Adapting Spells

Adapting Spells

by Skye Alexander

Today, you’ll find many books on spellcraft that contain instructions for casting spells. You can also purchase ready-made kits that include all the ingredients necessary for a spell. Nonetheless, if those instructions or ingredients don’t make sense to you or break your personal ethics, the spell will not work.

The best spells are those you create yourself or adapt to suit your own purposes. The process of collecting ingredients, preparing them, and designing the steps of your spell focuses your mind on your intention and adds energy to the spell. Sometimes you must adapt a tried-and-true spell because you can’t get the designated components. For example, if you lived in New England and used ash leaves or bark in protection spells but then moved to Texas, you would not be able to find such plant life; you could then compensate by substituting another ingredient, such as basil.

One of the beauties of spellcraft is its versatility. Spellcraft, of course, isn’t a fixed, rigid dogma; it’s a living, growing body of knowledge and experience that continues to expand as the number of witches working magick grows.

With the previous example in mind, it’s easy to see that there will be many times when a witch or Wiccan will want to adapt a spell or devise one of her own. How do you begin the process? Adapting a spell is far easier than creating one, so let’s start there. When a witch examines a spell, she looks for continuity and comprehensiveness.

  • Does the spell target your goal through its words, actions, and components?
  • Does it do so on a multisensual level (involving your hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell)?
  • Does every part of the spell make sense and excite your higher sentiments?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, try to find a substitute. To illustrate, many old love spells call for blood as a component. But modern awareness of disease (or squeamishness) might make blood inappropriate. Instead a witch could use red wine. The red juice from crushed raspberries, strawberries, or passion fruit (fruits associated with love) would also work well. In this manner, she can still follow the basic spell while relying on components that are safe and support her ethics.