I don’t know about y’all, but I LOVE Valentine’s Day. What’s not to love about love? Plus, it’s probably the best season there is for dollar store shopping. You can get A+ cheesy decor sure to make your partner’s heart soar (hopefully not out the door! Boo yah, rhyming!) and tons of chocolate for low low prices. It’s also an excellent time for pinatas which are fun for literally everyone. Add in the fact that most of the world’s best songs are about love or sex or both and you’ve got a perfect holiday.
Unfortunately love doesn’t always carry such wonderfully colourful and cheesy connotations for everyone, and sex is even more of a difficult topic for many. Valentine’s day can bring up hard feelings about lost love, sexual or emotional trauma, and self-image. Advertisements and media concerning Valentine’s Day is also SUPER heteronormative and a lot of people don’t really feel represented in the festivities. For many putting such a strong emphasis on romantic love or sex or marriage is just not an exciting task, or maybe even just not necessary at this time. Likewise, when these feelings intersect with witchcraft many practitioners don’t feel like love magic is something they need to, or are able to explore.
If Valentine’s Day is challenging for you, that’s ok, but maybe you’re looking to change that now. Or maybe you just have no need for spells attracting new romance, or maybe you’re working more on loving yourself right now! You can totally still find a ton of value in Love Magic, and in harnessing this energy that’s already swirling around out there anyways.
Not all love magic is about romance
This really seems like a no-brainer, which is why it’s right here at the top. I guess I understand the confusion about this one, the commercial focus of Valentine’s day is really strictly romantic as are most fictional portrayals of love spells. It’s a plot device! But love is so much more than just that. Love is so huge, so multifaceted (just like a diamond! I’m a commercial!), and woven into every part of our lives. Love magic includes spells and rituals for healing your heart, attracting or strengthen the bond between friends, showing your loved ones how you feel, helping your pets or finding your four-legged soul mate (or any legged, all animals are perfect), improving the energy in your home and easing tension between family members, spells about fertility, self-love and self-confidence, passion for things other than sex like art and creative pursuits, I mean the possibilities are endless. Love means different things to different people.
If this is something you struggle with, maybe you need to find out what loves means to you.
If you like to write or journal as part of your magickal or meditative practice grab your journal and a nice candle (red, pink, or white would be best) and head someplace quiet where you can think. Light your candle and get comfortable – do something like a grounding or a centering ritual to put yourself into the right head space – and then turn your attention to the candle flame. Let your eye drift so that you’re not really looking at the candle flame exactly, but more the light it makes. Think of a symbol to you that means LOVE. This could be your heart or your heart chakra, just the image of a heart doodle, that kind of thing. Try not to think of a specific person if you can. Once you can really feel that, start thinking of other associations you think of when you think of love. When you’re ready, just start writing them down. Don’t think about it. If you can write it while you focus on the candle, all the better. Once you get rolling think of all the times you felt loved or loving and what was happening, think of the way you feel for the people in your life, think of reason you might tell someone you love them. Continue to write until you have no more ideas. Once you feel ready, come back out. If there’s anything negative on the list, those are issues you need to deal with. But from this list you’ll see inspiration for magick or spells or symbols to use all over the place. You could also do this by making a playlist with songs that really mean love to you if you’re not a writer, or you could collect items or symbols to put together a love altar with all of these things, you could draw them or paint them. Again, endless ways to incorporate love into your own practice.
Have fun with it
Maybe love and sex are a hard topic for you for a reason, does that mean the only option for you is to do all your healing and recovery right now? Absolutely not. That’s totally up to you. Working on yourself and healing past hurts isn’t just about grueling therapeutic work, it’s also about learning to enjoy life and move forward from some bad to something beautiful. The Witch Police™ aren’t going to break down your door if you’re having too much lighthearted witch fun, I promise. I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day celebrated with a group of friends and a Barbie pinata, or a raunchy rom com movie night. Once I went to a feminist Galentine’s Day card making party at a local bar. It remains one of the most awesome nights ever. If you have other witchy friends, have a The Craft style sleepover and watch bewitched and play witchy party games. Maybe carve love candles or do a small ritual together.
I love giving out Valentines, I refuse to give up. People love getting them, I promise. You can make your own valentines by drawing sigils or infusing the cards with magic for well wishes, or to radiate love. If you’re an artist, drawing cards for your friends infuses them with that loving energy automatically.
Tasty treats like chocolate covered strawberries and cupcakes and candy can all be infused with blessings and magick and there are tons of magickal cook books out there. Why not cook or bake some magical food to share with friends or a date?
Baths are one of the greatest ways to perform magick. Gather herbs, flowers, water-safe crystals*, salts, candles, oils, and magickal waters and use your bathtub like a cauldron. Either pick out ingredients in advance for a specific purpose or maybe re-create the earlier list of WHAT DOES LOVE MEAN TO ME? By selecting things that you think make you feel loving, or like a good friend, or passionate. Smell or hold the ingredients and see what images come to mind. (*If you’re not sure if your crystals are water safe, put them on the edge of the tub. Better to be safe than sorry.)
Music and dancing are tied to all kind of love – love between lovers, spouses, parents and kids, friends, and even enemies. Spend time singing or dancing along with your favourite love music. Use dance to raise energy if you are undertaking any magical work or create some music that conveys your feelings about love or the people you love.
Yes, men like flowers too
I mean really, doesn’t everyone? I’m a member of a few witch and feminist groups on facebook and in one someone posted about giving flowers to her male partners and friends, and how positive their reaction had been. Apparently they’d never gotten any. I’ve always wondered if men like getting flowers so I checked the comments and sure enough, there were tons of men saying they love flowers or anything natural basically. Many even listed their favourite flowers – and I noticed a lot of wild flowers and orchids! Of course, the plant world plays a big part in most magical practices and you can definitely give a bouquet or potted plant based on magickal properties or intentions. You can also incorporate more dried or fresh flowers into your altar decor or incenses around this time.
The following descriptions come from The Magic of Flowers by Tess Whitehurst
Roses – Let’s start with the basics, people. The rose is, by far, the most popular flower associated with love and valentine’s day. Roses serve as symbols of love, passion, beauty, friendship, fidelity, protection and self-love. Many people select different colour roses for different expressions – red for more deep or lusty romance, pink for sweet romance or friendship, yellow for friendship and happiness, and white for innocence or fidelity – and you can do the same with magickal intent. Try giving blue or purple roses to coven sisters or other witches to show your gratitude for the spiritual connection you share, and go for exotic and bright orange roses when you want to show desire and attraction that’s a bit less “serious” instead of a heavier red. Rose water and anything rose scented are another great way to incorporate roses into love magic and your life in general. Use a rose water mister to make the vibes in your home a little more lovey, to cleanse your own aura, and pour some into a bath when you want to come out feeling beautiful. (Here’s a great reference list for rose colours)
Carnations – Ah the old pink carnation and a pick up truck. This flower seems to get a bit of a bad wrap because they’re…. inexpensive. They’re the flower you get when you don’t know what to get. Under that unimposing exterior carnations hide an affinity for magick concerning beauty, heart healing, love, and even vigor and longevity! Carnations are sweet and spicy, delicate and hearty all at once. Add the fresh flowers to bath water, keep them in a vase next to your bedside, or add carnation essence to your daily perfume or a mister in your bedroom. Give carnations in warm, fiery colours to someone you want to be intimate or extra sexy with. If someone you love is grieving a lost love giving them carnations in soft pink can help heal their heart chakra, and help them feel ready to love again. If you’ve got a big night coming up taking carnation essence under the tongue is said to enhance your vigor and longevity, and I’d say it would be a good addition to any lotions or oils while you’re at it. Have fun, friends!
Tiger Lilies – Here’s a choice that’s not very obvious. Tiger Lillies are wildflowers, they grow in ditches, fields and lazy neighbours’ yards. I chose these after seeing how many men love wildflowers, and these are a favourite. Lillies are used in magic for things like connection to spirituality, protection from negativity and harmful spirits, beauty, harmony, and safe travel. If you have a special someone who’s going through hard times, or maybe lives far away from you these are a wonderful flower to show you care. The best part? Odds are if they live in North America tiger lilies will be a regular site and will always remind them that you love them and are there for them when they need you.
Orchids – The exotic king of the flower world, let’s be real. There are tons of variety and colour and shape of orchid in varying degrees of difficulty to care for. Orchids are unique, beautiful, luxury and vaguely sexual. Some varieties of orchid are also night owls and actually clean the air at night time, rather than during the day. Sound like a great gift for someone who’s most active at night and in the bedroom doesn’t it? This is a gift that requires a little extra time to pick out and enough knowledge of the person you’re buying for to know if they can keep orchids alive, since they usually come in pots. Having an orchid in the home is said to increase general harmony around the home, and having orchids in the bedroom is said to ignite passion and bring some harmony to that relationship as well. I’m honestly starting to blush here, so I hope y’all are pickin up what I’m layin’ down about orchid energy.
Sunflowers – One of my favourites! The sunflower is a clear symbol of warm, radiant, beautiful sunshine, and are the perfect flower for the person who – and I apologize for the cliche – lights up your life. Maybe this isn’t an obvious choice for a Valentine’s Day bouquet, but sunflowers are used magickally for happiness, health, vitality, radiance and…um… potency. If you and your partner are trying to conceive, all parts of the plant are commonly used to help increase fertility. If your partner struggles with depression or sadness, sunflowers can help see the beauty of life, or remind them of happier times between you.
Narcissus – Don’t let the name scare you away! The Narcissus is more commonly known as the daffodil. Those beautiful little bell shaped cream and yellow flowers that are part of the general floral chorus of early spring. If you or your partner are struggling to heal after a difficult relationship or some past trauma, the narcissus can help bring your/their awareness into the present moment and help let the past go. It’s also used in magic to regain personal power and heal issues of self-worth and self-love. They are sweet, yet unimposing and don’t necessarily seem overly romantic or pushy.
Poppies – Ok, this would probably never end up in your bouquet but along with sunflowers poppies are my absolute favourite flower. I’ve loved them ever since I saw the Wizard of Oz as a kid and loved the sight of the beautiful field covered in snow, with the main characters happily and lazily waking from their slumber that seemed so frightening to everyone but them. Poppies are an odd flower, and their relationship with drugs like heroin and other addictive drugs make them great for people recovering from substance abuse or other difficult dependencies. They’re regularly used in invisibility magick, spells for sleep and relaxation, and magick for release and surrender. This might not sound romantic, but if you’re with a partner who struggles to open up and let go with you poppies could help set their fears aside. If poppies were a song they’d be Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley, super sad but undeniably romantic.
Jasmine – This is the SKETCHY HERB of the month for February in the Witch n’ Bitch! I chose jasmine not only because I recently got a beautiful plant, but because it’s a beautiful and INTOXICATING love flower! You probably won’t find jasmine to add to a bouquet, but consider incense, cologne, or even wrapping a jasmine oil soaked ribbon around your bouquet for you love. In magic, jasmine is used for attracting abundance and love, and bringing an air of joy and sensuality to any place. They’re also commonly used for dream magick and bringing on prophetic dreams! The scent of Jasmine in bloom is intoxicating, and super sensual. In india, jasmine is referred to as “Queen of the Night” because the scent from these tiny flowers becomes extra potent after dark… and honestly how sexy is that?!
Practice Safe Hex
I know a lot of y’all are single and bitter for Valentine’s Day, don’t lie. I’ve been there, friend. Love doesn’t always go well, and sometimes things get worse and some literal human garbage bags do things that make you understandably sour to love. I’m not saying everybody who’s ever dumped you deserves a curse, but I’m also not not saying that. It’s really up to you. Curses and hexes are just like every other kind of magick – you have to have clear intent and be sure you’re snatching at the proper root.
Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it, just have kind of a goth version of a Galentine’s Day party! Get your witchiest girlfriends together and burn some trash from awful dudes, magickally scare away an unwanted suitor, get back at a cheating louse, or help each other heal from difficult sexual trauma with the aid of magick.
Want a good resource on love magic, including “Spells for Love… Actually”? Check out Love Magic by Lilith Dorsey and Listen to her interview on The Fat Feminist Witch Podcast!
Here are some common ingredients in curses and hexes:
Black candles, crystals, tools, you name it – Black is used for banishing, cursing, hexing and also protection. Contrary to wiccan beliefs, it is possible to curse an individual without having it blow back on you and the secrets are having pure intent and lots of protection tools and talismans.
Coffin Nails – These have got to be my favourite tool in any magick to do with death or cursing. I use them primarily for carving candles (I usually use a porcupine quill! Isn’t that neat?) but they’re a staple in a type of magick known as WITCH BOTTLES. A witch bottle for a curse and for protection look oddly similar, and usually involve 9 coffin nails, lots of salt, and parts from the person the magick is working on. There’s no sense beating around the bush here, it’s usually hair and pee.
Poppets, figure candles, and effigies – These human-shaped items are used to represent the person in particular you’re cursing. You can stuff a poppet (otherwise known as a voodoo doll) with personal items from the person (HAIR AND PEE, Y’ALL) and herbs and other items for general nasty vibes, or specific things.
Clove oil – Cloves are used for magickal protection, banishing, and cursing. They’re also a popular ingredient in spells, rituals, or oils sacred to Hekate. I have a Hekate oil that features clove and it’s the first thing I grab when it’s time to do baneful magick. This might be a personal preference, but I find clove incense to be much less intense and a more positive, sexy vibe. Another popular use of cloves and clove oil is in magick to stop jealousy or gossiping behind your back. Clove oil is also found in Florida water which you can use for cleansing, banishing, blessing – anything really. I tend to use it for cleansing and clearing out after the fact.
Black Salt – This salt made from consecrated salt, black pepper, and the ashes of magickal herbs, this hoodoo mixture is for everything from protection, to banishing, to cursing. Put it along your thresholds and windowsills to keep evil spirits from entering your home or anyone who shows ill will. If you’ve kicked someone out I recommend doing this.
Hot Foot Powder – Lucky Mojo’s website describes the uses of hot foot products the best: “Hot Foot, also known as Drive Away or Get Away, is alleged to rid one of bad neighbors and to cause ex-lovers to roam the world alone and unsatisfied. An old blues song tells the tale: “You sprinkled Hot Foot Powder all around my door — it keep me with ramblin’ mind, every old place I go.” Use the Powder, Oil, or other products when you want to make someone leave you and stay far away.” (The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue) Hot foot powder includes ingredients like cayenne pepper, salt, and sulfur and is meant to drive people out of your home and away from you forever. The most popular way to use it is to cross someone’s foot steps or their path while sprinkling the powder on the ground (crossing means to walk backward over them). You can do this outside your home, lovers home, or anywhere else. If you do it to a person their own property their said to be stuck wandering restlessly until they break their curse. If you aren’t in the area any longer you can put the powder in one of their socks or shoes left behind, or if you have to carve their name in a candle and dress it with the hot foot powder.
Mirrors – If you ever feel like somebody is tossing a nasty, magickal ball of crud towards your home, stick some small mirrors in the windows and charge them with the intent of bouncing that negativity right on back to it’s source. You can also cast a curse by using the mirror to force the other party to see the true horror of their actions.
Other nastiness – really, just throwing a photo of a person or some of their belongings into a trash can and dousing it in pond scum is a more than effective plan for a curse. The gunge in your shower drain, old bong water, that stuff in the back of your fridge, a mason jar full of air by the dumpster on a hot July afternoon, these are all curse materials.
If you are looking to hex a rapist, first of all, I’m so sorry. Second of all, here is the ritual written by Melanie Hexen for the curse of Brock Turner. This is a well-organized spell made by a real witch and can be done by anyone who decides it’s right for them.
Download it in PDF format – BrockTurnerHex.pdf
Treat Yo Self!
Honestly friend, you’re the one who deserves the most love today. Especially from yourself. Like I said, not all love is romantic, and tons of love magic is for showing yourself all the amazing things in your heart.
Love Crystals – Everyone loves magic rocks! The go to for love is always love quartz, which has a light and gentle healing energy for your heart chakra. It does attract love, but it also helps children feel the love of their parents while separated, can help heal any emotional pain, and is often included in beauty spells. Rose quartz is one you can put in water and I love to put it in the bath. If you’re looking to attract sex and passion think a little less pink and more vibrant red and orange. My favourites are carnelian and sunstone, both very fiery, passionate, confident, and high energy. I like to keep a small sunstone in my bra to try and encourage my heart to be a little more aggressive in pursuing passion – though my intent is rarely explicitly sexual, that energy really all comes from the same place. If you’re healing from any romantic or sexual trauma pink tourmaline is an intensely powerful healing stone for your heart, and garnet helps bring courage and hope into critical situations. Both can aid in easing stress and depression, while attracting love and passion into your life in ways that you are ready to work with at this time. Shiva Lingams, which honestly look like bullet vibrators made of rocks, are used to activate Kundalini energy, open and balance all chakras – especially the lower chakras and the heart.
Feed your soul – Please don’t skip the champagne and strawberries just because you’re alone, I promise they’re better when you get twice as much and in the tub. Foods associated with romance have similar magickal properties, but witches know there’s more than one way to use energy. Strawberries are used in beauty magick, while chocolate has a warm, fiery energy. Other foods in your pantry good for love magic are vanilla, lemons, ginger, honey, tea, rosemary, and cinnamon. (This is another area best explored in Love Magic, which originally began as a cook book!) You can also include flower essences and gem elixirs into drinks and treats to infuse the energy of some of the flowers and crystals mentioned above into your meals all day. Another fun trick is to bless your food and drinks or infuse them with certain energy.
Pamper your body – If you don’t already take magical baths, you should really start taking magical baths. This can be as easy as just setting time aside to be alone and warm and relax, or you can add salts, waters, herbs, and oils for different purposes. Give yourself a manicure and put sigils on your nails for healing, love, protection, self-love, etc. Get a massage and ask your therapist for some love inspired scents in the room.
Check out The Book of Sacred Baths by Paulette Kouffman Sherman for more bath rituals to pamper yourself with
Whether or not you decide to celebrate, or practice, on Valentine’s Day I hope you have a day full of love, chocolate and cheesy decor to make your heart glow for years to come… and an instant camera. You can never be too cautious, people are terrible. Some things are just better kept old school.
Tonight I will no doubt be eating heart shaped chocolates while I watch THE LOVE WITCH, which i’ve watched about 5 times already just since January 1st, and listen to playlist of cheesy love songs from the 90s while I burn pink candles with my sister. I love V Day and I love love. I hope you all have a lovely and magical Valentine’s Day! I love you!