Well here we are in November! I hope everyone had a fun Halloween and a great Samhain. We also have the full moon and a solar eclipse this coming Tuesday, November 8th so that’s exciting as well. We are cruising right on through the holiday season, aren’t we. It’ll be Yule before we know it, my gods.
And I also saw the coolest thing as I was driving home from work on Monday, Halloween. There’s a park on my way home and I drive past it everyday and it’s got the typical, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, baseball diamond, and there are always people there playing with their kids, walking their dogs, having birthday parties and so forth. And I saw maybe four or five young adults, from what I could see and they were performing some kind of ritual, I have to assume it was Samhain related, but it was so heartwarming to see this.
Just out in public, early evening, under the open sky, practicing their craft unbothered by other people. This is what you just love to see. People practicing confidently and not afraid that someone is going to disturb them or call the cops or something. This is religious freedom and it’s so nice that that freedom is finally extending to witches in my very conservative town. It’s only taken about 250 years. Well done, USA.
I’d also like to take a quick moment to thank folks who’ve bought my book, Love & Light Blood & Bone and for those of you who have also taken the time to rate and review it, thank you very, very much. I’m just beside myself with gratitude, and I’ve felt very loved and validated, frankly. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in, to continue to put my philosophies and my practice out into the public sphere every single week, and now in written form, but I’ve felt very supported and my heart is very full. So at the risk of being redundant, I want to continue to thank you all.
Now, I want to read an email I received this week it’s from a witch who is dealing with a bit of a situation with his youngest son:
I’m the father of 3 boys 19, 14 and 12. My youngest and middle son have always been close, playing and growing up together, hanging out together. But now the 14 year old is pulling away, hanging with girls, wearing his hoodie, in bed, only wanting to watch Netflix in his room and my youngest doesn’t understand and is struggling to adapt to the change and I feel his loss. I try to fill the gap and make more time to spend with him, but is there some way to help him with this time of transition?
There was a bit more to the situation, but I wanted to first say that the best thing for this is the extra time he’s spending with his son. It’s so heartbreaking watching kids sort of outgrow each other, and even though this is a temporary thing until they’re all a little older, it still hurts watching the youngest be left behind. But there’s some easy spellwork for it.
We just need a blue chime candle (blue for peace, but of course white is fine too if that’s what’s on hand), an orange wedge (if they’re out of season, a little orange juice is fine; we just want those optimistic and empowering properties that oranges bring), cinnamon for strength and tranquility, thyme for healing, and rosemary for purification of the heart. If you’ve got some myrrh, that’s great too for emotional healing.
Carve the candle with the 12-year-old’s name and then dress the candle by rubbing the orange wedge along the wax and then sprinkling it with our herb blend. Charge it with intentions, such as 12 knows his brother loves him, 12 is happy and at peace, 12 is excited to spend time with dad and do new things together, etc. Burn this candle down safely. And then I also suggested putting some of those herbs in a small charm bag or spell bag as well, to leave under 12’s mattress.
And this witch did write back with some amazing music recommendations but also a cool suggestion I wanted to pass on. Now of course white candles are legit when that’s what we have, but we can also use those color correspondences in different ways, like in place of the blue candle, we might use a blue candle holder or jar to burn it in, or simply decorate the candle in a way that incorporates blue so that we still get that color magick into the work.
Today we are going to talk about bond breaking, severing magick, often called cord cutting these days, and also reversal magick. This was a suggestion from Gwan, and I think this is such a great topic. Because this kind of work goes hand in hand with protection magick, even if we may not think of it this way. Because when we make that break, we are protecting ourselves.
And this is not only about romantic break-ups, so I want to be very clear about all of the kinds of situations where we might benefit from performing this work. So when we find ourselves in a relationship or a situation with someone where there is an imbalance of power, or any kind of codependence, if it’s a toxic situation, if it is a break-up and make-up over and over again sort of thing, or even when we feel as though we have to keep giving in a relationship because we’ve known this person so long, or they’ve been through so much, but we’re not getting anything back out of this relationship.
If we’re in a position where we’re being manipulated, if we’re being used, if we want to pull back from this person but we are struggling with feelings of guilt about it. If we know goddamn good and well that this is not a healthy situation to be in but we just can’t seem to pull the trigger on ending things with them, then bond breaking magick, severing magick, cord cutting magick, is likely to be the solution.
This may indeed be a situation with a romantic partner, but it can also be with parents, siblings, it can be related to feelings of undue responsibility to your job or volunteer work that you do, it may be a toxic friendship, it may, and I deeply despair to even speak the words, have to do with your grown child. There are many ways that we can find ourselves in relationships where we have the right and often the responsibility to sever those ties.
Now, we may also feel compelled to perform this work on behalf of other people. If your daughter is dating a guy who keeps breaking her heart but she can’t walk away, or your husband is too deeply manipulated by his mother to stand up to her like he should, or whatever the case may be. There may be times when we want to do this work for someone else. And to that I say, it’s your business, do what you want.
I will caution that unless your target actually wants to cut those ties, you can do all the spellwork you want but they’re ultimately not going to be affected in the long term. Probably. Is it unethical to do this work without someone’s permission? Sure. But that’s your call to make, not mine. I don’t abide by the Rule of Three, and we’re all grown-up witches who have to make decisions for ourselves. If I have a friend who won’t leave her husband who’s beating her up, you can guess how guilty I would feel about doing an unauthorized cord-cutting for her. So, I don’t truck with fear-mongering about doing work like this for other people.
The only thing I will get up on my high horse to say is don’t try to break up someone else’s relationship just because you want to have a go. That’s a really shitty thing to do and I hope your spell backfires. But even then, if you still decide to do that work, it’s your business. But don’t write to me about it, because I ain’t helping.
So I’m sure we have all seen cord cutting spells on TikTok or instagram. Basically two candles are dressed to represent two individuals. They are tied together with a length of string or twine, and then they’re lit and left to burn down. Once the flame gets to the string, it will burn that connection that we are trying to sever. These are relatively simple spells and they are entirely valid methods for this work. Yes, that works.
We are not here to reinvent the wheel; we are here to personalize it. So, I will go through the basic cord-cutting method, or A basic method, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. And then after we have established the process, we’ll go through different intentions for these bond breaking spells and talk about elements to include in the work that will make it more specific to your desired outcome.
So, first of all, for the basic process for all of these spells we will need two candles and a length of string or twine, as well as a fire-safe surface upon which to burn these candles. Make sure it’s something you don’t mind ruining forever, because it’s probably not going to be good for much after this. A disposable aluminum pie tin is a solid and inexpensive choice, it’s also recyclable, or you may find a plate at a thrift store or a dollar store. As long as it’s, again, fire safe, it really doesn’t matter what you use. We will also need Severing Ties Oil, which we will make in a minute, and finally Black Salt, which we will also make.
Now, as for your candles, like we always say, white is fine if that’s what you have. Don’t go broke trying to match the online aesthetic, but if you have access, it’s a good idea if you can to have one white candle and one black candle. Black is the color of release, of banishing, and it does represent the waning of feelings, of those emotional ties. Regardless of your specific situation, you may wish to carve your name into a white candle, and the other person’s name into the banishing candle.
Again, regardless of the exact situation, dress both of the candles in Severing Ties Oil. And we are going to make this ourselves and it’s going to be easy and cheap and powerful and it’s going to help us connect more personally to the work. If you’ve made anointing oils with me before, you already know the basic process, get yourself 2 ounces or so of your carrier oil. Olive oil is a good choice, so is coconut oil or mineral oil, but if all else fails, use vegetable oil.
Put this oil in a small saucepan and add as many of the following herbs and plants as you have on hand: juniper, pine, holly, basil (which is excellent for exorcism and we are exorcizing emotional attachment), violet, yarrow, pepper, cloves, cumin, comfrey, fern, garlic, peppermint, rosemary, nettle, nutmeg, and sandalwood. All of these plants have strong banishing and releasing correspondences. Again, use only what you have on hand or that you can find easily and inexpensively. Some of these may be out in the yard, like pine and nettle.
Add a pinch of each of the elements that you have to the oil, doesn’t need to be a ton, and give it a stir. Heat this oil through over a very low flame, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, strain out the plant material, and put your oil in a small bottle or jar to use it when you need it. If you’re new to the podcast, don’t stress about memorizing all this or scrambling to write it all down, full written transcripts of every episode are available for free on middleagedwitch.com.
To make the Black Salt, which you can buy but you can also make yourself for free using one part sea salt, one part crushed embers from a ritual fire pit, from a BBQ pit, or from your own fireplace, and one part ashes from your old burnt spells and old incense. Mix this all together and you have Black Witch’s Salt. So useful and so easy to make. So we’ve got all of our elements in place, now it’s time to do the ritual.
Banishing work, severing work, and even reversal work, which we will address in a bit, are best done during the waning moon. We are in the waxing phase right now until after the full moon next week, so if you have a very pressing issue that cannot wait for the moon phase, this kind of work is also best performed on a Saturday and at dusk, so consider those options as well when you’re thinking about the timing of your work.
So, set up your ritual space however you like according to your own preferences. Cast a protective circle, and begin assembling your candles. You’ve got one candle with your name on it and one candle with the other person’s name on it. They’ve both been dressed with oil. At this time, you may dress the candles with herbs specific to your purpose and we will get to that in a minute.
Directly across the middle of your fire-safe surface, your plate or your pie tin or whatever, draw a line of Black Salt. Just straight down the middle of this plate. You’re going to place one candle on each side of this line. The symbolism is not exactly subtle. Then, we’re gonna tie one end of your twine to one candle, and the other end to the other candle. Leave only about four or five inches between each candle because we do need to fit both of these candles on the plate. Using a match or lighter, soften the wax on the bottom of each candle so that it’s fixed to the plate, again, one candle on each side of the black salt line.
At this point, you are ready to begin. Start raising energy, however you prefer to do it. Some people ring a bell, some people chant, or sing, or just meditate and pull their focus into calling up energy. Direct that focus to your intention. Feel it, see it, own it. Whatever the situation or relationship is, really concentrate on the feeling of, the reality of, being free of the negativity. Free of the emotional blackmail. Free of the unfair obligations. Free of the guilt for not wanting to meet these unfair obligations.
Only you know exactly what it is you’re disentangling yourself from, so only you can visualize how golden you are going to feel once this work is complete. Once you no longer dread that phone call, or that visit, or that guilt trip, or that burden. As part of the prep work, you should also create a mantra or a power phrase or a sigil that corresponds with this manifestation, and this can also be a point of focus. As you complete this ritual, repeat your phrase over again, aloud or silently to yourself, or envision your sigil and the freedom and empowerment that it represents.
Once you are truly in this place of freedom and autonomy, light each candle. Light your own candle first, and then the other. Allow these candles to burn all the way down. And observe how they burn, which way the wax flows, how the flames behave, watch how the twine burns once the flames catch. Now, you don’t have to do this, but there’s a lot you can discern from this information, if you choose to do so. Does one candle burn more quickly than the other? Is one flame weaker or more reluctant to stay lit? Does the wax flow toward or away from the other candle? Did the plate crack once the flames burnt down? There’s some symbolism in there, if you choose to read into it.
Now, once your candles are out and the work is done, bury any leftover wax that remains away from your home. You can wash the plate and keep it for future work if you want, or you can recycle your pie tin, it’s up to you. And that’s the process. It’s emotional work, so do be prepared to exorcize those feelings of grief and guilt and anger, or whatever else may rear its head.
But now let’s talk about how to dress the candles for specific kinds of work. So if the purpose of this cord cutting is to release our feelings for someone, or to make someone release their feelings for us, we would dress the candle with lavender, patchouli, or marjoram. More precisely, if there are feelings of heartbreak to overcome, we might use cinnamon or coriander. If we are trying to specifically release feelings of jealousy, we want marigold or holly. If there are feelings of loss that we are coming to terms with, fennel will help. And of course situations are not cut and dried, so we can combine any of these.
If we are harboring feelings of guilt, and this is especially potent when we are dealing with unhealthy familial relationships, we can use thyme and lemon balm. If we are trying to establish independence in this situation, we want oak or thistle. If the person we are cutting ties with tends to overwhelm us with negativity, we can include sage or cedar to help avert it. And in almost all of these situations, if we intend to take back our power, we want willow, dandelion, allspice, or star anise.
So there it is. That’s the long and the short of a cord cutting ritual. And I also wanted to talk about reversal magic. Which we have spoken a bit about before, but I think it may have been kind of buried in another episode somewhere. I have not done a full episode on this topic, although one could. But I did touch on this kind of work just a couple weeks ago in the Samhain episode.
I gave a brief reversal ritual and a recipe for Reversal Oil, which you may choose to either perform as a standalone ritual or you may want to combine this with your severing ritual. If you do use this, do not anoint your candle with the Reversal Oil, just the other person’s candle. Complete the rest of the cord cutting as we discussed. This will work to not only sever those ties, those feelings that we’re trying to get rid of, but it’s also going to make sure that any guilt, or shame, or manipulation or any general fuckery that they may try to throw your way does not land.
Because don’t forget this when doing this kind of work: these people thrive on your energy. It very literally gives them life. So when they detect that you’re pulling back, that you’re removing yourself from their sphere of influence, that you are calling your power back, they’re likely to redouble their efforts in order to keep you where they want you. So, folding in some reversal work with a cord cutting is not a bad idea.
And just to save you some time if you want the Reversal Oil recipe, it is as follows: combine cinnamon, rue, and rose essential oils, or you can infuse olive oil or vitamin E oil with actual cinnamon, rue, and rose petals. Heat these together over low heat for 20 minutes, then strain out the plant matter and put the oil in a little bottle to use anytime you want to block someone’s negativity or their evil eye or when you want to return their hateful deeds and their awful treatment back to them.
So let’s all enjoy the full moon this Tuesday, along with the solar eclipse and it’s Daylight Savings this Sunday, if you’re in the States, so also enjoy that extra hour. We will talk again next week, and I can’t wait. My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch Podcast.