My Thoughts on Love Spells, Consent, and a Self-Love Alternative

Love Potions warning poster from the Ministry of Magic
Love Potions warning poster from the Ministry of Magic

If you are a new witch, young or old, there is a strong likelihood that you have either read, contemplated, or performed a love spell. A quick search online finds spells to join two people, spells to attract one’s true love or soul mate, a love drawing bath salts recipe, spells to make you more attractive/beautiful, one to make your boyfriend come back to you, a spell to make your crush realize they love you, an emoji spell to enter a relationship, and potions to enchant someone with a kiss. This is a very short list, but you get the general idea, love spells and potions are very popular.

You have also likely head a version of Wicca’s own Golden Rule, commonly referred to as the Wiccan Rede: Harm none, and do what thou wilt. Violating someone else’s will is against the Rede and, as such, brings back karma to the caster in the form of the threefold law. The threefold law states that what ever energy a witch sends out into the world, good or bad, comes back to them three times. Even though I’m not Wiccan, in my opinion, these are fundamentals of witchcraft and should be obeyed. This is because, if you believe there is good energy waiting to be harnessed, it logically follows that there is negative energy looking for a home as well. Not all witches follow this “rule” or guideline, and at times I probably trip over the line, but when it comes to “love spells” I feel like they are a pretty clear no-no. Next I’ll go into why I feel that way using an adorable example.

Genie and Aladdin from Aladdin
Let’s make a deal.

I’m not the biggest Disney fan, but their moves are just so darn popular, and one is a really good example of this idea: Aladdin. Remember the rules that Genie gives Aladdin? Here they are: “Rule one: l can’t kill anybody. Rule two: l can’t make anybody fall in love. Rule three: l can’t bring people back from the dead.” Interestingly enough Genie doesn’t just say Aladdin can’t wish for someone to fall in love with him, but making anyone fall in love with any one or thing is outside of Genie’s powers. In a way it makes sense because death and love are things that are ruled over by the Universe and, as such, should not be tampered with. To me, this makes perfect sense.

At the end of the day, love spells are lacking the consent of at least one of the people involved (if both were willing to be enchanted/bound they would do the spell together to assist their relationship; for example, handfasting), which means that it is not what you would call “white” magick. I believe that all magick is subject to the threefold law, but that’s because I believe in karma. What does that actually look like? Let’s think of witchcraft in terms of the story, “They Monkey’s Paw.” Here’s my synopsis, but you can read the full version online here.

In “The Monkey’s Paw” a family gets the enchanted paw which grants three wishes. Even though they are warned about the paw, they wish to have enough money to pay off their house. The next day their son goes to work but doesn’t return, a man from the factory where he works shows up and explains that their son was killed in an industrial accident, but as compensation he gives them money – exactly  enough to pay off their house. Overcome with grief, the mother convinces the father to wish their son alive again, which he reluctantly does. Soon they hear a horrifying scratching on the door and realize that their son is alive again, but unchanged, and his alive but mangled body is trying to get into the house. Filled with terror the father wishes his son dead again, and the paw returns him to his grave.

Let’s say you decide to do a love spell and it is a violation of the “harm none” principal; that means it will come back to you three times. Maybe you’ll get a boy/girlfriend, but they’re awful and hard to get rid of. Maybe your friend will fall in love with his/her crush, but then they stop being friends with you. Maybe instead of beautiful, you will just become self-obsessed and vain. When doing consensual magick you have you think of it like the monkey’s paw from the story. How could it go wrong? Trust me, it will.

Witchcraft is beautiful, enlightening, and fulfilling, but there are responsibilities that go with the power it grants. By becoming a witch you accept these responsibilities. Spider Man had to, after all, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and that holds true for witchcraft especially. Of course, this is all my opinion, in the end you need to go with your gut on things, but the issue with love spells is at the core of them is negativity. The idea that you must have love and now is kind of sad to me, as though the culture around you has convinced you that you are incomplete without another person. That’s so depressing, both as a concept and in reality. You are already complete, don’t let anyone convince you that you need anyone else.

So what’s a lonely witch to do? Finding a partner is amazing, but being with the wrong partner can be soul crushing. Instead of trying to do the Universe’s job for it, maybe work on becoming comfortable with yourself instead. That way when you do meet the right person, you will be a confident, fully realized, independent person, the type of person someone amazing will fall in love with.

Self-Love and Acceptance Spell

To perform this spell of self-love and acceptance you will need to gather the following items beforehand:

  • A cauldron or fire-safe container with a lid
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A yellow candle (white also works)
  • A black candle (silver also works)
  • Oil for anointing the candles, rose preferred, but any scent you like will work
  • Parchment or paper, cut or torn into small pieces
  • A pencil
  • Optional: Wand for casting the circle
  • Optional: Small rose quartz crystal
  • Optional: Candle snuffer
  • Optional: Your Grimoire, Book of Shadows, or personal magickal journal
  • Optional: Four candles for the four directions (North, East, South, West)
  • Optional: Representations of the four directions (Earth, Air, Fire, Water)

Remember, when using fire always be cautious! You will be burning only a few small pieces of parchment paper, but if the fire gets out of control, place the lid on the cauldron so the fire will go out. Safety first always.

Casting this spell during a New Moon is ideal as it is about releasing negativity and setting new, positive intentions.

Step 1: Copy the spell into your spell book if you have one, otherwise print it out or copy it down by hand. I do not suggest using a computer or phone inside a circle ever.

Step 2: Assemble the items on the list you will be using and arrange them in the space you have allocated for your circle. Do not do place your cauldron on anything  flammable or melt-able.

Step 3: Cleanse and ground yourself according to your normal routine. A bath, shower, or smudging yourself with sage all work. For grounding I sit and imagine roots coming out of my feet into the ground. What ever works for you is best.

Step 4: Cast your circle using your wand or the first two fingers on your dominant hand pointed out. I will post separate directions for casting a circle if you are unfamiliar with the process.

Step 5: If you choose to, welcome the elements/directions, light their candles, and welcome them to your circle.

Step 6: Using your small pieces of paper or parchment write things about yourself that you do not like and would like to release. Use one piece per release. If you have a long list it might be best to perform the spell several times over the course of a few months and release different things each month. Be careful about your wording. Don’t write “I’m ugly,” write “My negative self-image.” You can write “Feeling shy around others,” but not “Boys/girls don’t like me.” If you would like help with wording, feel free to leave me a comment, I am happy to help.

Step 7: Using the rose oil (or preferred oil) anoint your black (or silver) candle from the top down. This represents diminishing or releasing; then light the candle. Take each piece of parchment and read it aloud saying, “I release: [text written on the paper],” then light it using the black candle and drop the paper into your cauldron to burn away.

Step 8: Using the rose oil anoint your yellow (or white) candle from the bottom up. This represents the growing and setting of intentions. Record in your journal the positive version of the feelings you released, such as “I am outgoing and friendly,” or “I love and accept myself.” Once these are recorded, light the yellow candle while speaking them aloud, then sit with these new thoughts until you feel comfortable.

Step 9: If you have brought a rose quartz with you, charge the crystal with your positive intentions as you speak them aloud by cupping your hand over the crystal. You can now carry the crystal with you to replenish your positive energy when it is getting low. At the next full moon release these intentions and allow the crystal to charge again. You can “program” it again the next time you cast this spell.

Step 10: Once you feel comfortable with these new thoughts, feelings, or ideas about yourself, say aloud:

To the black candle:
Candle burn and set this free,
All my negativity.

To the yellow candle:
Candle bright with dancing flame,
The best of self I do reclaim.

Closing affirmation:
So mote it be! – or – It is as I have spoken.

Step 11: Sit for as long as you are comfortable and then extinguish and black and yellow candle by snuffing them out. Do not blow out candle as this is seen as the element or Air triumphing over the element of Fire.

Step 12: Release the elements, if you have evoked them, and take your circle back down.

Step 13: At the full moon re-read your journal entry and reflect on how the spell is working for you. Over the next few weeks, before the next new moon, you can reflect on what to add and if you need or want to cast the spell again you can plan accordingly.

There you have it! A spell for self-love and acceptance. I wrote this spell myself so please do not reproduce it without my permission, it is for personal use only. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback I would absolutely love to hear from you in the comments section.

Updated: October 24, 2016

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