The thing that bothers me most in my magickal working is not having all of the supplies on hand that I need to. I often tease my husband that I am going to open up an occult shop just so I can have easy access to all of the herbs, candles, oils, incense and other items that I need in any given moment. More often than not, though, I end up improvising with what I have…. and I still get the results that I want.Magickal improvisation is a way to get around the lists of items that most spells require. If you’ve been collecting spells and rituals, or if you’ve collected some magick books, you’ll not doubt have noticed the sometimes lengthy list of herbs, oils, incense that is required for spellworking. Some people will tell you that you absolutely must not deviate from this list. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret’those lists are really more of guidelines than hard, “written in stone” requirements.
To understand why, you need to understand the process of writing a spell (or have written one yourself). Let me give you an example that I dealt with recently. I wanted to create a prosperity spell to be used by my coven to bless the coming season for everyone. I scheduled the ritual for a Sunday, because that is a day associated with prosperity. Since I want to create the energy of prosperity I also choose colors associated with it (such as green and gold candles). I write down in my spell to use a green candle dressed with Cinnamon Oil, and light some prosperity incense (a special blend that I make).
It came down to Saturday night before the ritual, and I realized that not only did I not have cinnamon oil, but also I was fresh out of my prosperity incense for the next day. There was no time to visit the store for supplies, and the coven was expecting a prosperity spell. Did I a panic? Well to tell the truth, a little. I was disappointed that I hadn’t checked my supplies earlier in the week, or at least check them before I wrote the ritual.
Since I know my correspondences well, I know that cinnamon oil is not the only oil that can be used to dress a prosperity candle. I did have Patchouli oil, which is also associated with prosperity. My prosperity incense is made from a blend of frankincense, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon balm, orange peel and lemon peel. I was out of frankincense and cinnamon. So I used the other ingredients and added mint, pine and dill which are also prosperity herbs. For good measure, I added some jade and garnet stones to the altar which bring even more prosperity energy.
You see, even the ancients who wrote spells that have been passed down today did the same thing when writing rituals. Learning correspondences allows you to know what items belong with what energy. It wasn’t vital in my spell that I used cinnamon oil, it was only vital that I dressed my candle with some type of prosperity oil, and there were several I could choose from. I wrote down cinnamon oil because I personally like the scent (which is obvious by the fact that I run out of it often).
When you view spellcasting and ritual work through these eyes, you understand that you magick will still work if you substitute a white candle because you don’t have a sage green one, or if you place rose quartz on the altar instead of lapis lazuli.
So if you aren’t familiar with herb, color, incense and gemstone correspondences, I recommend that you add this to your study. It will be a valuable asset to your magickal practice and allow you to ‘relax’ a bit when it comes to having the “right” tools on hand.
Love And Light,
Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”