Defining Spells

I once visited Aberglasny, which is a National Trust property, in order to see it’s thousands year old yews.

What was apparent to me on setting foot on the property is that the place has an unnatural air of calm about it. Reading the history of the property, I learned that the families who inhabited the property never got beyond the third generation before dying out.

Talking later with a friend of mine with a lot more magical experience than myself, we came to the conclusion that a Bishop who originally owned the property had probably “blessed” it so it would have the calm he desired. Of course, he never wanted children, so what started out as a blessing became a curse.



Some say that you should ask permission for performing spells. I agree with those who say that it’s not necessary to ask when you are doing curses, but what about other spells?

As in any relationship, I do a quick calculation as to how much trouble I’m going to be in if the recipient finds out I’ve done a spell. So far the answer has always been “it’s not worth it” and I have asked permission.

I have not yet been turned down and when the recipient has said “yes”, I have felt the spell working even before I have done it.

Summer Solstice

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice and the first festival I celebrated this year. During Imbolc I was being induced in hospital, while during the Spring Equinox and Beltane I was coping with the demands of a newborn baby. I totally missed the Spring Equinox and didn’t get it together enough to celebrate Beltane, which is a pity as I enjoy Beltane.

This also means that I need to catch up on the house protections I do at Imbolc and the spell for the cat’s health I do at Beltane. Thankfully I don’t have to do these spells then, but it is appropriate and helps me remember.

Sunday evening I got all the equipment I needed by the back door in case my son woke up at four in the morning, when I could feed him, put him back in his cot with my husband sleeping beside him in case anything happened and go and do my ritual. Of course, sod’s law intervened and he slept right through till half past six!

I got up and found it was raining. After feeding my son I gave up all hope of celebrating the festival outside, as it is difficult enough getting him out at the best of times and this certainly wasn’t one of them. I hope to make it outside for a ritual at a later date, but we will see.

I ended up doing it in the bathroom, as that was the only place with a big enough space to draw a circle. I ran three taps to simulate the natural world while doing the ritual.

I cast my usual circle and celebrated the day as the longest day and also Áine’s feast day. Áine is one of the Irish deities connected with love and I asked her for her help. She asked for an offering and I danced for her, as her court would dance on the hill of Knockainey, which seemed to be sufficient.

After that I wound down the circle and when I had done that my son woke up, so it was back to the real world…

What I’m Working on

At the moment I’m working on a quatrain (an Irish poem with four lines, polysyllabic rhyming and other constraints) for the Midwinter Solstice. I wassail the trees at the Midwinter Solstice and this is to help, as the wassailers would sing something to the tree.

I find rhyming difficult, but on the other hand if I write a spell, it means that I really need it. I try not to consult rhyming dictionaries, as I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t help me build skills in rhyming, but I will do if I’m stuck.

There are some good free ones on the net, but one unforeseen problem is that I’m British and some of the dictionaries are American English. For example, an American English dictionary gives myrtle as a rhyme for fertile. In British English we pronounce the e at the end of fertile (fer-tile) so it will not rhyme with myrtle for us. In American English they don’t pronounce the e at the end of fertile (fer-til) so it does rhyme with myrtle.

Why I do Spells

Since I am a pagan as well as a witch, I could easily do rituals or petitions to the deities for what I desire. Instead of which, I am apt to do a spell.

I prefer using spells as it is difficult with deities of whom you have had little or no contact with. It’s not impossible and I did once sacrifice a third of my pay to Bodb Derg (who I have never met in meditation) for a good judgement, which I got.

I would describe it as like asking a favour of someone you barely know. If you do your homework and approach them in the correct way then they’ll say yes. Otherwise they’ll say no or ignore you.

The Sort of Spells I do

The spells I do fall into two main categories : spells to keep things as they are and spells to change things.

The spells to keep things as they are include house protection and protecting my cat against illness. As my hubby has recently pointed out, I should have a spell to protect myself from illnesses but I have not got around to that yet.

The second sort is to change things : to move a colleague on to another job or to curse someone who deserves it.

Spell Failure

No one has 100% success with all their spells. Some of them work, some of them do not work as you expected and with some nothing happens.

The important thing is to work out why what happened or did not happen occurred. Also to find out what you get best results with and what just falls on its face for you.

Different people will use different things to get the same results. I work with trees and water a lot; others may well use herbs, which I have never been attracted towards using although I understand they’re very popular.

Phases of Spells

The sort of spells I seem to write go in phases. When I started out I wrote a lot of curses; now I mainly write blessing spells. I have just written one to make plants grow in my garden and hopefully it will only make the plants grow and not the weeds! I plan to do this spell when we put up our Green Man figurines.

I have always written protection spells, the first one was just after the cat got ringworm, which cost £100 at the vets and I had to shampoo her ear. Not wanting to do that ever again I wrote a spell. So far she has not been ill again and that was nearly ten years ago.


Some people invoke deities in spells. This has a rich history, mostly in folk magic and in Wicca.

In folk magic, Jesus and Mary are usually invoked as well as the occasional saint. My theory is so that this meant it wasn’t witchcraft if biblical personages were involved. Wiccans usually invoke pagan deities of the pantheon they follow, or if no pantheon is followed they invoke the deity best suited to the spell.

I am one of those people who do not invoke deities in spells. I prefer the magic to be all mine and just because you invoke a deity, there is no rule saying that the deity has to respond.

Either way is equally valid and it is up to the practitioner to decide which one to use. It may be the one you feel most comfortable with, the one that gives you the best results or any other reason.

Treating the Symptoms

Often we write spells to make changes in ours or others’ lives, but we need to make sure we are writing the spell to ensure that the change happens, not writing the spell to make the symptoms go away.

Many years ago I wrote a spell to pass a driving test, but wrote it to ease my nerves. It worked perfectly well, but easing my nerves were the symptoms but not the cause. I was perfectly calm throughout the test, but I still didn’t pass. I should have written a spell to ensure I passed the test.

Recently someone on a message board was asking about writing a spell to bring positive vibrations into her life. You can bring all the positive vibrations into your life that you want, but still have a bad year as that spell would not stop car accidents or people giving you a hard time.

« Older entries