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Monday, April 18, 2022

Spellcrafting Series: What to do with Spell Remains

spell remain, spell disposal, spellcrafting, spells, rituals, witchcraft, pagan, neopagan, wicca, wiccan, witchcraft, spell writing, magick, magic

Now that you've cast your spell, what should you do with all the stuff leftover? Unless it's built into the spell, which it should be, witches often overlook proper disposal, and sometimes this can come back to haunt you. Knowing what you did with the remains of a spell can potentially help you later if you need to break said spell. Proper disposal can also be used to enhance the spell itself, such as casting items into a river to banish or freezing to halt something. In today's post we will dive into a number of disposal methods that you can build directly into your spells and rituals to enhance your magic and ensure success. This list, of course, is not exhaustive but is more than enough to get you started. When necessary, I have also included safety information, particularly for methods that require you to dispose of your remains directly into local ecosystems. And remember, always follow local and state rules and regulations for proper disposal methods and don't trespass.

When Is a Spell Complete?

Before we dive into the disposal methods, however, we need to discuss the proper time to dispose of spell remains. The answer to this depends entirely on the spell. Most container spells will be 'disposed' of prior to them coming to fruition, while a candle spell will be 'complete' after the candle has burned out. Even still longer spells that require working over many days, weeks, or moons until the intention is realized will rely on your intuition to know when they are complete. For those longer spells and rituals that require constant attention, you don't want to dismantle the spell until the very end. Trust your intuition. It will tell you when the spell is complete and it's time to dismantle or dispose of your spell remains. As mentioned earlier, sometimes the disposal method is part of the spell, so you won't actually be dismantling it prior to disposal, especially in cases where you are burying a spell jar.

Disposal Methods

Burning
Burning can be used in a couple of ways. First, burning can be used to release or banish. Burn in a cauldron, stove, fire pit, or otherwise heat-safe dish, and scatter the remains away from your property if looking to banish or release. Fire, when combined with wind, can be used to bring swift action and send your message quickly to the Universe. Scatter the ashes close to home, especially in your garden or plants, if you are working spells for abundance or success, petitioning spirits, or even sex magic (heat things up, am I right?). 

As always, exercise caution when burning materials. Work in a well-ventilated area, have a fire extinguisher, water, or baking soda at the ready, and don't burn anything that is potentially toxic or explosive such as plastic, jars, aluminum, treated wood, polystyrene foam, dryer lint, rubber, glue, or inked cardboard.

Burying
This disposal method relies heavily on your intention for the spell and is probably the most diverse method. To draw things to you, you'll want to bury your spell close to you. To drive things away, you will want to take them away from your property. Below is a list of possible sites and the intentions associated with them.

Front Door or Yard: Bury here for protection or to draw something to you. This method is especially potent for prosperity, abundance, and success spells.
Back Door or Yard: Bury here to maintain something or keep things the same.
Cemetery: This location is most often used in banishing spells, but can also be used in spells that require ancestral help or for bindings. Be mindful of the rules in cemeteries and be sure to show the utmost respect to those laid to rest.
Construction Site: This is best for hexing and cursing because as the building is built, the spell will constantly be 'hammered' into the ground.
Crossroads: This is generally considered a neutral location to dispose of the spell remains you don't know what to do with. Remains can also be buried here that are involved in prosperity, abundance, success, cursing, hexing, chord cutting, banishing, starting a new skill, or spells involving Hekate or other crossroads entities.
Someone Else's Yard: Remains buried here are associated with spells to impact the person who lives there, usually a curse or a healing spell. If buried near their front door, this will strengthen the influence.

Despite this method being versatile, it's also one you need to be the most concerned about. Remember to follow city and state guidelines, don't trespass, be respectful of the spirits that live there, and do not dispose of anything that could harm the environment. Avoid disposing of salt, plastics, synthetic candle wax, and artificial perfumes and soaps.

Compost
Because this is keeping the biodegradable remains on your property, this is best for spells related to protection, success, abundance, and maintenance. See the 'Burying' for more details.

Trash
This is best used for spells that are sending something away, cursing, or hexing. You want to dispose of the remains away from your home, usually as quickly as possible. The 'nastier' the disposal method, the stronger the curse or hex. You can even dispose of spell remains in a port-a-potty as long as they can be easier pumped and disposed of.

If your spell remains are not environmentally friendly, you will also want to dispose of them in the trash, despite your intention. See the note below for more details.*

Water
Water is great for releasing, cleansing, healing, fertility, and abundance spells. As the water flows, it washes away what we no longer desire and empowers the spell to bring what we want. Water is also often used in cursing and hexing, especially if it involves banishing. Hex tablets were historically found around hot springs and other water sources. Flush remains down the toilet, as long as they are safe and won't clog your pipes, to flush things out of your life, especially people. I flush salt used in cleansing rituals in my home to flush the unwanted energies out of my life. The ocean tides, on the other hand, can be used to bring things back to you, as they return on the tides.

Wind
Throw your spell remains, if they are light enough and eco-friendly, into the wind to send your intent out into the Universe, blow things away from you, or even blow things to you. If you are banishing, dispose of the remains away from home. If you are drawing to you, dispose of them close to home, preferably on your property. Be mindful that what goes up must come down. Don't throw potentially heavy or harmful remains off of balconies, buildings, mountainsides, or bridges. 

*If you are unable to use any of these disposal methods and are concerned that throwing the remains into the trash will hinder your spell, follow up the disposal with a petition or offering to whatever spirits and energies you called upon for assistance. This will ensure that despite 'improper' disposal your spell still works the way you intended. However, the idea that spell remains must be disposed of in a way that helps the spell is a very privileged mindset and sometimes environmentally harmful (this is also a colonizer mindset). In very rare cases have I seen any of my spells hindered because I threw the remains in the trash when I should have buried them. So go with what feels right to you, and be mindful of how you are impacting the local flora and fauna with your choice.

Sometimes, spell remains can be reused and you don't need to dispose of them at all. Crystals, glassware, drawstring bags, cups, and small trinkets can be reused in most circumstances after thorough cleansing. You don't want to reuse candles (they should be allowed to burn all the way out anyway), herbs, incense, or other 'disposable' items though, at least in most cases. I sometimes only use a candle for its wax, and will alter reuse the candle for a similar purpose. However, this is not advised for baneful spells, including hexing, cursing, return to sender, binding, or banishing spells. You want to dispose of the spell remains properly, most often away from you and your home in a 'disgusting' manner, such as throwing them in the garbage. 

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This week I'd like you to think about an upcoming spell or two that you would like to perform. Jot down some potential disposal methods, making sure to list the pros and cons of each method. Are there any ingredients in the spell that could be potentially environmentally harmful? What if you want to break the spell later and need the remains? Do you have to dispose of the remains at all or can you reuse them in future spells? These are important questions to answer and ones you will want to record when you finally write and cast your spell.

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2 comments :

  1. Excellent post. I have long felt all the more fortunate to live in a part of the world with such a rich natural landscape as it gives me quite a few outdoor options in terms of disposing of spell remains. I have done so in the woods, in the sand at beaches, in bodies of water, in naturally occurring piles of fall leaves amassed on (wild) public lands, and various other spots all within a one hour walking radius of our home. I do not take this for granted and will often leave extremely environmentally friendly offerings when disposing of anything spell/otherwise witchy related in such settings.

    One thing I really like to do with *some* of the candles I use for a spell - albeit, generally, those of a more positive nature - is to cleanse them and then use their wax to create seals for written components in some of my future spells where writing something down on paper is involved. The wax holds the paper closed all the more and is already charged - at least to a degree, given that it was cleansed after all - thanks to its previous usage.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a fantastic idea! Waste not, want not, am I right? Thank you so much for sharing this idea.

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