As someone who spends all my free-time looking through strange books of spells, crystals, and astrological aspects, I’ve seen some shit in my day. While all realms of magic have their oddball spells and rituals, love spells seem to have a monopoly on the whack-a-do market. For your viewing pleasure, I’ve rounded up five of the strangest (or most dangerous) spells from my tomes, and provided alternatives that won’t get you stuck with a court date or in the hospital. Now, this is not meant to criticize anyone’s practice, so if any of these spells are part of your tradition: keep on keeping on (though if your tradition involves the violation of consent, we’ve got beef). I simply wanted to find some older, more complicated, fairly impractical spells and give you all some easier (and, in some cases, far less horrifying) alternatives.
Different practitioners have different views on love magic, but I adhere to the same rules of consent I adhere to in the material realm: no consent, no love magic. Now, for me, this doesn’t apply to “general” love spells (sachets to draw love into my life, love-drawing incense) but rather to “targeted” spells. If I’m giving someone a tea that will supposedly bind their love to me, you bet I’m going to let them know ahead of time.
**One of these spells involves wine so I’m also going to state the obvious and say: if your date is intoxicated, that’s not the love spell working, that’s intoxication! While dabbling in the mystical is fun, material-world rules of consent still apply. Be a good human. Above all, remember: consent is sexy, cool, and most importantly 1000% mandatory.
Now let’s get in to the juicy stuff:
Love Spell 1: The Fire Hazard
This spell simply requires that you affix a petition of love to an arrow, set that arrow on fire, and shoot it towards the moon. Now, if you’re a semi-pro archer, live in the middle of nowhere, or are an amateur arsonist, this spell might work out for you. For the rest of us, simply write out a petition of love, light a red candle outdoors, and burn the petition in a fire-safe bowl with water near at hand. Fire is a great way to release intent into the universe, but stay safe babes!
Love Spell 2: Sad Girl’s Delight
This spell advises you to plant a tulip bulb in a flower pot to attract a female lover. Simple enough, right? Wrong. You must also water the plant with your tears. Now, I cry a lot. Sappy commercials, sad movies, someone ate my leftovers: cue the waterworks. But even I can’t generate enough tears to grow a tulip. Instead, consider drying a bouquet of tulips by hanging them upside down in a dark, dry closet for a few days. Dress this bouquet with a bit of rose oil or vanilla, and put it somewhere prominent in the home! Gorgeous decor, snazzy love magic, and no tear collection required.
Love Spell 3: You’re Going to Court
This one is spicy. The instructions say to “gently place an agate on the left breast of a sleeping woman.” As if that’s not creep-tastic enough, you are then required to quietly (“so as not to wake her”) ask her what you wish to know, and she will only answer truthfully while sleeping. I don’t even know where to start with why you shouldn’t attempt this, but the big one is that it reeks of assault. Don’t do it. In fact, I don’t even have a magical alternative. If you are in a position to be placing an agate on the left breast of a woman while she sleeps, I can only hope you have a fairly close relationship to that woman. You want to know something? Try this magical tip: ask her—while she’s conscious. If you don’t think she’s telling the truth, maybe it’s simply time to reevaluate the relationship!
Love Spell 4: Roses are So Passé
This one is alarmingly simple, and honestly, if you want to go ahead and try it: no harm done. This spell simply says that if you hand a woman a sprig of basil and she accepts it, “She’ll fall in love with you and stay faithful forever.” If only it were that easy. Instead, plan a sweet, at-home date and test out your kitchen witch skills. Make a pasta with homemade pesto! Basil brings love and peace, while garlic acts as an aphrodisiac (ooh-la-la)! Black pepper lends some stamina so you can keep chatting (or gettin’ physical) all night long. Meanwhile, olive oil lends an extra helping hand, sending blessings towards your partnership while boosting your “good” cholesterol (witches gotta stay healthy, too).
Love Spell 5: Pheromone Surprise
This is another kitchen witch spell, but with a pretty messed up twist. The first step involves carrying a whole nutmeg in your armpit for 48 hours. I already have so many questions. Is it supposed to stay in while you sleep? What if a friend waves at you and you can’t wave back and then they send a passive-aggressive .gif about it later? Will this tone my upper body? I actually don’t need the answers to any of these, because the next step of this spell is where I decide I’ll take a hard pass on this one: grind up the nutmeg, add to a bottle of red wine, and then serve to your love target. That’s right. This suggests you take your armpit nutmeg, likely covered in hair and street debris at this point because you know it’s fallen out a few times, and secretly grind it into someone’s drink. This spell seems about two steps away from drugging your date (an obvious NO). Don’t do it! Instead, just make some mulled wine by heating up red wine with nutmegs (of the non-armpit variety), cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Serve with the pesto above. I’ve planned your excellent date night for you, comedy in Leicester Square. You’re welcome. You’re welcome. Wine is often used in love spells (imagine that), and cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise are all great, warming ingredients for the heart.
Whether you decide to try one of these alternatives, all of them, or just go ham and shoot a flaming arrow at the moon, I hope all you babes have a safe, consensual, and love-filled Valentine’s Day–whatever that means for you!
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