In magical circles, it’s far more common to discuss the spiritual dangers of being a witch than the mundane dangers. Sure, spirits, spells, and astral mishaps seem like more pressing dangers than things in our physical reality but there are some dangers involved in practicing the craft that are often overlooked. Many newer witches are misled by ill-informed sources and wind up practicing the craft without realizing the consequences of what they’re doing.
Practicing magic improperly can result in very serious accidents and damage to your health. Don’t let this happen to you! Today I want to help educate you about some of the most common magical dangers I see modern witches walking into unknowingly.
If you see something on this list that surprises you because it directly contradicts another source that you’ve read, you should be VERY suspicious of this other source. It is incredibly common in spiritual communities for information to be spread without proper warnings attached, your health should always come first so take everything you read (even this!) with a grain of salt and always do your own research!
I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can crystals be dangerous? They can be quite dangerous though, especially with many of the uses I see touted in modern circles. One of the greatest dangers in this realm is the use of crystal elixirs.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of crystal elixirs, they’re made by placing crystals in water to charge the water with the energy of the crystal for use in baths or for drinking. Now, I won’t say that all crystal elixirs are dangerous, they’re not! Plenty of crystals are perfectly safe for this kind of use but many are not and I almost never see warnings about dangerous crystals in this context. I’ve even seen some unfortunate sources recommending crystal elixirs made out of incredibly dangerous crystals!
Many crystals are water soluble and will leach toxic minerals into the water that you definitely do NOT want to drink. Others are simply damaged by water and won’t stand up well to this use, eventually degrading the crystal and making it useless to you. I would highly encourage you to thoroughly research any crystal you wish to use for this application but here are a few crystals you should definitely NOT use to make elixirs and why.
Amazonite – Contains copper
Black Tourmaline – Contains aluminum
Emerald – Contains aluminum
Fluorite – Contains fluorine, can cause extremely painful skeletal disease
Pyrite – Contains heavy metals
Selenite – Will dissolve
Labradorite – Will dissolve
Hematite – Rusts
Coral – Organic material, may contain pathogens
Garnet – Contains aluminum
Jade – Contains aluminum
Malachite – Extremely high copper content
Moonstone – Contains aluminum and potentially other toxic materials
Rose Quartz – Contains aluminum
Ruby – Contains aluminum
Saphire – Contains aluminum
Serpentine – Contains asbestos
Tiger’s Eye – Contains asbestos
All Quartz – Some forms are water safe but be careful with storage as all kinds of quartz dust causes silicosis
We’re going to start this one out by saying that without a mountain of evidence and a medical professional to back you up you should NEVER ingest essential oils. Anyone who recommends this as a health measure is likely unqualified to be giving such advice. Essential oils are extremely dangerous and decidedly not designed for internal use. These oils are extremely concentrated and the body is not built to handle an influx of such a massive quantity of any botanical. The repercussions of misusing essential oils in this way can be severe. From immediate symptoms such as causing burning in the throat, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, to long-term effects like serious damage to the liver, gallbladder, and digestive organs. Some oils can even cause heart attacks!
This is not something you want to be gambling on. Essential oils can be incredibly useful in the craft but they are undoubtedly dangerous. If you are intent on using them for medical purposes you MUST work with a properly trained medical doctor. Notice I said medical doctor, NOT naturopath, herbalist, etc. Again, the risk of not using essential oils properly is organ damage and potential death. It is not worth playing with fire in this case.
Topical use of essential oils may be safe (you should research the particular essential oil you’re using) but you must dilute it properly in a carrier oil, not water. Heavy dilution of these oils will allow you to use them topically without as much danger of causing burns but it should still be noted that long-term use or improper dilution of essential oils, when used topically, can still cause liver damage.
As a final warning, do not, under any circumstances, use essential oils on your pets. Pets are much smaller than humans and as such have smaller livers that are not capable of processing toxins in the same way a human liver can. Whether used topically or internally, essential oils can and will cause organ damage and death in your pets very quickly. Essential oil diffusers can even be harmful to pets. Small animals like birds, reptiles, and rodents are especially worrisome where diffused oils are concerned. It should also be noted that citrus oils are a neurotoxin to cats and you should not use them for any purpose in a household with cats.
Witchcraft often involves the use of candles, burned herbs and other potentially hazardous practices. Make no mistake, while they may seem innocuous these things can be VERY DANGEROUS if not handled properly. Minors should not attempt any magic involving fire without adult help and supervision. Proper care and handling are mandatory for ensuring your safety in this practice.
All fires, incense, smoke bundles and candles MUST be used with heatproof containers. Materials that are unable to withstand the heat will pose a fire hazard and materials like glass and ceramic can shatter causing injury.
Keep all burning items on stable, heatproof surfaces while they’re lit. If you have a stone or brick hearth that is an ideal place to work with fire but otherwise heatproof pads or trivets must be used to protect countertops. Do not place hot items directly on any surface that is covered in cloth or made of wood. You should take care not to light fires near anything flammable like curtains, blankets, etc. Avoid wearing loose clothing and keep your hair tied back if it’s longer.
You should also take care to minimize the risk of the fire being knocked over by removing pets and children from the room and keeping the fire away from the edges of counters. Never leave lit fires or burning material unattended. This applies to any spell or ritual in which the instructions call for candles to be completely burned down. You MUST stay in the same room as the candle the entire time.
Always work in a well-ventilated area when using fire. Even though your fire may not be at risk of setting things on fire the smoke can still prove dangerous to yourself, children and pets.
Last but certainly not least, many common herbs can pose health threats if you’re not well acquainted with their proper use. Even some very common herbs such as licorice or chamomile can be dangerous in the right circumstances! Always research herbs before ingesting or burning them and make sure you research their safety for both purposes! Some herbs are toxic one way but not the other. It’s also important to note that herbs DO have a marked effect on the body and they can interfere with medications. Always check for any interactions with conditions that you have or medications that you’re taking, particularly in the cases of blood thinners, birth control, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Here are a list of commonly used herbs and their particular dangers.
Aloe vera – Blood thinning
Cinnamon – Can cause skin burns if applied topically
Chamomile – Can thin the blood, do not take with blood thinners, aspirin, antidepressants, and some Alzheimer’s medications. It can also cause allergic reactions in people with ragweed or daisy allergies.
Echinacea – Do not take with immunosuppressants, after organ transplant, or if you have an autoimmune disease
Feverfew – Blood thinning
Garlic – Blood thinning
Ginseng – Blood thinning
Gingko – Blood thinning
Goldenseal – Do not take with immunosuppressants, after organ transplant, or if you have an autoimmune disease
Licorice – Can cause high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, and heart failure
Dong Quai – Blood thinning
Willow Bark – Blood thinning
St. Johns Wort – Do not take with contraception, immunosuppressants, or antibiotics. Also, avoid if taking any medication that causes sun sensitivity or if you’re naturally prone to sunburns!
Mugwort – Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding, may cause miscarriage. May cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to ragweed and daisies.
Keep in mind, every list I have provided here is incomplete. The fact that I have not listed a crystal or herb does not mean that it’s safe. The information I have provided about the herbs and crystals here is also incomplete, there are more drugs and herbs that can interact with each other than I could possibly list in one article. What this means is that you must always do your own research! Just because an herb or crystal seems safe does not mean that it is.
Despite the doom and gloom of this subject, you don’t need to be terrified of your tools and ingredients. As witches, our knowledge is power. Taking the necessary precautions and educating yourself about these potential dangers will allow you to practice the craft safely for decades to come. Go out, educate yourself, and be the powerful, badass witch you were meant to be!
Ever wondered if you’re really prepared to handle the dangers of the craft?
Or maybe you’ve recently come face to face with these dangers and you’re determined to be better prepared next time.
Either way, you need to learn magical defense. This set of skills is absolutely paramount for new witches, witches looking to take their work to the next level, and even witches who are just looking for a little more peace and quiet in their spiritual lives. The craft doesn’t have to be dangerous, stressful, or traumatic!
In Defensive Magic For Beginners, I’ve created a step by step learning path that will give you the boost you need to start defending yourself confidently today.