THE LITTLE BOOK OF WITCHCRAFT

Copyright © Summersdale Publishers Ltd, 2017

Text by Anna Martin

With thanks to Vicki McKay

Illustrations © Shutterstock and Marianne Thompson

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, nor transmitted, nor translated into a machine language, without the written permission of the publishers.

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eISBN: 978-1-78685-190-1

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CONTENTS

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

INTRODUCTION

ALL ABOUT WHITE WITCHCRAFT

A BRIEF HISTORY OF WITCHCRAFT

TOOLS FOR TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY WITCHCRAFT

THE POWER OF CRYSTALS

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS IN WITCHCRAFT

MAGICAL DAYS AND TIMES

PRACTICAL MAGIC

SPELLS AND RITUALS

LOVE SPELLS

HAPPINESS AND GOOD-FORTUNE SPELLS

EMPLOYMENT AND SUCCESS-AT-WORK SPELLS

PROTECTION AND GOOD-HEALTH SPELLS

FORTUNE-TELLING SPELLS

NEW BEGINNINGS AND FRESH-START SPELLS

TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY SPELL-CASTING

HOW TO DEVISE YOUR OWN SPELLS

FURTHER RESOURCES

 

Witchcraft was hung, in History But History and I Find all the Witchcraft that we need Around us, every Day.

Emily Dickinson

 

INTRODUCTION

What does witchcraft make you think of? For many, it’s the idea of ancient hags on broomsticks that fill the skies on Halloween night. For others, it’s the witches in classical literature, such as the weird sisters in Macbeth and Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legend, while to a younger audience it’s the boy wizard Harry Potter, who made magic something fascinating but eminently dark and not to be meddled with unless you’ve done your time at Hogwarts.

For those who have delved into the history of witchcraft, it’s the notorious witch trials that are engraved on the memory. With these references, it’s not so surprising that witchcraft is considered something dangerous and forbidden. Yet modern-day witchcraft, white witchcraft in particular, is altogether more palatable and accessible. Its focus is on using magic for positive purposes and in a contemporary context this can mean anything from aiding the pursuit of love to unifying people who don’t see eye to eye, to even something mundane like assistance in finding the money to pay for an unexpectedly large water bill.

This book focuses on white witchcraft and the belief that all nature is magical. White witchcraft harnesses nature’s power with the help of natural resources, such as crystals, herbs and the phases of the moon, along with items traditionally associated with witchcraft, such as a wand or cauldron to perform spells and rituals. However, it’s important to remember that the power of the mind is the most important tool in spell-casting.

The Little Book of Witchcraft will furnish you with knowledge as to the origins and possibilities of witchcraft and, for those whose interest has been piqued, there is an introduction to casting spells and performing rituals for the twenty-first-century witch.

A note

Witchcraft is frequently considered the domain of women, but men and those who are gender fluid may also find that witchcraft resonates for them too. Female pronouns are used throughout, but this is not to exclude anyone from enjoying the book or exploring the world of white witchcraft.

ALL ABOUT WHITE WITCHCRAFT

White witchcraft in a nutshell

White witchcraft has a close association with paganism in its appreciation and worship of the natural world. By attuning into the forces of the earth, white witches believe they can bring luck to themselves and others; they can fulfil lifetime goals and attract love, good health, success and happiness.

Those who perform white witchcraft believe that magic is within us all and that it is our birthright to reconnect with this power and learn how to harness it into spells and rituals for the purposes of good. The basic tools for white witchcraft are elements from nature, such as herbs, flowers, trees, crystals and the phases of the moon, the seasons and sunlight. These are manipulated and combined with powerful words and actions to produce magic.

White witchcraft is a combination of mental, mystical and spiritual practices – those who practise it believe that the human mind has the power to affect the world around them, as well as empowering them to take control of their own lives. The belief that the power of the mind enables the spell is akin to the principles of transcendental meditation, where a deep meditative trance-like state is achieved by clearing the mind and focusing on a mantra or image.

A word of warning – what goes around comes around

Witches can appear good or dark; however, those who perform white witchcraft believe in karmic law, and so the craft is never used for evil purposes. What is sent out will return to you threefold, which means the bad luck you cast will be three times worse for you when it comes back, so be careful!

WHITE WITCHCRAFT AND ITS RELEVANCE TODAY

Chances are if you have picked up this book you have more than a passing interest in witchcraft. Maybe you have always been interested in the magical realm. But it’s not all dancing under a full moon and casting love spells. White witchcraft echoes modern society’s views on the environment – the desire to nurture and protect the natural world – and resonates with modern self-help techniques, such as mindfulness and focusing on self-improvement to attain personal and professional goals. It’s also about serving a greater good and nourishing the world and the people within it, and there is a healthy dose of feminism intrinsic to the practice too – with its celebration of the equality of the sexes and a woman’s inner power. See – it’s not just a load of hocus pocus! And that’s the reason why many educated, intelligent people are swelling the ranks of those who practise witchcraft today.

Witchcraft permeates everyday life. Think of superstitions: how often do you touch wood so as not to jinx something you’ve just said, or throw salt over your shoulder to get the devil in the eye? These actions are actually spells to prevent bad luck.

It’s unclear how many practising witches there are today, but over 53,000 pagans were recorded in the UK census in 2011, and around two million in the USA. According to a 2016 report in the Daily Mail, educated career women are showing the most interest in witchcraft. Practising magic is akin to mindfulness, making affirmations and other forms of positive thinking and meditation, as it focuses the mind into experiencing the moment and reaching mentally for your goals, just with a few extra props, such as crystals, coloured candles and sometimes an altar or wand.

WHAT DOES A TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY WITCH LOOK LIKE?

You’re unlikely to spot a witch if you see one walking down the street, because they don’t look like a Dürer engraving or Disney’s Maleficent – they’re more likely to be wearing a business suit, and juggling a challenging job and family responsibilities. Modern witches tend not to advertise their calling but there are subtle signs to look out for, such as a pentacle or ankh around their neck (you will learn more about these in the Signs and Symbols in Witchcraft section, page 59) or, if you go round to the home of a witch, you might see the tools for witchcraft, such as crystals clustered on a windowsill, or notice the smell of incense permeating the air. Many witches practise alone, but covens are still in existence. The idea of a coven of witches may give you visions of the weird sisters in Macbeth but, in reality, modern-day witches like to meet up for a chat and share ideas just as much as anyone else. Although it can be rare to find like-minded people in the local community or among friends, today there are online, or virtual, covens where white witches swap their stories and cast spells.

SIGNS THAT YOU MIGHT BE A WITCH

Most people have an inkling that they might have a natural affinity for witchcraft – see if any of these statements apply to you:

  You are attracted to the mystical and are sensitive to the energies of nature.

  You are deeply curious about the universe and its undiscovered mysteries.

  Your intuition tends to be spot on.

  You feel a sense of your own personal power and strength.

  You are fascinated by the mysteries of life and what might be beyond it.

  You are sensitive to the changes in weather – you revel in the power of a storm.

  Animals are attracted to you – cats and dogs follow you home.

  You have an interest and a natural aptitude for healing.

  You feel somehow different to your friends and family.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF WITCHCRAFT