6 Essential Lists for Powerful Spellcasters

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply /

Being good at your work--any kind of work--takes knowledge, preparation, and vision.  You must have the kind of understanding of the topics related to your work to make use of the opportunities that come along, have methods in place to work with them, and use a bit of adventurer's spirit to see to what great heights you might climb beyond those who came before you.  I don't just mention this as a piece of self-help inspiration.  All of this is possible for the spellcaster.  If you would like to see your magic be your life and your life be magic, read on.

To begin, it is no secret that I adore lists.  I make them constantly, and not just the standard
to-do list, either.  Every day there's something important that can be expressed with the humble list.  It's no wonder they are so dear to this Capricorn's heart: they keep things tidy and organized, help you dig through your own thoughts, and keep you on track as you progress toward your goals.  Looking around me now, I see lists of items to restock in my shop, tracking numbers for sold orders, information to hunt down in the binders of my workroom, and finished and unfinished blog outlines (themselves giant lists!).

Magic users need lists.  The planning of spells and rituals requires this kind of notation, but there's also larger goals like what you want to become and what you hope to achieve through spellwork.  Using them can make you more dedicated and ambitious but also help you to refuel your sensibilities when you're otherwise not feeling particularly magical.  Through them, you can see your past more clearly as well as peering into the unwritten future.

So here are the lists by which you can do all of this.  Get out your paper and pencil and start your own as we go.  To give you an idea of what they look like in action, I'll provide mine at the end, too.

1. Places to Visit

Do you have  place with which you identify magically or spiritually?  Is there a place, natural or man made, that is important to your tradition?  Think on the kinds of destinations in which you take a personal magical interest, that are filled with like-minded people, or are generally known for their associations with witchcraft.  Possible places include large cities with a bustling magical community and trade; natural locations with Pagan roots like ruins and landforms; small towns or individual buildings with local legends of witches or hauntings.

Make a list that includes every place you feel strongly about.  It doesn't really matter whether or not you have the funds at the moment to visit these places.  We're talking about the rest of your life; the opportunity may come tomorrow or ten years from now.  Make sure that when travel beckons you know where you wish to be and why.

2.  Magical Experiences of Your Own Past

This can be something surprisingly easy to forget.  There are things that each of us has done in our practice of which we're especially proud.  At that moment, you're bubbling over with your heightened sense of self, knowing how very much your hard work means, how valuable your contributions to the world.  But then days and weeks pass, familiarity makes the whole thing seem less amazing, and soon it becomes just a passing moment like              any other.  If you haven't recorded this event in your BoS, it might be lost forever, but even if you have, it can be quickly shuffled among a great many other memories and it's importance diminished.  What a tragedy for your all-important self-confidence!

Put in your list all the things you can recall in which you take special pride.  Note the groups you've been involved in, the places you've seen, the people you've met.  Write about those affecting moments in the midst of casting spells, the ones that turned out remarkably well, that surprised even you.  Remember, too, those important firsts that shaped everything that was to follow.  Those times when all was new and the thrill of adventure was what purred you on.

3.  Your Go-To Spells

We all have those spells that we return to time and time again.  They depend on how we like to cast at the moment, the kinds of spells that fuel our imaginations, but also the kind of scrapes we keep getting mixed up in.

Seeing one's "go-to" list is a bit like reading their diary: you'll know what's going on in their life, what they fear, and upon what they pin their hopes.  But there is no better way to keep track of those little pieces of magic that we can trust to see us through.  You will definitely want to keep ahold of such a list, especially when circumstances change and you find yourself relying on other standards.  These spells will still be handy to reference.  Write your list honestly and hide it away if you must.

4.  Charms to Carry

While my husband and I were starting our family and chance turned us into vagabonds, there were very few accouterments that I could carry.  We spent time on the road a lot and lived some months in very restrictive conditions that didn't allow for extras.  It was at this time that I became adept with magic that didn't require much: knots, powders, and the under-appreciated spoken charm.  They were quickly folded into my practice but charms still hold a particularly high place for me.

Here we have the kind of common magic that is useful in everyday life: healing, protection, help for our children, improving the weather, finding lost objects.  They're the instant spells that only require a bit of memory and a moment of concentration before they go to work.  

What are the kinds of concerns you have on a daily basis?  What in your life could use a quick and regular boost?  There's a charm for that!

5.  Magic You Cast on a Regular Basis

Routines in magic are helpful no matter their size or complexity.  Having a set of spells or rites you perform daily, weekly, monthly or otherwise can help you become a more confident caster as well as maintaining the kind of assistance you need in life.  Over years this routine will surely change, but it's helpful to be able to look back on what you did and when, especially when returning to methods that worked well in the past.

6.  Traits of Your Ideal Self

I've talked about this before but it bears repeating.  In order to achieve them, you must know what they are.  What does your concept of the perfect witch act like?  What do they know?  What do they own?  Take a stroll in your mind through their workroom, their home, their lives, their coven.  Write down what you see.

Also of importance here is the ability to factor this down to a personal level.  Where do you
see yourself in 5 years?  What do you want to do with your future?

Keep your lists somewhere safe--such as tucked into your BoS--and refer to them on a regular basis.  Some of these ideas you may not have thought about before.  If so, take your time and dig into what you really feel before committing anything to paper. If these are thoughts that you have mulled over before, write them down as soon as possible.  Tomorrow might bring changes that cause you to forget, get distracted, to swept away in a new leg of your journey.

These are thoughts to save and protect, to contemplate, and to change as goals are achieved and new opportunities open before you.  When you have your lists at hand, you will always be knowledgeable, prepared, and visionary.

For your elucidation, I offer you my own lists.  Use them as a jumping-off point for your own or just read them as a curiosity.

1.  Places to Visit
  • Salem (yes, again.  I've been there several times and I always find it an enlivening experience)
  • New Orleans (I visited once in 2014--I have plans to post about it properly in the near future-- but would love to go again with my husband and be more involved in the Hoodoo/Voodoo side of the city)
  • Stonehenge (I think this is on most folks' lists)
  • New York City (the magic shops there are fantastic, not to mention the MMoA!)
  • Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall (the world's largest collection of witchcraft artifacts.  All sides of my personality satiated at once: witch, student, researcher, archaeologist)
  • Library of Congress (this would be a long, dull visit for anyone coming with me.  I want to spend at least a full day walking the isles, reading, taking notes, and inhaling the scent of old books.)
  • Pagan-run libraries like the New Alexandrian Library in Delaware and the Adocentyn Research Library in California.

2.  Magical Experiences of My Own Past
  • First love spell
  • Meeting author Judika Illes, having her autograph my well-worn copy of The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, and getting to talk with her about writing.
  • Being on the ocean for the first time (a cruise for our 10th anniversary) and being too overwhelmed to speak.
  • A spell I cast for a family member's supposedly inoperable cancer.  (She is now well and cancer-fee)
  • Communicating with my cat through mental pictures and receiving a response.
  • Teaching my first students

3.  Go-To Spells
  • Clove-popping ritual for breaking hexes 
  • Formulas (I have a large collection of tinctures, powders, oils, and incenses that I keep available at all times.  They've become an indispensable part of my practice)
  • 3 Knots spell to influence people
  • My Book of Incantations (a little leather bound book I compiled of traditional and a few modern charms for a variety of purposes.  I always take it with me when I travel.)
4.  Charms to Carry
  • To cause sleep in children (when our kids were little, this was standard for nap time!)
  • To bring the wind
  • Safe travel (dispersing fog, keeping wild animals from the road, not being stopped by police, steadiness in snow and ice)
  • Healing for burns
  • Stopping blood
5. Magic I Cast on a Regular Basis
  • Scrubbing the front step with charged infusions
  • Prayer incense burned indoors to recharge one's sense of connection and power
  • Celandine oil candles for the inspiration to get things done 
  • Calling on my Fetch to assist with problems or lead me to my goals (I probably have the hardest working Fetch on the Easy Coast!)
6.  Traits of My Ideal Self (I feel that I've accomplished most of these already, but this list is what I find so important that I should always be striving toward them)
  • Well-read
  • A confident public speaker
  • Well-equipped 
  • Open minded
  • Timely

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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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