Growing up was a little different in my family. We were nomadic for the majority of my childhood, moving every 6-8 months or so, hopping from place to place following my parents work. We changed cities and states so often I honestly can’t recall all of the places I’ve lived!
Of course, as a kid moving that much is hard. Leaving and re-making friends is tough, changing everything you know is scary and don’t even get me started on the kind of kinks the nomad life can throw into a kids education! All of the craziness aside, I did have some really amazing experiences along the way. Unlike most people I’ve met, I was best friends with my brother, we were practically inseparable as kids. We would go on long family camping trips and disappear up into the mountains (my favorite part of any summer), my brother and I would have more fun on those trips pretending to be pirates with sticks for swords than we ever had at home.
That kind of improvisation was a staple for us growing up. When you move constantly you learn to strip down to the bare essentials, you don’t WANT a lot of stuff because you know that in 3 or 4 months you’re just going to have to pack it all up again and lug it with you to the next place. After years of moving you end up with fairly scant belongings and you get REALLY good improvising and learning to make do with what you have.
Now, as an adult, I’m still a pretty on-the-go kind of person. I’ve never gone more than a year without moving (old habits die hard) and now I’m living on the road for the second time. If my upbringing didn’t turn me into an expert minimalist, my adult life certainly has and that knack for making do with less has definitely influenced how I practice witchcraft.
If I collect every witchcraft related item that I own together it all fits into one small basket, with room to spare. More often than not my spells are whispered incantations, hastily drawn sigils or entirely performed in my head. I have spent months of my life thinking I was a bad witch because I never did “real” spells! What I didn’t realize back then was that I WAS doing real spells and I was doing them VERY well because I was managing to produce powerful magical results with NO tools or ingredients.
Ok, so sigils technically require you to have something to write with and something to write on BUT you can find pens just about anywhere (the bank, your waitress, a friend, etc.) and if no paper is available I know plenty of us just resort to scribbling them on our arms or receipts so I still think it counts.
Sigils are an amazing way to cast spells quickly and easily with very little fuss. As Frater U.D. puts it in Practical Sigil Magic , “The advantages of this method… are obvious. It is temptingly easy, and with only a little practice it may be performed ay any time and at any place.”
Once you’ve designed a sigil you can keep the design and reuse it as many times as you need, many witches find that they end up with a repertoire of tried and true sigils that they either keep readily available to copy and use from their phones or from memory.
If you’re not too familiar with sigil crafting yet, I would highly recommend checking out Practical Sigil Magic! It’s my go-to resource for all things sigil crafting and it’s an excellent place to both begin and expand an effective sigil practice.
2. Written & Spoken Spells
Written and spoken spells are a favorite of mine. They’re quick, you can improvise them on the fly and there are so many was to utilize them! A lot of people feel like incantations have to be long and they have to rhyme and while I do love a good rhyming incantation in my rituals you definitely DON’T have to rhyme to make your spells effective. Simply jotting down or whispering your intention can be incredibly effective.
You could also empower your words in conversation. Going to a job interview? Pull a little sweetening magic into your words. Talking with a friend about your dreams? Add some intent behind your words so that your dreams will quicken into reality.
My main tip for this form of spellwork is to never phrase these spells in the negative. Because these spells are so freeform it can be easy to get your messages mixed and if you focus on what you don’t want you might just get a whole lot more of the very thing you’re trying to get rid of. Instead focus your words on what you DO want!
Any kind of imaginative exercise can be turned into a spell and you don’t have to limit yourself to simple visualization. I know plenty of witches who can’t or don’t like to visualize so if visualization isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it! You could also imagine sounds, sensations, colors, concepts or anything else that you feel will bring about the result you desire.
When casting spells this way it’s always best to get as specific as possible. The more thought and effort you pour into your imaginative spell the more power you give it and the better the result will be.
4. Emotionally Driven Spells
This is the most common kind of “accidental” magic and the same kind of magic behind the evil eye! To use it, you harness the power of your emotions to bring your intent into being.
Obviously there are a few caveats to this type of spell casting, the first is that you have to be feeling some pretty strong emotions to make it work. If you want to cast a spell for happiness but you don’t feel happy you won’t get far. Likewise if you’re trying to hex someone but you feel pretty ambivalent about it the spell will likely be a flop.
The second caveat is that this is a highly volatile type of magic, you won’t have quite as much control over the strength of the spell or how the results are achieved. If you’re not worried about the spell being overzealous or unpredictable then this is a great way to cast spells when you’re in the heat of the moment.
Enchanting is essentially just turning normal things into magical things. Anything can be enchanted for any purpose which makes this a highly versatile form of magic. There are many ways to do this but the simplest method is to program your item by channeling your intent into it and then charging the item when the spell is needed by feeding it energy from yourself or some other source.
Enchanting items works best if the item holds some relation in your mind to the intent you wish it to hold. A pen or pencil for sweetening words. A compact mirror for beauty. A compass for travel spells. The relation doesn’t have to be direct though, if you have personal associations that are perhaps stronger than traditional associations that an object might hold don’t be afraid to experiment.
See? You definitely don’t need a bunch of fancy tools, ingredients or gadgets to be a witch! You can practice magic any time, anywhere, regardless of what you have on hand. You just have to get creative!
What’s your favorite no-tool way to cast spells? Tell me about it in the comments!