Should You Adapt Spells or Use Spells Word-For-Word?

So you found a spell you like, but it’s not perfect. Maybe it uses an ingredient that’s rare or expensive in your neck of the woods. Maybe it asks you to go out and stand in the moonlight and there’s been nothing but snow and rain for weeks. Or, maybe, it’s just not fully clicking for you.

There’s lots of reasons why a person might adapt a spell or ritual. It’s usually for ingredient based reasons, but just as often it could be due to timing or personal practice choices.

But adapting a spell is a fine line. If you adapt something too much, it’s not the same spell. If you swap out an ingredient, you may change the way the spell works. Analyzing spells is something you figure out how to do as you gain experience and knowledge with spell casting. It’s hard to adapt a spell when you might not have the basic knowledge to do that. An experienced witch probably will make changes on the fly, using what’s in their cupboards and their knowledge from research and experience. Others might have to pause to double check something or they might even skip a few ingredients by double up the purpose of an ingredient.

In short, adapting spells can be really easy – but it can be a challenge too. It’s okay if it’s a challenging or daunting task for you! It really is. Because spell casting is a lot like cooking and baking.

If you think of a spell like a recipe, then it may take some of the pressure away from having to “get it right”. Cooking and baking is relatively subjective – things need to turn out a certain way to be properly edible and taste good, but not everything is going to taste great to the same people. Spells are a lot like that. You may learn that you just don’t click with herb based spells or anything that asks you to start a fire is a no-go. And that’s okay! Know your strengths and boundaries. It’s a good idea to push those boundaries and strengths sometimes, but you don’t need to do it all the time.

It’s okay to hold back from adapting a spell or even doing a spell, because you’re not sure of the changes that need to be made. I’m in the camp that says try your adaptations anyway. Take notes on what you changed.

Of course, there’s always some folks out there that say a spell should be used exactly as written. There’s certainly a reason for that. Spells are written with specific intentions in mind and omitting an ingredient or altering a process may change the entire intention of the original spell – even if the person adapting it doesn’t know that. The more complicated the spell – or the more often it deals with spirits – the more likely it is that the process and ingredients are very intentionally chosen. Adaptations and substitutions may cause the spell to fail or not work as intended.

I’ve written spells that have very clear instructions to them because the process, while simple on the surface, was written very intentionally as part of the ritual. The steps aren’t there for the end goal, they are part of the end goal. It’s like a recipe – you need to prep the vegetables properly to really get the flavor you want out of the dish in the end.

I’m still, by far, in the camp of adapting your spells. If a verse in a spell doesn’t seem natural or comfortable, I’ll change it. If I’m doing a complicated ritual, I’ll either take it apart to see exactly how it works or I’ll try it as written and make adaptations for future usages.

It depends on how much experimentation you do with your magic. If you’re looking for a simple grab-and-go spell (and absolutely no judgements here, if that’s your jam), then use what’s written or adapt on the fly. It’s your magic, your practice, and your results. Do what works best for you.


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Come to My Side Love Spell

This is a simple knot spell that can be done quickly before heading out for a night on the town or meeting up with a potential lover. It can also be used to attract a lover to you in your daily life, but it’s more for intentional partner seeking kind of behavior.

It’s definitely a kind of “notice me” spell, so it’ll instill a sense of confidence, body positivity, and an alluring glamour.

You can braid the cords together, which will last longer and be more decorative, but that will take longer. Do whatever works best for you.

Ideally, it should be worn on the wrist, but it that doesn’t work for you, you can tie it to your ankle, garter, or even to your underwear. You could easily make the string longer and wear it as a necklace or make it very small and wear it as a ring. It just needs to be touching your body, preferably your skin.

What you’ll need:

  • Two pieces of red string (or ribbon, thread, etc) in equal lengths, long enough to go around your wrist or ankle

Take the two pieces of red string and line them up side by side, so each end lines up perfect. Say,

“This is you and this is me, side by side

I’ve set the stage, so come to my side lover.”

Knot the strings together. Say,

“I am beauty, I am strength, I am glorious,

You know what you see, so come to my side.”

Knot the strings together. Say,

“I am seeking love,

I am seeking you,

Now that you see me, come to my side.”

Knot the strings together around your wrist, forming a bracelet.

Wear this bracelet until a new lover comes into your life. Once you’ve made a positive connection, cut it off and bury the string outside.


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Long Distance Protection Spell

What you’ll need:

  • Jar candle, preferably blue or white in color
  • Marker or paint

Write on the bottom of your candle jar your target’s name. 

Light the candle and speak or think what you want to protect your target from. 

Be as specific or as general as you like with your protection chant. Just be heartfelt about it.

Let the candle burn while you speak and blow it out when you’re done.

The next day, light the candle and repeat the protection chant. Continue until the candle is entirely worn through. 

When done, toss out the unusable candle wax with a thank you.

Notes:

  • Hot soapy water and a rough sided sponge should clean the marker or paint off the jar. This is useful if you want to reuse the jar once the candle is used up.


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Protection from Authorities

This is a spell to protect you from harmful authority figures.

This could be a police or military force, but it may also be landlords, teachers, employers, or even parents. Anyone who has control over you in some way. Sometimes the people that are meant to protect us are exactly the thing we need protection from. This spell is intended to do just that.

What you’ll need:

  • Eggshells
  • Fennel seeds
  • Rosemary
  • Clover
  • Comfrey
  • Bay laurel
  • Mugwort
  • Burdock
  • Betony
  • Oak leaf
  • Dark blue or black candle
  • Fire-proof dish
  • Protection dressing oils (optional)

 

Combine the eggshells with the herbs and grind all of them into relatively the same size. Place them in a fireproof dish.

Dress the candle. Light the candle and say,

"Where I venture, danger lurks 
In the dark and in the light, 
I am safe from all harm 
Those with power over me 
Cannot see me 
Cannot know me 
Will not catch me. 
I am safe from all harm."

Sprinkle a bit of the herbal mixture over the flame but be careful not to start any fires. 

Pour some wax into the fireproof dish over the herbal mixture and slowly roll into a ball when it’s not too hot to touch. Add more wax as needed to secure all the herbal mixture in the ball. 

Set aside and let cool entirely. Carry it with you to avoid authority figures.

Notes:

  • To dry eggshells properly, you need to boil the eggs to a hard boil state. Peel the eggshell from the hard-boiled egg and then the membrane from the eggshells. You want the shells by themselves. This can be a painstaking process, but it’s worth it as you only need a little bit for most spell work.
  • A thick ceramic or glass baking dish is good for this spell. You could also use a silicon mold, especially one in the shape of an oak leaf, bear, or boar.
  • The wax ball can be a bit sticky and will break apart in heat – especially body heat. You can protect this by tucking it in a cloth bag or even plastic bag.


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Eloquent Charm Spell

When you need to be eloquent, charming, and fine with your speech, this spell is your helping hand.

Excellent for times where you need to make a public speech, have a job interview, important presentation, or any time where your words will make or break what happens next.

What you’ll need:

  • Indian crepe myrtle flowers (lagerstroemia indica)
  • Cream colored rose (any kind)
  • Ylang-ylang essential oil (cananga odorata)
  • Fennel
  • Cardamom
  • Sugar
  • Agate, especially blue lace or sardonyx
  • Sun water
  • Yellow paper and black marker
  • Cloth bag, preferably yellow

Gather up all of your ingredients and prep or cleanse them accordingly.

Draw in an arrow on the yellow paper. Anoint it with a drop of ylang-ylang essential oil and a drop of sun water. Let dry.

Place the flowers, herbs, sugar, agate, and the dried paper in the cloth bag. As you add each item, say,

"With you, I am charming and eloquent.
People heard my words and listen to me."

When done, hold the bag between both hands and blow into it, saying,

"My breath carries my power and words,
My meaning and intent comes across to all who hear them clearly."

Close the bag and press a kiss to the knit tying it close.

"My words are heard, 
My eloquence is clear for all who can see and hear."

Carry the bag with you. Before you go out to make your speech, press the bag to your throat, breath across it and/or press a kiss to it saying,

"I am eloquent. Hear my words."

Notes:

  • You may swap in yellow jasmine flowers to replace the Indian crepe myrtle or ylang-ylang
  • If you have access to ylang-ylang flowers, use that instead of the essential oil and omit the step with the essential oil.
  • You may wish to enchant the cloth bag so it isn’t noticeable, but that’s up to you.
  • Instead of a cloth bag, you can easily swap this for a locket necklace or spell bottle.


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A Charm to Escape an Enemy

This is a spell to escape any kind of enemy. A stalker, attacker, bully, or worse are prime examples. This is excellent for people to carry who do a lot of solo traveling, but it was originally designed to help someone get away in a dangerous situation – a warzone or avoid someone who would be violent towards you.

What you’ll need:

  • Juniper
  • Nettle
  • Clove
  • Vervain
  • Bay laurel
  • Celadine
  • Wormwood
  • Mullein
  • Cloth bag

Gather together the herbs and place them in a cloth bag. Close up the bag and shake it before holding it close to your heart and say the following,

"I escape all harm 
Enemies will not know me 
Enemies will not stop me 
Enemies will not stand in my way 
I pass by all who mean to harm 
Led to a place of safety and calm"

Carry the charm bag with you everywhere until you are free from your enemy. Pass it on to someone who might need it or bury it in your yard for protection.

Notes:

  • The cloth bag can be any color, but protective colors are a good idea. Black or gray are good choices.
  • You can roll the herbs in a warm bit of wax rather than use a cloth bag. This is an especially good idea when you have a candle leftover from a protection spell.
  • You can make this charm for other people by swapping out the “I” with “them” or appropriate pronouns. If you’re making it for an unknown person, use “the carrier of this charm”.


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Horn and Stone Healing Spell

This healing spell is useful for illnesses and diseases but can be tricky to procure the ingredients. While seeking medical attention when feeling ill is always recommended, sometimes you need just a little boost in healing.

What you’ll need:

  • Bezoar or a regular garden or roadside rock
  • Powdered horn or piece of cattle bone
  • Iron
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint  and/or feverfew if feverish or cayenne pepper / paprika and cinnamon if chilled.
  • Bowl, dish, or disposable cloth

Get your dish, bowl, or disposable cloth. Sprinkle the herbs and coffee at the bottom of the dish. Place in the iron.

Now pick up your bezoar or garden rock. Holding it over the dish, sprinkle the powdered horn over bezoar / rock. If you’re using a cattle bone, just pass the bone over, around, and under the bezoar / rock. While doing this, think of how this rock will be able to heal and absorb the illnesses or diseases it comes into contact with. Think of the illness or disease leaving the patient and going into the rock. Imagine that when this happens the rock will get full, heavy, and cold.

When you’re happy with your envisioning, place the bezoar / rock in bed with the patient. Usually under the pillow works but in between layers of a blanket would be good too. You could also hang it on the headboard or leave it on a bedside table very close to the patient. The most ideal way is to have the patient wear the stone but that’s not always possible or safe. Don’t put it under the patient. The bezoar / rock should be on the same level as the patient.

Place the dish of herbs, iron, and powdered horn / cattle bone under the patient’s bed. It should rest directly under the patient while they sleep but if that’s not possible, place it by the end of the bed. Leave it uncovered.

Change out the herbs and coffee as needed but don’t forget to add in the iron or the powdered horn / cattle bone.

Once the patient has started to recovered, you can remove the bezoar / rock and powdered horn or cattle bone. You can keep both to cast the spell again at a later date but eventually both will become too saturated with magic or illness and must be disposed of. To do this, take both far away to a crossroads, graveyard, or abandoned place and bury it.

You can keep the herbs under the bed until the patient has completely recovered. The herbs should be burned or buried in a different place than the bezoar / rock and powdered horn / cattle bone but similarly at a crossroad far away from the patient.

Notes:

  • This spell calls for a lot of hard to find ingredients. Substitutes are probably the way to go for most people here. Picking up a rock from beside the road, a died piece of bone from a steak, and a low-grade nail would work well in place of the above ingredients.
  • This spell is unique in that you can absolutely keep the bezoar / rock or powdered horn / cattle bone and use them as ritual healing tools. You would just need to deeply cleanse the illnesses and diseases from them. I don’t recommend this unless you’re really sure of your cleansing abilities.
  • The herbs and coffee can be used to divine the cause of the illness, the likelihood of the patient’s recovery, the details of the patient’s illness or recovery, and the patient’s immediate future. You can do this by lightly shaking the dish and looking for patterns and symbols, not unlike tea reading.
  • The iron piece can be kept and carried by the patient to guard against relapses.

Originally posted on March 5, 2016.


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Shoelace Luck Spell

This is an easy and subtle luck spell that is great for all occasions. It’s not intended to be a mega powerful spell (it can be though!) but something more low-key that works on a daily basis.

What you need:

  • Shoelaces of your favorite shoes
  • Basil
  • Violet flowers
  • Cinquefoil
  • Clover
  • Bachelor’s button
  • Cornflower
  • Burdock
  • Full Moon water
  • Sun water

Boil equal parts Sun water and Full Moon water together.

Infuse the basil, violet flowers, cinquefoil, clover, bachelor’s buttons, cornflowers, and burdock for a full day and night.

Strain and keep the liquid.

Pull your shoelaces from your shoes and soak the shoelaces in the liquid for at least seven minutes. You can

Pull out of shoelaces, squeeze out excess liquid and let dry completely. Re-lace your shoes with your enchanted shoelaces.

Recast the spell if the shoes get really soaked or you wash the shoes.

Notes:

  • Be wary! The infused water may stain your shoelaces so test the material first on a small patch of the shoelace.
  • Dry the herbal ingredients to ground for luck powder to use at your discretion. Or toss or compost the herbs if that doesn’t suit your needs.


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Your Enemy’s Funeral Curse

This is a fairly extreme spell, but these are extreme times.

The idea for this spell isn’t new – similar versions exist in many places – but I was reminded of it from Judika Illes’ Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells. In the text, Illes says you could be holding a memorial service for your enemy’s success or happiness. It certainly could be used that way. It’s better suited, in my opinion, for someone who has committed great acts of horror against you and yours – a tyrant, a rapist, a murderer, etc. Either way, this isn’t a spell for small grievances.

My version of this spell is a bit more elaborate, but secular. Many versions of this spell are religious in nature. If you belong to a specific religion, feel free to bring your funerary rites into it – invoke the god or gods as needed.

It’s literally your enemy’s funeral.

What you’ll need:

  • White candles
  • Funerary incense
  • Piece of paper and pen
  • Photo of the target
  • War water or war oil (optional)
  • Hexing dressing oil or water (optional, see notes)
  • Funerary dressing oil or water (optional, see notes).

If you’re dressing your candles, do so with both funerary and hexing materials.

Set up an altar as you would for funerary rites or a memorial service. If you’re religious, go through all of the effort for a proper memorial service or funerary rite, as much as you are able. If you’re non-religious or casting this in a secular manner, then create an altar by setting up a funerary or memorial altar. A simple example is given in the image below.

Write your target’s name on a piece of paper and place it under each candle. You can alternative carve the target’s name in the candle but if you do this, you must burn the candles all the way through until there is no more wick to burn.

Draw an X over the target in the photograph and place it where you can see it during the spell.

Now, recite a eulogy for your target. Alternatively, you may say a memorial or funerary prayer. If nothing comes to mind, then say something like the following. How harsh or kind you are is up to you.

“I wasn’t fond of [Target’s name] and I’m glad they’re dead.” or “Today, we see the end of [Target’s name]’s success and happiness.” or “[Target’s name] was well-hated and feared. The world is better off without them.” or “[Target’s name] deserved worse than what they got, but death is a close second.” or “[Target’s name] is dead and the world is better off without them.”

When the candles burn down, burn the photo, the pieces of paper, and the candle remnants down as much as possible. Toss whatever remains in the trash.

Notes:

  • Omit the funerary incense if you can’t use smoke. Funerary aromatherapy can be subbed in. If it’s the fragrances that’s the issue, simply omit it all together.
  • War water is an infused water with bits of iron (broken iron nails, iron knives, etc) used for sending hexing, repelling hexes, or repelling negative energy. For some, how you use it depicts it’s usage. For others, the way it’s made will depict the usage.
  • War oil, of course, is the same thing as war water, just made with oil instead.
  • Dressing the candle refers to spreading water, oil, herbs, or whatever else on the outside or sometimes the top of the candle to add power to the candle. Make sure to use common sense when dressing your candle. Don’t put oil or water or dried herbs near the flames. Keep fire safety in mind!
  • Hexing dressing oil is simply an oil infused with hexing or malevolently intended herbs. Hexing water is the same thing as the oil, except with water.
  • Funerary dressing oil is an oil infused with plants associated with funerary rites, often prayed over. The water is the same thing. Holy water could be used for this spell… but it depends on your perspective.
  • Plants for hexes, rage, or hatred include: cactus, fennel, parsley, bird of paradise, juniper, basil, peony, chamomile, rhododendron, cypress, hemlock, apple, oleanders, mistletoe, and literally any poison. Be careful when making this oil and selecting ingredients, especially the poisons. Know what you’re doing.
  • Plants for funerary purposes: thyme, calla lily, elm, lavender, leaf of god, marigolds, willow, pansy, cypress


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Weapon Carrier’s Protection Spell

This spell is to protect the carrier of the weapon, not the weapon itself, but the spell is placed on the weapon. Wile this spell is intended to enchant a weapon used to protect your home and homeland, it can be used by hunters, police officers, soldiers, or other people who wield weapons.

What you’ll need:

  • Three jars or bottles, with lids
  • The weapon you wish to enchant
  • Sanitized athame or blood drawing method

With your jars or bottles in hand, go to three different water sources closest to your home or the area you protect. These could be lakes, park ponds, streams, rivers, the ocean, etc. It can also be rainwater! You can also think man-produced water sources, such as tap water, swimming pool, park fountains, etc. 

Once you have your water, dip a clean white cloth into each of the waters and wipe it across the weapon, essentially washing it. While doing this, concentrate on protecting the carrier of the weapon and the area you wish to protect. So if you’re the one who wields the weapon and you’re protecting your home, make sure to envision yourself being protected by the weapon from all harm. You can chant or speak your wishes aloud, if you prefer that method of enchantment. 

Once the weapon has been enchanted and bathed, place a drop of blood on the weapon and say,

“With my blood, I empower this weapon,

The wielder of this weapon is protect from all harm,

The land protected will guard and protect their own.

With my blood, this spell is sealed.”

Wipe the blood off and safely store the weapon until needed.

Notes:

If you have a sacred or magical number that is more relevant to you, collect a sample of water from that number of water sources. 

The weapon’s protection will work best if kept in the same area the waters were collected in. However, that won’t stop the protection from working at all. It’ll work fine without being in that area – or carried by the enchanter themselves.


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