“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”–Anne Morrow Lindberg
The last two weeks have brought us some good weather. Some members of the coven have even had their first outdoor fires of the season already too! I too have a nice bundle of fallen twigs and branches saved up that fell from the trees to use for kindling for my own outdoor fires at night.
As the rake pulled away the damp leaves, in my mind I am envisioning the awakening of the Great Earth Mother with the same feeling we have with a nice back-scratch from a loved one that is so stimulating and sometimes needed for relief of sore muscles. I imagine in my mind and visualize how this little act must feel for the Great Mother Goddess, in a metaphoric way, as I tend to her as she has tended to me. Though I don’t look at her as a humanized figure, I can’t help but relate the two concepts. This is a simple act of magic to me, and just like at the Sabbat ritual itself where the poundings of the High Priestess’s hand on the ground to invite the Great Mother Goddess back to spring and awaken Her, and the corresponding pounding of the besoms on the ground following her ritual action. Now, the final uncovering begins so that delicate herbs and plants can come through in full bloom.
This previously stated narrative is something that I try to get across in a number of the articles here which is that even the most routine acts can be practical forms of magic and meditation which has the potential to enrich the soul, promote happiness and assist us in the cultivation of a harmonious existence with man, crops and animals. A quote to illustrate this point further by Wilfred A Peterson:
“Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do but from liking what we have to do.” (1)
We have to do many, many things in our lives, and how we go about them or carry them out can make all the difference. I often say that in spell-making, half of it is “what” you do, but the other half of it is “how” you do it. Some of the things we have to do can take a lot of time, sweat, tears and elbow grease; so why not approach them with an awareness of mind and heart in which we infuse a bit of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition into it?
So what are some other spring-time spells and rituals that we might engage in?
Well, one of the first things that comes to mind is a little ritual that our coven participates in during the Spring Rite in which the planting of prayers, petitions and wishes of things we wish to work for and cultivate in our lives.
The technique itself may be best summarized by the writing of petitions which are ceremonially collected and then invocations are made before the eventual burning in the Sabbat fire. Then, a little of the ashes are scooped out and mixed in which the soil with a blessing. The breath of life is breathed over the soil, and then the water is blessed. The seeds or bulbs are then planted and ceremonially watered. The resulting blossoms which should be produced can be a figure in the Summer Rite, and then by the Autumn should go into seed or fruit. When winter comes, we must accept our just rewards – either the attainment of our desires or the failures of that which we didn’t tend to. This teaches us the important lesson learned from what we may describe as the Law of Compensation which is one way of describing Karma.
As you can see, this technique described above and in itself is a way of keeping in touch with the land, its growing cycles and the results found in our simple nature religion. What can be more beautiful than engaging in a ritual or seasonal cycle in which we attempt to stay in touch with the growing, nourishment and harvest of the earth? Even if you cannot perform this ritual outdoors with other witches at coven, you can indeed participate in this ritual indoors with simple supplies of seeds, bulbs, a flower pot, soil and water.
The beauty of some of these simple spring rituals is they can be adapted whether you live in the country or in the city. They can be adapted to those who can be physically active outdoors and with much drama or pomp and circumstance as you prefer or performed in a more scaled-down version if you have disabilities which prevent you from traveling to coven in the woods or countryside. This is the beauty of occultism and magical practice – Witches make do!
A Love Spell:
Before we leave the topic of planting rituals, another spell that seems to be as old as the hills is a particular Love Spell which typically involves the planting of a bulb such as an Amaryllis, Hyacinth or Daffodils for the purpose of obtaining what we all seek after at some time in our lives: Love! This spell is very hard to cite in the Bibliography below because it, like the last one, has been written about so many times, in so many old spell books in different ways, and is one of the many old classical techniques of sorcery. However, I will list two places, one newer re-publication and one older, in which it is referenced in case you want to explore this spell further.
One famed witch known as Gundella, the Green Witch has spoken about this spell on her wonderful record on the practice of spell making titled The Hour of the Witch (4) which is a Vinyl record originally released in 1970, and then more recently re-released in a new edition and cover!
In all the various versions of this spell, the bulb is named after the person whom love is sought after – where amorous feelings of love is sought to be reciprocated. The bulb is then planted in a pot and is tended to each day so that as the flower grows, so it is alleged that the love between you and your intended lover will grow. Some witches add a little verbal charm to this – and this is another case where this charm and various versions of it has been written in so many ways and so many different times that it is hard to pin-point, but one particular version of this was written about in a wonderful little booklet on witchcraft by Delphine C. Lyons called Everyday Witchcraft. (5)
“As this root shall grow, And this blossom blow, So let his heart be Inclined unto me.” (5) -Delphine C. Lyons
Another modern book that was written by Pauline Campanelli and illustrated by Dan Campanelli that is titled Wheel of the Year (6) and it can give you various spells, lore and rituals that they enjoy at their home at Flying Witch Farms in New Jersey. It is quite a delight and entertaining read that gives you a whole seasonal cycle of lore for all 12 months of the year. They also have written a number of other books that are equally entertaining, but the fascinating and handy thing about this book is they make it easy to flip to the month of the year that we are in and read about activities that you can enjoy by yourself or with others.
One April tradition that the Campanelli’s discuss is a sanctuary garden which looks like a fascinating thing to try!
One thing to be aware of when it comes to seasonal workbooks such as this: most books will typically be written with a local flair. This book works very well for me because since at the time of its writing, the authors are/were located in New Jersey which matches my local environment/seasonal cycle here in Pennsylvania. For those that are located in other areas of the world, you may have to adjust some activities a bit to match your own local seasonal cycle, or even better, create your own that matches your local environment! There will always be activities that are universal, but some may occur at earlier or later months. How beautiful of an activity it is to create a seasonal workbook of nature’s cycles that correspond with your own environment – magical activities that can be found in each of our unique locations! For many of our witch friends who live in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasonal cycles might be reversed. Witches make do!
The 7-Knob Wishing Candle Spell:
Another classical spell – This would be what is famously known as the Seven knob Wish Candle. This spell is a very common spell among witches, but today, it seems many folks forget its wonderful simplicity. I think it is appropriate to talk about it in this article for Spring-time because this is a great time to plant things that are new in your life. This is another spell that has been written about in classical spell-making recipe books for generations. I will give you some resources of where you can find it in other places, and I will describe my own personal way of casting this spell.
The only supplies you need for it is a 7-Knob Candle and matches. You can either use a molded seven knob candle that has been molded with the seven knobs already, such as can be found at most occult supply stores, and pictured here below, or if you can’t locate one of these specialty candles found in occult candle shops, you can make do by taking your White Handled Knife and carving 6 circular lines in the candle. Many people like to inscribe their candles by writing the summarized wish directly onto the candle with their W.H.K. and if you do so, a molded candle will be better for this than a taper – as one that is traditionally dipped can flake off because of the layering process that occurs when you hand-dip the candles.
Another work-around that witches might typically do is to take one of those long hat-pins and place it into the candle, and when the pin falls, they extinguish the candle and the next day they will engage in placing the pin down the candle a little bit more – doing this for seven nights.
Gundella gives her own version of casting this spell on her record, Hour of the Witch, and you can read about this as well in Charmaine Dey’s fantastic book on ritual candle burning titled, The Magic Candle. Another reference location for this classical spell can be found in Tarostar’s classical recipe book of witchery called, The Witch’s Spellcraft, which has a fantastic description of how to perform this spell! In Tarostar’s book, the spell is titled, “Seven Knobs to Thy Heart’s Desire.”
You would then take the correct magical occult oil and begin the process of anointing it. For witches, there is a specific technique that we use when anointing traditional candles for spells and rituals that I can’t go into here, but for Seven Knob Candles, you would typically anoint them from the top down. The purpose of the carving and the anointing is to magnetize your wish into the candle. This is called thought-impregnation, and it is believed the “thought” enters the candle. The candle is seen as a magnetic object, so it is easy for candles to absorb our thoughts when we concentrate on them while anointing them. The process of burning the candle releases those thoughts through the fire elemental which responds by combustion. (the burning of the candle)
So here is how I do this spell when by myself outside of coven:
I take a circular brass tray and set it on top of the altar and place on top of that a candle holder that is fireproof. Typically, I will make a circle of salt or an appropriate herb around this – careful that the herb will not come into contact with the candle or flame. After it has all been anointed and carved, I will light the candle and concentrate my summarized wish and burn only one knob. I blow out the candle after the first knob is burnt and then go on with my night. I do this for 7 nights in a row – the only difference is that on the seventh night, I allow the candle to extinguish itself.
Some I might incorporate a magical talisman or pentacle, such as can be found in The Greater Key of Solomon or even the seals in the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses by drawing them out with Dove’s Blood Ink or Dragon’s Blood Ink on one side and then writing the wish on the back of talisman/seal. (Use Bat’s Blood Ink for curses)
These paper talisman can be burned on the 7th night before the candle goes out.
The finished talisman or seal can be placed on top of the circular brass dish and underneath the fireproof candleholder. That can be great fun as well and can be another way to add more thought-concentration to the wish you are making. Even when you don’t fully understand the designs in certain talismans and seals, the point of the exercise is to imbue additional concentration into the spell. The talisman is anointed with the appropriate condenser fluid or magical oil before being placed underneath the candle holder.
It is a fun little spell in total. Enjoy its simplicity!
The Spring Equinox:
As we now approach the time of the Spring Equinox, this time is a focus of re-dedication to the coven. Typically, we will re-affirm the tenets of the religion at this special time, as it is a time of renewal and re-birth. This lines up with not only the renewal of nature in our environment and the growing season, but also astrologically as we enter the Sign of the Ram, Aries – the astrological new year. This means it is also a great time to perform initiations into the Wicca as well.
Witch Dances & Stone Circles:
Recently I was re-reading the book, Witchcraft and Folklore of Dartmoor by Ruth E. St. Leger-Gordon and I was reminded of something I was taught in Wicca: that the square-dances of today are often reminiscent of the old circle-dances – such as the back-to-back dances you read about in various witchcraft lore.
These dances would happen at the Sabbat or Esbat, which is not to be confused with the “Sabbath.” The word we use for our Esbats is said to come from the old French word s’eabattre which is said to mean “to frolic.”
There are many old stone circles that look perfect for this, such as in the old photographs I’ve seen of the Nine Maidens Circle and also the Rollright Stones that I have only seen photos of that are located in England. Here in America, we are lacking in the ancient megalithic stone circles that you find throughout England and Europe, but today, you have many folks that make their own, often on a smaller scale in America. (A magnificent megalithic park, like the Columcille Megalithic Park located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is more recently built, and is pretty intense and well worth the trip! Another stone circle I have heard of, in South-Western, PA that I haven’t had the chance to visit yet but have heard good things about and has a stone circle is called Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary. I am sure there are many others too!)
Today though, much secrecy is still required in the performance of our rituals. The secrecy is not because we aren’t free to practice the Old Religion, but because magic is best found in the silent and secret places. Those silent and secret places of the inner mind and those of private locations are where we seem to perform some of our best work when it comes to group-work. This is probably why witches are always attracted to old and remote locations that are well-off the beaten path to perform rituals, or even a small and private clearing in the middle of the woods that can easily be swept by a broom in order to cut the magical circle.
Any site, such as that clearing in the woods or a still, quiet spot indoors can be made a place for a sacred ritual by certain words and actions we do. In a book written by Douglas Hill and Pat Williams titled, The Supernatural, they say that, “The Power of the spell is derived from the power of words and of incantation.” When an incantation is spoken with emotion and the visualized thought-force is behind it, it most certainly is a magical spell that has power. Like all things in life, some witches have more power and some less. We are all at different stages of development in our path to reach perfection and eventually through a cycle of many lives reunite with the Deity.
Part of our “Spring Cleaning”, another important ritual for spring, is a clearing out of clutter, things broken and beyond repair, and that which holds us back from all that is positive and good. The art of simplicity is one that is very sacred to Wiccans, for one of our Precepts of Cosmic Order in our coven teachings teaches us that the wise always find ways to simplify their lives. Witches ever work to keep life simple. We know that life itself is simple, but we often find ways to complicate it and fill it up with both physical and mental clutter.
The wisest of witches aim to live uncomplicated lives. It isn’t because witches are out of touch, it is because they realize the most powerful things in nature are often the most simple, and yet, the most profound, and have chosen to order their lives in a way to remove excesses if possible in order to reserve time and energy – so that our life-force may be used wisely: Reserving power so that it may be put to good use toward a goal or target when it is needed and necessary, rather than wasting it. This too is a balancing act. It is a pathway of finding balance, which is often easier said than done – but we strive for it, even if we never become perfect at it.
A favorite quote of mine that I repeat often by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“If I can’t do great things, let me do small things in a great way…..”
In remembrance of a magical ritual performed years ago and the beauty and simplicity of that ritual that was performed with love and trust in mind; I have written the following to recount and give honor to that day. With springtime rushing in the air right now, how can our thoughts not contemplate the beauty of nature?
It was a private outdoor affair and its memory is not lost to time even to this day for me:
“A bright lit forest of golden hue
and skin that shined of azure-blue
was the theme one day, yet a lifetime ago
this memory I have and recall, I know –
For it was born one day with good intent
and sent spirit soaring, heaven bent
with curling smoke and herb-scented fire
weaving and crafting my hidden desire
To ascend, to become, to be at one,
As I will it, so be it done!
I left that woods, and much had changed,
A call from the depths, unknown, unnamed.
Now that place is so different, I don’t recognize it,
And that is because, no one will find it.”
Thoughts on the “Cone of Power”
In these special spaces with our covens we often times create what has come to be described as a “Cone of Power” and the thought-form created in some ways may possibly be described as a form of long-range hypnosis on a grander level.
Each coven will have its own ways of doing this and concentrating the mental command so it can travel to its target like a carefully thrown dart. As you prepare your spring-time spells and rituals, it is important to keep that in mind. A great way to describe this mental command is via a quote from a book titled: “Practical Lessons in Hypnotism and Magnetism,” by L.W. DeLaurence, published in 1937:
“This subtle, silent, intangible psychic or soul force (Hypnotic Influence), is the power that has been conserved to the use of the strong minded; and when concentrated, and projected by the will with a combative, subduing, or controlling intent, it becomes the magic wand…..”
The mind is a powerful machine and one that a witch learns to master as carefully as the driving of a horse-driven carriage.
Studies within this book referenced above relating to the understanding of magnetism are also very good and discuss the subtle energy that is released from the body.
Hypnotic control can easily be delivered in-person through various techniques passed witch-to-witch with nothing but the mind, the hands, and carefully crafted commands through strong mental influence that is magnetic and inductive.
The use of spells is a way in which we can direct the vital force or “Vril” to draw in and attract certain influences by tuning our own vital fields to make them magnetic – hence, why the Widdershins movement is used and works much in the same way as a cyclotron.
More on Candle Magic:
Candle magic is widely popular when it comes to spellmaking. We do use candle spells in coven from time to time, but there are other secret ways that traditional covens use to make group magic together.
I believe one of the reasons that candle magic is so popular is because of the energetic virtue of candles that many folks may not even realize. When a candle is magnetized by the thought + emotion, it becomes a “condenser of magic” that absorbs and holds what is put into it. Everything about an unlit candle is magnetic. That is why when we do a spell, we use new candles for each spell – discouraging the practice of using the same candle for multiple spells. (Their are exceptions to this, of course!)
Now, to wrap up the conversion about the magnetic abilities of a candle…… Once the candle is lit, it becomes electric: meaning it sends forth the energy that was placed into it at the chosen time when it is lit as the wax melts and transmutes into heat, light, flame, etc.
Many covens use secret ways to empower a candle in coven circle, and then wrapped up to be burned at a later time during the correct planetary or angelic hour of the day.
A candle magnetized for money-drawing is in this photo above.
Writing a simple and direct incantation can take a little practice and skill. To help you get started and maybe help you spark some ideas, I am going to include a simple little incantation that can be used for Money-Drawing if you need a specific amount of money.
Solitary New Moon Spell for Money Drawing:
This spell is cast for seven days, starting on the New Moon.
To perform, place your incense thurible in the center of the altar. Place to the left of that a candle in the color of your astrological sun-sign and anoint it with the zodiac oil of your sun sign. It should first be inscribed with your name if it is for yourself, but for casting for another person, it should be inscribed with that person’s name, using the candle color of their sun sign and the correct astrological oil.
Underneath the candle holder that hold the Astrological Astral Candle, place a piece of paper in which you have drawn one one of the proper Money-Drawing Talismans out on in Dove’s Blood Ink and on the back of it the amount of money you need. Circle the candle holder with fresh mint.
To the right of the Incense Thurible, place a magnetized green candle for money and either a $5.00 bill or a $20.00 bill under that candle holder. Circle it with salt or purple sand. If you can, also place a single cut red or orange rose in front of that candle holder but within the circle of salt or sand.
Burn Money-Drawing Incense in the Thurible.
First, light your astral candle, speaking a few words such as,
“The money flows to me! The money flows to me! The money flows to me!”
Light the green money candle and chant something to the effect of:
“Force of earth and force of flame, force of wind and force of sea, This witch’s breath is on the wind, money flow and come to me.”
Continue chanting for a little while and when you feel your concentration has peaked, end with:
As I will, so mote it be!”
New Moon Coven Esbat for Money-Drawing:
Many of the same steps above would be used, but in a different way, to do this Spell at the Coven Esbat. Obviously, the coven-Esbat format will be the most powerful, with a coven concentrating their collective imaginative wills for the money-drawing for the person requesting it.
The first thing would be to cast the magical circle, being sure to cast the circle widdershins.
The supplies would be placed on the altar in the same method as above for solitary, but carried out in a different order in the center of the altar. First, you would light the magnetized money candle and the coven would circle widdershins, while holding hands until the power has peaked with the chant:
“Force of earth and force of flame, force of wind and force of sea, This witch’s breath is on the wind, money flow and come to me.”
Once it has peaked, the coven drops to the earth and silently concentrates on a swirling vortex of money, spinning widdershins, and bringing the right down that swirling vortex-cone the amount of money or greater to the person being concentrated on to receive. At the appropriate time, the coven will stand, and begin circling/dancing clockwise to send out the power raised while chanting:
“The money flows to (NAME)! The money flows to (NAME)! The money flows to (NAME)!”
They would do this until they have felt the power draining from the circle and it has all been sent out to the person. The Esbat would continue on as usual.
*Note: Candle burning can be a fire hazard. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer for proper candle burning instructions.
To finish this article, I will leave you with a spring-time quote:
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan but also believe.” -Anatole France
Bibliography & Works Cited:
- Peterson, Wilfred A., The Art of Living, This Week Magazine. 1961.
- Gundella., The Hour of the Witch, Mutt Record Productions. Inkster, Michigan, 1970
- Lyons, Delphine C., Everyday Witchcraft: love magic, charms and spells, fortune telling; everything you need to know to enjoy occult power!, Dell Publishing Co., 1972
- Campanelli, Pauline., Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life, Llewellyn Publications, St Paul, MN. 2000
- Dey, Charmaine,. The Magic Candle. Original Publications, New York. 1982
- Tarostar, The Witch’s Spellcraft.
- de Laurence, LW. Practical Lessons in Hypnotism and Magnetism
- Leger-Gordon, Ruth E. St. Witchcraft and Folklore of Dartmoor
- Williams, Pat and Hill, Douglas. The Supernatural