By Amber C. Snider
Here are some “Back to School” spells to help you regain your focus, amplify your creativity, reduce stress, and manifest success this fall season.
Autumn's return feels just a little different this year, right? Whether you’re a student, parent, or educator, the typical “Back to School” jitters can feel more stressful than exciting this time around. Perhaps you’re stressing over the decision to send your kids back to school or maybe you’re navigating homeschooling/virtual learning for the first time. Even with all your preparations and plans, it can all still feel overwhelming. But that doesn’t mean academic success isn’t possible, even in a year as crazy as 2020.
Here are some age-appropriate tips for students, educators, and parents to start this new school year with a touch of magick, intention, and inspiring spellwork.
For all-around academic success at any age...
Enchantments recommends using the Emperor Candle or Academic Success Kit. The Emperor candle is about expansion, divine guidance, luck, and growing confident in your work. It's great for when you really need to 'hunker down' and get a project completed.
The 7-day Emperor candle is especially good for those preparing for a big exam, long research project, and/or bringing recognition for a job well done. The Academic Success Kit , a smaller version of the Emperor with candles that burn between 7-12 hours, helps promote intellectual pursuits.
For Art Students & Artists...
Success in the Arts kit is a great tool for those in the performing arts or creative industries. For those working on a specific creative project and need a little “inspirational boost” try the Song of the Elder Gods 7-day candle (especially great for artists, musicians and performers; provides inspiration, focus and creativity and helps to achieve success) or Song of the Elder Goddess (a Goddess-based candle for creativity, inspiration and success in the arts).
To invoke the creative muse while you’re working on a project, try Divine Muse oil (or Divine Muse Bath) or Inspiration oil.
For Elementary School Students...
It’s tough for kids to sit in front of a screen all day, especially when they’re missing the social interactions of their peers. If you’re a parent who practices magick with your wee witch, try doing a 7-day Solar Blast Candle together (or kit). It promotes happiness, friendship, growth, and positivity all around by invoking the energies of the sun.
You can also try using Sun Oil in a diffuser during the day to encourage these qualities and keep the energy in the home positive. For bath time, try a Sun Bath (a solar blend for energy, positivity, vitality, inner strength, and self-confidence). For Pagan families looking for age-appropriate magical reading material for younger minds, check out the beautiful book Wee Witches, by Ted Enik and Beth Roth.
For Junior High Students...
Honestly, if you could do it all over again, would you go back to middle school? (I can hear you cackling through the screen right now shaking your head NO). Middle school is a tough time because kids are figuring out who they are, where they fit into the world, and developing a stronger sense of self. With all that pressure, sometimes their self-esteem can take a hefty hit, especially if they’re trying to make a good impression.
Try the Self-Esteem Kit, which comes with two 120 candles, self-esteem oil, and a sample hand-blended incense. It’s great for clearing negative emotions, as well as promoting self-love and self confidence. Star oil also helps attract new friends and gain recognition.
For High School/College Students...
The Academic Success Kit (or 7-day Emperor candle) is also great for high schoolers and college students, as well as the Solar Blast Candle and Self-Esteem kit.
For stressful times (especially when SAT prep comes along, college apps, and exams), try incorporating ritual baths into your practice. Some great baths for academic success include Crucible of Courage Bath (which helps in facing and overcoming fears, building courage and inner strength), Fast Luck Bath (increases luck in all areas), and/or High Conquering Bath (also known as High John the Conqueror) which attracts luck in all areas and strength to overcome obstacles.
Try a 7-day Success Candle (or the kit here) or the Peace & Protection 7-day candle (or kit here). The Success candle promotes success in all areas, but as with any magick, you have to add/focus on your specific intention. Perhaps you want a successful school year in general, success with navigating virtual learning, or success in overcoming a specific difficulty or new challenge.
The Peace & Protection 7-day candle (or kit or bath) is great for reigning in a sense of calm during challenging times, as well as preventing physical or psychic attack. But remember folks, magick does not and cannot create some invisible shield to make you invincible from a disease like COVID-19 – so in addition to your spellwork, be smart: keep your hands clean, wear a mask, and practice safe social distancing. It should go without saying, but it's a good reminder.
For anyone in academia...
Stress Relief & Relaxation Kit can help bring serenity and peace of mind. All Enchantments kits come with two 120 candles (which burn for about 7-12 hours), a dram of oil, and a sample hand-blended incense. You can use the contents of this kit for short ritual and also keep the dram of oil to use (as you would perfume) throughout the month when you need a dose of calm.
You can also add magickal oils to your daily routine by diffusing them in your work/study space, anointing yourself with them (as you would perfume), or adding a few drops to your bath. Some great ones to try are Concentration oil, High Conquering oil, Crown of Success oil, Jupiter Oil, Motivation Oil, and Star oil.
Want to try herbal magick? Check out our new series here.
By Carmen Pouerie
Life isn’t always “love and light” and not every situation needs a silver lining. Here’s why all vibes are welcome here.
I recently came across a term I’ve never heard before: toxic positivity. It intrigued me and I searched the internet for more information on the subject. The Pagan community on Instagram did not fail me. There were endless memes and posts about this exact topic.
My research led me to understand that it is often used when you are expressing thoughts or emotions that express anything that is not positive (like feelings of sadness, discomfort, or anger) and the person you are venting to then dismisses your words as negative. I’m sure you’ve experienced this before. You’ll pour your heart out and someone will simply say “Look on the bright side” or “Find the silver lining in a situation.” Or maybe they advise you to work harder on your situation (without taking into account your unique struggles) and you’re left feeling worse than before.
For most of my spiritual journey, I’ve been bombarded by this idea of “love and light.” And to be quite honest, it just never seemed to work for me. It’s very hard to think positively all the time. But does that make me less of a “spiritual” person? Not as "good" as others? Is my spiritual approach flawed in some way? But then, I learned about Shadow work and it resonated with me on a very deep level.
Shadow work is a process that works by letting yourself feel and understand the painful aspects of yourself (or your situation), thus embracing yourself as a whole being, both light and dark. By seeing the uglier side of humanity, we can then learn to appreciate the true beauty of this world. If your spiritual belief lacks the inclusion of your shadow self, you are essentially denying 50% of life as we know it. The world we live in is an eternal balance of opposites. Life and death. Summer and winter. Light and dark. To deny half of yourself because it looks or feels unpleasant eventually leads to imbalanced and discordant energy.
All beings are experiencing life through the lens of their perception. So we must be compassionate and show empathy to all, regardless of where they are on their journey. Loving yourself, even on those bad days, nurtures growth and leads to gentle healing. When we ignore our darker nature, we are treating half of ourselves like a castaway.
Not every situation needs a silver lining. Sometimes the hard truth is required. Realizing that we can get through something and also have a support system that will let you ‘cry it out’ is more healing than just denying or dismissing the reality of a situation. Sometimes it’s okay to vent. It’s okay to not feel light and love and airy and magickal all the time. It’s okay to accept that sometimes you just feel like shit and that’s where you’re at in the moment. It doesn’t make you less spiritual. It doesn’t make you less of a witch or less woke – it just makes you human.
Instead, let us validate each other with love and kindness, no matter where we are on our path. Let’s allow ourselves and our loved ones to experience negative thoughts without judgment, without any added guilt or shame. By acknowledging our Shadow self, maybe we can get through the rough patches with new understanding – instead of dismissing it and covering it up. And if we’re truly acknowledging feelings like pain, anger, and fear (and those feelings in others), maybe those issues won’t come back to haunt us later on.
Witch Tip: Burning a Crystal Healing candle helps to acknowledge those emotions and process them in a healthy manner.
We’re all probably guilty of doing this to others, too. So here are a few ways you can stop yourself from falling into the “toxic positivity” trap:
––Rather than say “Just be positive” to a friend who’s going through something, try saying “I hear you/feel you. That must be really hard.”
–– Instead of saying "Don't be so negative," try saying "It's normal to feel bad about situations like these."
–– Don't tell a friend that "happiness is a choice" after they tell you a sad story. Try to do or say something that makes your friend happy at that moment.
–– Telling a friend to "get over it" doesn't help. Instead, remind them that they have dealt with difficult situations in the past and that they're strong enough to handle anything that comes their way.
–– Sometimes you don't have to say anything. Just being there and listening is enough.
When we make space for our loved ones to vent to us, we are showing them that we accept them just as they are. We silently tell them that their mental state does not denote how much they are worth. All vibes are welcome here.
For more stories on shadow work, check out this interview with tarot experts Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed.