Very early on in my magickal practice I discovered that I really loved writing my own spells, rituals, and meditations. When I started working with public groups and would create rituals for the public I often had people come to me after an even to tell me how much they enjoyed the work, experience, and celebration that they participated in.
A few times during my work with public groups I would teach small workshops on how to create and structure spells and rituals. I’m a very big believer that your own magick, written in your words and with your intentions, is more powerful than anything you find written by someone else.
One thing I often find people forget is that just because someone else wrote a ritual, performed it successfully, and had great results doesn’t mean it will do the same for you. While the actions and physical components of a spell do matter, the true magick comes from you – your energy and your intention. Using your own words and your own vision for a spell or ritual is a big part of that.
While I have quite a lot of information about spells and spell correspondences tucked away in my noggin, I do work quite a bit with outside references. This is part of how you learn. Even now, after 30 years of practice, I have a standard grouping of books I often bring out and use to create my rituals.
These five books I’m going to share are the five books that I currently use. Some of them are older publications, some of them are more recent, but all of them are excellent sources that I can’t create magick without. In no particular order here they are.
📚 Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode
This is one that I use all the time for creating recipes for incense, oils, powders, and herb blends for magickal work. As you can tell from the title, this is a book that’s geared toward hoodoo and rootwork but the information applies even if you aren’t working with conjure specifically. With each entry in the book you’ll find magickal info about that herb as well as suggested spells, charms, and general usage for magick. But my favorite thing in the book are the quick reference lists in the back. I’m always looking up what herbs to use for specific types of spells and intentions.
📚 Grimoire for the Green Witch by Ann Moura
For probably a decade or more this has been one of my favorite books for reference when creating rituals. This book is truly a spellcrafting goldmine. My book is highlighted, notated, dog-eared, and flagged with little page markers. You’ll find everything you need in this one book from info for magickal timing, seasonal celebration info, sigil making, planetary information, herbal information, rituals, spells, divination info…just everything you need in one place. This is one that I would actually recommend for someone that was just getting started and didn’t want to buy a ton of books to start off working magick.
📚 The Elements Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes
When this book came out in 2004 I got it almost immediately. It’s HUGE. And heavy! All that weight accounts for the awesomeness that it holds inside. This book has been my inspiration for many spells I’ve written in the last 12 years. I’ve talked a lot about how I don’t use spells from books but I’m often inspired by the spells I find in them and will turn to books like this one for ideas when I’m feeling unsure of what to create for my intention. While this is obviously a book of spells, it also has a lot of great spellcasting and magickal info along with some reference tables and a formulary to help you with creating recipes for your work. The book is organized beautifully with each category of spell getting it’s own chapter like love, money, protection, healing, and so on. If I could only have one spell book in my collection this is the one I would have.
📚 The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews by Scott Cunningham
This was one of the very first books in the magickal realm that I ever owned. Actually all the early books I owned when I was 12/13 and getting started with the Craft were Cunningham. It was this, Magical Herbalism and Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. But it was this one, The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews that got me started with making my own oils, and eventually incenses, and made it fun. When I was getting started I didn’t have access to candles very easily but this book helped me learn how to work magick with herbs and other natural items by making and using your own oils, baths, waters, and more. Most of the ingredients that he suggests are easy to find and the processes he teaches are easy to follow. This is another book with some great references and suggestions for substitutes when you can’t find something.
📚 Crone’s Book of Magical Words by Valerie Worth
Again, in the tradition of not using other people’s words and magick, I found myself using this book for inspiration to create my own chants and incantations in my later year. Early on in my practice I naturally used what was in the book as is but after some years and discovering the power behind words I shifted to using this book as a spark for magickal creativity. If you’ve ever seen, read, or worked with any of my spells or rituals you’ll know I’m a big fan of rhyming and rhythm in ritual words. It helps to create that energetic flow that you want in magick. This book was one of the early sources that taught me how to do this and how to really love writing magick with this kind of energy in mind.
📚 Bonus Book! Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences by Sandra Kynes
This is one that’s only been out a few years but it’s an amazing and very complete reference guide for magickal creation. One thing I really love about this book is the layout. If you know the intention you want to work with you can search for correspondences based on that. If you have an herb but don’t know what to use it for, like what happened to me back in 2006 when I found a field worth of lemon balm growing in my yard, you can look up the herb itself. You can also look up trees, animals, gemstones and minerals, astrological info, magickal timing, and more. I actually have this book in both paperback and ebook format so I’m never without it when I need to do quick reference.
The internet is great and there are lots of wonderful sites that you can go to for magickal information. But for me, having a physical book, or even a digital one, that I can take with me away from my desk to either my altar or a place outdoors to think, work, and write is really important to me. These books are my must have’s and hopefully they will help some of you that are looking for sources to inspire creating your own spells and rituals to create powerful magick in your life.