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Writing rituals and spells: a guide

Updated: Sep 22, 2018

witchcraft supplies, witch altar supplies, grimoire spells, book of shadows, spellbooks, wicca, pagan, witchcraft tools, witchcraft rituals, wiccan spells, wiccan rituals, wiccan altar, pagan rituals, pagan spells, pagan altar
Our grimoires don't always look like this.

We sell countless types of spells, and you can even order custom spells. But what goes into writing a spell or a ritual? And should you buy pre-made spells or craft them yourself?

Spellwork is really just creative writing

Aside from connecting correspondences, when it comes to writing the actual incantation, it's really just a practice in creative writing. As an English instructor by trade, I use writing skills when crafting your spells. For instance, poetry and lyrical language works when the rhyme scheme and meter (essentially, the pace of words as indicated by their syllables) work together.

While we won't get into the innards of meter, think about the following pairs of sentences:

Come to my assistance on this very day

While the weather is warm and my heart is in disarray.

You'll notice that the pair don't flow as well as the following:

Come to my assistance on this very day

While the weather is warm and my heart is away.

The difference is the added syllable with "in disarray" on the first pair, When we have to many of these jolts, it affects our flow when reading the incantation, thus jarring the energy that's intended to be built when we chant it. That flow is what provides energy to your incantation, making it run like a well-oiled machine. Notice your syllables and any "jolts" in the writing, and try working with a different word to ensure flow.

Don't get caught up in "ye old" language if it's not you

Don't be afraid to use language that you use in your everyday life. Often when writing spells, we feel we have to replace our own language with old-sounding language. Don't. Your energy will flow much better when you use your own language to describe what you need and how you feel. While, for some, that vibe adds energy and interest to the writing, for others, it's unfamiliar or too stale. And that's OK. Spells can still work when written in modern, conversational language, because it's not about the words. It's about the energy behind them.

But still be vivid

Let's face it; whether it's in a modern or more traditional voice, vivid language is still more exciting than your go-to descriptors. Vivid language includes any of your sensory language: what you hear, see, smell, taste, touch. Metaphors and similes, interesting rhymes or unique ways of describing something. Use "Bergamot" for "orange" for instance. See poetry like Sylvia Plath's "Aquatic Nocturne," wherein colors are created based on her own perceptions of them, like "milk-green." And doesn't "milk green" paint that image much better than "light green"?

Don't be afraid to go to "Basic" resources

Resources that can be helpful are often the resources basic writers might use, like Merriam Webster or a thesaurus website. One site I love is rhymezone (not sponsored). Rhymezone provides words that rhyme with yours but based off of syllabic amounts. So if you plug in "wind," you will get a long list of one-syllable words but also two-syllable, three-syllable and even four- or five-syllable words if there are any.

Your Rhymes don't have to be perfect

And these aren't always definitive matches, like "catch" with "batch," but rhymes that have the same sounds but aren't near-mirror words, like "catch" and "bats." We call this assonance. So don't feel limited to almost-exact matches.

And it's OK if you still want a pre-made spell

You can still add elements of yourself, and you own voice, to premade spells in books or in shops. While some perceive hand-written spells as more imbued with energy and personality, you can always tweak bought ones to suit your specific needs. We do this all the time in witchcraft; and our spells don't have to be any different.

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