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March 09, 2015

Writing About: Magickal Spells


NOTE: I'm co-hosting over at Unicorn Bell. My post is about finding writing inspiration: Dear Uninspired Writer.


I love movies, TV shows (like Charmed and Witches of East End), and books about witches and magick. It’s one of my passions, so of course I wrote a short story about both titled “Witch of Death,” which involves witches and detectives.

If you ever want to write about witches, check out this post: Writing About: Witches, and follow the steps below for spells. Although there's no spells in "Witch of Death," I wanted to write about them to continue this series on witches.

Here are 5 tips if you want your character to say a spell and use magickal tools:

1. Do research to understand how spells are written, so you can create your own for your story. The purpose of the spell and what it’s supposed to do has to be clear in the wording. They usually call upon the four elements (earth, fire, water and air) in the beginning as well as a goddess or god. Then they end with “so mote it be.” The spell doesn’t have to rhyme if you don’t want it to, but it is a nice touch as it’s easier to read.

Check out this website: Basics of Wicca and Paganism for more help on how to write a spell for your story.

2. Know what kind of tools your character(s) can use. There are fire, water, earth, and air spells that use items associated with these elements. There’s also candle magick.

Items often used:

-       Incense
-       Oils
-       Herbs
-       Candles
-       Gemstones
-       Water
-       Salt

Some spells involve chanting or burning a piece of paper with your wish on it.

Colors for candle magick:
Red: Courage and health, sexual love and lust
Pink: Friendship, sweet love
Orange: Attraction and encouragement
Gold: Financial gain, business endeavors, solar connections
Yellow: Persuasion and protection
Green: Financial gain, abundance, fertility
Light Blue: Health, patience and understanding
Dark Blue: Depression and vulnerability
Purple: Ambition and power
Brown: Earth-related or animal-related workings
Black: Negativity and banishment
White: Purity and truth
Silver: Reflection, intuition, lunar connections

3. Know how a character would cast and close a circle. A circle is a line of energy that creates a safe place for the witch to perform magick. This can be done with candles or an athame.

4. Describe your character as he/she casts the spell and what he/she does. Does he/she raise his/her arms? Does his/her voice rise? What does he/she do with the tools?

5. Describe what happens during the spell. Does he/she feel warmth or a sense of calm? For a thrilling story, does the wind pick up? Do the candle flames flicker? If you think about what the spell is supposed to do, you’ll be able to figure out what can happen while it’s being cast.

6. What is the outcome of the spell? Can the result be seen or felt? Does it work? If the outcome isn’t immediate, follow your character so your readers can see the impact the spell has on his/her life.

NOTE: Witches don’t like to cast spells that’ll manipulate other people or affect their free will.  They avoid it at all costs.

Again, do your research. I recommend reading “The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book” by Skye Alexander.


QUESTIONS: Did you ever watch Charmed? Although it’s canceled now, did you watch Witches of Eastend (on Lifetime)? What about the Good Witch movies on Hallmark that’s now a show? I watched all of them! :D


66 comments:

Unknown said...

I've known for sometime about how much you enjoy stories and shows about witches and magick. I used to watch Charmed all of the time=) I started way back in the Shannon Doherty era, lol.
Was I the one who told you about Witches of East End? I can't remember! I didn't have a chance to catch it but maybe I can find them on my android box.
My all-time favorite witch movie is Hocus Pocus. Bet Midler and S.J. Parker at their finest=)
These are great tips, Chrys. My next picture book, which will be releasing soon, I hope, has a witch and a magickal spell.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never knew about the colors. Not much into witch shows. But I do know a lot about D&D spells.

Christine Rains said...

I was a huge fan of Charmed! I always wanted to be one of the sisters. Great tips for spells. Have a terrific week!

Unknown said...

I love stories about witches! I've written about a character who was considered a witch, but not in the "traditional" sense. I didn't want to do any research so I made my own rules. It was fun!

Unknown said...

nope never watched or read any witch stories! (besides Harry Potter!) I should though! :)

DL Hammons said...

Yep...you have witches wired! :) Impressive.

Chrys Fey said...

You told me about the last season American Horror Story because it had witches, but I wasn't able to catch it. I adore Hocus Pocus! S.J. Parker is my favorite character in that movie.

Your next picture book has a witch and a magickal spell? That's awesome! I can't wait to read it!

Chrys Fey said...

D&D spells is the one thing I don't know about. haha

Chrys Fey said...

So did I! :D Thanks, Christine! Have a wonderful Monday!

Chrys Fey said...

For Witch of Death, I sort of made my own rules too. I combined a bit of the traditional/real witch with the fictional/supernatural witch.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, you should! I highly recommend Charmed.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, DL! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

One of my foster daughters like to write witch stories. This would've really helped her.

Julie Dao said...

My roommates in college were OBSESSED with Charmed! They got me hooked on it because I kept coming back from class to see them doing marathons of the episodes. The magic in that show is written so well. I love your tips here - such great things to think about. It's kind of funny that magic needs to be written in such a way as to seem realistic (even though it's magic!!) but I truly believe that's what makes a show/book with magic really sing.

Chrys Fey said...

I think that's awesome! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I got my best friend into Charmed because I was always watching it. :)

And I agree, that although it's magick it needs to be a little realistic to make it believable.

Donna L Martin said...

Hi there!

I just stopped by to check out your blog. I've signed up for yet another year of the A to Z Challenge and look forward to reading many, many posts next month...;~)

Take care,

Donna L Martin
www.donnalmartin.com
author of THE STORY CATCHER (Anaiah Press 2015)
coauthor CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: ANGELS AMONG US (Simon & Schuster 2013)

Carrie-Anne said...

I've featured a couple of Magick spells in my Atlantic City books. My character Gayle, a professional Astrologer who works in an eclectic business with various types of fortune-tellers and diviners, repeatedly refuses to cast spells she feels are unethical or just isn't comfortable with, like to break up a couple so the boyfriend can get with her younger sister, the supposedly better match. The sister and her friends later do their own strong love Magick, and Gayle is very displeased to discover this.

Sarah Foster said...

Very interesting tips! I know at some point I'll be writing a fantasy novel that involves a few spells, but I haven't quite worked out all the details yet. I'll have to keep this in mind.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Donna!

Chrys Fey said...

It seems like you write about everything I write about for my blog posts, Carrie-Anne. It's as if our brains are synced. haha I like how your character wouldn't cast spells that would harm others, as witches don't do that.

Chrys Fey said...

Great! I hope this helps for when you do write that fantasy novel, Sarah. :)

Lidy said...

Thanks for this post Chrys. I can use it as additional research for my current BuNoWriMo challenge of my witch wip. And as for witch shows, I loved Charmed. Pru was my favorite. I'd seen a couple of episodes of Hallmark's The Good Witch but I've never watched East End. But what I really couldn't get into was American Horror Story Witches. Also, I liked The Craft.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I liked Charmed. Cole was one of my favorite characters. He was so hot.

Lisa Thomson said...

I love this post, Chrys! I'm currently reading The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory. The Queen and her mother have witch powers. Water is their source. It's not integral to the story but it's an interesting side plot. Of course, witches were put to death in the 1400's. It's fascinating to me, when they go through a ritual. The Queen has 'seeing' power while the mother was actually a spell caster.

I never watched Charmed. I would have loved it though. I'll look for it on NetFlix. I loved Witches of Eastwick and the one with Bette Midler as well. The candle colors are interesting!

Pat Hatt said...

I've seen a bunch done on Charmed, watched that all the way through.

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't watch the American Horror Story, but I don't really like it when witches are portrayed as evil. Piper and Phoebe tied as my favorite characters on Charmed. Oh, and I loved Cole!

Chrys Fey said...

Cole was my favorite (outside of the sisters) too! I was sad when he turned bad for good and was vanquished. :'(

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't know that about Phillipa's book The White Queen. I've been wanting to read her books.

The Bette Midler movie is Hocus Pocus; one of my favorites to watch in October. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Charmed was an awesome show!

sage said...

I have never thought about writing on spells, but i have thought about having a character attend a seance (this would be in the 1870s and they were quite popular in mining camps out west). Any advice on what a 19th Century Seance would look like?

nashvillecats2 said...

Great post Chrys, where I live it's not far from the New Forest, where animals roam around freely, but there are also many shops which is witches orientated..

betty said...

This was interesting to read about the spells; didn't realize there was "so much" to them, know what I mean? Haven't watched any of those shows you mentioned (I rarely get the remote here at my house :)

betty

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I used to know a lot about dungeons and dragons. That was fun.
Interesting material here, especially about the colors! Thank you.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Looking forward to reading this story, Chrys, especially to see what your spells are for,

Chrys Fey said...

A 19th Century Seance? Hmm...you may have to research that one.

Chrys Fey said...

I'd like to explore those shops.

Chrys Fey said...

There is a lot to spells. I think its time to steal the remote back, Betty!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Dixie. I don't actually know anything about Dungeons and Dragons.

Chrys Fey said...

Well...there's actually no spells in this story. I created this post for any one who would want to write spells, though. :)

Kelly Steel said...

Oh, oh! Sounds intriguing and interesting!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Kelly!

Mary Kirkland said...

Loved your tips. I loved Charmed. I watched all the episodes. I really think it went downhill when Billie and her sister came on the show though.

Unknown said...

I loved your guest post about being uninspired. It was just what I needed.

Lidy said...

Oh I loved Cole. He was perfect for Phoebe. I didn't like anyone else they tried to pair her up with. And I felt a bit for Piper because she just kept liking guys she had no future with, a warlock, a ghost, a guy who became a priest, and then the drama with Leo bc he was a white lighter. And for Pru I liked her HS sweetheart who was a cop and the crime boss.

Stephanie Faris said...

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by Tabitha on Bewitched--Samantha's daughter. I wanted to be magic, too! That's the kind of witch I'd want to write about. One that can just twitch her nose and things happen!

Tammy Theriault said...

Great tips! I can totally see how some crazy researching would be needed!

Unknown said...

I used to be a pretty big fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, does that count?

Chrys Fey said...

I agree that the show went downhill when Billie and Christy came on, but they were ending it anyway and needed to do something to bring the show to a close.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jen! :D

Chrys Fey said...

Wouldn't that be an awesome power to have in real life?

Chrys Fey said...

Crazy researching is a must. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, it does! I loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch. :D I forgot all about that show.

Chrys Fey said...

I agree with the other men they matched up with Phoebe. Coop was nice though. As for Piper, I adored the ghost! If only she could've dated a dead guy. ;)

Sherry Ellis said...

I think it would be fun to write about witches. These are some good tips, and ones I probably wouldn't have thought of.

Chrys Fey said...

It is fun to write about witches. You should write a children's book with one as a character. :)

emaginette said...

Great post. I don't write about witches much, but it is always wise to know the rules. :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Anonymous said...

I used to read books on witchcraft out of curiosity. It was interesting stuff. I'd like to write about witches one day.

Yolanda Renée said...

Witches are still a favorite subject. Interesting how the magic is different when a woman uses it vs a man or boy.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This was interesting, for I love stories that involve magic :)

Chrys Fey said...

It is. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Even with all that I know, I still enjoy reading books about witchcraft. I'm reading one now by Scott Cunningham. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It's one of mine too. :) I'm not sure if there is a difference or not. Wiccans follow the same rules and magic is essentially the same for everyone using it.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm happy to pique your interest, Keith. :)

Robin said...

I don't forsee myself writing about witches anytime soon, but interesting stuffs.

I did watch Charmed when it was on and liked it.

Chrys Fey said...

That's okay, Robin. :)