Welcome to W’s Witch Week, a celebration of all things witchy. In the days leading up to Halloween, we’ll be boiling up a wicked brew of all things occult, from pop culture’s favorite new witches to the real women practicing Wicca today.
I’ve seen enough episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch by now to know that my life would be greatly improved by a simple spell or two. Not feeling your outfit by the time you arrive at a party? Change it with a flick of the wrist! Room getting a little too messy? Chant a little rhyme and it’s not! Need dance lessons? Simply summon Britney Spears to show up in your living room. So, I used the cover of W's Witch Week to live out one of my most persistent and greatest fantasies: to cast spells.
At first, I looked to the professionals; namely, Catland Books, Brooklyn's premiere metaphysical boutique, the same very kind people who helped explain to W the nuances of throwing a séance at home. In addition to hosting weekly events, the store also offers spell work consultations with trained witches. However, due to timing conflicts (they were busy planning an organized Hex on Brett Kavanaugh; I had a bachelorette party in Ft. Lauderdale), a professional consultation was not in the cards for this particular time. Naturally, I turned to the next best thing: the Internet.
Google “easy witch spells,” and you’ll get Web sites with names like Free-witchcraft-spells.com and Wiccanspells.info—there are a lot, and the quality of the spell work seemed indistinguishable. So, I decided guidelines were necessary. First, the spell could only call for things I already had on hand, which narrowed down everything that required special crystals, or any type of spice beyond what was already in my kitchen. Second, it had to be relatively simple, for two reasons; as casual as my approach may have been, I was not trying to get in too deep with anything too serious that should be left to a professional, and I would be conducting my spell work in a moderately sized New York apartment, so anything involving excessive momentum or burying something in fresh soil was out. Finally, there are spells for everything, and I mean everything, on the Internet, so I decided to focus on three categories: love, money, and beauty.
As previously mentioned, I’m a student of the Sabrina Spellman school of magic, so I’m well aware that a love spell can go horribly wrong (the image of Harvey Kinkle as a frog is forever ingrained in my mind). So, instead of focusing on making any certain individual fall head over heels in love with me (you’ve been spared, Timothée), I instead found a simple “magnetic attraction” spell that would generally attract others to me. The process was simple: I cut up a square of tinfoil, sprinkled some cinnamon and basil (the actual spell called for rosemary but I didn’t have any, and it’s probably fine, right?) into my hand, chanted to my preferred god or deity of love (I went for Aphrodite), sprinkled the spices into the tinfoil, and tucked it into a small square the I placed close to my heart (in my bra). I was heading upstate to a friend’s wedding where I would not know many of the guests, so this was as good a time as any to have a stranger be overwhelmingly attracted to me. Spoiler: Nothing romantic happened (other than a wedding). In fact, no one even complimented my new signature scent of cinnamon and basil. For now, let’s consider this first attempt a bust.
Maybe what I needed was a makeover. Like many aspiring mall goths before me, I was very into The Craft as a teenager, and had been particularly struck by the scene in which Robin Tunney transforms herself from brunette to platinum blonde with the flick of her hand. Perhaps now was my chance to live out my lifelong dream of being a redhead. Naturally, there was a spell for that: I lit a candle the color I desired (I just happened to have an old Christmas candle from when my mom visited last December). Once enough wax had melted, I poured a few drops into a mixture of shampoo and water and swirled it all together. From there, I rubbed the blend along my hairline while chanting, “The shampoo in the hair shows its true color. This color was meant for me, so mote it be,” and promptly jumped in the shower to wash it off. Reader, I regrets to inform you that I am still not the owner of Lindsay Lohan–red locks. However, my best friend did ask if I got a haircut, so maybe my incantation was only a little off.
But who needs men or beautiful hair when you have money, right? For my final attempt at sorcery, I was attempting to make some big bucks by doing very little (the night before, I’d been gifted a Mega Millions Lotto ticket at dinner, but didn’t win, so clearly I was due). In order to “spice up my wallet,” as this spell described, I again reached for some cinnamon and rubbed it between my fingers and then made five different smudges on a dollar bill (I used a twenty, because, obviously, I would get extra rich that way) and tucked it away in my wallet. So: Am I writing you this from my new castle on a hill made of stacks of cash? I am not. However, I did discover that if you order a veggie wrap with cheddar cheese at the Condé Nast cafeteria it will actually cost you less than just a normal veggie wrap, because they’ll charge you for a cheese sandwich with avocado, and that comes to a whopping 15 cents less than you’d normally pay, so who can really say if the spell didn’t totally work.
So, in the end, perhaps spells that you find on the Internet aren’t exactly going to turn you into a teenage witch overnight, and if you really want to try out spell working for yourself, you should definitely see a professional and take the proper steps. However, if you just want to smell like cinnamon for a few days, then 10 out of 10 recommend. Happy Halloween!