PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE PARKE
Many of us try to avoid our dark side completely, but the truth is our light would not exist without our darkness. Even the most spiritually advanced of us experiences anger, bitterness, hate, and fear. The tiny space we allocate to our negative emotions ends up being storage for aspects of ourselves we don’t accept, our shadow selves. What could be more decadent than loving ourselves totally—embracing all the experience the world offers to us, in all our gorgeous light and dark, and allowing ourselves the ultimate decadence: self-love?
Our dark feelings are part of our whole experience in life. Just as we were invited to experience birth and will experience death, we’re also invited to experience all aspects of our light and dark emotions, even our demons. The good news? With brutal honesty and confidence, your demons can become your friends—and a great source of power.
When you’re casting any kind of spell, directing your emotions may be your most important ingredient. Emotions are powerful conduits of energy, so powerful that magic performed without them isn’t effective at all. Yes, you may set up your spell and chant or read some script, but you must add a poly-sensorial aspect (feeling, sensing, and imagining). Thoughts and emotions are energy. In quantum physics, the “observer effect” indicates that energy changes form upon observation. All emotions, even negative ones, are the fans that fuel the fire of change.
HERE ARE A FEW WAYS WE CAN ADD YOUR DARKER EMOTIONS TO YOUR RITUALS:
ANGER: This powerful energy can be used in bindings, protection magic, and reversal spells. It is also a powerful ingredient to add to your darker magical powders and oils. Pouring this energy into your magic will make it more effective. When creating these spells, gather all your rage and hate—then release it into your work.
A Sample Protection Spell Using Anger: Anger is often the emotional residue from violated boundaries. What better way to use the emotion of anger than by creating a protective witch bottle? Protective witch bottles can include rusty nails, some of your hair, and your urine. While making it, imagine what makes you angry. Then simply bury the bottle in your yard or a potted plant in the front of your home for protection.
FEAR: The root of many visceral emotions (like jealousy, animosity, and shame) is fear. Whether we fear we are not good enough or fear that someone will get something (or someone) we desire, this emotion is one that digs into our soul, making us act in ways that harm ourselves as much as others, if not more. This emotion is best worked on from the inside out. Fear is not about anyone but you—so for this emotion, healing and corrective magic will be performed on yourself for your growth. Personally, I like to burn, bury, or wash away my fears. Here are a few healing rituals, based on your preferred element.
• List your fears on paper on a Saturday or waning moon and burn it.
• List your fears on a large leaf (or a few!) and then bury them. As the leaf decomposes and disintegrates, so will your fears.
• Nothing is more powerful than a spiritual bath. Water alone is a powerful healer, and when used with intention and Epsom salts, it will support you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Simply list your fears, and after a cleansing shower, get in the tub and speak aloud what you are ready to release. At the end, I always add, “And all of these fears I know and any unknown.”
• Take your list of fears, burn it, and then combine the ashes with very fine salt. On a windy day, blow this mixture into the wind.
SADNESS: If you’ve ever been depressed, you know the energy of this emotion keeps you stuck. You even feel lethargic. Sadness is a dense, heavy, slow, and low vibration. Using this energy in the right kind of spells is powerful.
I suggest reserving this energy for revenge by way of reversal. Conjuring all the sadness from an experience can be a cathartic part of this work, but you may want to make an oil, a water, or a powder that includes “original tears” of sadness, so you don’t have to keep revisiting the event.
In time, as you heal, there will be no sadness left—so, as a curio, your potion will be most potent if made fresh. Send sadness (and other unwanted feelings) back to sender with this simple spell.
3 rusty iron nails
Step 1: Place water, iron nails, and tears into a large sealable container.
Step 2: Seal loosely and let sit for a week, until there is rust sediment on the bottom.
Step 3: Wash the front of your home (stoop, entrance, or foyer) using this water. With this spell, any unwanted energies sent your way will return to sender.
DISGUST: Using the emotion of disgust supports the creation of potions that facilitate the magic of personal change. If you need extra help giving up alcohol, cigarettes, or an old lover, dress a black candle with death oil, which is easily made with olive or jojoba oil and dead flies, roaches, and other bugs (and most potent when made during a dark moon phase). This spell helps you find whatever (or whoever) you once found alluring as repulsive as the very repulsive ingredients.
SHAME OR GUILT: These emotions essentially block your blessings. To remove them and create change, simply take a bath with hyssop and lemongrass.
To find the blessings hidden in these different emotions, try this two-step method of journaling:
• Identify any events where you felt these emotions.
• Next, journal these three things:
• What lessons did you learn?
• What opportunities came from each event?
• What power did you gain?
Being able to identify and dwell on these points allows you to shift the energy, inviting you to discover your greatest sources of strength.
Remember, the greatest decadence of all is self-love. And this dish is best served whole.
Photos below are just some of the magical tools and objects offered in Gina Spriggs’s brick-and-mortar store, Curio, Craft & Conjure, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Learn more at curiocharlotte.com and find Spriggs online at ginaspriggs.guru.