“Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions”
by Anastasia Greywolf
Published by Wellfleet Press
Copyright May 29, 2018
This book is marketed to “help readers navigate through their amorous adventures,” such as people hoping to “catch that person you’ve been secretly in love with for the past five months” and to help when “an unrequited crush is not getting your subtle hints.”
In her introduction, Anastasia Greywolf, a practicing witch and herbalist and a founding member of the Coven of the Moonbeam Ravine, states, “Whether you want to find ‘the one’ or simply make your pets love each other, get rid of a bad date or set yourself free from a bad energy of a relationship from the past, you’ll find the magic to make it happen in these pages (check the back for a full index of spells). From more than a dozen contributors, they draw from a variety of traditions and spiritualities.”
Some of the magic is traditional while most is modern.
I agree with Greywolf that “of all the mysterious forces in the universe, love may be the most powerful” and “love is hard to control.” I don’t agree that all the incantations, concoctions and charms offered to harness it are necessarily proper. Yes, love spells have been around “forever.” However, if something interferes with a person’s freewill, warning bells go off in my head.
For instance, there is a “Sisterhood Spell for Female Friends” contributed by Susan Adcox. Noting you “can never have too many sisters of the heart,” she offers a spell to make a relationship with a casual friend or acquaintance grow into something more. It involves burning a white candle and saying, “Bound by choice and not by blood, Be for me a sister good. Share the joy, halve the pain,
Our love will ever wax, not wane.”
While it seems harmless, my ethics would keep me from doing it because it’s trying to get someone to be a good sister. Rather, I would find another way to address the situation. If I was shy or too intimidated to approach the person, I would do some magic to bolster my self-confidence and courage. I would also recognize that this woman may not choose to be a close friend for any number of reasons that may very well have nothing to do with me. Not knowing the person well, there could be something about her behavior that would make not being close to her actually be for my highest good and greatest joy.
There is much to consider when doing a spell, and those involving others require the most thought and experience, which is why I caution people not to just pick up a book and follow some instructions without thinking through every detail and possibility.
A traditional spell Greywolf offers is “To Marry Whomever You Choose.” It reads, “To make the person you love want to marry you and ensure a union, the solution is simple. Obtain the heart of a chicken and swallow it whole.”
Other than being extremely squeamish about swallowing a chicken heart whole, I am also extremely squeamish about making a person love me. There are at least half a dozen ways I can see this go sideways.
The same goes for the spell “To Get a Marriage Proposal” contributed by Luna Eternal. Among other steps, it has the reader repeat three times,”With the love that is ours / I call upon this ancient power / Engagement is what I seek / Proposal is what you offer to me / By the power of three times three / As I will it, so mote it be!”
I see this as a form or manipulation. I also recognize my bias comes from how I practice and I acknowledge not everyone walks the same path the same way.
Spells can be found in the book that do not reach into someone else’s space. The “Pre-wedding Bath,” submitted by Jill Robi, is one of those. It calls for lighting pillar candles on each corner of the bathtub, adding certain essential oils to the water and floating rose petal upon it while envisioning “the best version of your special day, pulling positive energy into yourself, and projecting that into the universe.”
Robi’s “Wedding Sachet,” and Greywolf’s spells “To Cure Pre-Wedding Jitters” and “For Bandaging Past Wounds” are but three more examples.
I appreciated that along with steps to take “For Courage to Break Up With Your Lover,” contributor Aoife Witt wrote, “Important note: Most of us dread breaking up with a significant other. If the reason you are nervous about initiating a breakup is because your significant other may become violent, you may do this spell but please do not rely on it. Go to a safe place, and call the proper authorities.”
Among the more interesting spells I found in the book was this one to love yourself.
by Hollen Pockets
This is a spell to fall in love with yourself. Perform in times of need.
Take a rock and break your mirrors. You don’t need them right now.
Keep the rock and break your scales.
Take some scissors and snip your measuring tape. Keep the scissors and cut your hair, no mirrors needed. Speak the words: It doesn’t matter. It will grow.
Go for a long walk or get out of the house in whatever way you can. Use your body. Count the beats of your great heart.
Find a reflective pool. If needed, fill your favorite bathtub and look into that.
Speak the words: I have all I need.
Smile at your reflection, blurry and imperfect in the reflecting water. Smile and smile and smile.
For readers who want to craft their own spells, or modify one from “Love Magic,” the lists of colors, stones, herbs, essential oils and flowers found at the back of the book are helpful. There is also a section on love omens – from apples to wishbones – along with the meaning of various birds, a list of lucky days, and information about how each phase of the moon relates to love magic.
As with everything in life, it is wise to take what you need and leave the rest. I hope you will do so with this book as well as all others that show up on your path.
About the Author:
Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.