"Life is a constant dash, with work, children and chores. Sometimes you may think there is never time to get out your pentagram and wand and then it seems as though magick isn't happening in our lives.
"Like we sometimes get out the best china and cook a four-course meal, so we value the magick times because they are rare. But anybody can do magick in the everyday world. That is where magick started – in our hearts, in our homes – and that kind of magick is no less effective. If we bring it into our everyday lives we make our lives richer and more the way we want them to be.
"We may feel it was easier for our ancestors, but they worked hard too. They were asking 'Let there be enough to feed the family from the crops in this field'. Magick has always been part of the mundane life.
"Like any good casserole, magick can be prepared and left to simmer. This is called 'background magick' – you can set it up by putting empowered items in your room or workplace and then the energies grow and affect anyone who comes into the room. In Italy, apples and tomatoes are left in the kitchen in sunlight to attract health and prosperity, so as we eat them we absorb those energies.
"Spell bags have always contained natural items like an acorn to symbolise growth or dried midsummer flowers to bring the warmth of the sun to any time of the year. Everyday items like iron nails were often put into witch bottles. So today we can put magical herbs into a spell bag but we can also put in everyday items that have meaning for us.
"Colours are very important. Every colour has a meaning. When you light a candle you are bringing the colour to life. Every candle contains the four elements within its wax and flame and these combine to create the fifth element, of ether, which makes anything possible. You could light green candles on a family occasion to bring love, or pale blue candles if you know you have a difficult relative who causes problems. Red is for passion. Green is for growth, too. Purple is a spiritual colour. Orange is for confidence. Yellow is for logic but also good to help create a calm atmosphere. As you light the candle, you can touch them and say 'Be for me power, bring peace' because as we speak we bring energy through our throat chakra to release spell energy. Touching brings the palm energy that connects to the heart. So, touching a candle, even for a second, and saying a few simple words can be as powerful as a 20-minute spell if you really mean it.
"Flowers are a good way of giving background energy. Growing them in a pot brings living energy but you can also use cut flowers, dry flowers or essential oils. At work you can put flowers on the meeting table. Every flower has its own meaning and you can use these.
- Begonias offer defence against people who play mind games, manipulate or bully you
- Hyacinths call back lost love and are good if you have had family quarrels
- Red roses are for love and passion
- White roses are for when you must keep love secret
- Yellow roses are for love in later life
- Pink roses are for bringing trust in new love
"Even the humble buttercup is a good way to encourage money into your home, so have buttercups growing on your lawn. Herbs grown in pots or added to food or in herbal teas can be magickal. It doesn't matter if you don't have time to grow your own, you can buy dried herbs and teas. What matters in magic is what you say and what you feel, it doesn't matter how long you take.
- Mint tea – or even mint sauce – is wonderful for health
- Tarragon is called The Dragon's Herb for courage and change
"Wood is also a good way of bringing the power of trees into modern urban life, whether you are using furniture or decorative items. You can use your power animal as a wooden statue to say, endow your wooden lion with the courage you need or endow your eagle with your need to fly and escape.
- Ash wood is for healing, for travel and ambition
- Pine is for cleansing, for creativity and new beginnings. Pine will also return negativity to the sender.
- Oak carries success and strength
- Beech is good for property matters
"If you have a wooden table in a meeting place and you know there is usually trouble at work, go around each place, touch it and say 'Bring peace, bring peace'. If you are on your own you can move your hands over the table and say 'May peace be here'. The energy will stay in the room.
"The easiest way to carry magic with you is in jewellery. Shiny metals have the power to attract what is good for you and send back what is not. If you have something shiny on your desk and face it away from you it is a good way to repel spite and gossip. Empowering jewellery is easy. Hold it in your hands and either toss it in the air or open and close your hand over it while chanting in your mind what it is you want until you feel the energy buzzing. Then chant slower and softer and, with your index finger, push the energy into the jewellery. When you wear it you carry the power.
"You can also light a candle and pass your jewellery nine times clockwise around the candle saying what you want. Then light incense with the candle and write in the air over the jewellery what you want – love, respect, freedom from debt etc. You are imprinting your magick on the ether. Blow out your candle and then send out the light if you have cast a spell. You are sending that spell to where it needs to go to make you happy.
"Each metal has a meaning.
- Gold is the symbol of the sun, the symbol of success, of power, of confidence
- Silver, the metal of the moon, is a symbol of love, but it is also for protection
- Copper is the metal of Venus and is good for increasing love and for healing
- Stainless steel or shiny alloy is the modern metal of Mars, for courage and change. strength. If you work in a spiteful office wear shiny metal to protect your heart.
- Jupiter's metal in the modern world is bronze – for careers and for justice.
- Saturn has the metal pewter, and this is the credit crunch planet. Pewter will bring luck and Saturn is the god of games of chance. Wear pewter if you are having financial problems.
"Anything with links or chains is good for emotional attachments and for networking. Ear rings are connected to the brow centre and are good for anything spiritual, but are also protective against spite. Pendants and necklaces activate the throat chakra and are good for communication and ideas. Anything around the heart is a good way of bringing love and good things. Rings and watches connect with your hand chakra that link with your heart and are good for bringing love into your life or keeping your partner faithful. A ring in the navel is good for fertility. Buckles on shoes or ankle rings are good for rooting yourself in the world and for keeping balance.
"Best of all is the charm bracelet because you can put on your charm bracelet everything you want, such as a boat for travel or a key for a home. You can touch each charm and empower it, and then touch them as you wear it and bring the power back into your life
"Another modern way to bring energy to us magickally is to create a power shield. In traditional shamanism, these are painted with symbols of strength. In the modern world anything can be your power symbol – such as something at work that is useful to you, like your memory stick. It might be a lucky dice in your car. You can have more than one power symbol. If you endow them with your strength then every time you use them you activate the power and protection. It is again a simple method of using your hands and voice to activate them: 'Be for me power; be for me protection'.
"Because these things are so ordinary, we can use them anywhere and they are our secret yet we know when we touch them they give us power and strength.
"Many people who practice magick chose a special magickal name. A magickal name may come to you and is your core essence. Find this by sitting quietly – either outdoors or late at night while looking into a candle. The name will come. With the name is power. If you say your magickal name to yourself then you will not be so afraid of the office bully, or of waiting at the station late at night.
"A spell you can do is to look into a mirror while holding a citrine and lit by sunlight or a golden candle and say 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, I demand respect from all. I am worthy of admiration. I am worthy of consideration. And so I claim my place in the sun'.
"Then, if you are being overlooked or bullied at work, you can look into a small makeup mirror or the mirror in the washroom and say that to yourself again. You will see your energy field getting brighter and stronger. The most powerful magick is when we fill ourselves with energy and use the strength of the spell to go out and make it happen.
"Food is one of the easiest ways we can build ourselves with energy. As herbs have meanings, so do foods. Oats are good for security and stability. Wheat or rye will draw good results from what you have already started or if you want to launch a venture. Grapes are for love and prosperity.
"The birthday cake goes back to the goddess Artemis who had moon-shaped cakes at her festival. Candles were lit to send wishes to her. In the same way, when people put candles on the birthday cake, the birthday person makes a wish, blows it out and sends the wishes into the cosmos. As we eat the cake, so we are absorbing the power of our wishes.
"People used to say grace before meals, but people don't say it now in the same way. The idea is to give thanks for the food and thanks to the people you are sitting with. In a Wiccan ceremony we dedicate food and drink to the Goddess and God and in uniting them we bring together their energies. As we drink the wine and eat the cakes we take in their blessings, and bless each other with blessed be.
"But even if you are in a sandwich bar you can take a moment to silently bless your food and take in that energy and say 'May I never hunger, may I never thirst, may I never end the day crying alone'.
"Water is sacred. From time immemorial people have gone to sacred wells and used the healing properties of water. Some modern mineral waters that we can buy in supermarkets are taken from those ancient wells and have those sacred powers.
"Water absorbs energy. You can use empowered water anywhere and you can empower it anywhere. You can empower a glass of water if you are given one at a meeting or at a meal. You don't have to say anything. You hold the glass of water, empower it and then sip it to create an energy field around you and also fill yourself with power. You hold the water container and say in your mind what you need like, 'I am not intimidated by this person' or 'I do not need this cigarette'. You repeat it several times until you feel your hands tingle, then drink the water.
"A good way to protect yourself is to put a drop of water on your third eye – on your brow – and massage in while saying 'I seal the entrance to my spirit, may none intrude here'. If you leave water in sunlight you fill it with sun power for optimism, or leave it out under the full moon and that will fill it with gentle healing power and harmony.
"And, although complex magical rituals are valuable and worthwhile, you can do these in your mind if you do not have time to do them in full. And you can focus on your chakras to build up energy without saying a word too. Then, when you feel the energy has built up, you can release it for whatever spell you want."
Cassandra Eason is the author of Cassandra Eason's Complete Book of Spells: Ancient and Modern Spells for the Solitary Witch.
Cassandra Eason's Complete Book of Spells: Ancient and Modern Spells for the Solitary Witchhttp://www.cassandraeason.co.uk/