divination info for the practices you’re interested in: history, correspondence cheat sheet, any spreads you think are important, record your readings, a pendulum board in your book if you’ll use it

-Sigils: how to create/charge, sigils you’ve found helpful

-Astrology: natal chart, zodiac info, calendar for planetary retrograde/moon phases/celestial events (meteor showers, etc)

-Cleansing, Protection, and Banishing methods

-Meditation, Centering, Grounding and Shielding methods/techniques/symbols/pictures

-Dreamwork: a dictionary of your personal recurring dream symbols, a collection of your dreams written/drawn

-Spiritwork: any spirits you are or have been in contact with and basic information

-Correspondences (remember to think about what your correspondence is and not what some list on tumblr tells you): herbs, rocks and crystals, animals,metals, moon phases, planets, planetary retrograde, colors, directions, your witch tools (this is mostly kitchen tools for me)

An index in the back for organization

Recreational Witchcraft’s Essential Healing Salve Recipes

When it comes to healing salves, there are a couple kinds that prove their need most often. Though everyone has different preferences and different recipes for those salves, these are ours.

Sore Muscle Salve

  • 3 Parts Cloves
  • 2 Parts Arnica 
  • 4 Parts Cayenne Pepper 
  • 1 Part Basil

Bug Bite Salve

  • 3 Parts Calendula
  • 1 Part Plantain
  • 2 parts Cloves

Topical Menstrual Cramp Salve (To be applied to the abdomen)

  • 1 Part Rose
  • 2 Parts Clary Sage

Cut & Scrape Salve

  • 1 Part Comfrey
  • 2 Parts Calendula
  • 2 Parts Plantain

Need help getting started? See our Simple Salve recipe here.

Recreational Witchcraft: Simple Salve Recipe

Beeswax salves are a great recipe to have in your repertoire because depending on the herbs included they can be used for many purposes. Healing balms can be made for cuts, scrapes, bites, and for topically treating pain like menstrual cramps or sore muscles. Moisturizing salves can be used on the lips, cuticles or to combat any dry winter skin.  As for magical applications, the list is a long one. Protection salves, flying ointments, and glamour salves are just some of the more common ways beeswax salves have been used as a simple method of transferring the power and magic of specific herbs to the body. The possibilities are quite endless. 

You will need:

  • A mason jar
  • 1 cup of Olive oil
  • 1 ounce of Beeswax 
  • Assorted herbs
  1. Choose your herbs. Remember to choose your herbs with care. Herbs have specific medicinal and magical properties and some can cause allergic reactions. Use your better judgment.
  2. Combine your chosen herbs and one cup of olive oil into a mason jar. Your herbs will steep in this mixture for one month so their properties can be better absorbed into the oil. 
  3. After your herbs have steeped for a month, Melt down your beeswax into a liquid form, taking care not to burn it. You can do this on the stove but know that wax can be a hassle to clean from pots and pans (For this reason we have a specific pot for melting wax).
  4. Combine your infused olive oil and melted beeswax. You may strain out the herbs from the mixture to get a cleaner look like the salve above but the step is optional. Stir the wax and oil to together well, and pour the liquid into a tin or other other container. Let the salve cool and harden. Your salve is ready to use!
witch tip

if there’s some old bad energy and/or some nasty little spirits lingering around your house, you don’t have to drag out some elaborate banishing ritual to deal with it
honestly, just stomping around your house sprinkling salt water and chanting “fuck off” will do the trick just fine, maybe even more effectively than a fancy banishing
i did it the other night to do away with some astral fuckery going on in my house and i haven’t had a problem since

Witchy Ways To Protect Yourself/Protection Spells

NOTE: Many of these are my own invention, just thought you should know. 

By protection I am referring to spiritual protection and protection from negative energy and bad spells. I am also suggesting the use of these (not in place of actual psychiatric help) for people with anxiety disorders and other disorders that can cause paranoia. Using these for nightmares could also be beneficial.

For these you don’t need ingredients (except two of these of course) so even closeted witches can do them. 

Plant Helpers

-If you want to use something alive for protection then ferns and cactuses might be a good plants to use. Keep in mind this is my own invention but blessing the plant by charging them can help keep bad things away. Put an emotion (a positive one such as peace, love, happiness, etc.) Into the plant. You don’t necessarily have to touch the plant themselves but you can touch the pot they are in. Close your eyes and picture a light of the color of your choice surrounding the plant. Imagine that light going into every part of the plant and then spreading out to touch you and the room. Picture a lock in the middle of the light that locks itself to keep you safe. You can also whisper this to the plant: “Dear little friend, keep me safe unto the end.”

-Imagine your heart. See it beating within your chest. Envision a flower of your choice flowing from it and wrapping you in its roots. Repeat to yourself: “All is well and I am safe, from here to every space. The plant shall hold me safe and sound, to protect me from what’s around.”

Animal Helpers

-Put snake statues at every corner of the room you sleep in. This is what the Ancient Egyptians did to fight off nightmares.

-Picture your heart (it doesn’t have to be anatomically accurate). Envision a glowing ball of light flowing out of it and transforming into an animal that brings you comfort, be it a real or mythical animal and in the color of your choice. See that animal gently leaping from your chest to the floor of the room you are in. Imagine that they are encircling your body in a blanket of light that surrounds all parts of you almost like a mummy. As they tuck the last of the blanket around you, slowly repeat these words: “Friend of joy, friend of light; keep me safe each day and night.”

Misc.

-Imagine a light comes from within your heart or brain and envelopes you in a bubble. Feel the warmth of this bubble around you and see the way it holds you safe and sound. Know that all bad energies will bounce off the bubble and not reach you. 

Top 10 Herbs for the Lazy Witch

Maybe you’re maybe you’re a new witch unsure of what herbs are worth your time as a beginner, maybe money is tight, or maybe you’re just lazy (like us). If we could only choose 10 herbs to use in our craft, these would be our top picks. 

1. Basil – its the witch’s herb, need we say more? Not only do its magical uses span from protection to love to wealth to exorcism, but it is also delicious in mundane recipes as well. If you can only have one herb, basil is the way to go.

2. Rosemary – this herb is also blessed with a wide variety of uses. Excellent for purification, lust and love, good health, preventing nightmares, and all kinds of sea witchery. Bonus: its fragrance is to die for.

3. Lavender – so you might not be able to find this at the grocery store, but its magical uses outweigh the small inconvenience of tracking it down. Most often used for healing, love, protection, peace, purification, and sleep, lavender is a go-to for any mental health needs. 

4. Chamomile – lavender’s luckier, jovial cousin. Primarily used in love, healing, and stress reducing spells, but can also be used for luck and gambling. It is associated with the sun, and makes a great tea infusion for stress relief. 

5. Thyme – the best herb for social situations. It attracts loyalty, affection, and a good reputation, but we most often bathe in an infusion of thyme for constant flow of money. Also good for increasing courage. 

6. Cinnamon – while technically a spice, cinnamon has many magical uses and is also delicious in cooking. Ideal for prosperity and success, protection, love, and all spells related to the spiritual self. 

7.  Peppermint – a favorite in herbalism for treatment of digestive issues, this herb ideal for cleansing and protecting. Peppermint is also widely available, makes for lovely tea, and is a great addition to any luck spell.

8. Rose – is any love spell complete without rose petals? This flower is the symbol for beauty, marriage, sexuality, divine love, and all kinds of relationships. A larger list of uses for roses can be found here

9. Cayenne Pepper – every witch needs something with a bit of a bite. This spice does wonders as cursing or banishing agent, or even just as an addition to any spell to speed up results. 

10. Mugwort – if we recommend any specialty herb, this is the one. Mugwort is used in spells for divination, astral travel, working within the spiritual realm, and receiving prophetic dreams. (Note: this herb should not be ingested by people who are pregnant)  

[Revised 11/16] Book Recommendations for Witches

Greetings, all. Quite some time ago, I created an annotated bibliography of some of my favorite texts on magical subjects. I was browsing it a few days ago and quickly realized, though, that it had become woefully out-of-date. There were quite a few books I’d only recently finished reading that belonged on the list! 

So, I’ve made an updated version here! Below, you can find my book recommendations, organized into loose categories. I’ve had to add a few new categories since last time, and expand several others. I do plan on doing long-form book reviews on some of these titles, and if there’s a particular one listed that you’d like to see a long review for, please let me know and I’ll work on that.

I hope you find something on here that suits your fancy! Happy reading!

For Absolute Beginners

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, by Judika Illes. Even better than the Weiser Field Guide to Witches - this book is huge and chock-full of information. It’ll explain in easy-to-understand language how the concept has developed throughout time, why witches do what they do, and different types of witches.

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, by Judika Illes. This gives an excellent look at the historical lore concerning witches, from the perspective of a witch herself. It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it does have some information that won’t be found elsewhere.

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, by Skye Alexander. Great book for those who’re really absolute beginners and are wondering what witchcraft is all about. Skye takes a very postmodern, utilitarian, and unfailingly honest approach, and it’s geared towards those of almost any belief system.

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Attractively packaged and readible for almost all ages, this is a great (mostly) non-denominational look at the foundations of magical practice. It’s extremely detailed. Some of it only applies to Zell’s own tradition, but it’s quite useful, anyways.

Basic Techniques

Protection and Reversal Magick, by Jason Miller. This gets a little woo-woo at times, but he gives good advice on how to avoid serious problems that can come up as you begin to practice. Take with a grain of salt, though - some of this has the potential to make you feel paranoid.

City Magick, by Christopher Penczak. If you’re at all interested in tech witchery, or just want to practice magick within an urban setting, do check this out. It is by far the best look at the subject I’ve seen, and his discussion of urban tutelary spirits is worth the price alone.

Power Spellcraft for Life, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. Nicely done, quite secular book providing basic beginner information regarding writing original spells and workings. It does fall prey to the trap of just listing correspondences with little information at times, but also contains a great deal of detail about ritual timing, raising power, and other topics essential for the beginner.

Sorcerer’s Secrets, by Jason Miller. This is a decent volume that describes a lot of techniques you don’t usually see in books, such as gesture and gaze-based magick. Be warned that Miller writes extensively about manipulative techniques, but it’s useful theory regardless of how you put it into practice.

Witch’s Bag of Tricks, by Melanie Marquis. This is not recommended for beginners, because the whole point of this book is to help existing practitioners refine and improve their already-established techniques. It’s got some novel ideas in it, and I like the author’s approach to symbolism in spellcasting.

Direct Magick (Energy Work)

The Un-Spell Book, by Mya Om. This non-denominational guide to working with magical forces is filled with useful exercises that go beyond the author’s previous work. I recommend reading this after reading Energy Essentials.

Instant Magick, by Christopher Penczak. Excellent beginner’s guide for those who don’t have access to a lot of fancy tools or prefer to work without them. This book won’t instantly teach you magick, but it will help even a seasoned practitioner find quicker, less-complicated ways of achieving results.

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters, by Mya Om. Though I balk at the use of the term “energy” to describe magical forces, this book is worth a look. It’s a bit like a workbook, with various exercises. Expect a lot of pseudoscience, though, and there are many religious references, but the techniques are solid.

Magical Writing, Words, and Symbols

Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, by Claude Lecouteux. Mostly a historical text, this book isn’t exactly practical or terribly useful. It is, nevertheless, incredibly interesting. It’s a bit difficult to navigate, but worth a glance.

Composing Magick, by Elizabeth Barrette. A very general, but well-done, look at writing in a magical context. Some of the ritual templates are slightly specific to religious witchcraft traditions, but most information is widely applicable.

Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink, by Susan Pesnecker. Focuses both on the physical act of writing as a magical act, and the mental state associated with it. Highly recommended

The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, by Skye Alexander. This book is for those who want to create their own grimoire. It gives fairly good advice for doing so, as well as providing hints and tricks for spellcasting and useful correspondences.

General Concepts

Planetary Magick, by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. If you want to work with the planets at all, particularly in a highly ritualized context, I recommend this book. It’s large, comprehensive and gives a good foundation beyond what you find in general astrology books.

Practical Planetary Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Shorter than I would have liked, but a useful reference to have on your shelf, with excellent tables and appendices in the back. The meditations are also quite useful.

Practical Elemental Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Should be read alongside the other book by this pair. Comprehensive guide to working with the elements in a ritualized fashion. Not as accessible to newbies as Lipp’s book, but good for seasoned practitioners.

The Way of Four, by Deborah Lipp. Though mostly geared towards Wiccans, I found this author’s in-depth treatment of the four elements highly fascinating. I will note that it’s probably best to get the print version of this book, as it contains exercises and quizzes.

Ingredients and Correspondences

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, by Sandra Kynes. Fills a very difficult gap in published knowledge regarding the use of essential oils by discussing, in great detail, how scents interact with each other and how to create a formula that’s not only palatable, but evocative.

Dunwich’s Guide to Gemstone Sorcery, by Gerina Dunwich. Given the New Age fascination with all things shiny, it was quite a chore to sort through the myriad crystal books to find something with good information. While far from perfect and not exactly devoid of fluff, this book does give a level of detail about the lore surrounding gemstones not seen in many other texts.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

Spellbooks

The Goodly Spellbook, by Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen. The title sounds horribly fluffy, but this is a hidden gem. It explains obscure concepts like alternative alphabets and potential uses of musical notes, as well as plant lore and other bits and pieces. Definitely worth checking out. It’s way more than just “a book of spells.”

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, by Judika Illes. The title sounds trite to some, but it delivers. This book has spells from almost every culture and spiritual philosophy, as well as a very detailed formulary. I read it when I’m bored sometimes, too, just because I always learn some tidbit from it.

Book of Spells, by Nicola Pulford. In most editions, this book is absolutely gorgeous and describes spellcasting traditions from a variety of perspectives and traditions. Recommended for those who already understand the basics, as this book jumps straight into spellcasting and gives only a small amount of information about how things work.

Ceremonial Magick

Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. I received this as a gift several years ago. It is essentially a workbook meant to be completed slowly, step by step, and while the format will not appeal to everyone, it’s a good easy-to-read introduction to ceremonial magick.

Familiar Spirits, by Donald Tyson. Though geared towards ceremonialists, any practitioner can likely learn a thing or two from Tyson’s interesting stroll through the whys and wherefores of spirit work and thoughtform creation. This is by far the best book I’ve seen on the topic of familiar spirits.

Secrets of High Magick, by Francis Melville. The most recent edition of this (the one I own) is lavishly-illustrated and full of rudimentary, yet useful information. He stresses the basics of ceremonial practice, and his writing style is very accessible. Highly recommended for absolute beginners.

My Life With The Spirits, by Lon Milo DuQuette. This is a memoir of a ceremonial magician, but it gives a good look at the magickal mindset in a highly developed form from someone who’s experienced quite a lot. I have major issues with DuQuette’s approach to Qabalah, but his memoirs are worth a read.

Chaos Magick

Liber Null and Psychonaut, by Peter Carroll. Classic book of chaos magick. I consider it required reading for almost anyone interested in the occult. Even if you have no love for chaos magick, do give it a read, just to understand how influential Carroll is, and why.

Hands-On Chaos Magic, by Andrieh Vitimus. Knowing some of the people involved in the creation of this book, I’m a bit biased towards it. That said, even if I didn’t know them, I would still recommend it. It’s especially interesting to read alongside Liber Null and Psychonautin order to see how the chaos “current” has developed over the years.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 by Taylor Ellwood. There aren’t a lot of books on using pop culture symbolism in magick, but this one is nearly perfect. The author writes in a highly erudite, literate fashion, while still being accessible to newbies. Many useful resources cited, as well, so prepare to branch off a bit while reading it.

History-Related

Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton. An inside no-holds-barred look at the history of Wicca and Modern paganism. Highly recommended. This is sort of the book that fluffbunnies don’t want you to read.

Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, by Richard Metzger. Lots of facts and history of magick in the context of Postmodernity. This is different from the Crowley text of the same name, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you want to focus on his tradition.

The Place of Enchantment, by Alex Owen. This is a purely historical text that documents the occult revival within the context of Modernity. I remember it being very good, but please realize I haven’t really picked it up much since graduating, and it might just have served my mindset at the time.

The right time for spells

If you open old occult books, you will find loads of timetables.
The saying “A time for each thing, for each thing its time” I believe stems from here.
You don’t just have “thursdays are for luck spells, fridays for love spells”. They go much more into detail.

They work like this: from bigger to smaller.
So you have the season first.
Then the phase of the moon.
Then the day (as above).
Then, of course considering from sunrise to sunset, the hours.

Which means that, according to old occult books, maybe that love spell you’ve just read, should be performed on a spring full moon, friday, in the hours of Jupiter.

While I’m so much happier with the approach that neopaganism has brought to this matter (either: do it when you have the time, or adjust your spell to the timing), this “old fashion” of doing things has its appeal.

Let’s say you want to do a big spell, a lifechanging one, something more than the usual daily glamour or little luck spells.
You select your spell, you select your day and everything else.

You look for that on your calendar… it’s five months away.
Oh. You say.
Well, let’s see the bright side.

You have five months to start collecting the supplies (the perfect ones, not just those that “will make do”).
You have five months to start acting accordingly.
Let’s say you want to do a job spell, or a home spell, or a travel spell.
Start taking courses, applying to anything, looking for places to live, making lists of what you want, saving even those little cents you can by chosing a cheaper product over another one.
And so on, and so forth.

All this will build up determination, focus, willpower, momentum.
To the summa of your spell.

Hope this helps :)

Grimoire Prompt Five - Research Correspondences You Don’t Already Know

Finally back with another grimoire prompt!
Sorry for the delay, the last couple of weeks have been pretty bad. First I got really ill, and then my wife got REALLY ill and ended up in hospital on Thursday with kidney sepsis, pyelonephritis and bilateral pneumonia. She came home today finally, so it’s been a bit of a journey. 

This entry is about correspondences! I’ve seen many grimoires with very pretty pages filled with correspondences. I don’t have that in mine, but that’s because I have been around for a while and I know the ones I use by heart. However, I decided to find an area I didn’t know so much about, and make a correspondence entry.

I settled on the planets (and the sun!)! It was a lot of fun to make this one. The last three planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are a bit difficult to find correspondences for in the classical sources because they didn’t actually know about those planets back then! 

So that is the ‘assignment’ for this prompt. Pick a correspondence theme that you know little about, some ideas are herbs, crystals, planets, colours… and write down what can be connected to each thing. 

The whole idea is to learn something new so don’t cheat! Pick something that is new to you ;) I decided to make mine on an expandable page for double the fun!

I’d love to see your results, so please share! Post the results, and show me how it goes! I’ll track the tag ‘scandi-priestess’ to keep an eye out!