Designing Love Spells

Hello fellow Pagans! With Valentine’s Day approaching, I want to discuss love spells and introduce my guidelines to writing your own working.


Love spells can be powerful, and they can also backfire is unexpected ways. You have to design them with very clear and moral intent. At no point should you take power or free will away from the subject of your spell. This means you may not make decisions for them or force them to love you (or anyone else). You may not cause them to see you dishonestly. These are some of the trickiest workings to design because you must be precise, articulate, and above all, ethical!

(Note: Black magic love spells exist, and it is up to the individual witch to choose their own path. This article does not cover those workings, which are risky and not to be used lightly.)

So what can you do? You can design a spell that opens their heart to possibilities, and that let’s them see you in a fresh and clear light. You can also do a complimentary spell to help present yourself with your best, but still honest, foot forward.
If you do not have a specific person in mind, you can focus the spell on drawing in kindred spirits, while encouraging yourself to step out of your comfort zone to be most visible. Again, the gods have a sense of humor, so be precise in what you are looking for or you may have unexpected results.

My tips to you on writing a working is to be mindful of your intentions, considerate in your approach towards the other person/potentials, and vigilant against laziness on your part. The better engineered a spell is for your goals, the better the results.
All spells require some real-life complimentary action. If you find a spell that doesn’t, I’d be wary, or you can use it as a framework to design your own. Some real-life actions for love spells could be: increasing how many people you ask out; attending singles events; talking more to the object of your affection; and self care. Spells are enhancments to the mundane world. They will not do the heavy lifting for you. You must do all the things necessary, from putting yourself out there to taking care of yourself so that you can present your best and truest self.

You may want to fit in your patron diety/energy. I would research their connections to love and socializing, as well as self care. Hone in on it, as it may not be obvious. For example, your diety may not be directly related to love, but it a real kicker for honest communication and community. Or perhaps they are all about courage. You can take that and weave it in in the appropriate part. Some love dieties may sound like an obvious choice, like Aphrodite, but be aware of her stories and how this goddess of beauty approaches love and whether that fits with your goals.

If you have multiple dieties you wish to work with, that is up to you to design appropriately. Some people never “mix pantheons,” or in otherwords mix dieties from different cultures, and you should be aware of the relationship between the respective dieties (this may not be direct) as well as their status levels. Some dieties don’t care, others want their due.

When it comes to designing a working, I am a very practical witch and rarely indulge in rhyme or grand, dramatic bits, but You Do You! Do what feels right for you. Sometimes a rhyming scheme makes the whole thing feel stronger, or an eloquent call to the gods sets the right headspace.

There are no rules beyond what you choose to accept.

This is a general guideline I have written for designing a working or spell:

  1. Meditation, in which intents and goals are analyzed carefully with a mind towards ethics and karma
  2. Divination, in which you seek outside advice on the situation
    Research, in which you assess dieties/energies you wish to work with, whether sacred space or casting a circle is necessary, and other intellectual work; also, if you have a specific person in mind, learning about them and whether they have a patron diety
  3. Voice, in which you closely tie the words of your spell to those intentions and goals, being mindful of loopholes and vagueness
  4. Earthly Work, in which you guard against laziness and do the mundane tasks necessary to reach those goals, including but not limited to self care, socializing, nourishing connections, putting yourself “out there,” and any other practices you have set for yourself
  5. Offerings, in which you pay appropriate homage to your chosen dieties
    Question Everything, in which you pause regularly to readjust the spells, check for ethical violations, and reassess your needs
  6. Intuition, in which you perform your working as you see fit, for what feels correct and natural to you
  7. Pay Attention to Results, in which you take notice of any synchronicities or changes, both within yourself as well as without, and alter your working accordingly
  8. Give Thanks, in which you give credit to the dieties or energies you worked with for results


I have compiled a list of some common tools and methods used in love spells, which you are free to utilize as you wish.

  • Planting seeds as a way of planting yourself in the mind of someone, nourishing those connections by growing the plant
  • Creating a charm or talisman to wear to increase magnetism and social courage
  • Creating a talisman to attract a specific kind of person, utlizing items like a sugar crystal for sweetness, diopside for practical intelligence, and an emerald for communication.
  • Candle magic: a flame for passion, physical and intellectual
  • Doing a cleansing to release old connections no longer serving you
  • Rose quartz beads to attract love, and black crystals such as onyx or tourmaline to repel negativity
  • Choosing a scent that gives you mental clarity, such as cinnamon, mint, lemon, or rosemary, and meditating regularly with it to help you see clearly the effects of your spell as well as reassess goal.

Best of luck!

Spelled Shortbread Cookies

cookies prep

Cookie Prep from December 2017

My latest baking obsession has been cookies.  Most especially, shortbread cookies!  A fan of persnickety recipes (for some reason), I love the delicacy of shortbread.  It’s actually a very simple recipe, it only requires some patience.  What’s especially nice about this simple treat is how easy it is to add spells and magical ingredients.

Shortbread dates back to at least the 12th century, originating as leftover yeast bread roll dough, sweetened and spiced, that was twice-baked to a hard round.  Eventually, butter replaced the yeast, and the first published recipe for the kind of cookie we’re used to was in 1736 in ‘Mrs. McLintock’s Receipts for Cookery and Pastry-Work.’  This recipe likely used oat flour and was more biscuit-like than we’re used to.

Queen Mary of Scots is credited with refining and popularizing shortbread, adding caraway seeds for flavor.

Now the basic modern shortbread recipe is pretty simple.  Butter, sugar, and flour.  My favorite recipe uses confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, a bit of vanilla extract, and some salt if you are using unsalted butter.

Check out the recipe here

shortbread cookies simple

Now what about making spelled cookies?

Note:  Something I like to do when I am making magical food is to light a candle during the whole process.  It sets up a sacred space for myself.  I usually use a simple, unscented white jar candle that will last a long time.  When I am not actively working on the food, like if the cookie dough is chilling overnight, I will snuff it out, but re-light it whenever I’m back to it.

Now, then.  The really important part here is to consider both your intention as well as taste.  Shortbread is a light flavor with a tender bite, so do not overwhelm it with a variety of new ingredients.

Here are some flavor options that would be popular.  Use culinary grade herbs/spices, and DO NOT use essential oils.  If using flavor extracts, make sure they are pure and actually contain the natural ingredient.

  • Almond – Loving, Boosts Fertility, Good Luck, Beauty, and Overcoming Addictions.
  • Caraway – Loving, Protecting, Sensuality, and giving Peace of Mind.
  • Cinnamon – Prosperity, Success, Strength, and Healing.
  • Cranberry – Loving, Passionate, Healing, Positive Energy, Courage, and Will to Action.
  • Ginger – Energizing and Passionate.
  • Lavender – Healing, Purifying, Loving, and Boosts Fertility.  Lavender is a strong flavor so use sparingly, and sprinkle some on top.
  • Lemon – Purifying, Loving, and can turn away the Evil Eye or unfriendly spells.  Adding juice would add too much liquid to the recipe, so instead, use the zest of the rind.
  • Nutmeg – Healing, Good Luck, and Clairvoyance.
  • Orange – Inspiring, Courage, Loving, Strengthening, and Healing.
  • Rose – Happiness, Loving, Protection, and Good Luck.
  • Rosemary – Remembrance, Purifying, and Healing.
  • Vanilla – Soothing, Empowering, Loving, and Good Luck.

So for a good combination example, the spice trio of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg would be especially Healing, strengthened by the ginger.

An example of one using fruit would be these Cranberry Orange Shortbread cookies.  This combo with the almond extract is great for enhancing loving relationships, passion and courage in all endeavors, and healing.


On top of adding herbs, spices, or fruit, you can also boost your intentions with the right shapes or indented marks.  Again, intent is what matters here.  If you are creating a protection spell, then choose a design that makes you think of that.  It could be simple – circle-shaped, because the shield you are building is an orb.  Maybe you are wanting to share love and affection, so a heart shape is classic.  A solid, rectangular brick shape might be perfect for a grounding cookie after a ritual.  You could also carefully draw sigils or runes on the precut dough after it’s been placed on the cookie sheet.

There are many excellent sigil-makers on the internet if you want something custom to your needs.  Otherwise there are many premade sigils and bind-runes to be found.  The more information you can find on a symbol before using it, the better.  If you can see why each mark was made, you can feel more confident in using it for your spell.

An example of nicely defined and explained bind-runes is here

Video on making your own bind rune:

bind runes video

One guide to designing your own sigils:


There are excellent cookie-cutter makers on Etsy if you want to have one made with your design, if you plan on making them regularly (or for something special).

If you don’t want to mark the cookies directly, you can write it out on a small bit of paper and let it burn in the oven, or over the stove by your candle, while the cookies bake.

Now once those cookies are just barely done and not browned, and set out to cool off the baking sheet, you can add your own energy and blessing.  Here, again, it is up to you to determine what feels correct for the situation.  There are so many prayers for blessing food out there, from a wide variety of Neo Pagan methods to traditional Christian to any culture you are from.  You can use visualization techniques to draw in energy into the cookies, and create a protective shield around them.

Even how to you present your cookies can work into the spell.  Wrapping them in certain colors, including some special flowers, or a written note or poem.  It’s the whole package, and you can go as elaborate as feel correct to you.

Here is one of the cookie packages I made for last year’s holiday season to give out to neighbors.  I wanted something homey and comfortable, not too showy.  Also made sure to include all ingredients in my note.  Hope to see what you create!

cookie box 2017

A Homemade Cleansing Ritual

Ever had an evening when you just really needed some witch time, but there was nothing special going on that day?

In related news, my friend J and I designed an ad hoc Cleansing Ritual using stuff we had in the kitchen!  Hurrah for kitchen witchery!  We are all about practical forms of practice.  You do not need expensive tools, special ingredients, or occult rituals.  You can create your own magic by will and practicality.  You apply your magic to everything you do, no matter how mundane or small.


The fruit is just for aesthetics to balance the swamp water.  And yes, the sage was on discount.  I’m sure the Gods understand frugality.

It was a great, intimate experience and felt very bonding; not just the ritual itself with water being poured over our naked bodies under the sky, but planning it as well.  We sat in the living room and chatted about how we were feeling the need for some ceremony, but it was late Sunday night so everything is closed, the moon was neither full nor new, and no online searches revealed an uncommon pagan bit of importance to the day.  It was just a random evening with a good friend at their place.


If I’m honest, sage and mint combined smell a bit like cannabis.  Maybe sage and lemon next time?

We had two very large jars, in which we brewed a strong sage and mint tea with a quartz crystal in the water while seeping.  We also added salt, which plays another role later.  We filtered it through a coffee filter (admittedly first we thought a thin hand cloth would be fine, but it took too long).

As the tea cooled, we planned the rest of the ritual.  Being outdoors felt right.  We would do our own short version of a quarter call inside first, with the full jars on the altar (that we built on the coffee table with what was on hand).  Then we would get our fingers wet with a bowl of fresh water (hand painted by my friend), then rub salt over our hands and rinse them in the water.  Then outdoors, nude, for the finale, before coming back in and closing the circle.


Just wait for our article on athames

The quarter call was amusing and genuine.  I haven’t been to that many rituals yet, whereas my friend had a great deal of experience.  So our improvised lines for each quarter reflected that, but it was joyful and open-hearted.  We talked a little about each direction and it’s meanings, including how that pertained to our journey in this rite.  Air, inspiration and intellect.  Fire, the passion and will to make it happen.  Earth, the stubborn strength to see it through.  Water, the emotion and meaning behind it all.

We also shared our private thoughts on why a cleansing felt healthy for us individually at this time.  I had a wish to release a lot of impatience on my part, and ask the Lord and Lady to help keep my head on my shoulders when it came to adding projects to my list.  I imagine they had a chuckle.

Stepping out into the cold of a Pacific Northwest February evening, in the semi privacy of the dark backyard, I felt very alive with purpose, if also a bit giggly.  We hadn’t needed anything dramatic or elaborate; just us and a little help from the spice cabinet and we were making our own magic.

We decided we would pour the herbal water over each other one at a time, rather than on ourselves at once.  We felt like priestesses blessing one another.  The water was warm and smelled green and felt wonderful streaming down our bodies in the chill air.  It was a precious moment to share together.

Have you ever created a little ritual of your own for no special purpose other than your own calling to it?  Isn’t it beautiful how we can create magic with very little?


New Year’s Wishes and Witches’ Balls


We’ll post a more elaborate article on Witches’ Balls later, but for the meantime, I wanted to show these ones I made as gifts.  Witches’ Balls are like little ornamental spells or prayers.  Based on the combination of items inside, it casts out your intentions into the recipients’ environment.

These can be an excellent way to remind yourself of your intentions for the coming year.  Create a ball that speaks to you and your needs – be realistic, and don’t overburden yourself with weighty goals.  Place the ornament somewhere you will see it daily.  Reflect on what the contents mean, and use it as a meditation guide.

I made these with the help of my 11 year old stepdaughter, so this can be a great family project.

Ingredients included cinnamon and tourmaline, which work well together; lavender; fir; rowan berries; cloves; and mustard seeds.  The overall hope is for a healthy, positive home, rich and enduring family relations, and personal clarity.

The people who received them were not all pagans, but found them very beautiful.  My stepdaughter remarked that they should open them up once just to smell the contents, which were just divine!