Casting My First Spell

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a very dark corner of my psyche. Confused and questioning literally everything about my life. More than anything, I wanted a fulfilling career, but despite dozens of job applications and incessant networking, absolutely nothing was coming back to me. Things around me felt more and more out of my control. I felt completely powerless.

So when I read a blog post written by my friend Jen, Why It’s Harder to Say Yes, I knew it was time for me to take a different kind of action. Jen makes a case for how it can be so easy to say no to things that don’t resonate with us, but so difficult to accept new opportunities that come our way… Not just to accept them I think, but to actually even be open enough for opportunity to come into our lives in the first place. At the end of the post, she invites her readers to work some magic.

In the “Talisman to Attract Opportunity,” Jen offers us the ability to intentionally invite  positive change into our lives. When I read it, I didn’t believe that anything could make my life better. I didn’t want to hope, and I didn’t want to try anymore. Nothing I read or watched or heard made me excited about living life.

But for some reason, when I read Jen’s spell, I knew I needed to do it. For the first time in a long time, my fingers ached to craft again and my mind raced towards all the possibilities.

When something calls us that strongly, it’s hard to ignore. So I decided to say yes to her invitation.

Another millennial friend of mine who was also feeling rather hopeless came to mind, and I asked her if she would like to put together the spell with me as a collaborative project. She said yes too. We decided to meet in two days. We divvied up the list of needed materials.

A screenshot of a list of materials needed for a spell: orange fabric, needle and thread, honeysuckle flowers, nutmeg, tobacco, garnet, and amethyst.

The Quest

My friend had garnet and tobacco. I had amethyst and needles and thread. I ended up going to JoAnn’s and getting a fat quarter of orange fabric and orange thread for $3.57, after coupons. I came out of the store in such a tizzy I almost knocked over the lady in front of me. I was so excited to show my husband that I’d gotten what I’d needed (and not left the store with anything else! ha!).

Gaining momentum, I searched my cabinets at home, sure I had bought whole nutmeg from the Asian market. Laughing, I pulled out whole cardamom instead. I decided it would be easy to stop by the Asian market on the way to my friend’s house to buy whole nutmeg, which I did. It was $3.15.

A package of whole cardamom and a package of whole dried nutmeg spill out onto a wooden table.

Honeysuckle proved the most difficult to find. I didn’t know where to begin looking, so I called Lowes, and then a series of flower shops. A florist finally told me that I would have to order online, as honeysuckle was going to be very hard to find locally. Dismayed, I thought hard about how else I could get honeysuckle by our meeting tomorrow. It wouldn’t ship from Amazon on time.

I turned to social media, and found a woman selling a honeysuckle plant for $35 in the Facebook marketplace. That was way more than I was willing to spend, and I kill plants so that seemed like an awful waste of money, so I messaged her asking if she would be willing to sell me just two flowers. She said yes, but that she would have to check to see if the plant was flowering. I waited until the next morning, following up two times, but she didn’t write back.

I asked my friend, and Jen, what they thought we could sub for honeysuckle, if we couldn’t get it. My friend suggested a few different stones, and Jen suggested ginger or basil, to fulfill the metaphysical properties of the honeysuckle in the spell. But of course I was way too stubborn to give up yet. So I asked in the Facebook group the 411 for the 719, a very active local community group, if anyone had honeysuckle or knew where in the city I could find it.

A screenshot of a Facebook post in a local community group looking for recommendations of where to find honeysuckle growing in Colorado Springs.

A woman responded that she had some growing. I asked if she would be willing to give me two flowers, and she said yes! I was so excited. Of course, after messaging with her I found out that she lived 30 minutes North of my house. But having come this far in my quest, I wasn’t about to give up over a little bit of a drive. So after the Asian market I drove all the way up to Monument to pick up the flowers. And they were so beautiful, they took my breath away. 

Two honeysuckle flower blooms lie on top of a plastic ziploc bag.

On the drive back South, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time. I felt happy. I felt like I was having fun. I realized that I was on a quest, a real life magical quest. Searching and gathering far and wide all over my city for the materials I needed for this spell felt like a very witchy thing to do. It felt like the right way to do a spell.

At my friend’s house, I gave her one of the flowers. We looked at all of our materials, admired the amethyst, and smelled the nutmeg. We cut and sewed up our little orange bags. We also read the instructions again and realized that we needed to wait until the following Tuesday, since the spell had to be cast on a Tuesday on a waxing moon.

The silhouette of a woman in a black dress with orange globes looks up at a turquoise sky with a few stars and crescent moon at twilight.

All weekend, I thought about the spell. I thought about new opportunities coming into my life. I couldn’t imagine what they would be, and I kind of thought it was appropriate to leave them there, in the space of not knowing.

On Saturday I even went to the local metaphysical store Celebration on a whim, and bought a new piece of amethyst and a piece of garnet there that I really loved. Everything in my little orange bag was going to be perfect.

While I was at the store, I also bought a book called Wicca: A Guide for The Solitary Practitioner. I’ve read the first two thirds of the book so far, and all I can say is “wow.” I really only knew a tiny, tiny bit of what Wicca is, and means. There is so much more. I am still at the very beginning of my journey in learning more about it, but I am very much enjoying the book. From the book I learned how to put together an altar, create sacred space, and cast a magic circle, which were required in Jen’s spell instructions. Although I will say I had a bit of fun with the book too…

A picture of a page from "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" describing how to do a spell to pay a phone bill.

On Tuesday afternoon I went for a hike at Palmer Park and picked up a small pine bough that had fallen onto the path, and a pinecone. I had read in the book that a pine bough can be a besom (broom). A pinecone can represent the God in lieu of a terraphim, and goes on the right side of the altar. A seashell can represent the Goddess, and goes on the left side. Luckily, I found an assortment of shells in my bead box of stones, and chose one with a nice cup to it.

The altar should face North or East, and there is a censer in between the God and Goddess. Since I don’t have an altar, I used the remaining orange fabric I had as an altar cloth. I chose wampum shell I have from Cape Cod to be my makeshift bolline, since I don’t have one yet, and needed something to snuff out the candle. Blowing out candles on the altar is an affront to the God and Goddess.

A picture of a page from Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner of a suggested altar layout.

Doing the thing.

On Tuesday night, I completely forgot about the spell. I was exhausted, and as soon as we got home I crawled into bed and intended to go to sleep. Strangely, I couldn’t fall asleep. Around 10:30, my husband burst into the room. “Stacy!” He said. “What?!” I said. “Don’t you have to do that spell?” “Oh. Yeah.”

I was glad he had reminded me. I would have been sad if I had missed that Tuesday and had to wait for next week. I crawled out of bed and gathered everything I needed for the spell. I “swept” the area clean of unwanted spirits and energies with my little pine bough, and laid it on the altar.

Then I realized that I hadn’t planned on how I was going to make the magic circle. Originally I had thought about doing the ritual in the backyard and drawing the circle with a stick in the dirt, or going to the front yard and drawing it with chalk on the driveway, but I was tired and wanted to settle for “living room Wicca” at that point. I remembered reading in the book that objects worked, so I pulled out my three bead boxes and grabbed handfuls of stones from them and placed them around me in a circle.

A picture of a magic circle made of stones with an altar on an orange altar cloth inside it.
As you can see, my God and Goddess are on the wrong sides of the altar, because I am a novice and was too lazy to check the book…

I lit the candle and then sat in a meditative silence for about five minutes.

This is it, I thought, it’s finally time to do the spell! I laid all the materials out in front of me on the altar. I had my beautiful piece of rough purple amethyst, little black nougat of garnet, breathtaking orange honeysuckle flower, pungent brown nutmeg, and tobacco in a little bag. One by one, I put each piece of the spell into my little orange bag.

The contents of an orange bag are spilled out onto an orange altar cloth. there is tobacco, nutmeg, amethyst, garnet, and honeysuckle.
I took these pictures two days later, when it was daylight, so my flower is withered in this picture, but it was fresh when I put it in the bag. I kept it alive lovingly for five days in dechlorinated water on the windowsill above my kitchen sink.

As each piece went into the bag, I charged it with my intentions:

Nutmeg, you are going to bring me quick, unexpected opportunities. I can’t wait for that. Amethyst, you are going to give me a calm mind so that I can receive them. Honeysuckle, you are going to give me the energy to pursue them. Garnet, you are going to give me the confidence to say yes. Thank you so much! I sprinkled in the tobacco, and I recited my little poem:

Stones and herbs restore to me
Faith, hope, grace, and opportunity.

A little bit of my power went into the little bag. Maybe a little bit of the divine power that was there went in too. I thought again about new opportunity coming into my life. I let my heart feel whatever it wanted to feel about that for a moment. Then I tied up the little bag with a string and sat for another moment before I snuffed out the candle.

A candle flame is snuffed out with a wampum shell.

A candle flame is snuffed out with a wampum shell.

I went to bed after that, but that wasn’t the end of the spell. Because the spell had been working from the moment I read Jen’s post and decided to do it. It had been working when I bought the fat quarter of orange fabric, when I went into the Asian market to get the whole nutmeg, and when I drove to Monument to get the honeysuckle flowers. It had been working all weekend as I thought about the spell and waited for Tuesday on a waxing moon.

And already, opportunities were coming into my life.

On Thursday morning, Angela told me about her friend Mia, who has officially joined us as of yesterday as our resident web design/ tech Queen of Gold Millennial! (welcome Mia!!)

On Thursday afternoon, right before I left to drive to the Asian market and Monument, a friend I met networking reached out and asked me if I would be her Realtor.

On Friday, my husband leased an Ioniq that gets 59 mpg, and we started talking about becoming Lyft drivers.

On Saturday night, he found out for me from a friend’s wife about a job opportunity with QKids, teaching English online to Chinese kids early in the morning and late at night.

On Monday morning, when I told a client that I was quitting real estate, she sent me a job posting (that I had already applied for) that reminded me to follow up about it.

On Monday afternoon, my husband and I took a leap of faith and enrolled our children into a brand new, free, public charter school that is 20 minutes away from our house. After we filled out the enrollment packets, the founder passed by and talked to us for a long time. We left with our jaws on the ground and eyes filled with tears of happiness.

Yesterday, one of my clients referred me to a friend, who actually called me.

Last night, when I emailed a fellow volunteer that I was quitting real estate and wouldn’t be teaching a class with her anymore (unless she needed me for one more class), she responded immediately that we should get together because she has a lot of connections to introduce me to and hinted that she might be able to help me get a job.

a screenshot from an email that reads "Are u interest in social work or make lots of money. I have contacts in both worlds'

A screenshot from an email that reads "Girl we need to talk. I think this could be a good move for u'

I think this is only the beginning of the deluge of opportunities that are coming my way. What really throws me back though is that even before I knew I needed it, the opportunity to do this spell came into my life. Before I even asked for it, it was there. It would be silly to look at all that has happened over the past 2 weeks, and completely deny the fact that there has been some magic here.

Coming into my life at a time when I desperately needed to rekindle my spirituality, this spell has done a lot more for me than bring me opportunities. It has shown me that I can be happy. That life can be fun. And that all hope is not lost. I am in awe of that, and am ready to face each new day with hope and gratitude.

a rising sun shines through a pile of stones in front of a body of water.

What magic have you worked in your life recently? Let’s keep the magic moving in our stories here.

 

UPDATE 9/26: WOW, did this opportunity spell blow me out of the water, or what? Since I published this, I interviewed twice but did not get the QKids job. I’m glad because I don’t think I would have been happy doing it, and I think the Universe knew that. I knew that.

However over the following week I was offered three jobs, two of which I did not even initially apply for. The offers came out of my network, which just goes to show the importance of networking while job hunting. One was the teaching job that I did accept. Another was a freelance gig I did not accept because I was way too busy with my teaching job.

The third was a HUD Housing Counselor position, which I have interviewed for, but I do not think now is the right time for me to jump into another career.

1. I wouldn’t feel right committing to the 2-3 year time commitment they are asking for when I haven’t held a job for more than 9 months before in my life.

2. I have since learned from Human Design that I am not meant to work a 9-5 job. My type (Manifestor) burns out quickly. We are meant to do short-term projects. We are meant to start things, and let others finish them. We are meant to lead. I am finally no longer in denial: I was born to muckrake and lead revolutions.

3. My husband wants the freedom to work whatever job he would like, at whatever hours. Since we have a new little one on the way, we can’t both work 9-5. I mean we can, but I do not feel comfortable putting our newborn in daycare.

It is the mother of all ironies that I have been offered this dream job on a silver platter, but I am turning it down.

I wanted them so badly, and I am forever grateful for the experience of having welcomed all of these opportunities into my life, but in the end it was only to learn that none of them were right for me. I have decided to pursue a career blogging and making some money side hustling a freelance writing career.

small orange bag next to Wicca book
Is it just me, or does the shade of the orange in this bag seem a little worn? it might just be my imagination, but I feel like it is a little less bright. Its magic is spent.

 

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3 thoughts on “Casting My First Spell

  1. I love how eloquently you describe the whole process of recognizing the need for change, feeling inspiration returning to you, being open to possibilities, and taking action. The quest was awesome! Spells do start working before we ever light a candle or cast a circle. It’s mostly intention and a willingness to co-create with the Universe—that’s the heart of magic and witchcraft in a nutshell. Many do not understand that until much later on their spiritual path! Well done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jen 🙏 Thank you for reading and for inspiring me. I think it’s obvious that I look up to you a lot 😊. I only hope that I can emulate your spell-crafting more in the future! Someday, I think soon, I’ll create my own spell.

      Liked by 1 person

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