Yule begins on December 21st, and of course it is side-by-side with several other winter holidays and festivities! No matter which holidays you celebrate at this time of year, no matter how or if you mark the occasion, this is a time of year that speaks to embracing and celebrating the light that our loved ones give to us, and giving them light in return.
When I was thinking about how a disabled or neurodivergent (ND) witch might want to mark Yule’s arrival, I kept thinking about how my online fibromyalgia community uses spoon emojis and reaction stickers to send empathy and virtual hugs to fellow members going through a hard time. It’s almost a teeny-tiny digital spell: “I know you’re struggling, so I’m sending you an image (a sigil of sorts!) of something we in this community associate with energy and health.” This spell is written in that spirit as a way of sending out wishes for health, uplifting energy, focus, or just about anything your spoonie loved ones might need.
A NOTE ON ETHICS
Before we dive in, I want to take a minute to talk about ethics of spellcasting. There are many opinions about the morality of casting spells for other people, particularly those who aren’t in the know. Some believe you should never do a spell for someone without express permission. Some think that as long as your spell isn’t altering anyone’s free will, it’s fine to cast for others whether they know you’re doing it or not. Some are willing to do spells for others under most circumstances. And there’s as many shades of these stances as there are witches. I’m not here to tell you what your personal code of ethics should be–that’s only for you to determine. But here’s a few things I always consider before casting for others:
- Are they also witchy? On the opposite end of the spectrum, are they staunchly AGAINST magic (e.g. of a religious faith that disallows the practice of magic)?
- Is the spell something passive (such as a general wish for good health) or is it something that could actively invite new energies into their life (such as a love spell)?
- Is this a type of magic that could impact their behavior or free will?
- Does this spell truly have the potential to benefit the recipient, or is it more of a spell intended for you? (e.g. “I want this annoying coworker out of my hair so I’ll do a spell for them to find a different job!”)
There isn’t a value judgment on any one of these questions or their answers. But they do provide useful data in your personal decision on how to approach spellcasting. For instance, I tend not to do spells for people I know would be VERY against spellcasting for religious reasons. But there are exceptions–I’ll ask my patron deity and my ancestors to watch over my very-Lutheran grandparents. While they might feel weird about that if they knew, I think of it similarly to my grandparents praying for my health, even though I don’t believe in their god. There’s exceptions to every rule, which is why it’s important for you to start defining those edges for yourself. And you can always adjust your plans if you find your answers to the questions above leave you unsure. Maybe instead of doing a spell to banish a loved one’s bad ex, you might instead do a spell to help your loved one feel empowered.
In the case of this spell, it’s a small good-health/kinder-mind sort of spell. But it could brush up against the person’s free will/behavior if, for instance, you’re casting for someone with mental health challenges or neurodivergence. And you are going to be sending these charms to the people you’re casting for, so one way or another they’ll know you did SOMETHING, even if they don’t know it’s magical in nature. My approach was to ask each recipient if they were okay with me casting this spell for them, and asking what area they’d like me to focus on. Does this have to be your approach? Nope! But again, make sure you’ve given these questions some thought before you start the spell proper.
Phew! That was a lot. Let’s get to casting, shall we?
Things you will need:
- Something to represent darkness and something to represent light (dark stone and light stone, one candle that’s lit and one that isn’t, etc. Get creative! This could even be something like a flashlight with no batteries in it to represent darkness and a battery to represent light.)
- Small objects to represent any of your spoonie friends (spoon charms, clear quartz crystals, beads, etc. anything you can part with and is easy to work with!)
- A small dish, bowl, paper plate, etc. to hold all your “spoons”
- Envelopes, maybe holiday cards if you’d like
- Something to write with
Things you could use:
- Stuff to decorate with your spoons with. This could include essential oils and/or herbs to anoint with, but as always, be mindful of who you’re making them for. Many folks have fragrance limitations, and you don’t want to accidentally run headfirst into those. Even with the best intentions! When in doubt, err on the side of caution. You can also use beads, sparkles, tags, etc. for decorating purposes.
- Herbs or crystals to add to your altar/workspace for increased energy.
- Herbs: Amaranth, eucalyptus, thyme, or yarrow. Alternatively, use herbs that you associate with taking care of yourself. E.g. I drink peppermint tea when my stomach is upset, so I might use peppermint here
- Crystals: Amazonite, jasper, or sunstone
PREP (BEFORE THE SPELL)
- Label envelopes with the names and addresses of each person you want to make charms for, and make sure they have stamps
- Lay out as many charms as you’ll need and collect them in the dish/bowl
- If you’re using herbs or crystals, lay them out on your workspace in a pleasing manner
- Set up your symbols of light and darkness on either side of your workspace. Place the envelopes and the dish/bowl of charms next to your symbol of darkness.
My “darkness” side of the workspace. I have an unlit battery candle, candles in a few appropriate colors, mod podge and a paintbrush, beads for decorating, envelopes, and a small dish with my tiny spoons.
- Create sacred space, ground and center, whatever you need to do to do get in spellcasting headspace
- Pick up your first charm and envelope. Hold the charm in your hands, in your lap, or however it’s comfortable.
- As you might when programming a crystal, infuse the charm with the energy of healing and energy you’d like to send to this particular loved one. Think about how their disability, neurodivergence, chronic illness, etc. impacts their daily life. Think about the ways you’d ease the challenges–smoothing out bad pain days, reducing the hoops they have to jump through to get accommodations, anything goes. Pour that energy and warmth and caring into your charm.
- If it feels right, speak an invocation to lock in your charm’s purpose. There are a few suggested invocations below the body of this spell, or you can write your own!
- If it’s an object that allows you to do so (and you want to), decorate the charm! Customize your decorations to the person you’re creating it for, and what you want the charm to help them with. You could use decorations in a color associated with healing, such as blue or green. (Here’s an excellent and detailed guide to color magic, if you want to use another color!) You could also create a small sigil to put on the card you’ll be sending the charm in (or on the cardstock if, like me, you’re gluing your charm to a decorative piece of cardstock.)
- If you feel up to it, write a small note to your recipient. This could explain the charm’s intent, or even include the invocation you used to program the charm. (This step could also be done in advance when you addressed the envelopes.)
- Put the charm and the note/card in the envelope and seal it up.
- Set the envelope by your symbol of light.
- Repeat steps 2 through 8 for each of your charms and envelopes.
- Once you’ve finished programming, decorating, and sealing up all the charms, take three deep breaths and say aloud or in your mind, “This season may feel like one long night, so I share with you the gift of my light.”
A few of my completed charms. I used seed beads and different-colored candles to drip wax onto the charms.
And with that, once you’ve put the envelopes in the mail, you’re done!
For step 4, here’s a few possible invocations you could use. As always, it’s impossible for me to cover every possible chronic illness, disability, challenge, etc. So I tried to hit some broad categories. You can of course edit these to fit the recipient’s situation however you’d like, or write invocations of your own! Make sure to name the charm itself somewhere in the words so that the warm, healing energy you’re summoning knows where to settle itself. And make sure to specifically call out how you want your loved one’s life to be made lighter or easier: improved symptoms, decreased flareups, better relationships with caregivers, anything goes! But you want to be clear about your intent, even if it means giving up the rhyme scheme altogether and saying simply, “May this charm help Aunt Celiabethanneruth have better, more restful sleep.”
For pain, exhaustion, or any life-interrupting symptoms:
As leaves will fall in autumn breeze/With this charm, may your symptoms ease.
For fatigue, exhaustion, low mental energy, etc:
With the drive of a honeybee/May this charm grant you energy.
For executive dysfunction or trouble focusing:
This charm and wish I gift to thee: May focus serve you easily.
For anxiety, depression, or any mental health challenges:
Though light and calm feel hard to find/May this charm grant you peace of mind.
To repel ableism:
With this charm, may you know your worth/And ableists give you wide berth.
If you have a loved one who’s also witchy and you want a scaled-down version of this spell, you and your loved one could each create a charm for each other and send them as a witchy gift exchange. Even if your witchy loved one isn’t disabled/ND, you could create a charm that wishes for their continued good health, or for joy and comfort through the holiday months.
I wish I could make charms for each and every one of you! But I’ll settle for wishing you all a comfortable and peaceful holiday season, however you spend it and whoever you spend it with. (And if you have a tarot-reading friend and don’t know what to get them for the holidays, consider pre-ordering my book for them!)