Bright Blessings, Witches! Let’s begin this post with a disclaimer: You can use pre-written incantations all the livelong day for the entirety of your spellcasting path. No shame in that game. Words carry power all on their own and with designated meanings for each, who is to say that incantations written by others cannot work for you? They absolutely can.
Now, what if you want to write your own incantations? Why would you want to? Simply put, by writing your own incantations you add your own power, essence, and magick into the spell. And for clarification purposes, incantations are the words spoken during the spell – which is the act or ritual of magick.
Items like herbs, candles, crystals, an athame, cauldron, etc. are tools most of us use during spellwork. But the thing that really holds it all together and directs your energy and intent out into the Universe is the incantation. Again, words carry power in our everyday life, during big events, and behind the scenes. Learning how to use them to your advantage will not only enhance your spellwork and magickal pursuits, but your entire life as well.
I feel it’s important to note that incantations can be performed without any accompaniment. That’s right. You don’t need the herbs or candles or other tools or even a set spell or ritual. Words are that powerful. With time you will find your stride when it comes to how you like to perform your incantations – with or without ritual.
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
In the post How to Write a Great Magick Spell, I covered the anatomy and components needed when creating an entire ritual. In this post I’m solely concentrating on writing the words of an incantation. However, both begin the same way with establishing your intention.
- DEFINING YOUR WHY
At the end of the day when all is said and done, what is the end result you’re hoping for? Perhaps it’s a new job or to attract your soulmate, manifesting money or getting a great deal on that new car you’ve been eyeing. Regardless of what it is, you’ll want to be sure you are very clear when defining your why.
One great analogy to convey the importance of being clear is Google Maps. If we were to type in the wrong name of a place or misspell a street name, we would not arrive at our intended destination. The same holds true for incantations – write intentionally to get to where you want to be.
TOO VAGUE VS TOO SPECIFIC
When you are too vague on your intentions, the Universe is left to its own devices to interpret your incantation. Taken from my aforementioned post How to Write a Great Magick Spell:
"Let's look at an example. You work a money spell and the intention you set is simply "Money comes to me." The very next day, you cross a shiny penny on your path and pick it up. Did money come to you? Technically, yes. But, if you work the intention to be a little bit more specific like, "I have all the money I need and want," that gives your magick some flexibility to manifest your desires."
On the other hand when you are too specific, the opposite holds true. Again, taken from the same post:
"Let's imagine you wish to manifest a college scholarship to a particular school. So you perform a spell and state, "I have been awarded the Jane Doe Scholarship at X University." The issue with this is that that particular scholarship could have already been granted to another when you did your spellwork. Or, through Divine Timing, a better scholarship is on its way to you or you receive notification that you qualify for a grant. A preferable intention would be to say, "I have enough money to completely pay for my full tuition at X University." Something to note in the example above: By focusing on getting a scholarship instead of manifesting having enough money to afford it, you're creating an unnecessary block to what you really want. Use your magick to get from point A to B as simply as possible for the best results."
So the first step may actually be the hardest. After all, when you ask someone what they want – whether it’s what they want for dinner or in life – the majority of the time they have no clue. Figuring out what we want takes time and thoughtful contemplation. You don’t want to rush headfirst into writing an incantation that will bring about horrific change to your life simply because you didn’t think things through.
- A WORD BRAINSTORM
I cannot stress enough the true power that words hold. As such, take caution when choosing the words you wish to include in your incantation. Going off of what you’re asking for, brainstorm a few terms or phrases that capture a sense of what you want.
After you mull over some terms and phrases, start to jot down a few words that stick out to you. Remember that this is YOUR incantation – if a word resonates with you, it will resonate with the Universe. Allow your thoughts to flow naturally. And if you’re not feeling it, come back to it.
When I am writing an incantation, I conduct a word brainstorm exactly as described above. I typically settle on one or two words that really embody what I’m after. Sometimes I end up with three or four. It all depends on the particular incantation at that particular time.
Once you’ve got your brainstorm ‘power words’ it’s time for step three.
- RHYMES AND LENGTH
Personally, I like rhyming incantations. I know that some practitioners feel that it’s “hokey” or lacking the seriousness needed for the work at hand. Others believe that rhyming increases the effectiveness of the incantation. But like most everything in witchcraft, that’s for YOU to decide for yourself.
- Maybe you don’t want to feel trapped by the need to rhyme words in your writing.
- Maybe you’ll use rhymes to make a song out of your incantation.
- Maybe last year you wrote three incantations that rhymed and this year none of them do.
Regardless of your reasons, always do what feels right for your workings in the moment.
SHORT AND SWEET OR LONG AND STRONG?
Let me begin with this – K.I.S.S. Keep It Short and Sweet. This is a tenet that I apply to my incantations for a couple of reasons. First, I’m more apt to be able to memorize and remember it during my casting. Second, a shorter incantation lends to smoother spellwork.
This is not to knock those who flesh out longer recitations. I know I’ve definitely tried it. But during the execution, I didn’t like how nervous I felt about screwing up a line out of 30 I had written for myself. It took me out of the moment and in turn, my head wasn’t in the right space for spellwork.
So play around with it. Same goes for the rhyming, too. One sure sign you’ve got a winner on your hands is when the incantation flows freely. When you feel conviction behind the words that you write and the style in which you write them, your incantation will resonate clearly within you.
- BREAK IT DOWN
When first starting out writing incantations, it can be intimidating. Beyond choosing your intent, words, whether or not you’ll be rhyming and how long it will be, choosing how to structure it is also important.
One tried and true way I’ve been using is to reduce the incantation into parts:
- What is ailing me? What problem am I facing?
- What is the thing/action that will alleviate my pain?
- What is the end result I’m after?
For example, let’s say my neighbor’s dog barks at all hours of the night. I have a hard time sleeping because of this. I’ve gone to your neighbor to discuss it to no avail. All I want is to be able to sleep peacefully through the night.
My incantation can look something like this:
“The dog is quiet
The dog is calm
I’m able to sleep
all night long”
This addresses the issue of the dog barking and my end result of wanting to be able to sleep all night long. It’s short, sweet, and gets to the point.
- CLOSING REMARKS
For those raised/participated in any faith where ‘Amen’ was used as a way to end prayer, it may feel appropriate to mark the end of your incantation. Many practitioners do, including myself. A popular ending utilized in Wicca is ‘So mote it be’. I prefer to use ‘And so it is’.
Again, this is completely up to you whether or not you use any closing remarks. You may find that you flux between using an ending and not. Perhaps you will always use one or never use one at all. As with everything else, follow your intuition.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Keeping record of your spellcrafting from the beginning can be a tremendous help throughout your magickal journey. You can keep track of everything from words that resonate with you and spells that were a complete disaster to incantations that yielded manifestations and more.
- The thesaurus is your friend. When I need an alternative for a word, I Google the word in question with ‘synonym’ after it and it results in different possibilities – i.e. ‘herb synonym’
- Inspiration lies in everything. Magazine ads, song lyrics, a conversation with a friend who uses “fancy” words – anything that sticks out to you can be used in your incantations.
- There is no requirement that says you need to speak an incantation out loud. Perhaps you don’t want to say the words or maybe you cannot. Whatever the case may be, simply mouthing the words or even thinking them will suffice. Beyond this, you may also write down the words during your casting or even morph the incantation into a sigil.
- If you are planning on physically saying the words of your incantation, consider dabbling with how you’ll use your voice. Will you speak in your normal tone, sing, chant, or whisper? Depending upon the overall feel of your spell, you could match your delivery with the intent.
A NOTE ON SPELLWORK MANIFESTATIONS
A general rule of thumb is that if your casting doesn’t result in manifestation within a few weeks to a lunar month (28 days) a reassessment could be in order. This is where keeping record of your spellcrafting really comes in handy. Re-examine your choice of words and other variables. And remember that if your worldly actions do not support what you’ve casted for, how can you expect your wishes to simply fall into your lap?
Just like anything else in the world we undertake, first tries will always be rough around the edges. But they give us basis for growth and opportunity to build confidence within ourselves and our practice.
Above all, relax. When you’re writing your own incantations and coming up with just the right set of words, settling on a cadence and structure for delivery, remember to have fun with it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or that will come out during your spell attempt. Confidence prevails. After all, this is YOUR incantation.
Bright Blessings and Happy Casting!