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Amulets and Charms

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the first episode of August. I hope everyone had a great Lughnasadh, I hope everyone’s New Moon in Leo intentions are percolating and manifesting and I know we are all going to see some great things heading our way. Leo season is so special to me for reasons I’ve reiterated a million times here. I am married to a Leo, both my daughters are Leos, this podcast is a Leo. Leo is such an auspicious, optimistic, can-do sign, and I just love the feeling of possibility that it always brings with it.

Now, next Thursday, August 11th, is the anniversary of this podcast and the website will be live. You can listen to the podcast there if you like, every episode is available. I have also been hard at work transcribing all the 50+ episodes of the Middle-Aged Witch podcast and those will be available on the site. And going forward, every episode we do will have a transcript posted as well, so if I mention a book, or if I go through a spell or a potion or an oil recipe, whatever, you’ll be able to find it online. I’ve been categorizing every episode too, so for example, if there was an episode where I talked about like, some specific protection spell, you can do a search for the keyword protection, and it’ll bring up every episode where we talked about protection work.

Links to all the socials are posted there, videos and live event information will also be posted to the site. And yes, we will be doing some live events. I plan to do an event for Samhain for example, it’ll be some kind of group ritual. I’m still working on what that’s going to look like and how it’s going to work. We will have discussion forums, which I’m really excited for. I think this community is so unique and I’ve said before, I get to communicate one-on-one with everyone who writes to me, and you witches are the absolute tits. And now, you’ll be able to get to know each other the way I’ve been able to get to know you and I am so thrilled for that to happen. There are a lot of friendships and connections that are meant to happen within this community, I absolutely know it. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Next week, it all goes live. But today, we will talk all about amulets and charms right after a couple emails.

Dear Eli, I’m a new witch in an older woman’s skin who’s been on the outside fringes of my craft for most of my life. I’d like to seek out a mentor, or someone (or more than just one person) to learn from and practice with. I’m a little nervous about reaching out as I’m not confident in my ability to discern whom I should connect with. Please offer some helpful guidance.

This is almost verbatim what I said to her: so this question really got to me, because it’s a tricky thing trying to figure out, especially as a newer witch, how to make a connection, who to trust, how to discern the real deal from the frauds. A mentorship requires a lot of integrity, honesty, and vulnerability from both parties. And I hate to see people be taken in by someone who presents themselves as an authority, especially when money is changing hands. And in a lot of witchcraft mentorships, that is how it works. I am not passing judgment on witches who sell their mentoring services. I’m truly not. It takes a lot of years, a lot of study, and a lot of effort to become a witch that others might look to for guidance and mentorship.

And a lot of witches make their living by monetizing the knowledge that it’s taken them years to acquire. This doesn’t mean they’re scamming anyone. This really is no different than any other industry. But as with other industries, there is always a possibility of fraud. So my advice for her and for anyone looking for the same kind of relationship, is first to start locally if you can.

Depending on where you live, you know, if you’re in a city or if you’re within driving distance of a city with a significant witch community, start there and try to make connections in person. It’s a lot easier to get a sense of someone when you’re observing them in real life. So find an occult shop and get to know the people who work there. They will have their finger on the pulse of the community, and they will know when and where local witches meet, and they may even have specific recommendations for you as far as finding a group to get to know and work with.

If this isn’t a possibility, then you’re going to have to widen the net to include folks in the online space. Find out as much as you can before you make a decision, of course. Learn everything you can about this witch’s practice, their philosophies, and if they’re a part of a specific tradition (like Wicca or Santeria), that’s important to know, too. Make sure their personality is going to be a good fit for you as well, and find out all you can about what your mentorship will entail. Find out exactly what you’re getting for your money, and how long you can expect this mentorship to last.

But before you do any of that, I suggest that you do yourself a favor and manifest a witchcraft mentor in your life. I advised this witch to use the power of last Thursday’s new moon to call someone into her life who she will be able to connect with in a meaningful way, and who will support her growth as a witch. And then to put herself out there in some way so that she can actually find this person. Whether that means meeting up with local witches, or through a Facebook group, or connecting with a mentor she may find online, or some other way, so that she and her mentor will find each other.

And one more question before we get into the episode. I actually received both of today’s questions last week, and I answered them both then, I just wasn’t able to squeeze them into the Lughnasadh episode. That happens sometimes, but I always answer everyone right away. So this next question is about the new moon last Thursday, but it’s also a bit of a philosophical question, and I thought it was interesting:

Hi Eli! I hope you’re doing well. My name is Mars, and I’m a very new witch. I’ve been interested in the craft ever since I can remember, but since finding your podcast, I’ve gained the competence, knowledge, and confidence to start truly practicing. And for that I thank you so much!!

My question for you is—what are your thoughts on performing magic in graveyards? I have a self love spell that I’ve been working on that I want to complete during the upcoming Leo new moon, and the site that I’m feeling drawn to is this little graveyard near my house. I don’t know anyone who is buried there & I don’t have any personal connection to it, but it’s always been a place of peace for me—when I was in high school I would often take my lunch breaks there when I had the opportunity, and whenever I need a moment away from virtually anything, that’s the first place I think of to park my car and just sit.

I also have felt very connected to graveyards since I was little, because my dad used to take me to different ones before dropping me off at daycare, and in my mind they became a lovely place to connect with him. (He’s not dead, we’re just close and I remember this very vividly from my childhood.) To me, graveyards aren’t scary; they’re magical and peaceful, and I feel very connected to and, for lack of a better word, charged when I enter one.

I’m asking your opinion on this, however, because I’m worried that the connotations that come with graveyards are already too established and do not suit the kind of magic I may want to perform there, since they are already associated with certain types of witchcraft, the occult, and frankly, a lot of negative stereotypes too. So I guess what I’m asking is: are graveyards already too deeply associated with other types of magic that my own personal associations would be canceled out, or could these sites be helpful in some way to my magic? And if so, is there anything I should know before performing magic at a graveyard, so as to not endanger me or disturb/offend anything that resides there? Thank you so much for your time, your podcast means so much to me! Have a great evening and a happy new moon.

So I said, first of all, a graveyard self-love spell is a first for me, so that’s awesome. I really love when witches try things I haven’t heard of before. As to the actual question, people have a lot of feelings about graveyards, but I wouldn’t get too bogged down by it. There’s a lot of sorrow expressed in graveyards, yes, and there’s a spookiness factor for some people, and lord knows the edgy goths have been smoking weed in graveyards forever, but that isn’t all there is to them.

Graveyards are also a sacred space, they’re serene, they’re peaceful, they’re where we go to show reverence and remembrance, and to speak with our loved ones who have gone before. All of this is beautiful, and doesn’t conflict with a self love spell in the slightest. So if that’s where you feel drawn to perform this magick, then you should listen to your intuition.

The only thing I would caution about for anyone entering a graveyard for any reason but especially to perform magick, is to cast a strong protection spell over yourself before you go so that nothing becomes too interested in your work and follows you home. It does happen. Generally people visiting graveyards are there for one reason, which is to grieve their dead. But if you’re a witch who’s there to practice some magick, you’re going to be bringing a much different energy with you, and this can be really intriguing to the spirits there. So cast some protection and announce that no entities may attach themselves to you. We don’t want any hitchhikers.

And the second thing we should do when visiting a graveyard is to leave a nice offering at the gate or entrance as a show of gratitude to the spirits who may dwell there, just to demonstrate our appreciation for sharing their space with us and as an acknowledgment that we are a guest there. Flowers, wine or liquor, and tobacco are traditional, but you could leave anything that feels meaningful to you.

And with that said, let’s talk about amulets and charms, and how to make and use them! We have covered a weensy bit of this info in previous episodes, but today we are going to dig into the meat of the topic. In case you’re wondering what precisely the difference is between an amulet and a charm, the difference isn’t especially significant and we will be using these terms interchangeably. But for the pedantic, an amulet is generally worn as a piece of jewelry and believed to specifically confer magickal protection from harm or evil, like a hamsa or an evil eye necklace. Whereas a charm can be any sort of small object or trinket, not necessarily jewelry, that confers any sort of magick that it’s been programmed to, not just protection. Think of a lucky rabbit’s foot that a gambler might carry to help them win money. That’s a charm.

And the good news is that we can make amulets and charms from just about any piece of jewelry or small item that we like. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time but it does take some effort, although as we always say, if you’re going to do witchcraft, do some freaking witchcraft. Don’t be lazy. We don’t always say that. It isn’t a good saying. But the point is, we don’t need to buy something from someone else when we can make it ourselves and get results that are as good or better.

So let’s start by finding the item we want to use to create our charm or amulet, and then we will get into the details of how to consecrate it and imbue it with the qualities that we want it to confer. A very common charm is a small stone or crystal. We witches love to carry crystals in our bras for all kinds of reasons associated usually with the specific type of crystal, but we can consecrate any old stone any kind of way. We don’t want this stone to be too big, because we want to be able to carry it with us conveniently, like in a wallet or bra. And as I’m speaking now, you may already have a stone in mind. There may be a little crystal already in your possession that will serve this function perfectly. That’s awesome; use that one. If that’s not the case, then you can certainly head to your witch shop and paw through their tumbled stones until one feels right to you, or you can take a walk on a seaside or a riverbed and find a smallish, smoothish, stone that wants to come home with you.

If you have a piece of jewelry that you like, that is easy and comfortable to wear regularly, and that you wish to set apart and imbue with specific magickal intention, then of course, that’s another very common choice. If you’ve got a piece of jewelry set with your birthstone, you can expect to easily connect to it to receive the magick you’re looking for. Jewelry is great because it’s already meant to be worn, so no one would think twice about a simple silver ring or a pendant that you wear all the time. And this is why so many amulets and charms are made with pieces of jewelry. Again, if this piece of jewelry is set with a stone that corresponds to the magickal property that you want to consecrate it with, then that’s even better.

I have a Hecate pendant that I’ve consecrated. Hecate is the goddess of witches and witchcraft, and so I’ve consecrated this pendant to assist my magick and amplify it. If you’ve got a piece of jewelry that was given to you or inherited from a deceased relative, then you can also enjoy the benefits of that loved one’s additional protection and guidance. This is why, if you’re looking to create an amulet specifically for protection and/or intuition, I highly recommend that you choose, if you can, something that’s been given by a loved one or that used to belong to a loved one. A small pendant that contains the ashes of a loved one, even a pet, is also an excellent protective amulet.

From there, we can look at other small items. Keychains are great for protection while traveling, and so is any little decorative item that you may dangle from your rearview mirror. A money clip is an easy item to charge to attract more money, we can enchant a pretty hair pin for glamour magick. We could enchant a specific favorite pen to help us at work. We can create charms to leave under the bed to invite more intimate encounters. We can create charms to keep in our gym bags to help us with motivation for working out. If you’re a small business owner, you could create a charm for drawing in customers. The sky is most sincerely the limit. So if you’re thinking of dabbling in charm and amulet creation, be creative.

We witches are like magpies, we love to collect all kinds of small, shiny or interesting objects, so go through your little trinket stash and find some little tchotchke that you’ve saved for no good reason at all and give it a purpose. It’s easy, it’s functional, and it’s free.

As for how to make a mundane item into an amulet or charm regardless of its intended magickal purpose, we will first want to cleanse the item to prepare it to receive the magick that we’re going to put into it. We can do this in the usual ways, using salt or smoke (and if you can get hold of an incense that aligns with your intention, this is a good way to smoke cleanse your item), and then we want to consecrate it, or dedicate it for its divine purpose. And there are a lot of ways to do this and it can depend on what sort of magick you intend the item to carry, it can depend on what exactly your item is, and it can even depend on whether you’re planning to petition any entities to assist with the magick.

There are a lot of general ways of enchanting our amulets once the item has been cleansed and prepared, but I prefer a four-pronged approach, using candles, oils, herbs, and words. So I’ll choose a candle, and of course as we know, white candles are suitable for every purpose, but we can also use a candle with a color corresponding to the intention we are setting. So black for protection, blue for spirituality, red for love or lust, pink for beauty, green for prosperity, purple for manifestation or psychic ability, and so on. Carve those intentions right into the wax. So for our example, if I’m creating a prosperity charm, I might carve the words, “I prosper in every way, financially, spiritually, and physically,” into the candle I’m using for this spell.

Then we’re going to anoint that candle with either general purpose anointing oil, olive oil or some such, or a custom blend. We have many, many infused oil recipes that we’ve talked about on this podcast, and you can find transcripts on the website. But a good prosperity oil infusion will include your carrier oil, and then jasmine, patchouli, lavender, dragon’s blood resin or oil, sandalwood, cinnamon, and blessed money clippings. So anoint your candle and then roll it or sprinkle it with some herbs and such that you’ve ground into a nice powder. So again for our prosperity charm, we’d grind some lavender and cinnamon along with basil, sage, allspice, blessed thistle, High John the Conqueror root, saffron, and maybe some salt. If you don’t have all these ingredients, just use what you do have, and do some research to find other herbs you might want to include. Again, this is just an example.

Anyway, sprinkle your herb mixture onto your candle, set it on your altar, and light it. And while your flame strengthens, pick up your amulet, whatever item you’ve chosen to enchant, and anoint it with your oil as well. Don’t use a ton of oil, just a few drops on your item is plenty. Rub it in while you focus your energy on driving your desired intention into your amulet, your charm. Start speaking your chosen phrase aloud as you do this, repeat it until you start to feel that energy not just going into the charm, but also beginning to radiate from it. Speak with power and conviction and authority. I’ll leave my amulet on the altar overnight, allowing the candle to burn down and all that magick to settle into it.

I want to also talk about making specifically a protection amulet, because as I was reviewing my notes for this episode, I did go through and review past episodes and I realized I didn’t ever go through a protection oil or a protection herb blend. Which is kind of bonkers. I’m very surprised by myself, I’ve really dropped the ball. So the following is a tried and true method for protection amulets and protection charms.

This protective oil recipe I’m going to give is similar to a commercial product you can buy in occult shops or online called Fiery Wall of Protection Oil. This isn’t an exact duplicate of those proprietary blends, but it’s no less powerful. And as always, you can make as much or as little as you need, you can include or omit any ingredients you’d like, and it’s hands-on witchcraft. So for the basic recipe, use your carrier oil. For this recipe, I prefer olive oil because of its historic (i.e. biblical) usage as an anointing oil. Add the desired amount of this to a small saucepan and then add a very small amount of each of the following: dragon’s blood, either a few drops of the oil or a small piece of the actual resin, frankincense and myrrh, again, either the oils or small bits of resin, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes, a little black salt, and I’ll explain how to make that in a moment, a couple cardamom pods, a little cinnamon, a little ginger, a bay leaf, a little rue, a little sandalwood, and a little angelica root.

Stir these items into the oil and warm it through on very low heat for a good 30 or so minutes, and then strain everything out and add it to a little bottle or a jar once it’s cool. To that little bottle, I like to throw in a couple extra flakes of the red pepper, just to keep it spicy while it’s on the shelf, and a very small chunk of black obsidian or tourmaline. You will use this oil to anoint your amulet as we’ve already discussed, but you can also use it anytime you need it for any protective application. If you’re doing any sort of protective spell, anointing a candle, anointing a person, heading into a graveyard, etc, it’s a great blend to have and keep on hand.

To make that black salt we talked about, pour equal parts regular salt, charcoal (I sometimes use the little discs for burning resin, just because I always have some available, or I’ll go out to the fire pit and grab a blackened ember from there, or you can use regular old charcoal from the grill if that’s what you have), and then the used ashes of your old spells. I’ve said many times to save the ashes from any spells you burn, and from old incense. Keep it in a little mason jar because it’s great to have on hand for this purpose. Those ashes are still charged with energy; don’t waste them. Anyway, grind all that together with a mortar and pestle or put them together in a ziploc and bash it with a rolling pin until it’s all powdery. Then stick it in a jar and use it as needed. You’ll only need a little for the oil, and the rest can be used for banishings, for cord cuttings, mix it with a little baking powder for a protection floor sweep, all kinds of stuff.

So from there, cleanse your protection amulet just as we did in our prosperity example. Smoke, salt, whatever you choose. Dress your candle and light it. Then, as you’re speaking your spell, jam as much protective energy as you can create into the object. Draw the energy into yourself first. Close your eyes if it helps, and envision this energy being pulled into your body through the palms of your hands, moving through your arms, into your abdomen and chest. A blinding, white-hot ball of energy inside your torso, building and becoming bigger and stronger. Then just blast that energy back out through your palms and direct it into the object.

Amulets and charms are a lot like protective wards as far as how they’re created, and we talked about how to do exactly that in the Protection Magick episode. But another similarity is that every once in a while, it’s a good idea to charge them to keep their magick strong. You could do this by going through this whole process again, or you can simply charge them on your altar or in the light of the full moon. And the more you use your charms, the more you wear your amulet, the deeper the connection between you will become.

And there’s really no more to it than that. It’s something you can do anytime you need to, there’s no need to wait for an auspicious moon phase or anything like that, this is a very practical use for witchcraft. And this is a really great way to sort of cut your teeth on spellwork. I get messages every week from new witches who are hesitant to start working magick because they’re not sure where to begin. Making charms and amulets is a great place to start. It’s a great way to practice manipulating energy, it can combine a lot of different elements, like cleansing and candle magick, and it isn’t something that only advanced practitioners can do. This is magick you can do on day one.

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