We all make mistakes in life and that includes when we are working magic too. Particularly when we first start out, but believe me, even those more experienced still make mistakes. The key is to learn from them. Sometimes it takes making the mistake more than once before the lesson is learnt though!
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes I made and it was early on, was to work magic ‘to banish all negativity from my life’. It made sense at the time and the spell went very well. However, when you banish negative energy it leaves a void, and nothing loves a void more than…more negative energy. Not only had I forgotten to request positive energy to fill the void, I had banished everything that contained any negative energy. Experience has taught me that we need a balance, our lives need some negative in them. The spell worked incredibly well, too well. Because not only did the negative stuff that I didn’t want disappear but also things that I hadn’t even considered, such as friendships. To live in a completely love and light filled bubble with rainbows and unicorns sounds fabulous, but it isn’t really very practical. We need the balance of dark and light, and therefore positive and negative to keep things in perspective. Think of a battery, it needs both positive and negative energy to work, and so do we.
I still work banishing spells but I am very careful about how I word them. I usually ask for ‘that which no longer serves me’ to be released. And I am always careful to fill that void with positive energy too.
Sometimes it can be that a spell hasn’t been thought through properly and I am absolutely guilty of this on occasion. In your head it may sound brilliant, but once you actually begin to work it, maybe not so much. The lesson there is to really take time to put a spell together, think everything through properly. Although some of the best spells are those done on the spot with very little to work with, so you need to get the balance right.
Candles dressed in oil and rolled in dried herbs are brilliant to work magic with. The downside is that oil is volatile and herbs love a flame. I speak from experience here when I say – be very careful with fully dressed candles, they can flame and flare up without warning.
Be mindful of your candle holders. I had a lovely ceramic ‘chip n dip’ dish that worked really well with a candle in the centre and herbs or crystals around the edge. However it wasn’t designed for heat and shattered most spectacularly sending hot wax and flames over the altar, setting fire to the altar cloth and burning the wooden unit underneath. Thankfully I was there when it happened.
And sticking with candles, a lot of my candle holders are wooden – don’t leave them unattended. They burn!
Dried chillies in an incense blend, just no…really no.
Pronunciations are a tricky one. Some of the Gods have such complicated names, and even the shorter ones are often pronounced completely differently to the spelling. I have made mistakes in the past, sometimes because I had only read the name in a book and never heard it said out loud. It is worth checking, particularly these days when we have all the online resources.
I have been honoured to have taken part in many group rituals over the years. Some have been very ceremonial and serious (interesting to be a part of and very difficult for my sense of humour to be restrained) others have been more relaxed. Of course the Kitchen Witch rituals are total organised chaos…
It doesn’t matter what format the ritual has taken, not all of them have gone off without a hitch. Humans are involved, along with the weather and the animal kingdom. Each of these brings their own unique mishaps.
We have had circles cast anti clockwise instead of clockwise.
Candles being blown out or not lighting at all.
Altar cloths being blown away.
Stumbling over the script words or saying completely the wrong thing and don’t even get me started on mispronunciation of deity names!
It has become somewhat of a tradition for a random dog to wander into our Kitchen Witch rituals, followed by several of us shooing it away from the cakes and a distraught dog walking owner shouting at it.
During a handfasting once, we had a horse wander into the circle and proceed to pee, loudly before wandering off on its way.
The wind plays havoc with anything and everything in circle and partway through one particular ritual we were hit with a downpour of rain with no time to move anything or escape to shelter.
Whatever you do, remember that mistakes happen, what we learn from them is the important part!
To watch a replay of my talk, click the link