Today is Thursday, September 9. The moon is waxing crescent, and the next full moon will be on Monday, September 20. That’ll be the Harvest Moon, here in time to usher in the Autumn Equinox on the 22nd. So we’ve got a couple weeks to put together a really wonderful ritual to express gratitude for what we’ve harvested this year.
However, for many of us, this has been a very challenging year. This has been a year of loss, in a lot of ways. Loss of life first and foremost, and a loss of a lot of the freedoms we used to take for granted, loss of income, loss of businesses that we’ve built, a loss of innocence for our children who have had to endure months on end away from their friends. And for those of us who may struggle to find much to be grateful for at this equinox, instead of forcing ourselves into a gratitude mindset, maybe we can look at this as a time to lay this year to rest, and to look ahead and think of the things we hope to manifest for the next season of life.
This is a fortuitous week then, perhaps, to talk about Earth Magick. This is the final installment of a four part series that we’ve done exploring elemental magick. We’ve already covered air, fire and water magick in previous episodes, so certainly do go back and listen to those if you’re so inclined. But we are going to cover my favorite kind of magick today.
I don’t like to box myself into too narrow a definition when I talk about what kind of witch I am. On social media, we see a lot of quizzes and things about ‘What Type of Witch Are You?’ Are you a sea witch, a swamp witch, an eclectic witch, a hearth witch, etc, etc, on and on. And mostly that has to do with the optics of witchcraft, the aesthetics.
It’s harmless fun probably, especially for younger witches who are still creating their identities in the world in all kinds of significant ways. To ascribe to a certain brand of witchcraft, to put on the clothes and the makeup and get all the accessories of whatever kind of witchiness appeals to you is perfectly fine and I’ll always defend people who want to try on different identities to sort of see how they fit. And those younger witches who may wear those identities for the world to see aren’t harming anyone, and they aren’t harming witchcraft.But very few of us fall into just one category. The more we explore our practices, the more we may discover that our craft bleeds across those imaginary lines and blurs what it means to be a divination witch, or whatever that even means. So even though I lean very much toward kitchen witchery, I would never put my practice into such a small box, and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way.
But with that said, I have always tended toward more earth-centric forms of magic. I am a Libra, so Air Magick resonates with me very deeply, and to be frank I have almost no earth in my chart whatsoever. But earth magick feels very natural to me, and I use it all the time, probably more than other forms of elemental magick combined. Earth magick is very restorative, it’s very comforting, very profound, and its results are very long-lasting and far-reaching.
Tailoring your spells to your exact desired outcome is tricky to do at first, but I have found that one of the best and most surefire ways to get really damn close is to remember to blend in the elements along with everything else. So while incorporating fire into your spell can give it an intense, blistering, quick-acting quality, incorporating earth magick can impart a deep, growing, building, long-lasting result.
So what kinds of spellwork are especially predisposed toward earth magick?
Spells having to do with health and wellness, first and probably foremost, as well as money, career, and abundance spells. This is because earth magick has a lot of influence over the things of the world, i.e. this mortal, earthly existence. Earth magick is also great for death and bone magick. Another strong earth correspondence is protection magick, whether it’s protection for yourself or a loved one, or protection for your home. Grounding and spending time in nature as restorative practices are also incredibly earth-centric.
For protection spells, especially for people, amulets and talismans are particularly nice because they’re easy to conceal, they can be made from just about anything from coins, to jewelry, to stones, and they’re to carry on your person. Amulets and talismans are terms that are basically interchangeable, although if you’re especially pedantic, you’ll want to know that generally, an amulet is some sort of charm or token that confers protection on its user, whereas a talisman gives its user some kind of additional power, although the power given is usually protection, which is why the terms are swapped out so often.
But anyway, those kinds of charms are steeped in earth magic. Same with protection work that you do for your home. You can enchant wind chimes, you can get some witch bells for your doorways, you can imbue nails or railroad spikes with protection magic and place them at the entryways or in the four corners of your property. Another form of protection I like, and one that use in my own home is hag stones in the windowsills.
Hag stones are rocks that have had holes bored through them by running water. You can sometimes find them in riverbeds, but I have always found them on the beach. If you do collect hag stones from nature, be sure that you leave something behind in return. Hag stones are said to ward off evil when placed in windowsills, and it’s also said that if you look through the hole in them, you can see fairies and spirits. I have a small hag stone that I wear as a pendant whenever I feel like I need a little extra protection during my day.
I also like amber, petrified wood, acorns, obsidian, and anything made of iron for home and personal space protection, like my car.
For health and wellness, when we are talking about earth magick, we are talking about plant medicine and herbs, elixirs, salves, tinctures, potions and balms. I can’t go too deeply into herbal medicine here because it would take all day, but maybe I’ll do a future episode strictly about it. But what I will recommend is getting a good, well-respected book on herbalism, and I don’t just mean a book about the magical properties of herbs. I have recommended Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs many times, and it’s an excellent book for magic, but for plant medicine proper, I recommend rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. I have probably 2 dozen books on herbalism but Rosemary Gladstar’s is the gold standard.
The reason I like to harp on herbal medicine IN ADDITION to herbal magick is because they are two completely different disciplines yet they complement each other really beautifully. I think I have probably mentioned tea in every single episode this far, but tea is so great to use ritually, and it can offer actual health benefits at the same time. And it’s a wonderful way to dip your toes into earth magick healing.
There’s a reason that herbs are part and parcel of witchcrafft and it’s because, historically, medicine men and women, shaman, witch doctors, curanderos, folk medicine practitioners, whatever you want to call these traditional healers have folded magick and herbalism together to perform very effective treatments. These people were well-respected within their communities for good reason. They had generations of knowledge of the plant medicines that grew in their regions and how to use them, and they were often the only people in their communities who could be called upon when medical emergencies came up.
All that said, I am not advocating for people to go off their meds, so don’t write to me. I’m simply advocating for people to to take an active role in their physical well-being.
There are a lot of ways to support your physical health, but herbalism and getting outside in nature are two very powerful and simple ways to do that, and they are both, not surprisingly, earth magick. The earth gives so much to us, and we really don’t have to do a whole lot to take advantage of that generosity.
So let’s talk about money spells, abundance and career magick. Now, the reason those are earth magick is because they have to do with our physical existence, our worldly well-being. We came into this world with nothing and we will leave with nothing, but there’s no reason not to want to have some financial security in the interim.
Putting together an abundance spell is a lot of fun, in my experience, and there are a million spells out in the ether that you can look up, so I’ll just talk about some of my favorite elements to use in money magick.
As far as stones and minerals, I like pyrite a lot. It’s probably my favorite stone to use. I also like peridot, tiger’s eye, topaz, and red jasper. I’ve great results with all of those and I think they work very quickly and easily. As for herbs and plants, I like bay OF COURSE, basil, olive, chamomile, dill, poppy, and I actually use rice with a lot of success. Acorns are nice, and so are peonies and snapdragons for the altar. Precious metals like gold and silver are also great to adorn your altar space with for the duration of the work.
I’ve made a really nice money drawing oil just to have on hand, and I will use that to dress candles and sigils when I do abundance work.
I like to use hemp oil when I have it, but olive oil works just fine too. I will add cinnamon, crushed bay leaves, basil, echinacea, lemongrass oil, lavender, orange peel (just peel an orange and dice it up nice and fine, you don’t need to buy anything), cayenne pepper, star anise, I will toss in some peridot chips, and some Florida water. You can add anything else that speaks to you, and make substitutions as necessary.
It’s your oil, you get to decide what the recipe should be. If something is too hard to get hold of or it’s too expensive, do some research and find out what it does, and then you’ll be able to find suitable substitution that has the same kinds of magical properties. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
And that brings me to my default wrap-up speech that I feel like I give every episode. There isn’t just one way to do magick. But, there are ways to do magick that are going to be more effective, and the number one way to boost your results when you’re performing magick is to do the research. Don’t just follow a spell that you found online without understanding what the ingredients are for and what all the steps mean. The more you know about a spell, the more connected you’ll be to the outcome and the more the results will align with your desired outcome.
You can learn to sing a song in another language, but if you translate it first, you’ll be able to connect to the meaning in a personal way, and your performance will be all the more meaningful. And that’s all that magick is. Its just singing our desires to the universe in a language the universe understands.
So as always, keep doing magick, keep trying new things, write it all down, and create. You can find me on Instagram at @middleagedwitch, and on Facebook at @middleagedwitch
I will talk to you again next week about one of my favorite subjects, the autumn equinox. My name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.