Fern, clover and birch are three great examples of common plants offering a rich resource for all sorts of witchery. In this article, I discuss using them for three simple personal development spells: confidence boosting, opening up and standing in your own power.
Witchery Using Natural Abundance
Nature is in full bloom all around us, so why not make some personal development magick with powerful plants probably growing near you. Getting out to do some harvesting of wild plants is an act of personal development and witchery combined. It’s the sort of outlaw witchery I love most of all.
During the waxing moon, my thoughts turn to the things I wish to grow in my personal garden. This is an ideal time to harvest small bunches of plants that grow abundantly and wildly. While I am fortunate enough to have a veritable endless variety of plants to harvest for my witchery, even if you live in an urban area there are probably mighty magick-makers growing wild near you. NOTE: Wearing gloves is always a good idea when harvesting wild botanicals.
Fern Spell to Boost Confidence
I love how the ferns unfurl themselves this time of the year. Here’s an interesting tidbit, a local variety of fern is a regional delicacy. Known as fiddle heads, this edible type is boiled and then drenched in butter and salt. In recent years, the lowly fiddle head has gone uptown with many posh eateries using them in new ways. You might be able to find them in your supermarket even if you don’t live near me. Besides some varieties being tasty vittles, ferns have many magickal uses.
Ferns have long been associated with divination and invisibility. For seeing the future, cast their spores into a scrying bowl filled with water. A modern application is for attracting all manner of beneficial things. For this simple spell, the energy of fern is used to maximize our confidence.
Supplies: fern fronds, parchment or wax paper, green string and a green marker.
Safely harvest a small bunch of fern fronds. Be sure to thank the plant for her gift. Sit with the plant, feel it’s innate confidence that it will become exactly what it is meant to be. So shall you as you move confidently through the world.
You can use the following incantation or write your own onto a thin piece of paper, like parchment.
Fern so fine,
Confidence is mine.
Self-esteem and self-efficacy,
Hasten now, come unto me.
Make a sleeve out of the paper by folding it. Copy the incantation onto the paper with a green marker. You may need to use a paint marker to get it to stick to the waxy paper. Or you can write it on plain paper. Place the fern inside the sleeve along with the green string. Focus on the confidence of the fern mixing with your incantation and the green string.
Adding More Strength to the Spell
You can make a list of confidence attributes that you want to draw forth, like initiative, leadership, etc. and keep with your spell. Place the bundle in a dark, quiet place for a few days so the fern’s properties infuse the cord. A book that is about self-esteem or another aspect of confidence is a great place to keep it. After a few days, take the cord out. Once it feels charged, tie it around your wrist for all-day confidence. If during the day your confidence starts to wane, rub your bracelet.
You can also place the bundle in a brand-new notebook to infuse it with confident energy. This is a great trick for journaling and creative writing.
You can also do this with an image of a fern, although it will not be anywhere near as effective. Fern oil and essences can be purchased. You can dry ferns to add to incenses. Consider growing ferns in your home or yard for a wonderful all-round boost of confidence. Since they also cloak against unwanted attention, wear a piece for protection as well.
Clover Wash n’ Wear Opening Up Spell
This is a spell for helping us to open up to another, to new experiences or to people in general. It activates that which we want others to see. I think this is very freeing. Staying closed down is a very restrictive way to live. Of course, choose carefully who you open up to. Our true selves are magickal treasures, handle with care.
Clover is a most magickal plant that grows just about everywhere in North America. You may have worked witchery with it by one of its other names: “trefoil.” White and red have nuanced differences in their spiritual and physical properties. White is about integrity, especially in a relationship while the red is more for initiating such things, according to traditional lore. Clover is a lovely additive to any sort of attraction magick where you are hoping to “grow” something whether it’s prosperity or a new business. Interestingly, it’s the three-leaf variety that is specifically beneficial to witchery.
Supplies: Living water, gold bowl, green string and a handful of clover. You can write your incantation on a piece of paper to keep with the bowl if you like, using green ink. If you can’t get fresh water from a stream, lake or the ocean, bottled water will do.
When you collect the clover, thank the plant for lending its energy. Clover is such a happy, vigorous little harbinger of freedom and magick. Sit with the clover for a while to bask in it’s lovely glow. You’ll feel more open just by hanging out with clover.Pour the room-temperature water into a bowl. As you add the clover a bit at a time, recite the incantation below or write your own.
Once the clover is added, stir in the green string with your right index finger in a clockwise direction for three times. Feel the sense of truth and freedom being released from the bowl. Cover the bowl with a black cloth for three days. After this time, remove the cord. If it retains the energy of the clover, then let it dry. Anoint yourself with the water at your throat and heart center as often as needed. Wear on your left wrist to activate a sense of personal freedom and truth, the essential ingredients in being open to others. Store the clover water in a bottle for continued use to anointing and as a basis for more complex personal freedom and/or relationship magick.
Leaves of three,
Reveal in me,
That which I want others*
* You can substitute “others” with a specific person or group.
Birch Bark Power Sigil
Birch is another favorite of mine. The bark is so versatile. Since it is a powerful binder and ink adheres to it easily, its great for writing on. Sigils and incantations can both be placed on the bark. Birch oil, essence and tea can all be purchased.
Standing in our personal power can be a challenge, especially if we’ve dealt with silencing and other forms of invalidation in the past. Creating your own personal power sigil during the waxing moon is a fantastic tool for personal development. There are so many ways to make sigils, my Patheos colleague, Laura Tempest Zakroff has an excellent book on them.
The simplest technique for a personal power one is to reduce your name, astrological considerations (e.g., sun, moon, ascendant signs) and other highly personal symbols down to their simplest forms (like lines, circles, etc.). Once you’ve accomplished this, create a unified figure incorporating the simple forms. When you are happy with it, copy it onto a piece of birch bark. Purple is a great color for personal power activation. You can use other colors that are very meaningful to you. Keep the sigil in a black velvet (or other thick fabric) bag. You can add a hunk of amethyst. Whenever you need to call upon your personal power, hold the sigil and feel the strength of your sigil and the bark calling it forth.
The Magick of Harvesting Wild Botanicals
I love roaming my enchanted forest and the coast, surveying nature’s bounty. I snip bits here and there for my own use. What really excites me is what it yet to come, when the plants and trees are in full bloom. Literally, my feet get twitchy just thinking about it.
I made this Sovereignty Oil last week to activate my own confidence, freedom, power and a few other things:
However you can, I hope you’ll get outside and collect – or at least connect – with wild botanicals in your area. Maybe even (wearing gloves) take a snip of an unknown plant. Then develop your intuitive understanding of it’s psycho-spiritual-physiological (that’s a mouthful) properties before researching it online. Always be safe and responsible.
Learn More About Botanicals
Since I am a big proponent of accessible old-time witchcraft, I recommend downloading Culpeper’s wonderful book of botanicals. For more modern books, try Paul Beyerl’s Master Book of Herbalism or Arin Murphy-Hiscock’s The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More. You might also be interested in my introduction to herbology and the Tarot.
More in the “Three Simple Spells” Series:
“The waning moon is a great time to do removal magick of all sorts. While there are spells to get rid of all that troubles us, including toxic people, there are times when personal development work is in order. Here are three simple spells that will help with your efforts to banish negative self judgment, give up bad habits and transform unrealistic expectations into realistic ones.”
“I organize my witchery using the lunar cycle, so my thoughts turn to removing obstacles and protection workings during the waning moon. Here are three simple spells using the Tarot and herbs to clear your personal field for whatever you hope to grow in the coming months. One to improve communication skills, another to help boost psychic abilities and the third to remove resistance.”