Magic Dirt

Magic Dirt November 3, 2023

Image sourced by Canva

The video starts and it pans out to show an elaborate desk with many shelves and drawers. The hands come in from the bottom of the screen with pointed blacked nails and ash coating the tips of the long sinuous fingers. A circle of candles is lit and a massive crystal is placed in the center. It’s surrounded by 30 or 40 more different crystals all in a sacred grid and an entire bundle of incense sticks are lit and placed in a crystal holder. An ancient book is opened and an elaborate quill is dipped in blood red ink to write out a petition in perfect calligraphy.

I stop the video and look at my apartment kitchen countertop, McCormick spices, birthday candles, ballpoint pen, and yellow sticky note pad. Something feels different…

We as practitioners have spent so much time over the last decade touting the importance of accessibility in witchcraft but I have found that’s not always backed up with how it’s presented. Capitalism has created an image of what I’m supposed to look like, what my tools should be, and what my spellcraft should present as even though most historic witchcraft and folk magic was done with items lying around the home or gathered in a nearby forest.

Selling you the promise of magic has become the name of the game and while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having an aesthetically pleasing practice, in my opinion, that’s not where the emphasis should be put. Making your craft pretty and more expensive, doesn’t make it more magical.

Today I want to talk about the most accessible tool many of us forget in a world looking to literally sell you the air you breathe. Let’s discuss dirt.

Dirt, earth, mud, sand, gravel, ect. is one of the most useful spirit ally’s we seem to leave out all too often. When it comes to dirt, it follows the same rules as any other form of sympathy in witchcraft. Sympathetic magic states that like attracts like and like effects like. So the dirt taken from a place will carry the significance of its origin source.

Dirt collected from a hospital could be used in healing magic. Mud taken from a bank could be worked with to increase wealth. Gravel taken from a family’s driveway could affect the people in that household. It could be used in charm bags, made into dolls, molded into wax, ect. It’s truly the most abundant and free resource for a magical practitioner.

Image sourced by canva

Here is a suggested list of uses for magical dirt as seen in my book Cunning Words: a Grimoire of Tales and magic:

Power and Potency: Dirt from a crossroads Protection: Dirt found at a barrier gate bordering a home or dwelling.

Health: Dirt from a hospital

Financial Gain: Dirt from a bank

Love: Dirt gathered from an outdoor wedding Education: Dirt from a school

Hearth and Home: Dirt from the land you reside on and ash from your hearth or past ritual incense. Motivation: Dirt from a gym or activity center

Art: Dirt from a museum

Legal Matters: Dirt from a Courthouse

Pets: Dirt from a veterinary clinic Necromancy: Dirt from a cemetery (always pay for this by asking and leaving an offering. I suggest two 25-cent coins)

Hexing and Cursing: Dirt from the roots of a poisonous plant or also from a crossroads.

So while I do believe tools are part of practicing witchcraft, no one needs to go out and spend hundreds of dollars to work magic. Most of us already have many of the things we need just lying around the house. In fact, the very first under your home becomes more magical just because it supports the witch who lives there.

Crossroads Dirt Illustration by Marshall WSL

So keep any eye on significant places in your town. Where’s the closest bank to make that money bowl? Where’s the closest airport for that travel safety charm? Where’s the closest museum to inspire your next work of art?

The power to do great things starts with the earth beneath your feet. All you have to do is not be afraid to get a little dirty.

From the Crossroads of Texas,

Marshall WSL

About Marshall WSL
Marshall is a practicing traditional/folkloric witch living in Texas. Be sure to catch him on his podcast, Southern Bramble: a Podcast of Crooked Ways and get his book Cunning Words: a Grimoire of Tales and Magic on Amazon now. You can also read his blog on Patheos Pagan under The Southern Light Diaries. You can read more about the author here.
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