Witchcraft has had a bad rep for centuries – unflattering depictions of witches, stereotyping by linking witches to Satan/all things evil with the world, and deadly witch trials. Its portrayal has been pretty negative and often ominous, but nowadays witchcraft (particularly Wicca, a modern Pagan religion that incorporates witchcraft) has developed into a modern and appealing belief system. Just look at how frequently love spells and witchcraft feature in pop culture, from Harry Potter to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
These mainstream representations of witches are drastically different (wands and capes vs sex demons), but in reality, witchcraft has evolved into a growing practice with links to magic and nature. According to the 2011 UK Census, roughly 53,000 people identify as Pagan in England and more specifically 11,000 people identify as Wiccans in England. Our obsession with alternative forms of spirituality (i.e., astrology) and desire to move away from more traditional, arguably restrictive, forms of religion may have a part to play, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if these numbers have continued to increase in the last 10 years.
For witches, a key feature of their practice incorporates spellcasting and one of the most popular types of spell isn’t intended to be sinister at all: love spells.
What are love spells?
Love spells are a specialised type of magic used to attract love. These spells are used either in the form of written text, potions, rituals or using objects such as dolls or candles.
Love spells may seem pretty contemporary, but they aren’t a new practice. Their origins date back to Ancient Egypt, with cuneiform tablets – an incredibly old-timey system of writing – depicting erotic rituals.
The period between the 15th and 18th centuries in particular is when witchcraft was continuously prominent in the UK. International white witch Dee Johnson says villagers would often visit women who were believed to be witches to help with their love problems, using plants, herbs and moon phases (more links to astrology!) to help the lovelorn.
Our obsession with romantic relationships and finding ‘the one’ continues to this day, which has created a huge market for love spells. Dee herself offers single people personalised services to find love, as well as services to get their ex back.
Popular love spells and how to do them
According to Dee, there are an abundance of love spells. But no, you cannot use them to force someone to fall in love with you (before you consider using one on your celebrity crush).
For the love spell to work, you must already have a connection with the person you have in mind and instead of changing their perception of you, the love spell is intended to make the connection stronger. Dee adds that you must also have a positive attitude when performing a love spell to keep the vibration and energy high.
Each love spell differs in terms of type and intention, but there are two important rules that apply to each one.
Firstly, a love spell must be performed on a Friday, because Friday is governed by Venus, the goddess of love. Secondly, a love spell must be performed on a waxing moon phase, which is any phase of the moon between a new moon (the slender crescent shape) and a full moon. These are Dee’s most common love spells:
Place two separate, ideally red, candles in front of you, one to represent you and the other to represent the love interest. Next, mix oils and herbs in a bowl (including rose petals, patchouli oil, frangipani, dragon’s blood and chamomile) to bind the ingredients together.
Anoint the first candle with the mixture, then the other candle, visualising yourself and your love interest together and then gradually bring the two candles closer together during the course of the evening.
Poppet magic (dolls)
Two dolls are needed, one to represent yourself and the other, your love interest (you can attach an image of this person’s face to the doll). Put rose petals, rose quartz crystals and love correspondences inside both dolls, turning them into beacons of love energy. Then, use ribbon and wrap it around both dolls to tie them together.
“The more you do those things accurately, the better chance you have at it working,” Dee says. “[Performing love spells] is putting it up to the universe and the powers that be, working with moon phases/the planet [and the] herbs from the earth. Combining two amazing, powerful energies is what makes it work.”
Dee will be teaching online workshops on spells later this year for beginners and the more advanced.
The best books for love spells
Dee recommends that people who are interested in love spells and witchcraft do their research first. There are a number of books for beginners, and it depends on what you want from witchcraft overall. But here a few well-reviewed love spell books, as well as books on wider magic and witchcraft:
‘Discover the techniques for performing white witchcraft with this beginner’s guide to casting spells.’
2. The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells: Your Complete Guide to Attracting Passion, Love, and Romance
‘From the author of the Modern Witchcraft series comes a new book on romantic spells to bring you love, companionship, and passion, with straightforward, accessible spell instructions.’
‘In Everyday Magic, Semra Haksever introduces readers to simple magic and rituals for every day, which can be used as powerful tools to encourage self-love and a fulfilled life.’
‘Banish stress, ease tension, and add comfort, joy, and magic to your daily life with The Witches' spell book.
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