Week 24 (L): on (self) love spells
The biggest love of your life should be you. Gala Darling, a fashion blogger from New Zealand, originally planted the idea in my head a little more than four years ago. The idea that we should romance ourselves, court ourselves, love our selves as deeply as we love other people. To wit, I’ve been working on my own self-love spell for a while. It isn’t done, so I won’t be posting a finished ritual yet, but I figured I could at least post some things to give you ideas for crafting your own.
I knew I wanted to use kunzite and rose quartz for this spell. Kunzite is good for awakening the heart chakra and inspiring unconditional love, which is an important component of self-love. It also helps with healing heartache. Rose quartz is a good all-purpose stone, also for unconditional love. It works by siphoning off negative energy and gently transforming it into loving energy. These seemed like an ideal combination for this type of spell.
I decided that jasmine, lavender, and pink roses would make a fitting combination for herbs. Jasmine is excellent for love, and prophetic dreams as well. Lavender is my go-to, so that was a given. Roses have long been used in love magic, which is why they’re still so popular for weddings. I wanted something that smelled nice, so this combination was also chosen with that in mind. The resultant potion will be put into that lovely pink bottle pictured above. These, combined with a mala made of rose quartz on purple silk thread and that lovely pink moonstone ring of mine, were all very fitting for the goal of self-loving.
This heart-shaped hunk of rose quartz is something I use to focus when I’m meditating. I think it will also prove to be excellent for this ritual. As you might have noticed by now, this spell is heavy on the use of rose quartz, for the reasons described above. When this ritual does get done, it will be one of the most elaborate I’ve ever done. I’ve been waiting for a good full moon where I’m not busy with other things, which unfortunately has been hard to come by.
Self-love is one of the many qualities I think witches ought to possess. Self-love is something that is an ongoing journey of seeking, much like other magical skills that can be continually improved upon. Loving yourself is a journey worth taking.
Week 15 (H): on making a house a home with a house blessing bottle
I move a lot. In the past nine years, since I moved out of the dorms & my parent’s house, I’ve lived in nine different places. And in every one of these nine apartments, I have done some sort of house blessing. This type of ritual is a large part of making my new place really feel like home.
Writing your own rituals is excellent practice. But I also think that it can be very valuable to find inspiration in the rituals of others. Below is a ritual for a house blessing. I hope this gives you some inspiration for your own. And, if this one resonates with you, please use it. I only ask that you credit me with its creation, modifying as you desire (per my Creative Commons license for all the contents of this blog).
This is a ritual that is preferably done before furniture is moved in, but it can also be done after you’ve moved everything in. Ideally you’ll have all the people who live in the house participating. My wonderful partner enthusiastically participated in the re-dedication when she moved in with me, but your mileage may vary.
You will need:
- a glass bottle, whatever size you like (mine is a little bit shorter than the length of my hand)
- herbs that represent all the things you want for your life in this house/apartment
- a candle in a scent/color of your choice (I used Terra Essential Scents house warming candle)
- a smudge stick (I like sage) or incense
- rosemary or lavender oil (I picked lavender)
Decorate a house bottle. The purpose of this bottle is to protect, bless, and dedicate the space. I typically use a glass paint marker in cerulean and draw interlocking spirals that cover most of the bottle (see above). Bake to set the color. Once the bottle cools, I filled mine with the following potion:
- a cinnamon stick (for luck, purification, and protection)
- basil (harmony)
- allspice & rosemary (vitality)
- anise & rice (protection)
- cloves (protection and love)
- lavender (purification, love, protection, and to promote peace in the house)
- sage (longevity, wisdom, and protection)
- thyme (health and purification)
- salt (purification)
I also added the following crystals to the herb mixture above:
- 3 pieces of obsidian (for protection and stress-blocking)
- amethyst (peace and love – see also my post about my tendency to use amethyst for pretty much everything)
- hematite (grounding and peace)
- blue lace agate (cooling, calming, and freedom of expression)
Invoke your goddesses of choice (I called upon Brighid, for new endeavors, and Kali, for protection. They’re also my guardian goddesses. I know quite a few people who invoke Hestia for their house blessings.) Light the candle, to signal the start of the blessing: I used a candle specifically charged for house warming, which smelled utterly lovely (peppermint, vanilla, and lavender) and was embedded with a piece of blue agate.
Smudge the space with sage, taking care not to set off fire alarms. If possible, circle the perimeter of the building as well. Be discreet, but take your time, focusing on cleansing and blessing your new space. Use rosemary or lavender oil to draw an invoking pentagram* on the door or threshold. Alternatively (or perhaps additionally), plant rosemary by the door. I also hung this miniature broom on the door, with its bristles soaked in lavender oil. Folklore says that a broom on the door wards off negativity. Now if only I could remember where I’d read that!
Once back inside, after finishing with the smudging, stand in a room or hallway with a view of the door through which you’ll enter most often. Fill your house bottle with the prepared potion of herbs and stones. As you put in the stopper, offer the following words to the Goddess:
Goddess of the home and hearth,
bless these walls and give them warmth.
Bless the windows, roof, and floor.
Bring joy to all who grace my door!
Grant to those who enter here
Relief from sorrow, pain, and fear.
Bring rest and comfort to the tired.
Turn rage to peace – quench its fire.
Make this home a happy place
Where friends feel welcomed by this space.
Please see that only good befalls
Those who dwell within these walls.
Carry the bottle from room to room, asking the Goddess to bless each space. If you live in a studio or one big room, carry the bottle to all the corners of the room. Use this ritual in conjunction while chanting the house blessings below, if desired, or craft a spontaneous prayer for each individual room. I chanted the first continuously as I walked through the house, then said the second once for each room, but do what works for you.
Protect this home
Cleanse this place
this sacred space
Once you have gone through every room, place the house bottle in a central space where you will see it most days. Reaffirm this blessing as desired (particularly if someone moves in with you, or if you get a new pet). Blow out the candle and give thanks.
When you move, scatter the contents of the bottle, on the property if desired, and give thanks to the Goddess for having made your house a home.
* I thought I did my invoking pentagrams like most pagans, but upon further research that’s apparently not the case. Mine go from the top to the right-hand bottom point, across to the left-hand side point, over to the right-hand side point, then back down to the left-hand bottom point. In case you were curious.
Week 13 (G): on how to say goodbye to things that no longer serve you (or, a banishing ritual for bad habits, old loves, fears, and other things you wish to be rid of)
I think writing your own rituals is an excellent practice. But I also think that it can be very valuable to find inspiration in the rituals of others. Below is a ritual I wrote in 2012 for Samhain, at a time when I felt that I was being weighed down by collected negativity. I wanted to get rid of bad habits, memories of old lovers, and all the other things that were making me unhappy. I hope this ritual gives you some inspiration for your own. And, if this one resonates with you, please use it. I only ask that you credit me with its creation, modifying as you desire (per my Creative Commons license for all the contents of this blog).
Light a black candle and call upon Hecate, the crone of the crossroads. She is the keeper of wisdom and this is an excellent sabbat to be seeking it. This is a ritual for saying goodbye, either to people or animals who have gone in search of Summerland, or to old patterns that no longer serve you as well as they once did.
You will need
- a cauldron
- a knife or scissors
- red or black yarn
- pen and paper
- one white candle and one black
- salt and water
Set separate bowls of salt and water on either side of the black candle, with the white candle behind.
On each piece of paper, write a name of someone you wish to be free from, an old habit you wish to be rid of, and the like. Set each piece of paper aside, face down on the ground. As you place turn the papers over, visualize Hecate’s black cloak blotting them out of your life. These things are no longer bound to you. You are no longer bound to them. You are free. Focus on each and then let it disappear into the blackness of her cloak, taking as much time as you need.
When you are finished writing all the things you wish to be rid of, dip your fingertips into the salt and say:
I send my bitterness away
gone it be, by dawn of day.
I ask this salt to take it from me,
to let me heal, to set me free.
Dip your fingertips into the water and say:
I wash grief away with water clear.
I wash and cleanse myself of fear.
And as I wash, I gain new power.
I am reborn, this very hour.
Draw a pentagram on your body, anointing yourself with water at the shoulders, nipples, and third eye in the shape of a pentagram. (I usually use my right hand and start at the left shoulder, moving to the right nipple, third eye, left nipple and right shoulder, then back to the left shoulder to complete the star shape.)
Crumple the paper into tiny balls and drop them in the cauldron, trying not to dwell on any of the things you wrote down. Say:
There once was love where now is grief
with this spell grant me relief
from all your power over me.
This life is mine – I set me free!
Take the yarn (which should be made of natural fibers like cotton, silk, or wool so that it will burn, rather than melt) and cut several nine inch pieces: one length of yarn for each piece of paper. Knot the yarn pieces end to end to form a loop.
Put the yarn around your wrist (depending on how many things you are banishing, you may need to wrap the yarn around your wrist several times so it won’t fall off) and say:
I have carried you all long and far.
Your burden has been my teacher;
I accept your lessons. Now,
it is time I release you. Your presence
no longer serves me.
Use the knife or a pair of scissors to saw through the strands. While you cut away your symbolic bonds, visualize your separation from these problems. When you have cut through all the strands, throw the yarn in the cauldron atop the paper balls.
Drop matches into the cauldron until the paper and yarn catch fire. As they burn, watch the flames and say:
Go back to Hecate, the dark mother,
I call the battle over and won.
Give not these burdens to another
as they dissolve in flames of transformation.
These hardships change in this fire
Hecate, I call upon your might
and though at times, the battle seemed dire
I shall now again find the light.
Blow the ashes into the wind or scatter them in a graveyard. Ideally, leave the cauldron outside overnight, to let your fears dissipate fully.
Smudge your house with sage or your choice of incense. Leave nine cloves as an offering of thanks to Hecate. Eat an apple in her honor, cutting the apple so the pentagram shows. Blow out both candles with a final thanks.
(adapted from rituals in Everyday Magic by Dorothy Morrison and The Wiccan Year by Judy Ann Nock)
Any time you are feeling vulnerable, or feeling like perhaps your burdens are beginning to get the better of you, repeat the following and concentrate on breaking the bonds of fear again. Visualize your fears burning again if it helps.
I am Kali’s black mouth
as She devours the world.
I am Hecate’s dark cloak
as She guards the crossroads.