I have a Gypsy spell that I absolutely love to use to remove negative energy from a space. I have actually had it for quite a while, copied from something I saw somewhere. I know it by heart almost because it is really my go to spell for removing negative energy from pretty much anywhere.
One of the items that the spell calls for is an egg stolen from a neighbor’s farm from a black hen during the dark phase of the Moon. Now, I am an Urban Witch, with not only no farming neighbors, but an almost irrational fear of chickens (those beady eyes and crazy talons). And my thoughts are that driving out through the country on the night of the dark Moon, going from farm to farm, rummaging through random chicken coops, is probably a really good way to get an ass full of buckshot or chomped on by a territorial farm dog.
The point I am trying to make is that there are spells out there, whether they are actually old or trying to sound old, that ask for things that, for one reason or another, are probably almost impossible to get. I am sure that back in days of yore, there were farms and chicken coops all over the place, with easy access to black hens ripe for the pilfering. But, today in many parts of the country, chicken coops have been replaced by backyard pools and sheds, and you are more likely to be surrounded by homes than farmsteads. Just like, not every herb that is called for in a spell will be growing within a mile radius of your home, or every item will be able to be procured. So, what is a Witch to do?
The first thing you have to let go of is that every spell is to be done exactly as written. What may work for me, may not work for you. What may have worked in the 17th century, may not actually even be possible today. Logistics change from Witch to Witch, area to area and time period to time period. The world continues to turn. You are going to have to accept that and move on. It does not mean that you cannot perform the spell, just that you are going to actually have to think for yourself.
This brings be to the next thing. As a competent Witch, you should be able to dissect a spell, look at its components and be able to figure out what the purpose of each item and aspect is. This should be part of your studies, your training. You are supposed to understand what you are doing and what you are working with. If you do not understand the items you are working with and their purpose, you should probably not be using that spell as it will probably not work out the way you would like it to. Understanding the purpose of each item that is asked for in a spell will allow you to find a suitable substitution.
While, like cooking or baking, using the ingredient the recipe calls for is ideal, the reality is that there are many instances where using a suitable substitution is perfectly functional and acceptable. If you understand the purpose of the item you are missing as well as its magical properties, you should be able to find something that has the same magical properties and will be a suitable substitute. For example, if your spell calls for you to smudge with sage, and you either have none, or can’t stand the smell of it (like me), a cedar bundle works just as well with the same properties. If the spell calls for a gold coin, you do not have to drop a mint at a coin shop or go diving for pirate gold to get it when a standard gold dollar coin will do. Both are tangible representations of money, symbolic of prosperity and wealth.
The idea is that every item a spell calls for brings with it a specific magical energy, a specific purpose. By finding something else that has the same magical energy and serves the same purpose will yield the same results. The notion that a spell cannot work unless you have the exact items listed is just completely preposterous, especially when you take into consideration the most important element of spell casting.
The most important thing, the key to every single spell in existence is your own faith in yourself. It is your energy, your will, that brings everything together and makes it work. As long as you believe in yourself, and have a solid understanding of what you are doing, your spell will work, whether you bought an organic egg from the farmer’s market, or hopped 10 fences and tossed through a dozen chicken coops to find just the right egg.
The Urban Crone