One of the first things you learn about casting spells is that you must have the will to manifest your desires, and you must direct enough energy for the idea to move into reality. I have learned that my spells are most effective, and often work quicker, when my passions are ignited as I cast the spell. I don’t mean that I passionately want the spell to work — if you are willing something to happen then you already want it passionately. What I mean is that the casting process is one of my passions. I am an artistic witch, so casting creatively ignites my passion for the creative activity, and is heightened by the exhilaration of doing magick. A number of activities could be categorized as creative casting, but today I want to share my favourite method of creative casting: Clay magick.
I love clay, you can make so many different things with it! Cell phone stands, jewellery holders, beads, even home decor! With clay, I can combine creativity and casting- an art witch’s favourite crossover (well this art witch at least!). The versatility of clay is only as limited as your imagination, so clay can be used to creatively cast spells for any intention. To help you get started, I will share some of the ways I use clay magick in my witchcraft practice: devotional art, enchanted beads, protection for your altar and sacred space, and healing magick.
To help you choose your clay, or the paint to decorate the sculpture once it is baked or dried, I have included a table of the magical attributes commonly associated with colours based on information I gathered from themagickalcat.com and witchepedia.com.
|Red||Passion, vitality, strength, survival, fertility, courage, sexual potency, mercy, action, danger, war, fire element, conflict, combat, sports, independence, assertiveness, competition, renewal, energy, health, motivation, joy, self-esteem, business deals/buying & selling, ambition|
|Pink||Love, self-love, compassion, nurturing, calming, femininity, friendship, romance, partnership, spiritual & emotional healing, personal success, protection of children, domestic harmony, self-improvement, maturity, new beginnings|
|Orange||creativity, self-expression, relieving depression & feelings of abandonment, increasing opportunities, happiness, mental alertness, intellectual matters, kindness, sealing a spell, harvest, strength, overcoming addiction, legal matters/justice, investments, joy, business success, ambition, vitality, fun, action, opportunity, celebration|
|Yellow||Pleasure, success, happiness, friendship, learning, memory, concentration, increase productivity, intellect, humility persuasion, inspiration, imagination, solar magick, charm, confidence & self esteem, beauty, air element, travel, flexibility|
|Green||Prosperity, abundance, money, increasing love and trust, general healing, wellness, transformation, new beginnings, career, employment, hope, immortality, rebirth, garden magic, herbal magic, tree/plant magick, faery magick, fertility, growth, luck, courage, change, peace, harmony, relationship/marriage success, beauty, soul mates, artistic ability, affection, partnerships, alliances, grace, luxury, social activity, marriage, decorating, cosmetics, gifts, income, gardening, gardeners, architects, artists, cosmetologists, chiropractors, dancers, engineers, entertainers, fashion, models, designers, music, painting, poetry, courtship, dating, household improvements, planning events, shopping, counteract envy/greed/jealousy|
|Blue|| weight loss, truth, fidelity, patience, domestic harmony, organization, removing bad vibrations, sincerity, astral projection, water element |
Increase wisdom, wealth, joy, opportunity, patience, peace, truth, loyalty, meditation, introspection, insight, happiness, fidelity, communication, will power, focus, forgiveness, good fortune, remove confusion, the ocean, elevation, calming, long distance travel, higher education, political power, social standing, forecasting, broadcasting, publicity, expansion, luck, growth, sports, horses, legal matters, doctors, guardians, merchants, police officers, psychologists, charity, self-improvement, research, studying, reading.
|Violet/Purple||clairvoyance/ psychic ability, relief of emotional hurt, spiritual protection, heal wounded pride, spirituality, wisdom, meditation, justice, forgiveness, humility, the occult/hidden forces/secret dealings, memory, intelligence, communication, intelligence, education, correspondences, messages, students, merchants, editing, writing, advertising, contracts, kinship, ambition, progress, visiting friends, astrology |
|Indigo||Spiritual guidance, psychic ability, stop gossip/lies, dignity, divination, meditation, ambition, overcome depression|
|Black||Use in combination with white to represent balance, opposites, union of opposing forces. Divination, beginning, creation, rebirth, absorbing energies, patience, binding, stability, neutralizing forces, material gain, protection, karma, death, manifestation, law, understanding one’s limits, overcoming obstacles, challenges, tests, real estate matters, farming, sacrifice, separation, criminals, civil servants, plumbing, justice, wills, debts, discoveries, elders, truth |
|Brown||House blessing, animal/pet magick, earth magick, concentration, material goods, stability, locating lost objects, earth element, real estate, construction, food, financial crisis |
|White||All purpose, unity, purity, cleansing, peace, balance, spirituality, healing, innocence, rain, magick involving young children, truth, consecration, balancing the aura |
Sculpt offerings as a part of your devotional practice
Author, witch, and Priestess of the Morrigan, Stephanie Woodfield defines devotional practice as the art of honouring and connecting with a deity. She brilliantly outlines how to develop a devotional practice in her books Dark Goddess Craft and Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess. She establishes general steps one would take to develop their practice, but encourages readers to establish a connection with the deity by choosing offerings of personal significance. Deities often favour certain herbs, foods, or drinks, but most would much rather receive an offering from you that has sentimental value over their established preferences. Offerings are given for a number of reasons: Appreciation, respect, as a bargaining tool. Common devotional offerings are liquors or spirits, wine, milk, food, herbs, and incense. While these are effective offerings, they would not even come close to the effectiveness of an offering you spent time meticulously moulding, carving, blending, scoring, — in short, sculpting something from clay. I can feel a major difference between the energy in response to generic offerings of herbs and incense to the response for an offering I made with my own hands.
In my own practice I have just started working with Mercury, so as you can see I’ve made a candle holder that is in the shape of the planetary symbol with colours that are associated with the Roman God. When making a sculpture as an offering to initiate a relationship, I suggest you create something that is associated with the deity you will be introducing yourself to. If you are creating an offering as a token of gratitude for a favour you will be asking, or for a blessing you have received, you could create something that symbolizes what you desire or what you’ve received. When the offering is an acknowledgement of the deity’s power, sculpt something that you associate with that quality. For example, I sculpted a torc (a Celtic neck piece worn by leaders or royalty) out of clay as an offering for the Morrigan, to tell her how I admire and respect her regality, as well as associate her with honour.
This should be fun, meaningful, and crafted with care. While sculpting, keep the intent in the forefront of your mind. That energy will go into the clay, so you will not have to charge it before giving it as an offering. Once the clay is baked (or hardened if you used air drying clay), and painted or embellished to your liking, then it is ready to be taken to your altar and offered to the Divine.
You could enchant beads for any magical purpose, but I like to do so with practical purposes that are helpful from time to time. For example, I have a necklace with a bead enchanted to bring me courage and confidence, so I can approach a prospective client without feeling nervous. I have beads that ensure added protection whenever I wear the anklet they are on. I have beads on a headdress that enhance my psychic abilities, for times when I can’t seem to focus but really need to perform divination to help me deal with a dilemma. The bead shapes, colours, and sometimes inscriptions are all in correspondence with the intent.
Once your bead is dried or baked and the paint is dry, you are ready to charge the bead with your intent. I like to cleanse the beads first by wafting them through sage smoke, and then through incense smoke to bless them. (Dragons’ blood is my favourite, but other popular choices include frankincense, myrrh, rosemary, or cedar.) If you wish, cast a circle in the manner you are accustomed to. I only cast a full ritual circle if I am enchanting a bead with the energy of a deity. I hold the bead in my power hand, and see the intended purpose in my mind. If the bead is for protection, I will see that a protective bubble of energy surrounding me when I put the necklace bearing that bead around my neck, or I’ll see myself standing tall and confident when the bead is to be charged with courage. I hold that image in my mind, and allow the energy of the intent to build in my body. When the energy has filled my body and is radiating with power, I will send the energy down my dominant arm, out of my palm and into the bead. When I see that the bead is glowing with the intended energy in my minds’ eye, I will put the bead on my altar to be blessed by my Matron deity, and then will ground and release any excess energy buzzing around in my body.
Protective Altar Pieces
Most altars are adorned with a protective symbol of some form: the pentacle, a cross, a triskelion, to name a few. Since I am partial to Celtic witchcraft I have a clay triskelion above my altar. When crafting your protective symbol, you may wish to evoke your Patron or Matron deity because the protection would be much stronger when the altar piece contains the energy of you and a god. Use colours that make you think of protection, barriers, and safety in general. I chose blue and purple, for both physical and psychic protection. You could create a disc with the shape carved out, or you could roll the clay into thin pieces and make the shape alone. It is your altar, so do whatever you think will work best.
Just like the protective beads, the altar piece should be charged after it is baked and, if you so choose, painted. I suggest charging the piece periodically, such as once a month or every three months. To help the piece retain energy you could use copper wire as a frame for the shape. Copper is a great tool in witchcraft, because it is a conductor for energy. If you create a closed circuit with copper wire, as in the wire touches end to end, the energy will continue to circulate. I made a copper circle and then pushed it into the clay disk, then I rolled thin strips of clay to lay over the disk in the shape of the triskelion. Some sources say that if you create a closed circuit with copper or some other conductor, the energy will continue to circulate and will never need to be recharged. That very well could be true, but I never did well in science class, so to be on the safe side I charge my pendant every Blue Moon.
You have several options when using clay for healing magick. You could create a talisman in the shape of a heart, a person, or another shape that represents the ailment, and charge it with a healing intent. You could make a pendant and inscribe a symbol or a charm of a healing spell. Healing magick is exceedingly difficult, and it takes a lot of power to heal a human or an animal. I have successfully cast one healing spell in my life, and I did so by using a poppet.
Poppet magick is often associated with hexes, but it is an ancient practice that can also used for helpful, good magick (probably much more than it is used to curse anyone). About six months ago my mother went to the doctor for chronic back pain and discovered that she had a herniated disk. The doctors told her that it could heal on its own, but if it didn’t she would need surgery. Not wanting to go under the knife, she came to me and asked me to cast a healing spell. I spent weeks researching various methods, and ended up adapting a spell from Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess that used poppet magick, blood magick, and I called on the powers of the elements, as well as a deity (Morgan le Fay, a guise of the Morrigan). I had just started sculpting, so my poppet barely resembled a human. It had a head and four limbs, so it was good enough. I took a bit of my mothers hair, and had her put a few drops of blood on the dolls back. I had scooped out a little hole where the heart was, and that was where I tucked her hair, and had my mother put another drop of blood. When you use a clay poppet, you could put hair, nail clippings, a drop of blood, or any other magical ingredients in the heart of the doll, and cover the hole with clay.1 I first cast a spell linking the doll to my mother. I had symbols of the four elements at the corresponding corners of my altar. I wafted incense over the doll to blow away the injury in the eastern corner. I waived the doll over the flame of a candle in the southern corner, to burn away the pain. I sprinkled water over the doll in the western corner to wash away the injury. Finally, I laid the doll in a container of earth from my property, so that the earth will absorb the injury, and heal my mother.
Clay magick provides many ways to sculpt your desires into reality. While I only addressed a handful of ideas – beads, offerings, statues, poppets – there are many more ways to work clay into your magical practice. The number of options is only as limited as your imagination. I’ve made divination stones, protective wall decor, offering bowls, and that is just in the past week.
You are a creative person. (Yes, I am talking to you!) You can try out one of the projects I have described, but what I am really hoping for is that my ideas have inspired you to come up with even more creative ways to incorporate clay magick into your practice. When you add the fiery heat of passion to any activity you add to the quality – and in this case you increase the chances of creatively casting successful spells.
Image credits: Vera Kleist Thom, Sumeet Basak
- for more advice on poppet magick, try http://www.earthwitchery.com/poppet-magick.html [↩]