Growing up was a little different in my family. We were nomadic for the majority of my childhood, moving every 6-8 months or so, hopping from place to place following my parents work. We changed cities and states so often I honestly can’t recall all of the places I’ve lived!
Of course, as a kid moving that much is hard. Leaving and re-making friends is tough, changing everything you know is scary and don’t even get me started on the kind of hiccups the nomad life can throw into a kids education! All of the craziness aside, I did have some really amazing experiences along the way. Unlike most people I’ve met, I was best friends with my brother, we were practically inseparable as kids. We would go on long family camping trips and disappear up into the mountains (my favorite part of any summer), my brother and I would have more fun on those trips pretending to be pirates with sticks for swords than we ever had at home.
That kind of improvisation was a staple for us growing up. When you move constantly you learn to strip down to the bare essentials, you don’t WANT a lot of stuff because you know that in 3 or 4 months you’re just going to have to pack it all up again and lug it with you to the next place. After years of moving you end up with fairly scant belongings and you get REALLY good improvising and learning to make do with what you have.
Now, as an adult, I’m still a pretty on-the-go kind of person. I’ve never gone more than a year without moving (old habits die hard) and even though I’ve made Austin my home base, I’m traveling more often than not these days. If my upbringing didn’t turn me into an expert minimalist, my adult life certainly has and that knack for making do with less has definitely influenced how I practice witchcraft.
If I collect every witchcraft related item that I own together it all fits into one small basket, with room to spare. More often than not my spells are whispered incantations, hastily drawn sigils, or entirely performed in my head. When I was younger I thought this meant I was just a bad witch because I never did “real” spells. What I didn’t realize back then was that I WAS doing real spells and I was doing them very well! I was managing to produce powerful magical results with no tools or ingredients and though it may not look as witchy without all of the tools and aesthetic, this kind of magic is about as traditional as it gets.
In pre-modern times, magic was performed with whatever was on hand. Witches in generations past couldn’t just hop online to get rare herbs or pop down to their local metaphysical shop. They had to use whatever they had! And if they didn’t have much at all available to them? Well, that wasn’t going to stop them from using magic. This kind of resourcefulness in magic should be a staple for all witches. There’s nothing wrong with having tools and herbs and pretty crystals for your magic but the absence of these things shouldn’t cripple your magic!
This kind of magic may seem difficult or above your skill level right now but I promise you can absolutely achieve excellent results in your own craft even without tools.
What Kinds Of Spells Can Be Done Without Tools?
Can you banish without tools? What about healing spells? Can you cleanse a room without using anything at all?
The answer is yes, pretty much across the board. If you can think up a spell it can probably be done without tools. It is important to consider your own tendencies and limitations though! Just because it can technically be done, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the best way for you to do it. For example, I’m great at healing spells and protective enchantments but I find that in order to perform a banishing spell with real oomph, I need to use my tools.
Magic requires imagination and will, without a lot of practice in these disciplines it’s hard to manage all magic without tools. You’ll likely have success with some kinds of spells right off that bat and find other kinds of spells quite challenging without tools. This is something you’ll have to tinker and experiment with to figure out your personal preferences.
5 Ways To Cast Spells Without Any Tools
Ok, so sigils technically require you to have something to write with and something to write on BUT you can find pens just about anywhere (the bank, your waitress, a friend, etc.) and if no paper is available you can always resort to scribbling them on your arms or receipts so I still think it counts.
Sigils are an amazing way to cast spells quickly and easily with very little fuss. Once you’ve designed a sigil you can keep the design and reuse it as many times as you need, many witches find that they end up with a repertoire of tried and true sigils that they either keep readily available to copy and use from their phones or from memory.
2. Written & Spoken Spells
Written and spoken spells are a favorite of mine. They’re quick, you can improvise them on the fly and there are so many ways to utilize them! A lot of people feel like incantations have to be long and they have to rhyme and while I do love a good rhyming incantation in my rituals you definitely DON’T have to rhyme to make your spells effective. Simply jotting down or whispering your intention can be incredibly effective.
Often when I’m casting a spell with just words I’ll craft my intention into a simple phrase and then I’ll simply repeat it over and over until the speaking becomes automatic and the words begin to lose their meaning.
You could also empower your words in conversation. Going to a job interview? Pull a little sweetening magic into your words. Talking with a friend about your dreams and goals? Add some intent behind your words so that your dreams will quicken into reality.
My main tip for this form of spellwork is to never phrase these spells in the negative. Because these spells are so freeform, it can be easy to get your messages mixed and if you focus on what you don’t want you might just get a whole lot more of the very thing you’re trying to get rid of. Instead, focus your words on what you DO want!
Any kind of imaginative exercise can be turned into a spell and you don’t have to limit yourself to simple visualization. I know plenty of witches who can’t or don’t like to visualize so if visualization isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it! You could also imagine sounds, sensations, colors, concepts or anything else that you feel will bring about the result you desire.
When casting spells this way it’s always best to get as specific as possible. The more thought and effort you pour into your imaginative spell the more power you give it and the better the result will be.
4. Emotionally Driven Spells
This is the most common kind of “accidental” magic and the same kind of magic behind the evil eye! To use it, you harness the power of your emotions to bring your intent into being.
Obviously, there are a few caveats to this type of spellcasting, the first is that you have to be feeling some pretty strong emotions to make it work. If you want to cast a spell for happiness but you don’t feel happy you won’t get far. Likewise, if you’re trying to hex someone but you feel ambivalent about it, the spell will likely be a flop.
The second caveat is that this is a highly volatile type of magic, you won’t have quite as much control over the strength of the spell or how the results are achieved. If you’re not worried about the spell being overzealous or unpredictable then this is a great way to cast spells when you’re in the heat of the moment.
Enchanting is essentially just turning normal things into magical things. Anything can be enchanted for any purpose which makes this a highly versatile form of magic. There are many ways to do this but the simplest method is to program your item by channeling your intent into it and then charging the item when the spell is needed by feeding it energy from yourself or some other source.
Enchanting items works best if the item holds some relation in your mind to the intent you wish it to hold. A pen or pencil for sweetening words. A compact mirror for beauty. A compass for travel spells. The relation doesn’t have to be direct though. If you have personal associations that are perhaps stronger than traditional associations that an object might hold don’t be afraid to experiment.
You definitely don’t need a bunch of fancy tools, ingredients or gadgets to be a witch! You can practice magic anytime, anywhere, regardless of what you have on hand. You just have to get creative!