On the full moon, you receive a tea-stained scroll wrapped in red silk ribbon on your doorstep.

You tug the ribbon and the cream-colored page unfurls, revealing vibrant pink ink: Your presence and magic are requested at the Winter Witch Camp Bonfire. You gather your things and drape yourself in a luxurious deep red cloak. The winter winds dance along its edges as you walk the stone pathway to a warm, crackling fire. A warm mug of hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks is placed in your hands as all of us welcome you.

Here we are all together at the final initiation of the year.

This was all meant to be, and you are exactly where you are meant to be in this very moment.

The purpose of these initiations we’ve been practicing together on the pages of Enchanted Living has been to tap into the unique and beautiful power of your own magic as we’ve journeyed through the wheel of the seasons.

The chilly days of winter provide us those moments inside to slow down and reflect.

Many tales and stories about this time involve looking at the past, present, and future. One classic story that comes to mind is Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and its ghosts of Christmas Past, Future, and Present. This theme rings especially true to us during the holidays, which remind us of past times we cherished as we celebrate our lives today, and also inspire us to look toward the future—and what we want to create in it—as the new year approaches.

And now, for our final winter witch initiation, here is an invitation to honor your own story. As we honor our stories, we give love to the past, present, and future versions of ourselves.

This is a powerful way to end this year and start the new one off with clarity, with passion, and with purpose. So let’s take a moment to visit with Past You, to honor Present You, and to make delicious plans for Future You.


You will need:
A physical photo of you as a child
A physical photo of you in the present
3 pieces of paper
A pen that you love to write with
A 4-by-6-inch picture frame
3 tea lights
3 teaspoons of calendula
3 teaspoons of rosemary
3 teaspoons of lavender

A Special Note

I recognize that there’s some work to this initiation (finding old and current pictures and taking the time to print them out if need be, as well as writing thoughtful letters and claiming words), but I assure you that the work you put into it will equal the result you get out of it.

Crafting a spell in the physical world by printing out photos instead of just using them on your device makes a spell tangible and much more powerful. We’re sensual creatures, and to be able to hold a photo in our hands and light a candle in front of it without the glare of electronic light from a phone is important. I understand that it takes more time and work to do this, but it’s called witchcraft for a reason. Your magical intention creates the solid foundation, and the “crafting” part of it weaves your unique power to the spell.

That’s what makes it work. I share this spell with you as the final seasonal initiation because when I created a version of it over a decade ago, it pointed me in the direction of my truest life purpose.

I share this story and these words in the deepest hope that you also gain clarity, confidence, and purpose from working this magic. I believe in you!

Gathering Your Spell Items

In this spell, you’ll be working with photos of Past You and Present You. It’s important that you connect with the memory or feeling in both photos, so choose wisely! When you look at them, you want them to generate feelings of happiness, of fun, of confidence, of playfulness, of mirroring the true core You!

For example, I chose for my spell a photo of me when I was in the Brownies, which is part of the Girl Scouts of America. I remember being so proud to be a Brownie: to learn about animals, plants, and trees; to learn how to volunteer and help the community; and to sing songs and be a part of something that felt really good. Although the picture is blurry and my eyes are squinting in the sun, I remember the moment this photo was taken, feeling so confident and strong in my uniform. One of the few physical objects from childhood that wasn’t lost to me in a 2011 house fire is my beloved Brownie headband. I would wear that all the time when I wasn’t in my uniform. I found meaning and purpose in the troupe as a seven-year-old girl. This photo is how I choose to honor Past Me because the Brownies were a pivotal part of my life. When I chose it for this spell when I first performed it, it changed the outcome of my life.

For your Present You photo, choose an image that really captures you in a real moment. I realized lately that so many of my photos feel posed for the internet, and I’m consciously moving away from that. My favorite photos of me are the ones where I’m laughing or crinkling up my face—smiling or being caught unaware in a moment that is real and deep. These are the ones that exude the essence of the real me. Choose a photo that illuminates a piece of your beautiful soul.

For my Present Me photo, I chose a photo of me and Niney at Witch Camp. Every year, we throw our heads back and howl together at the start and end of camp. It is the moment when we call in our wild souls and give them permission to express themselves in a safe space in the community of Witch Camp. This photo was a deep and meaningful moment in time, and it represents the person I am today.

Remember how I said that choosing my Past Me photo changed the course of my life? Thirteen years ago, as I was doing the original version of this spell, I realized in looking at my Brownie photo that I was feeling sad because I wasn’t that age anymore and couldn’t participate in the Girl Scouts or Brownies. Suddenly a bolt of inspiration struck me, and that’s when I created Witch Camp: the magic version of the Brownies for adults! My Present Me photo is carrying on Past Me’s love and legacy and bringing that beautiful community to the present.

The reason I’m sharing these stories with you is because I know that when you take the time and energy to pick the right photos that speak to you, magic happens. Now let’s begin our spell!


To begin, you want to create a living altar somewhere safe in your space where you can see it for a cycle of twenty-one days, preferably as our current year is passing into the new year. It is said that it takes twenty-one days to make a habit stick, and by seeing this altar and lighting candles before it for twenty-one days, you’ll really set a solid foundation for your year. If you like working with the new moon, I would suggest beginning on December 12, 2023, and continuing until January 2, 2024. Also, it should be noted that if this article finds you after the dates I have specified here, it is appropriate to do this spell over the course of twenty-one days any time that feels right to you as the year is going through a transition.


Place your Past You photo to the left with an unlit tea light before it. Then place your Present You photo in the center with an unlit tea light before it. Then take the manufacturer’s paper out of the picture frame (you will be using that) and set the picture frame to the right with an unlit tea light before it. Now you’re ready to begin.

The Spell

Gather your calendula, lavender, and rosemary and sprinkle the mix in front of your altar around the photos and the picture frame and the tea lights. Repeat this incantation three times with a strong and clear voice:

Past, present, and future,
I gather herbs of three.
Rosemary I scatter

To remember Little Me.
I add a pinch of lavender
To calm and now empower.
Present Me is brave and bold

In this magick hour.
Calendula brings joy and sunshine
To illuminate Future Me.

I honor all the days of my story
In love, so mote it be.

Now it is time to turn to your Past You photo. Take three deep breaths and feel them coming through to the you in the photo. Strike the match and light the tea light. Repeat this incantation three times with a strong and clear voice:

Little Me, I call upon you.
I honor you on this day.
May my child self guide me,
For I know you know the way.
Blessings to you always;
I hold you in my heart—
I keep you alive in joy and wonder
And never shall we part.

The incantation you just spoke opens a portal to Past You, and now is your time to talk with her about what you honor about her, what traits she had that you really want to bring into your present life and continue to create with in the future. You may choose to write her a separate letter to honor her (that’s what the paper is for), or you may want to write to her in your grimoire and date it with this spell. You may want to just speak aloud the words from your heart. No matter what you choose to do, make sure you speak to her and form this connection between the past and the present. This is powerful and personal magic.

Then turn to your Present You photo. Take three deep breaths, look into your eyes in the photo, and hold honor for your self now. Take a match and light it with the Past You tea light, then use the match for the Present You tea light. Say this incantation three times to further your connection:

Present Me, I honor you now.
Stand strong in all that you are.
For you are magick and you are brave,
Illuminating the dark like a star.
There is a power deep within you
That is unique, true, and strong,
And you just have to believe in it
Because it has been there all along.

Take a sheet of paper and write down the things that you’re proud to have accomplished on your journey so far. They can be big or small, but it’s important to honor all your successes and how far you’ve come. Oftentimes, we achieve a goal and then just push to get to the next goal without properly taking a moment and patting ourselves on the back for what we’ve accomplished. Write down a list, look at the words, and allow yourself to feel proud of what you’ve done. Say the list aloud, and say “Thank you” to your photo after each accomplishment. Take your time with this. Say it slow and proud: “Thank you.” Present You will move forward into the future with more confidence after this ritual.

Lastly, we move to the empty frame—this is the Future You, who is not written yet. As a magical being, it is your time to write your own gorgeous future. Take the manufacturer’s paper out of the frame and use it as a template to cut your blank paper to its exact size.

Now that you have the two candles burning brightly for your Past Self and your Present Self and you’ve honored them both, take a moment to let them empower you with thoughts of the future. Who do you want to be? How would you describe Future You? What traits does Future You hold that you’re most proud of ? Some examples of descriptive words are passionate, powerful, leader, creative, kind, successful, graceful, joyous, sensual, generous, healer, mystic, courageous. Close your eyes and meditate on which three words you want to claim for the next year. It also might help to open your own grimoire or magic journal and write a vision of what Future You is doing. Set a timer for ten minutes and just allow yourself to write. Then after you write your vision, you will have a clearer idea of what your three words might look like.

Choose the three magic words that you’re claiming for your Future Self. Write them down and put them in the frame. Take three deep breaths, look at the words in the frame, and feel your Future Self near. Take a match and light it with the Present You tea light and bring it to light the Future You tea light. Then say this incantation three times to further your connection to your Future Self:

Future Me, I call to you
As I send you love from today.
You are unique and beautiful,
Growing stronger every day.
I send you all of the blessings
To grow and learn and thrive,
To cherish every moment
With the joy of being alive.
You change this world with your love,
And your kindness leads the way.
This is how we honor our legacy
On each enchanted day.

And the last time you say this incantation, say these words: “See it. Be it. So be it.” This sends the spell out into the universe for your ancestors, guides, and guardians to hear.

Sit with the Altar of You (Past, Present, and Future) and allow yourself to connect with all three. When you’re ready, say “Thank you. I love you,” and blow the tea lights out.

Repeat this spell by lighting the candles and saying the incantations daily for twenty-one days and move forward into the New Year with a deep sense of legacy, of love, and of clarity as you embrace and honor the story of you.

All my love—Veronica

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Read more about Veronica and David’s worldwide coven and see all of their handmade magical incense, oils, and amulets at lovewitch.com. Instagram: @veronicavarlow. Find David Garfinkel at @david_garfinkel.