10 Most Useful Spell Ingredients

10 Most Useful Magical Ingredients


It can be intimidating trying to build a collection of magical items. It all sounds so expensive! But the truth is, you need very little to do most types of spells. Here are my personal favourites that I won’t be without, and why.

White Candle

White light contains all the colours in the world, so white anything is a great stand in when you don’t have particular colour to hand. If I didn’t enjoy making my own candles, I’d probably never bother buying anything but black and white.

Black Candle

Black isn’t a ‘colour’ strictly speaking, so I like to have black and white candles. Black candles are used to break down any barriers, and make a good addition to any spell to break down any blocks preventing the spell from coming to fruition.


One of the most versatile stones. Amethyst is good for sleep issues, protection, increasing psychic power, basic healing, dream magic, intuition, meditation, inner working and reconciliation with the self.


The cheapest of the self-cleansing stones. Quartz will make make any crystal grid self cleansing and self powered, never needs cleansing, and will happily sit and work away at whatever function you’ve set it to. Which can range from anything to protection, to drawing good things, to cleansing, to gaining power.

Copper Item

Copper has many associations – from protection, to money, to raising energy. You can build a meditation pyramid out of it, use the wire to build tools or jewelry, or you can add it into crystal grids.


Sugar is super important in a lot of witchcraft traditions. Sugar can be used to draw just about anything to you, and due to it’s relationship with money and wealth, is a great cheap addition to money spells.


Whilst salt won’t keep every nasty at bay, it forms the basis of many hexes, curses and protection spells. It is also useful as a protective element by itself, so long as you have enough personal power or powerful ingredients, like crystals or herbs, for it to draw power from. You can also implement sigils so the salt with ‘eat’ the energies or entities it repels, and draw it’s power from them instead.

Pen and Paper

Sigils, symbols and seals all need just a pen and paper to be used. There is an entire world of magic that be utilized with just a pen and paper.


Pins can be used to stab poppets, to carve symbols into candles, and used in witch bottles as protection.


Cinnamon can used in great quantities in many protection spells or hexes, or in small amounts in love, sex, motivation and money spells.

10 Tips for Your First Professional Tarot Reading

10 Tips.jpg

  1. Stay calm

There are three types of Tarot clients.

  1. Excitable clients who wants a giggle and a laugh
  2. Nervous clients who may be frightened of what you may show them, or it’s their first time
  3. Skeptics

All of these types (and more than likely ones that don’t fit in neat boxes) will smell weakness like a weakness-smelling thing. You gotta fake it till you make it, and then fake it a bit more. Public speaking is never wholly comfortable, and telling someone their fortune is always scary because you never quite know how someone is going to react.

They’ll react a LOT better if they trust you, and no one trusts someone whose mouth is running away with them, or who looks timid and closed off.

Head up, shoulders straight and remember that they believe in you enough to pay for this.

  1. Stay silent

This here is a rule for life. If you’ve got nothing to say, stay silent. If they ask why you’re quiet, just tell them the truth – you’re thinking!

If you must fill the gap because your client is antsy, tell them why it takes a while to grab the thread of a reading – all those possible symbols and meanings.

Don’t fill the gap with rubbish and half formed theories. It makes you look unconfident at best, and incompetent at worst. Start when you’re ready.  It’s okay to pause and relook at the cards halfway through. You want to deliver a good service, not a lightning fast one.

  1. Be upfront about what is expected from them

A lot of Tarot clients are nervous because they don’t know what to expect. Not everyone has even heard of tarot.

Spend some time explaining things to them, either before they book a reading, or before the reading begins.

Are they allowed to touch your cards? Do you want them to remove conspicuous jewellery and accessories? Are they allowed to ask questions once you’ve started? What do you want them to do, and how do you expect them to behave?

  1. Be aware of differing religions

Not everyone is of the same religion, and just because your client is another reader, don’t expect them to believe exactly the same things you do! Even when you are of the exact same religion, realise that people’s experiences with the divine or spirits will differ. My experience as a Tarot reader is influenced heavily by my experiences as a modern witch. That experience will differ completed to an atheist, a Wiccan, or a Hellenic Recon!

And that’s okay.

We clearly all either believe in Tarot or are open-minded towards it,  just be aware that not everyone will be happy to hear they have an angel following them, for example.

  1. Be upfront about what you can’t or won’t do

Sometimes, what you can read on depends on your local laws. Other times, it’s best to stick to a strict code of ethics. This can vary from reader to reader, but you must tell your clients before they book to avoid disappointed clients and possibly even a lawsuit!

To avoid lawsuits, there are a few things you should avoid doing at all costs

  • Reading for children. This usually counts as anyone underage, so for the UK it’s 18. Anyone under 18 can be classed as a ‘vulnerable person’. I don’t care how mature they are, if you are taking theirs or their parents money, you can be sued for doing this, if either your information is inaccurate, or you are perceived to have caused distress, or you are accused of being a fraud. And even if you give the best reading in the world, you can still be sued for it, because they’re classed as vulnerable.
  • Other sorts of vulnerable people, which can include those with mental disabilities, illnesses or in a vulnerable or distressed state of mind. There is no easily tickable box here, so err on the side of caution. If you feel uncomfortable, you can turn people away purely on the fact you feel they aren’t ready. If the person seems of right and able mind at that point, there’s no reason you can’t read for someone who’s, say, depressed. However, if they’re talking about suicide or something like that, they need a helpline or a therapist, not a Tarot reader. You can also always refund money if you think you shouldn’t have read for someone.
  • Never read on medical or legal issues. It puts you in two sticky situations – one, any medical or legal issue that someone is asking a Tarot reader is major enough to cause serious distress, which makes them a vulnerable person, and two, if they take your advice and something goes tits up, guess who’s ass is on the line again? Yep, it’s yours. Even with the ‘not a medical or legal professional’ disclaimer that you should have, I still would not recommend reading on these subjects.

It’s also perfectly okay to have a personal blacklist. I won’t read for questions about death, the dying or other sorts of spirits. I won’t do it for personal reasons, and it’s okay for you to have your own blacklist, whatever that looks like. So long as you tell your clients before they book.

  1. Practice on a friend

I’m sure you’ve practiced your skills on friends before, but ask a friend to sit through a more ‘professional’ reading and give you some honest feedback. Perhaps convince a friend of a friend to sit for you and give you that feedback in exchange for a free reading, so you can ‘blind’ read on subjects that you don’t previously know about.

  1. It’s okay to have a cheat sheet!

There’s nothing wrong with having a handy sheet with some keywords on it in case you suddenly draw a blank, or wonder if you’re reading a card correctly.

However, there’s a difference between quickly glancing at a sheet to confirm a hunch, to fumbling around in your bag for a guidebook or grubby bit of paper.

A nice laminated or decorated sheet somewhere around the table looks fine, and you can just say ‘Just checking a hunch,’ grab the paper, read it, and move back on with the reading. It’s as simple as that.

  1. Be prepared to answer questions about Tarot

Your clients will be at varying levels of Tarot knowledge, so expect different questions and be able to answer them. A good background on what Tarot is, where it comes from (it’s not where you think), and how to use it. Extensive knowledge is not required, but it is a good asset. You love Tarot, so why would you not research stuff? If you’d like to know more about Tarot, stick around. I’ve got a series of posts scheduled soon, or you can follow my Tarot board on Pinterest.

  1. Be prepared to answer questions about every occult subject under the sun – also know that ‘I don’t know’ is an okay answer

People are at different knowledge levels of Paganism/witchcraft/Tarot etc, so expect them to expect you to know Everything about Everything. Don’t assume that just total newbies will ask you stuff, or get stuff wrong – I know readers of 30+ years’ experience not know the difference between Wicca and witchcraft.

Before the Internet, you struggled to find information about non-Christian religions, so misinformation was rife, and there is a certain publishers who will literally publish anything, regardless of whether it’s true. So, rumours abound, and it’s good to get a handle on a few of the common ones.

Again, you can’t be expected to know everything, but expect to be asked. ‘I don’t know,’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. There’s also ‘That’s interesting. I’ll look into that,’ which is useful whether or not you genuinely do find whatever your client has said interesting.

  1. Listen to the client.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had someone come up to me and complain about a Tarot reader or psychic telling them they’re going to become pregnant, when they’re infertile or in a committed relationship with someone without the correct genitals for that whole shebang.  Or their husband will leave them for the other woman when he’s actually dead or something like that. Heard it all, and I wish I hadn’t. *

Even on the small things, listen to the client when they’re in front of you. They probably know their own lives better than you do! If someone is correcting you, that’s good. That means you weren’t wrong on the other stuff, and now they trust you enough to engage, correct you and ask questions and work with you, which is precisely what you want from a client, especially repeat ones. No Tarot reader is going to be 100% right. I think the best of us could probably aim for 80% with hard work and effort. But never take a correction as an insult, and always listen to the client. If you’ve told them their sister will betray them, and they say they haven’t a sister, consider the cards might be referring to a close female relationship, rather than a sister. Don’t let it throw you.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your readings further, try my 5 Tips for Pro Readers.

*Please don’t complain about Tarot readers to other Tarot readers. Either complain to the one who caused you the issue, or complain to Trading Standards. It’s rude, and it can hurt our business if you do it online, or when we’re at our stalls at public fairs. Yes, this one happened recently.


Tarot Decks I Use

I currently only use one deck for professional readings, and that’s the Wildwood Tarot.


Buy it here: The Wildwood Tarot

I’d had my eye on it for ages, and picked it up at an MBS fair. I was attracted to it by the massive stag on the box, if I’m honest, because I have a Thing* for stags and I think I was being nudged by the Spirit Guide.

Anyway, I took it home and fell in love with it. It is very simple to use, and has the name and number of the card on each card so is perfect for beginners, or people who have used a traditional deck and want to branch out into something different.

However, it is not a simple deck, and I learn something new every time I read it. It is a very inutitive deck, and you are urged in the guidebook to form a relationship with the cards beyond what the guidebook tells you. I am endlessly impressed, not just with the use of the cards, but with the novella-sized guidebook that comes with, the depth and detail of the imagery, and the general sturdiness of the cards and box.

I am learning to use the Gods of the Machine deck, and hope to offer it in the shop around August, to coincide with the possible appearance of myself at Lincoln Steampunk Fair.


Buy it here: The Steam Punk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine

This is the other Steampunk deck, not the famous one, but I preferred the look of this one. It’s different, and features Steampunk paraphernalia other than cogs and gears. I can’t give you many reading points on this one yet, but it is also an intuitive deck.

What’s especially good about this deck is that the guidebook includes twenty two spreads in it, one for each of the Major Arcana. This deck uses reversals, and gives detailed hints and tips about reading each card in a number of ways.

If you’re looking for a Steampunk deck, I recommend this one.

Buy it here: Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot Deck (Anne Stokes Collection)

This was one of my first decks, and whilst it is stunning, I don’t think it’s a good deck for beginners. If you already read with traditional decks, you’ll get on great with this one. It’s got a touch of drama about it when you read with it, which goes very well with the beautiful illustrations for the court cards and Major Arcana.

*A spiritual Thing, not a weird Thing

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It’s Okay Not to Read Your Own Tarot Cards

why it's okay.jpgA lot of the paid readings I do are for other magic-y -woo types, often other Tarot readers. A lot, okay. I myself have purchased  Tarot readings from other Tarot readers, and I will continue to do.

I, and many other, and probably you if you’re reading this, do not feel comfortable reading for ourselves on deeply emotional issues.

This is not because I am unconfident in my Tarot readings. It is because it’s easy to read meanings into things that simply aren’t there. This is why omens and messages from the wild often aren’t true.

Sometimes seeing a pigeon doesn’t mean that girl on the train wasn’t interested. Some times it’s just a pigeon, and you totally should email her. She gave you her card, right?

Anyway, I’m digressing. It’s totally okay not to trust yourself when you have an emotional investment in the outcome of the situation. It’s normal. It’s far too easy to deliberately misread something to make it seem like a certain outcome is true, and it’s also easy to be lead astray by false information that you think is true. That’s why I don’t read for close family and friends either. I have a pre-conceived notion of the situation, and it’s too easy to accept that as truth and not listen to the cards.

Not reading for yourself doesn’t make you a bad Tarot reader. It makes you a normal human being who can be lead astray by their own feelings. You are a better reader if you admit that you can’t do everything, and choose to work where you’re strongest.

When I work with a client, my objective is to give them the tools and advice to get through the problem and make the situation better. I help them solve the problem, I give them what they need, not what they want. It is much harder to do that for yourself, so never feel ashamed that you can’t.

It’s a difficult thing to do, and it’s okay to ask another reader for their impartial advice.

It is why we are here.


How to Cleanse and Dedicate a Grimoire, Book of Shadows or Other Spiritual Workbook

how to.jpgThis is a tutorial for what I call a ‘working book’. As in, I write or draw or stick things in it until it is full, and that is the only criteria. It is not meant for display, or to be indexed. It is a book that you ‘show your work in’, to borrow a maths phrase, not a text book. It can be full of scribbles and crossings-out if need be.

The steps can be done in any order. It’s probably better to do this before you begin, but I did it after I had started in the book, it seems to be okay.


This is where you tell the book who it is, who it is for, and lay any protection on it. It the book is in serious need of a cleanse, I would recommend you cleanse it first.


In case you can’t read it, here’s what I put:

On the left page, there is a book curse. There is a long history of this things,  they are curses written in books that affects anyone who mistreats it.

Mine was a bit fly-by-night, and reads:

‘Steal this book or hurt its pages,

Feel a pain in your chest for ages.’

On the facing page, it has the title ‘Druid and Spirit Studies’, the date I started. The two things I have yet to include are: the finish date, and my name. I will be using my birth name for this book, and I didn’t want it on the Internet. (For no legal reason, it’s just a stupid name and everyone over the age of thirty cannot help but take the piss.)



I have rested tools symbolic of those I plan to use in it: a pencil and a rubber. I have also placed a small amethyst, part of a bay leaf, an unknown stone but it wanted to go there (it looks like the night sky would if the stars were gold) and a piece of what I think is flint. The shape reminds me of a flint tool, so I have kept it for that reason.


What Notebook Should You Use?

Anything you’ve already got should be fine, provided it’s empty of course. If you want something special, what about one of these?

I’m Really a Witch Journal


“Wicca” Notebook


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