Creating Your Own Spells

It's fun to design your own unique spells. Personalizing spells makes them more meaningful. You can tailor any spell for specific purposes. If you're doing a love spell that calls for pink candles, but you want to turn up the heat, choose red candles instead. If you don't like the scent of lavender, you could use vanilla to dress a candle for a relaxation ritual. And if you can't find a certain ingredient, it's okay to substitute another. For instance, ash leaves and basil both contain energies that can be used in protection spells. Blending ingredients allows you to fine-tune your magic to produce exactly the result you desire.

Essential oils can be added to water and misted into a room to work their magic. Or you can put a few drops in bathwater. You can also dress candles with them or heat them in an oil diffuser. The objective is to enliven your senses and stimulate your brain's limbic system, in whatever way pleases you.

Become familiar with various botanicals and stones, so you know which ones will serve your purposes best. Chapter 8 includes lists of herbs, oils, gemstones, and other ingredients to choose from when you're concocting your own spells. You might also wish to purchase some more extensive guides, such as those listed in Appendix B. Learn which colors, numbers, and other symbols correspond to which intentions. Chapter 3 provides information about symbolic connections. Again, you can deepen your knowledge by reading books that cover these topics in greater detail, including those in Appendix B.

Setting Up Shop

You don't need to purchase a warehouse full of supplies in the beginning. Start with a few basics: candles, incense, ribbons, and kitchen herbs. As you progress, add some quartz crystals and gemstones. Later on, you may wish to invest in a wand, chalice, athame, and pentagram. Tarot cards, a crystal ball, and pendulum might follow at some point. Allow yourself to be led by your intuition. Build your collection as your need or interest dictates.

Accept the gifts that come your way. Doing so demonstrates your openness to receive the universe's bounty and keeps the circle of abundance operating smoothly. If, for some reason, a particular gift doesn't seem right for you, pass it on to someone else, but don't reject it.

Sometimes magic items find you. People may give you tarot decks. You might find crystals lying on the side of the road. In time, you might decide to set up an extensive apothecary or grow your own magical herbs. Some magicians like to fashion their own candles or even distill their own scents. Others fabricate special ritual clothing or jewelry. Apply your talents however the muse guides you.

Use Your Imagination

When designing rituals and concocting spells, be creative. Use your imagination. The more involved you get in the process, the better. If you want to play a certain kind of music, by all means do so. If donning special garb helps you get into the mood, wear it. If you feel like dancing, singing, chanting, or experimenting with other movements, give it a try. Notice what you experience and record your impressions in your grimoire.

It's fine to follow guidelines — and it's recommended in the beginning — but listen to your intuition, too. Don't be afraid to tweak a spell or vary a particular practice. After a while, you'll learn to connect with the energies of plants, stones, and other substances, and you can incorporate them harmoniously into your spells. Use your knowledge of the elements, correspondences, and symbols to come up with original spells.

Basic Spell-Working Tips

As you go about designing your own spells and rituals, keep these basic guidelines in mind:

  • Know what you want and state your intention simply, in the form of an affirmation.

  • Refer to lists of ingredients — such as herbs, flowers, stones, oils, and colors — until you memorize them.

  • Pay attention to the day of the week, moon phases, and other astrological factors.

  • If you cast a circle, abide by the rules of the ritual.

  • If you're working with other people, be sure your intentions are in agreement.

  • As the old adage goes, be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.

Beyond these fundamentals, you're pretty much free to put your own personal spin on spells. Like a musician interpreting a composer's song, your unique rendition is as valid as anyone else's and may serve your purposes better than following a prescribed formula to the letter.

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