Junk drawer witchery

New witches are often eager to run out and buy expensive herbs, oils, and incenses to build their practices, then become disenchanted and frustrated when their magic doesn’t work or they feel limited in their practice because they seem to not have enough “stuff.”

I have been practicing witchcraft for 12 years; my mother has been practicing for nearly three decades. While both of us have quite a stockpile of fancy tools and toys, much of the things that we actually use in our practice are extremely commonplace items that one would find in any average household. The other things are simply tchotchkes that we use on special occasions.

Here I’d like to introduce many of the items you’ll find in your own home (or so cheap that you can throw it in the grocery cart without guilt) that you can use in magical practice, and in my next post I’ll discuss some of the magical properties of common kitchen herbs. Enjoy!

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Breathe easy visualization for stress

This is a simple visualization I use to help me fall asleep. It really helps and I often go from obsessing for hours to dropping right to sleep.

Find a comfortable position. If you’re doing this to help you sleep, make sure that you’re completely ready to go to bed and won’t need to get up or do anything.

First, imagine a beautiful sky. I usually use a sunny day with big, puffy clouds, but whatever kind of sky works for you is perfect. The important thing is that it’s a beautiful sky that you associate with happiness, contentment, and peace. It can be a daytime or nighttime sky.

The 4-7-8 breath method is awesome, and you can use that during this visualization if it helps you, but I often find that actually counting it out stresses me more. During this visualization just take deep, even breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, and it doesn’t matter exactly how long you hold them, as long as you feel that you’re getting enough breath to feel relaxed.

When you take the breath in, visualize that you’re inhaling your beautiful sky and that the sky is filling your chest, filling you with beauty, peace, and contentment. Hold the sky in for a little while and imagine the fresh air and the sunlight (or moonlight) are cleansing and healing everything within you, making you whole and well.

When you breathe out, visualize that you’re breathing out stale, ugly fumes, which represent all of your anxiety, your cares, your worries, your fears. They could represent actual physical illness, or they could just represent the “pollution” of your daily life: grumpy people at work, the stress of the daily commute, anything that causes you to be stressed out and unhappy. I always imagine these fumes to look like the exhaust that come out of diesel trucks.

You can perform this visualization for as long as necessary until you are relaxed and calm. Sometimes it helps to imagine the exhale fumes going from very gross and polluted to nearly clear as you feel calmer and calmer.

Feather calling: summoning communication with a friend

Superstition says that when you find a feather, someone will be getting in contact with you soon. The person you think of first when you see the feather is probably the person that you want to get in touch, so to up your chances, use this simple charm to direct the Universe to your desires.

This charm is meant to work when you find a feather in nature, but you can use it if you have a store of feathers of your own. It will likely be less effective, however.

Pick up the feather and hold it close to your heart. Visualize the person you want to contact you and think cast your energy to them. Imagine them thinking of you and being moved to get in touch.

Look at the feather. Holding it in your dominant hand, feel it absorbing your intent and power. Imagine the feather floating from you to the intended person, carrying your message to them.

Hold the feather out into the breeze. Say,

I have heard you,
You have heard me.
I carry my message into the breeze.

Gently blow the feather out into the air, charging it with your message and power. Turn away and let it send your message to the intended recipient.

Weed curse

This curse is designed to help kill weeds through the use of saltwater and ashes. Can be used in conjunction with other gardening methods.

Mix ash and salt together. The ash should preferably be ash left over from a ritual or a sacred fire. Any type of salt is okay but sea salt is best.

Pour in water and place in the sun. Let sit, stirring widdershins, as you pull the weeds up or cut them.

When as much of the weeds are gone as you can manage, stir the water widdernshins vigorously. Pour the water on the spot where the weeds were and say,

Salt and ash,
Bane this grass,
May ne’er its kin grow.

Curse its seed,
Kill this weed,
May ne’er its kin grow.

When you’ve poured in as much of the mixture as you can get out, stomp on the ground and imagine the weeds all disappearing. Stomp widdershins, then spit on the ground and walk away.

Evening Prayers

Adopted from Carmina Gadelica: Hymns & Incantations Collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the Last Century by Alexander Carmichael. Arranged 1992, Floris Books, Harrison Gardens, Edinburgh. If you are interested in seeing the original versions, you may view a copy of my source text here.

A note: I often use the term “Spirit” as a term for the universal spiritual force. Please feel free to replace this, and any other religious term, with the name of a deity or force of your choosing.

Soul-shrine (a night prayer)

Spirits who keep watch o’er me
From the deep well of souls in the shrouds of sky,
The gentle encompassing of the Mother Moon
Comes round my soul-shrine this night,
O, round my soul-shrine this night.

Ward me from every distress and danger,
Encompass my course over the ocean of truth,
I pray thee, place thy pure light before me,
O, spirit from the shroud of sky,
O, spirit from the shroud of sky.

Be Thyself the guiding star above me,
Illume Thou to me every reef and shoal,
Pilot my ship on the crest of the wave,
To the restful haven of the waveless sea,
O, the restful haven of the waveless sea.

A resting prayer

Spirit shield the house, the hearth, the hearts
of all those who dwell here tonight.
Shield myself and my beloved ones,
Preserve us from violence and from harm;
Preserve us from foes this night,
For the sake of peace and harmony,
In this place, and in every place where my loved ones dwell,
On this night and on every night,
This night and every night.

Bed Blessing

I am lying down tonight,
With God, with Goddess,
With Spirit of Peace,
Who shield me from harm.

I will not lie with evil,
Nor shall evil lie down with me,
But I will lie down with Spirit,
And Spirit will lie down with me.

God, Goddess, and Spirit,
And those who bless and love me,
Protect me as Three and as One,
From the top of my face to the soles of my feet.

Thou Lord of the sun and of glory,
Thou Lady of the moon and of mystery,
Keep Thou us from the glen of tears,
And from the house of grief and gloom,
Keep us from the glen of tears,
From the house of grief and gloom.

Repose (unchanged)

Thou Being of marvels,
Shield me with might,
Thou Being of statues
and of stars.

Compass me this night,
Both soul and body,
Compass me this night
And on every night.

Compass me aright
Between earth and sky,
Between the mystery of Thy laws
and mine eye of blindness;

Both that which mine eye sees
and that which it does not;
Both that which is clear
and is not clear to my devotion.