Being that I’m constantly creating new spells and rituals, I’m much more likely to pick up a title like Spells from Scratch: How to Craft Spells that Work by Phoenix Silverstar than a book of pre-written spells. Even if I end up using a spell from a plug-and-play style spell book, I usually end up riffing, improvising, or adjusting based on what I have. So it’s really helpful to keep books like Spells from Scratch and Arin Murphy-Hisock’s Spellcrafting on hand. 

Phoenix Silvestar does a great job of summarizing basic spell theory and collecting basic correspondences in one place. It really feels like a book that any type of witch could benefit from keeping on their shelf. There are a handful of spells that are ready to perform, as long as you have the requisite materials. There’s tons of reference material for correspondences, suggested timing for spells, etc. And it gives you lots of rules of thumb to follow as you’re developing your spells. 

Let’s look a bit deeper, shall we? 


As I said, I think it’s excellent that a good chunk of the book is devoted to basic correspondences. For those who aren’t familiar with the lingo, a witchy correspondence just means the type of energy/magic that any given item, time of day or year, etc. might be associated with. So for instance, amethyst crystals correspond to intuition, magic, and introspection. Part Two: Magical Bits and Pieces provides a wealth of these correspondences for everything from herbs and crystals to chakras and colors. On my witchy bookshelf (which is rapidly growing…I may need to buy an additional bookshelf) I have a gigantic encyclopedia of correspondences that I reference when I’m developing spells. Having this kind of reference guide on hand can be really helpful, but it can also definitely be overwhelming–especially if you’re a newcomer, or you don’t have a lot of money to spare on magical bits and bobs.  Faithful readers of this blog will know that I prefer spells that don’t require a lot of crystals, herbs, candles, and so on. But with that said, it can be nice to add a single crystal or a handful of herbs to a ritual or spell. Spells from Scratch gives you a good sense of what a witchy starter kit might include. That way, if you find yourself in a metaphysical store and only have the budget to buy a crystal or two, you have ideas of which crystals might give you the biggest bang for your buck. 

Something else I deeply appreciate about Spells from Scratch is how many small but powerful tips Silverstar shares. Even practiced witches will likely find a few new ideas within its pages. Two in particular jumped out at me as great spoonie witchcraft tricks. First, in a section about sigils and symbols, Silverstar suggests drawing sigils in the air as a quick method of spellcasting. Somehow I’d never thought of this! I love working with sigils, and my usual methods are to draw them on my skin or put them on a sticker I can slap onto something that needs to be charmed. But drawing them in the air is even quicker. It reminds me of the Christian tradition of crossing oneself to ward off bad energy. But more versatile, since you can create a sigil for pretty much anything. 

The second tip that I love for spoonie magic involves number correspondences. Silverstar lists quite a few energies/intentions that correspond to different numbers, and then goes on to recommend incorporating those numbers into your spells. So for instance, if you’re performing a spell to improve your work/life balance, you might repeat your intention or invocation four times to evoke the magic of the four elements working in harmony. Or for a spell to find a more fulfilling career path, you might use ten sprigs of an appropriate herb to call in the energies of wholeness and fulfillment. Again, this is a straightforward method of layering your intention with more energy, and it doesn’t require ten different crystals or a cabinet full of appropriately-colored candles. 

Image description: a page from Spells from Scratch with number correspondences.


Honestly, there aren’t a ton of cons for this one! My only caveat is that this isn’t necessarily a book to be read cover to cover. I certainly suggest reading the entirety of part one, as this gives you a great deal of foundational knowledge that will be useful in developing your spells. And chapter eight (Preparing for Magic) is worth reading fully as well. The rest of the book mostly consists of correspondence listings, astrological information, and a handful of basic spells to start with. And that’s not to say that these sections aren’t useful–I just spent several paragraphs gushing about these sections! But rather than reading the book cover to cover, I recommend using the correspondence and spell sections of the book as reference material. Keep the book on your shelf, and when you’re trying to figure out what elements to include in a spell you’re developing, take the book down and flip through the correspondence section. Or take a peek at the pre-written spells for inspiration. 


This is a slightly shorter book review than usual, but suffice it to say I can wholeheartedly recommend this book. Spells from Scratch is perfect for the spoonie witch who wants to craft their own spells but doesn’t quite know where to begin. Silverstar arms you with just enough information to feel capable and confident, but at the same time doesn’t overload you with too much involved spell theory. It’s definitely worth keeping around! 

Thanks so much to Llewellyn for giving me this copy for review! What other witchy books would you like to see me review from the POV of a disabled witch? Let me know in the comments, or feel free to contact me directly as well! 

Book Review: Spells from Scratch Tiny Witchcraft

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Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies: Temperance

In Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies, I’ll be going through every card individually and sharing mini insights we as disabled and neurodivergent (ND) witches can take from it.

Anybody else guilty of all-or-nothing thinking? It’s one of my most insidious brain loops. If I get started on a project, whether it’s drafting a blog post or cleaning out my closet, my impulse is to just keep going until I finish the dang thing. On the flip side, if I’m a little bit achy and have to cancel an appointment, my instinct is to throw my hands up and call the whole day a wash. Spoiler alert: neither of these are particularly helpful! And it’s during these moments that I tend to draw Temperance. 

Temperance reminds us that most things are best in moderation. We can tackle projects one shelf at a time and take breaks in between–even breaks that last days if need be! We can push ourselves to do one thing during not-great days and see how we feel afterwards. As spoonies we often need more rest in between activities, and that’s okay. Temperance encourages us to balance work, play, and rest. It’s not always easy (especially if, like me, you’re prone to all-or-nothing thinking). But it is absolutely worth it, and it’s what we all deserve.

Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies: Temperance Tiny Witchcraft

Fundamentals: Conserving Energy

Energy (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest hurdles to spellwork and rituals for me. Pain flareups come and go, and while the intense ones certainly sideline me, those tend to only happen once or twice a month. My energy level, however, is always lower than the average able-bodied 30-year-old’s. I have to pace myself with care and precision, and no matter how cautious I am, it’s never a perfect science. And I’m not alone–nearly all the spoonies in my circle struggle to understand, navigate, and sustain their energy. My loved ones with ADHD are exhausted after periods of intense focus. I know of Hard-of-Hearing folks who need to take a nap after straining to listen and/or lip read a long conversation. There’s a reason the Spoon Theory is so widely-referenced and beloved in the disabled/neurodivergent communities. It speaks to that fundamental challenge of moving through the world with a body and/or brain that functions slower, or with more difficulty, or differently. Whether you have ankylosing spondylitis or vision impairment or depression, it usually takes more energy for a spoonie to navigate the world than what’s required of an abled/neurotypical human. 

In terms of witchcraft, this means that we need to plan our spells and rituals carefully. If wrangling focus is more of a challenge, for instance, we might need to build breaks into our rituals to space out, focus on something else, or reset. If walking the perimeter during circle casting is possible but tiring, we might instead trace the perimeter with a wand or athame while keeping our stationary position in the center. My point is that something doesn’t need to be impossible to warrant an adjustment. I can stand/walk for a long time, but it might send me into a flareup later. There’s no reason why I can’t adjust a spell that calls for these activities. Spells require energy, sure, but you shouldn’t have to pour all your reserves into your magic. 

Every spell and ritual is different, of course, and your specific access/accommodation needs will be very personal to you. But in this post, I wanted to explore some basic methods of conserving energy while practicing witchcraft. Off we go! 


In my last Fundamentals post, I talked about creating shorthand tools for common spell-related actions. For example, you might program a crystal with the energy of a deity or ancestor you work with frequently, and thus anytime you hold the stone or use it during a spell you’re automatically invoking that deity/ancestor’s energy and presence. Or you might decide that “grounding and centering” before casting a spell is as simple as closing your eyes and taking three slow, deep, mindful breaths. These sorts of shorthand tools allow you to fine-tune a spell to take less time/focus/energy while still performing the spell with intent. That’s really the key when utilizing these shorthands: you should see them not as shortcuts, but as brief yet powerful, targeted actions. 

Another method of conserving energy is to prep elements of the spell ahead of time. This allows you to spread out the energy consumption as far as you need. For example, I wanted to create a sigil for my cane when I performed my ritual to transform it into a magickal staff. I developed the sigil a few days before the ritual. Once I had a sigil I was happy with, I drew it onto a sticker so it was ready to go on the day of the ritual itself. If I’d saved all of this prep work for the day of, I likely would have run out of energy halfway through the ritual. There’s lots of ways you can prepare spell elements ahead of time. You might measure out herbs and essential oils and store them in individual containers. You might record yourself reading the steps for the spell/ritual aloud so you can follow along more easily while performing the spell. You might set up your altar the way you want it for the spell ahead of time. You get the picture! 


One of my favorite ways to perform low-energy magic is by spelling objects to do magic in the background without much maintenance or sustained effort on your part. Think of it like setting up an essential oil diffuser. All you have to do is find a place for the diffuser, plug it in, drop in your essential oil of choice, and let it go. Easy! 

There’s MANY options for this kind of magic. I already mentioned sigils–after you do the work of designing them, they can be drawn on your skin or at the top of a notebook, cross stitched or carved into clay to hang in your bedroom, imprinted on stickers to decorate your magical tools–they sky’s the limit! All you might want to do for maintenance is put the sigil out under the light of an appropriately-timed moon from time to time. (And if you want a crash course on sigil work, I’ll ALWAYS recommend Laura Tempest Zakroff’s book.) 

Another option is to “program” objects for specific magical purposes. You’ve probably heard of this in regards to crystals and stones; many books suggest that when you get a new crystal, you spend a few minutes holding it and focusing on the purpose you’d like to imbue it with. But you can use this same practice on other objects, too! I have a specific mug that I’ve programmed for my Hestia worship. I only use this mug when I make tea to share with Hestia, and by pouring my tea into this mug, I’m automatically adding a layer of pre-set magic into it. You might program a battery candle for cleansing and dispelling negative energy and put it in your bedroom to turn on at night. Maybe you have a particular necklace that you want to program with protective intentions, so that when you wear it you have a magical shield around yourself. Again, the options are as limitless as your imagination. 


What about sustaining energy when you’re working with deities, ancestors, and other spirits? We often envision these beings as unyielding and demanding–especially the gods. Won’t they take it personally if your energy slumps halfway through a ritual in their name, or if your mind wanders while you’re trying to commune with them? 

A disclaimer is in order here: I am by no means an expert on deity work. I have a strong relationship with my patron goddess Hestia, and I’ve done some very basic work with Hermes and Asclepius. But I haven’t branched out much beyond that, so your mileage may vary when it comes to your preferred deities. 

With that said, my experience has been that spirits are delighted to work with you and actively want you to show up as you are. Ancestors are especially understanding–they want you to take care of yourself. If you need to take a breather while you’re working with them, or if things don’t progress the way you hoped because you’re exhausted or spacey, they are more than happy to be patient and accommodating. 

Many deities aren’t quite as familiar with the human experience of unwilling flesh or overwhelmed minds, but they are usually still willing to pause or reorient. My best advice is to be honest with any deities or spirits you work with. It’s tempting when working with a spirit (especially Big Grandiose beings like gods of legend) to present yourself as infallible, collected, and absolutely in control. But we are, after all, only human. I’ve literally paused in the middle of a flowery devotion to Hestia and said, “I’m sorry, I’m really struggling to stay focused. Bear with me.” Hestia is, admittedly, an exceptionally understanding deity. Be gracious and grateful–thank them for their patience, and do your best to follow through on any promises you’ve made them, even if you need to raincheck the end of a spell or ritual until you’re feeling more energized. But in general, the deities are more accommodating than we give them credit for. They understand that they’re working with squishy, fallible human beings. 


I wanted to end with one more example of how I adjust spellcraft to suit my needs and limitations. Candle magic is one of my favorite methods of spellcraft. It’s like prayer or meditation, but with a dancing flame to focus your will and energy on. That said, my ability to perform candle magic is very limited. My spouse has a lot of smoke/scent sensitivities, so I usually only burn candles out on the balcony where the smoke won’t bother them. And I don’t have comfortable seating on my balcony at the moment, so I can’t spend more than a few minutes out there at once. 

Traditional spellbooks will tell you to only use one candle per spell, and to let that candle burn itself down naturally. Blowing out the candle early dispels the magical energy you’ve raised, they say. But I can’t sit on the balcony for hours while I wait for a candle to burn down completely, and I’m obviously not comfortable leaving an open flame unattended on my balcony, either. So I can’t follow this traditional wisdom. More recently, I read a book that suggested sticking a pin in a candle if you want to use it for multiple purposes. For one spell, you let the candle burn down to the pin before blowing it out. Thus, you’re still programming PART of the candle with the intention of your first spell, and the pin portions out the candle. Even this, though, is sometimes not possible for me. (Plus, what if you have a candle that came in a glass jar or other container?)

So I do my own thing with candle magic. For example, I have a Road Opener candle that has been incredibly effective at helping myself and friends land opportunities like college acceptances and job offers. It’s a giant candle in a glass container. Its instructions tell you to choose one intention, and to use the candle by letting it burn down to cinders. Instead, I usually choose a number that is significant for whatever my purpose is (e.g. to send positive opportunities to a friend who’s job hunting, I might choose four, which is associated with employment and stability) and burn my Road Opener candle for four minutes. During those four minutes, I focus on whoever I’m sending energy to and what I hope for them. Once four minutes are up, I say something like, “So mote it be,” or “for their highest good,” and blow out the candle. Is it super traditional? Nope. But it works, and it doesn’t require me to run myself ragged by sitting in an uncomfortable place for hours while a candle burns out. 

So much of spellwork is about raising, directing, and sending energy. It may sound counterintuitive to suggest that minding your own energy and using it wisely is part of magic for spoonies. And to be clear, I’m not saying that magic should require NO energy. I still usually need to rest after a more involved spell or ritual. But you shouldn’t find yourself absolutely spent after a ritual, or recovering for a few days after performing a spell. It is not lazy to want your magic to be accessible and spoonie-friendly! 

As always, thank you for joining me in this exploration of lower-energy magic! If you’re finding this series helpful, or just like the blog overall, please consider buying me a coffee. Every little bit helps and is deeply appreciated.

Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies: Death

In Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies, I’ll be going through every card individually and sharing mini insights we as disabled and neurodivergent (ND) witches can take from it.

If your disability or chronic condition is something that you developed partway through life, you are intimately aware of Death. I can remember with crystal-clear clarity the first day my symptoms began in earnest. My life seems to split cleanly down the center with before disability and after disability, with that moment as the fulcrum. Now, if your disability/neurodivergence is something you were born with, you probably don’t have that clear a moment of transformation in your past. But you may remember moments when someone treated you differently, or you were expected to attempt something that just would not work for you. All of these are tiny deaths, by which I mean transformations. The version of you before this moment passes, and a new version is born.

Everyone experiences these types of transformations in different forms, of course–even joyous moments like getting married or having children are transformations. Know that grief and relief can coexist in these moments. I know I’m not the only one who felt incredible relief when I finally received a diagnosis–it had a name, which meant it had treatment options and I wasn’t alone. But it was painful, too, knowing that this was something I’d have my whole life. Both feelings are absolutely valid, and can exist simultaneously. Death reminds spoonies to grieve when you need to and celebrate when you need to. Big or small, joyful or devastating, deaths are defining moments of change. You don’t have to feel just one way about them. 

Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies: Death Tiny Witchcraft

This episode can also be found in text format at

Movement and Stillness Polarity Spell

I recently reviewed Bending the Binary: Polarity Magic in a Nonbinary World by Deborah Lipp. For the most part, I enjoyed the book, but I was a bit frustrated by Lipp’s use of a wheelchair user as an example of the active/passive polarity. Suffice it to say that I wanted to provide an alternative for those of us who are mobility-impaired and might take umbrage at being described as “passive.” 

When I was discussing the book with my partner E, ae had the brilliant idea of using the polarity of movement/stillness instead of active/passive. I love how versatile this duality is; one person might find stillness in the act of meditation, for example, but I know folks with ADHD who find meditation unbearably difficult, so they might choose to invoke stillness by sitting as still as possible, but letting their mind wander. 

In the book, Lipp offers a sample ritual for each of the polarities she presents. So in the spirit of her writing, I created a spell specifically geared for spoonies to tap into the polarity of movement/stillness. This spell is intended to bring you energy that is sustainable and consistent throughout a busy week. Energy is often at a premium for disabled/neurodivergent folks (that’s the whole idea behind the Spoon Theory I quote constantly, in fact!) and it’s common for energy to peak, burn itself out quickly, and then slump and take a long time to recover. This spell can help to smooth those peaks and valleys, providing you with a more steady, reliable source of spoons. 

Timing-wise, I recommend that you perform this spell just before a busy week. You might choose to perform it the evening before your workweek starts, for example. Or if you have a trip planned, you could cast this spell before departing. Basically, anytime you foresee a busy or stressful week, this spell can be great to have in your back pocket. Plus it doesn’t require any materials or trappings–all you need is yourself and a few uninterrupted moments of time. 

It’s also worth noting that you do NOT need to perform the steps of this spell “perfectly” for it to be effective. The spell takes you through a process of initiating movement and then stillness in your breath, a part of your body, and then your mind. Naturally, some of these asks will be easier than others. For me, for example, finding a meditative mindset is manageable, but breathing in a specific pattern can be challenging. That’s okay! The point of the spell isn’t to Do It Right. The point is to be mindful of each of these pieces of yourself, to try for movement and stillness in each of them, and (importantly) to NOTICE the places where you are challenged. Pushing yourself to hold perfectly still if it isn’t possible for you won’t add anything to the spell. In fact, the very act of noticing those challenge points adds to the spell, because it directs the energy that you’re summoning to the areas where you get hung up or have limitations. 

Let’s begin! 


  1. Come to a comfortable position of rest (to the degree that that is possible for you). It’s okay if you’re prone to shakiness, tension, or anything else that might make perfect stillness difficult/impossible. Simply find a position that is as restful and comfortable as possible. Notice where you feel movement in this position. Is your chest or stomach moving up and down as you breathe? Is your mind skittering from topic to topic and struggling to settle? Notice, too, where you feel stillness. Where does your body meet the floor, chair, bed, etc. where you’re resting? What parts of your body feel comfortable and relaxed? 
  2. Focus first on your breath. Notice where you feel the movement of your breathing. Is it your chest? Your diaphragm? Your nostrils? Do any other parts of your body move, even slightly, as you breathe? Perhaps your shoulders shift a bit in tandem, or your hands are resting on your stomach and move as your stomach moves. 
  3. If it’s comfortable and safe for you, hold your breath for a few seconds. Notice the stillness that this creates in places where there was movement seconds ago. Notice, too, if this stillness brings any other movements into sharper focus. (I always notice my heartbeat more when I’m holding my breath, for instance.) 
  4. Repeat this cycle a few times, watching your breath for a moment, holding your breath for a few seconds, and maintaining awareness of the movement and stillness these actions create. 
  5. Once you feel ready to move on, say aloud or silently to yourself, “As it ebbs and flows, or at rest, my breath sustains and energizes me.” 
  6. Now, choose a part of your body that you are able to move comfortably and with relative ease. This could be as specific as the tip of a finger or as broad as your entire torso. Really try to listen to your body here: are there any parts of you that want to move, or to rest? Whatever body part you choose, move your focus to there. Begin to move this part of your body in a repetitive way (side to side, for example, or in a clockwise circle). As you move, pay attention to the sensations in your body. Where do you feel the movement most intensely? Does it create any discomfort, or alternatively, does it alleviate any tension or fatigue? 
  7. Now return that body part to stillness. What sensations does this cause? Can you still feel the effects of movement, even in its absence? Does stillness feel like a relief, a resting point? Or does this part of your body still crave the sensation of movement? 
  8. Repeat this cycle a few times, shifting between moving your body and holding it still. Stay focused on how each cycle feels, not just in the body part itself, but anywhere. 
  9. Once you feel ready to move on, say aloud or silently to yourself, “In action or in quiet, my body is an instrument that energy flows through.” 
  10. Finally, shift your focus to your mind. You can initiate mental activity in a few different ways. If you have a strong mind’s eye, you mind visualize yourself spinning in a circle. If visualization isn’t possible for you but you have a strong kinesthetic sense, you can simply imagine the feeling of moving or spinning. Or you could simply give your mind leave to wander as it sees fit. Again, notice how it feels to find movement in your mind. Is it challenging, or is it a relief? Do you find your thoughts getting stuck on any specific topic or idea, or are you bouncing from thought to thought like a pinball? 
  11. Now try to bring your mind to a place of stillness, where thoughts can pass by but you don’t cling to them. Again, this might be especially challenging if you’re neurodivergent, and that’s okay. Notice how easy or difficult it is to seek a clear mind. 
  12. Repeat this cycle a few times. Make sure not to chastise yourself if your mind wanders when you’re trying to maintain stillness. This is a practice, not something you’re meant to perform perfectly. And it is the act of trying that raises energy for your spell. 
  13. When you’re ready to move on, say aloud or silently, “Abuzz with thoughts or soft and slow, my mind directs my energy.” 
  14. Do a brief body scan, starting at the top of your head and moving down to the tips of your toes. Notice one more time where you feel comfortable and uncomfortable. Notice the places where stillness feels rejuvenating and peaceful, or where it feels restrictive. Notice where movement has left any fatigue or discomfort, or where you find yourself desiring more movement. 
  15. Say aloud or silently, “My breath, body, and brain are aligned. I am aware of the ways that movement and stillness can be challenging for me, and I am aware of the ways that movement and stillness can be rejuvenating. I am a vessel for energy to move through. I invite energy for the week ahead. This energy is sustained and consistent. I am able to notice when I crave stillness, and I am able to act when I need movement.” 
  16. Choose a closing statement that feels right for you. It could be “so mote it be” or “for my highest good” or “blessed be” or even simply “it is done.” Tense up the body part you used in step 3. As simultaneously as possible, say your closing statement (or if speaking aloud isn’t comfortable/possible, sign/think it and exhale sharply) and release the tension in your body. 

As the week goes on, pay attention to your energy level. Do you feel a bit more oomph supporting your day-to-day activities? Are you experiencing fewer energy slumps overall? Do you feel better able to sustain energy and pace yourself when need be? If so, you can add this spell to your self-care arsenal. It only takes ten to fifteen minutes to perform, and it might make for a nice, rejuvenating ritual to give yourself regularly. 

Thank you again to E for the inspiration behind this spell! Don’t forget that my book Your Tarot Toolkit is available for purchase and is jam packed with activities and hands-on applications of tarot magic. 

Movement and Stillness Polarity Spell Tiny Witchcraft

Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies: The Hanged Man

In Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies, I’ll be going through every card individually and sharing mini insights we as disabled and neurodivergent (ND) witches can take from it.

If anyone understands discomfort, even pain, it’s the Hanged Man. Upside-down, caught by one leg and unable to free themself, they truly have the serenity to accept the things they cannot change, as the prayer goes. If an opportunity arises to free themself they certainly will, but for the moment this is their reality, and they aren’t going to expend any mental or physical energy fighting against the inevitable. 

If that sounds fatalistic, I promise it isn’t. The Hanged Man’s wisdom for disabled/neurodivergent people doesn’t mean you should stop pushing back against ableism or give up on seeking treatment/aid where needed. It doesn’t even mean you have to be a good sport when a flareup sidelines you or when someone fails to accommodate your needs. What it does mean is accepting that sometimes there will be discomfort, pain, or overwhelm. Those things can’t be stopped in their tracks 100% of the time. We can practice radical acceptance by staying in the moment as much as possible. By breathing through the discomfort. By doing whatever we can to make ourselves more comfortable and taken care of. And most importantly, by not adding to our suffering by digging in against it and shouting in its face. 

Tiny Tarot Wisdom for Spoonies: The Hanged Man Tiny Witchcraft