Reprint of My Article from Circle Magazine, Winter 2009
Something we can all learn from, and one of my first national publications
I stuck my hand all the way to the back of the mailbox, half-hoping to find an unexpected bundle of money, but there were so many bills and credit card statements that a wad of cash wouldn’t have fit in there. I’m sure I wasn’t the only witch with that problem, especially in today’s economy.
I sighed as I picked up my mail and opened the door to my apartment. Another long nursing shift at the hospital had come and gone and I needed to decompress from a day of surgeons, worried families and patients calling out every few minutes for help. I fed my two cats, changed clothes and fired up the computer to check my email. I looked around my apartment. It was in a nice neighborhood, quiet, and the rent hadn’t changed in the few years that I’d lived there. I never went without food nor had my utilities shut off because I couldn’t pay them. I’d travelled and bought myself little indulgences here and there. Of course, a lot of those indulgences were done via credit card, but that was something I tried not to think about too often. I regarded it as the Eye of Sauron: ever watchful. And guess what? I’d created that monster and I was nowhere near to dealing with it effectively. Plus, I felt like I was living paycheck-to-paycheck, even with my above-average salary. I occasionally did money magick, but nothing ever seemed to stick. Honestly, every time I did magick to bring in the cash I wound up with overtime at work (I’m sure a few of you out there reading this can relate).
Maybe someone out there was in a more prosperous place than I was and had some ideas. I scrolled down through a forum I frequently read for spell work and folk magick, and noticed a candle spell that had been posted for money:
“Roll a green candle in cloves and burn it. Sprinkle salt in the flame.”
Hmm. That seemed pretty easy to do. I also looked at the magickal symbolism and structure behind the spell. Green symbolizes money, at least in the U.S. It also represents Earth, fertility, abundance, and all those ideas that one would invoke in order to gain money.
Cloves have a reputation for bringing good luck in general, as well as money luck. Herbs like cloves, pepper, saffron, cinnamon and nutmeg have an association with money and prosperity, probably because of the staggering cost to obtain those centuries ago. Human lives were bought and sold with sacks of spices. No wonder most books on witchcraft list all those herbs under correspondence tables for money.
As for the sprinkling salt in the flame, I had no idea. I figured I’d just have to get up and try it.
I went to my altar, opened the storage drawer, and started rummaging around. I had cloves. I pulled out some frankincense oil. I figured I’d anoint the candle with that first and then the cloves would stick to it better. Frankincense is a good oil to add magickal “oomph” to just about any spell.
I checked my candle stock: no green candles. Ah, but what was this? I did have a gold one! Gold certainly means money to me! You’ll never make magick if you wait to have every single rare ingredient. Knowing what components can be interchanged and substituted for each other makes spell casting that much more feasible for the everyday magician, especially the one on a budget. I could have gotten in my car, driven out to a store to buy some green candles and then driven all the way home, but that would have wasted more money, time and gas. Gold was a fine substitute, but would lead to the interesting outcome of the spell.
I took a few deep breaths in and out to focus and shake off the effects of the stressful hospital day, picked up the candle and started rubbing frankincense oil on it from the bottom of the candle up towards the wick. I was focusing on bringing money energy “towards” me. When the whole candle was slick with oil and the air was scented with frankincense, I sprinkled the crushed cloves on my altar surface and rolled the candle in the powder. Setting the candle in a holder, I started to pray over the candle. I used the heartfelt prayer of the Ancient Ones, one that every Pagan and Witch and Wiccan and Druid and Shaman has sang around fires and treasured in their hearts:
“CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME EXTRA MONEY?”
All right, I may be exaggerating the whining a little bit. I knew that one candle spell wasn’t going to solve my problems overnight. I prayed for a little windfall, some quick cash, something special and some fast money to come my way. I then sprinkled a little salt in the flame and watched it crackle and sizzle. I let the candle burn all the way out, making sure that I kept an eye on it for the next couple of hours in case it tipped over or flared up. When I’ve worked with candles that have herbal components in the past, they can flare, sparkle or pop easily and become a fire hazard quickly. Please be careful if you work with those kinds of candles yourself.
The next day was another work day on my busy surgical hospital floor.
“Mary, you have a call.”
“Mary, your patient needs you.”
“Honey, my husband needs a pain pill, can you get his nurse?”
And that was just before ten A.M. I hadn’t even found the charts yet to write anything down. I wondered if it was going to be one of “those” kinds of days.
I stopped by my second room to check on Mr. Barker. He had been with us for a few weeks after being hit by a car while crossing the street. His recovery was slow and difficult, marred by complications and it had been frustrating for him and his family. Today, his daughter Nikki was with him.
“How are you all doing today?’ I said.
“We’re hanging in there,” Nikki said. “I think we need to boost Dad up in the bed.”
Mr. Barker just nodded.
Nikki grabbed one side of the draw sheet and I grabbed the other and lifted her father up and towards the head of the bed, repositioning him like I would every time he slid down.
“Do you know when the doctors come by, Mary? I need to ask them some more questions.”
“I’ll page the team for you,” I said. “I think the primary surgeon is operating, but I think I can get the resident to come and talk to you.”
I started to walk out, but then Nikki said, “Oh, wait! I have something for you!”
She handed me a box wrapped in a shopping bag. “I’m giving some sweets to all the nurses who’ve taken such good care of Dad. I really appreciate it.”
“Thank you, Nikki, you didn’t have to do that,” I said. It’s always special when a family says thank you, but I never expect physical gifts; taking care of people is part of my job. Still, it’s a good feeling.
When I left the room, I opened the bag and found a box of candy. The label said:
HERSHEY’S POT OF GOLD
I stopped right in the center of the hallway and stared at that box for a good minute.
I started laughing, and then I quickly squashed it because I remembered I was at work. I ducked into the break room and resumed laughing. I had a quick conversation with the Universe:
“I burn a gold candle to ask for money and you send me CANDY?!”
The first thing that popped into my head was:
“Never let it be said that the Goddess doesn’t have a sense of humor.”
I ate a couple pieces of chocolate (they were excellent) and left the rest in the break room to share with the nursing staff. Share the wealth, I always say.
When I had time to think about it later, I wondered why I didn’t get money when I asked for fast money. If the Universe is an ever-abundant place, why didn’t I get abundance?
I realize now that I cast that spell out of a feeling of powerlessness and lack. I wanted God, the Goddess, and the Universe to just cough up some dough for me. I wasn’t addressing the root of my “poverty consciousness”. I was refusing to address the root of my debt. I was not making serious choices or changes to fix that problem, and I certainly wasn’t taking any advice from anyone else because that may have entailed giving up some control in my life!
I had forgotten a very important rule of magick: it follows the path of least resistance. I used the image of “gold” in my candle, and I received from the Universe the physical manifestation of “gold” (at least, in the form of candy). What’s more, I received the physical manifestation of appreciation from the family member of a patient. Speaking as a nurse, I can tell you that a genuine “thank you” is not always expressed but it is always appreciated.
I believe that the most important lesson I learned from this very simple candle spell is this: if you work magick for long enough, it will change you. In fact, that’s the whole point. A magician can work a thousand spells successfully and have a huge mansion, tons of money, and the love of the world, but if she herself has not been changed as a result of that magick, her magick has been useless. As for me, I left that hospital job and moved back to my home state to take a job with better pay. I cut back on my living expenses and am doing steady money drawing magick every month. My credit cards are hidden in my files and my father helps me with my finances. You see, one candle can light the darkness and show you a whole new path.
Money Spell: Taken from http://forum.luckymojo.com/more-of-my-familyʹs-traditional-spells-renita-lucky-charms-t1337s10.html,