Five Essential Magical Herbs for Students

School is a balance of expanding the mind, communicating effectively, and dealing with stress.  For the Witch, knowing the multifaceted element of this stage of life helps to create effective education spells.  These are my top herbs when doing spellwork to help my studies.  Any herb associated with remembrance and communication is also quite effective.

  • Earl Grey Tea: This particular type of tea is blended with bergamot essence, which is known to stimulate the mind and to foster confidence.  There is also enough caffeine to make this the perfect potion for all nighters.
  • Grapefruit Peel and Essential Oil: Again, good for activating the mind and a great study aid.  The essential oil version also is known for promoting joy and happiness, so a good choice to wear during classes you hate.
  • St. John’s Wort: An age-old antidepressant, both medically and magically.  It is known as the ‘sunshine herb’ for bringing light into dark situations and problems.  I use this in spellwork when I have a difficult professor or administrator I need to confront.  DO NOT take internally if you take any prescription antidepressants.
  • Lavender: Very calming and relaxing.  Use it to help with sleep problems that may arise with dorm living and with social stress.
  • Lemon Balm: Associated with healing of the mind and success.  I use this as a tea to wash away the stress at the end of a hard school day and as part of spells to help with a difficult assignment.

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips: Spell Planning

Spell writing is an art.  It takes a little practice, planning, and consideration.  For people new to the Craft, the abundant resources online and in books can seem a little daunting.  For people well versed in magical ways, sometimes we develop ruts and lose a little creative mojo by doing the same types of spells all of the time.  So for all you new and seasoned spell casters, here are a few steps to assist in your magical workings.

  • Have You Considered All Your Options?: Yes magic is lovely.  But it is not always necessary.  Make sure you have explored all aspects of the situation.  This is especially true when the action affects others.  Sometimes a simple conversation solves all the problems.
  • Refine Your Need: Be really specific in what you want.  Let’s say you need a new job.  Don’t be general and do a spell for a job.  Make a list of all the characteristics you want in that job, like salary, duties, and benefits.  The one time I recommend NOT doing this is attraction or love magic.  You never should be specific in the person, but rather the qualities of the person.
  • Timing: If you work with the Moon or Sun, use their power to enhance yours.  For example if you want to do protection magic, a good time to do it is around the Summer Solstice.  To get you started, here is an easy guide to moon phases and their connection to magical workings.
  • Spell Speed: Most spells at their core use one of the Elements.  This means the characteristics of Earth, Air, Fire, or Water become part of the spell.  Not only should this be considered when planning your spell, but the actual speed of the manifestation will differ from spell to spell.  Consider the situation and how quickly you want it to become reality.  Be careful though. Sometimes if you want it to happen too quickly, the spell will not be as effective.  For example if you are addicted to something and want to change that behavior, avoid quick release spells.  Let these things take time.  The utterly prolific CharmingPixieFlora made a video a few years ago discussing this topic, so for more information here you go!
  • Accessories: Do you want or need to use herbs, crystals, food items, libations, parchment, candles, etc. specific to the properties of the spell?  Do you have them on hand?  If not, how long will it take you to obtain them?  Also, what magical tools do you want to use, such as a Working Candle, cauldron, or athame?  If you really feel you need the ‘stuff’ then wait until you have them.  Also if you have no idea what to use, check a few books with great indexes (example: any of the Cunningham encyclopedias [if you do a lot of spell casting, I recommend splurging for all of them they’re REALLY useful]).  There is a reason I refer to these items as accessories.  You don’t really need them but they are nice to have.
  • Try Something New: Seem to always to candle magic?  Try an Earth or Sea spell.  Get out of your comfort zone a little.
  • Belief: If you think the spell is not going to work, then it won’t.  Simple as that.  Doubt is the number one negation of spellwork.  So buck up and have a little faith in yourself and your ability to change your life.
  • Visualization: Basically, picture the change and outcome while performing the magic.  This method provides focus and clarity.  It does take a little practice though.  There are plenty to exercises on the Internet to help develop this skill.  Here are a few to my favorites to get you started.
  • Follow-Up: I have mentioned this before and don’t mind beating my readers over the head with this point.  After you do a spell, do some sort of action in the mundane world that mirrors your intent.  For example if you are doing a spell to bring a new lover into your life, then actually accept the dates that come your way.  Even if the person isn’t your ideal mate, creating a little momentum towards your goal will go a long way to manifesting it to reality.

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips: Common Problems with Spellwork

Not everything goes right all of the time.  You could have the perfect candle, the best timing, and the freshest herbs, but something still happens and you feel like the spell is going to fail.  No worries.  Here’s a few pieces of advice to help you keep your cool.

  • The Candle/Incense Went Out:  If you’re still in ritual, relight it.  If not, the spell is done and dispose of the materials.
  • Something Shatters: I’ve never had this happen to me, but if you’re burning something or using a glass container to hold a candle for a long period of time it can happen.  Clean it up and consider the spell done.
  • You Can’t Concentrate: Take a moment and just breath.  Try to calm down and get your blood pressure lowered a little.  If you can’t, clean up and do the work another time.
  • Someone or Something Interrupts You: First of all, minimize the chance of this happening: turn off your cell, tell your roommates or family to leave you alone, put your pets in another room (familiars excepted), etc.  But if it does happen, play it by ear and have a good perspective on the matter.  If your dog breaks your circle, that is so much less of a big deal than if one of your kids is bleeding and needs medical attention.
  • You Don’t Have the Appropriate Materials: This is where indexes come in handy!  Look up the type of spell and see what materials will work for you.  Most spellbooks have them in the back.  I prefer Scott Cunningham’s indexes in the back of any of his encyclopedias or Dorothy Morrison’s because they’re comprehensive and easy to use.  However as you do more and more work, you’ll develop an instinct about what materials will work in a spell.
  • You Feel Like the Spell Didn’t Work: Calm down and be patient.  Trust in yourself and your abilities.  And sometimes a spell needs time to work out, so try to distract yourself.
  • You Don’t Like the Outcome: Tough shit. Accept it and move on.

© Ariadne Woods