“I am interested in witchcraft but have no intention or interest in interacting with the devil. I won’t pledge my allegiance, nor would I sign his book. In fact, I do believe in God and Jesus. Can I still be a witch without having anything to do with the devil?”
Personally, I wasn’t entirely convinced that the OP wasn’t trolling us, but whether she was or wasn’t, the other members of the forum were decidedly unamused. “The devil has nothing to do with Witchcraft,” many responded. “He’s a made-up Christian construct.” Others simply wanted to know where she got the idea that she’d have to pledge herself to the devil in the first place. (Me: “Historical precedence?” Them: “Hush.”)
She replied that seen it on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which, as you can imagine, did not go over well. “That show was very damaging,” the other members chanted. “It portrayed Witches so inaccurately.” (Me: “Except for the part where the Witches draw power from the Moon and start worshipping Hecate.” Them: “We said hush.”)
It may seem like a weird segue, but I bring this up, because of another discussion topic that rears its head frequently in the group: cord-cutting magic. Once every week or so, someone asks how to cast a cord-cutting spell, or someone posts an extremely ‘Gram-worthy picture of a cord-cutting spell in-process and asks why it’s not working. And everyone shares helpful pointers and sage advice, to the point where it’s hard to imagine this type of magic not tracing back to some murky, pre-Christian era.
So, want to know where this most ancient and traditional witchcraft actually originated?
Yeah, now who’s hushing who, mortals?
But Speaking of Historical Precedence…
There are actually a number of traditional ways to magically cut ties with a person or a situation, and you can find a ton of information on the subject here. For now, though, here’s a simple but effective candle spell that will do the job nicely.
Start with a yellow, glass-encased seven-day candle. Carve the name of the person from whom you are removing yourself backward across the top of the candle, from right to left. (For instance, if the person’s name is Rico, you would carve oɔiЯ.) Dress the candle with lemon, lemon verbena, and lemongrass essential oils by adding a few drops of each to the candle and rubbing them in a counterclockwise circle three times between the perimeter and the wick. (If you’re in a pinch, a squirt of lemon juice and/or a sprinkling of lemon zest would also work.) Light the candle, and you’re good to go.
I strongly recommend using a seven-day candle for this spell, because it’s really easy to tell how well the spell is working by watching how the candle burns. If the candle is burning clear and evenly, then the spell is working properly; if bits of wax or zest or whatever cling to the glass as the candle burns down, either you or the other person involved might be having trouble letting go; if the candle leaves a lot of soot inside the glass, then the other person is actively resisting, and stronger work may have to be done.
The pictures and videos of cord-cutting spells I’ve seen online usually involve two taper candles set a few inches apart and connected by a piece of string. The idea is that as the candles burn down, the string will eventually alight and burn away, and the spell will be complete. I do think this setup is workable in theory, but I also have a couple of problems with it. First of all, it’s, y’know, a big-ass freaking fire hazard, and second, it’s unpredictable: The string might catch fire, or it might get stuck in the wax, or it might just droop and slide down as the candles melt. If you’re determined to use this method, light the candles with intent, then grab a pair of scissors or a good, sharp knife and cut the cord immediately, thus saving yourself a lot of self-doubt and awkward conversations with your insurance adjuster.
Don’t Show, Don’t Tell
The first rule of casting a cord-cutting spell is don’t tell everyone on social media that you’re casting a cord-cutting spell. Seriously. I mean it. If you’re truly trying to make a clean break from someone, talking about them and posting pictures of the work you’re doing just reinforces that connection instead of severing it. Keeping the work to yourself until after it’s accomplished will get you much better results than dragging your followers along with you.
And hey, while we’re on the subject of social media: If you’re casting a cord-cutting spell, but you’re still connected to the other person on the various platforms… No. Just no. Block them. Or unfollow them, or unfriend them, or all of the above. Making a show of cutting magical ties while leaving digital ties in place is disingenuous. If you’re cutting cords, cut all of them.
Way back in 2015, Facebook introduced a “Take a Break” feature, which was promoted as a way to see less of one’s ex-partners online, because unfriending them would just be cruel. Y’all. I have never been so angered by the mere existence of a widget.
Here’s the thing: YOUR EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A STATUS UPDATE. Is your ex-boyfriend butt-hurt that you blocked him? Good. He’s a douche-nozzle, and the rest of us never liked him anyway.
Final Thoughts on Finality
Peter J. Carroll avers that in order for a magical working to succeed, the magician must be able to reach a mental state of “non-attachment/non-disinterest.” In layman’s terms, this means that spells produce the best effects when we can cast them without worrying about them; when our determination is stronger than our emotional investment. Following this logic, cord-cutting spells will only work when we are fully ready to let go of a given person, place, or thing, and walk away knowing in our hearts that we’ve done what’s right.
And if anyone takes issue with that, we can always just tell them the devil made us do it.