Meet make your own magic by amanda lovelace

Photo of “make your own magic: a beginner’s guide to self-empowering witchcraft” laid above softly lit starry decor against a dark background

make your own magic: a beginner’s guide to self-empowering witchcraft, the newest book from amanda lovelace arrives this March! We’re excited to offer you an exclusive sneak peek at amanda’s advice for modern mystics just starting their magical journeys. The below excerpt is adapted from part i: the basics. You’ll discover what it means to be a modern witch and the essential practices and tools you need to embark on this adventure, including a magical journal (amanda’s made one for you – arriving this June!), an altar, candles, flowers, crystals, and more. Plus, you’ll learn how to personalize your practice to suit your unique view of the world!

Graphic showing a 3D rendering of “make your own magic” and reading: Exclusive Offer: Preorder your copy of make your own magic: a beginner’s guide to self-empowering witchcraft by amanda lovelace and receive a spell bundle with everything you need to cast your first spell including a crystal, wish paper, and more! Offer ends 3/4/24.

Before we dive in: a preorder offer just for you! Send us your preorder receipt and you’ll receive a magical spell bundle that includes everything you need to cast your first spell, including:

✨ One rose quartz crystal
✨ A scroll of wish paper
✨ A dazzling heart pen
✨ A printed spell from the book, suitable for framing

It’s a perfect package to return to the basics or to welcome a new witch to your coven! Upload your preorder receipt here.

Line illustration of two hands surrounding a candle, from "make your own magic"

“so what makes a witch?”

pop culture is absolutely filled with fictional witches, so when you hear someone say the word witch, your mind might immediately go to the halliwell sisters from charmed (both the original and the reboot), or bonnie bennett from the vampire diaries, or perhaps even sabrina from sabrina the teenage witch (or chilling adventures of sabrina).

they’re all amazing characters who have undoubtedly touched many people (especially those of us in the queer community, who often see ourselves reflected in these magical outcasts), and their creators may have even been inspired by real witches, but they don’t quite represent what witches in our world are actually like.

more often than not, actual witchcraft looks a lot less like summoning literal hellfire and a lot more like summoning a little self-confidence.

though every witch ultimately practices differently (wouldn’t it be boring if all of us were the same?), for many, including myself, being a witch is about recognizing that we have the magic within to bring just about anything we want into existence. we don’t just sit around and wait for life to happen to us—we step up and take matters into our own hands.

where we once felt powerless, we now feel powerful.

“can i be a witch?”

short answer: yes.

slightly longer answer: absolutely. everyone has the potential to make their own magic. whether or not you choose to call yourself a witch is entirely up to you.

Line illustration of flowers and herbs, from "make your own magic"

“how do i make magic?”

most of the time, witches make their magic by casting something called—you probably guessed it—a spell!

you’ve almost certainly done something spell-like at least once before.

you know when you close your eyes and make a wish as you blow out your birthday candles every year? that’s very similar to a manifestation ritual.

the difference is, when a witch casts a spell, they don’t usually make a wish.

in my practice, i like to claim the thing i want as mine and trust that it will happen, because my will alone is powerful af.

my spells usually start off with an intention in the form of a self-empowering affirmation. it’s pretty painless to create one; all you have to do is take the thing you want to happen (e.g., something external like growing a beautiful spring garden or something more internal like having complete and total trust in the path you’re on) or the thing you want to become (e.g., confident, inspired, or peaceful), and say it as though it’s already true. that means you have to say it in the present tense.

as a witch, you wouldn’t ask, “can i pretty please remain strong through this difficult situation?”

no—you would firmly declare, “i am a strong badass that can handle anything life throws at me, including this.”

see the difference?

while words can certainly be effective by themselves, for a witch, what makes them even more so is combining them with things like actions and tools. the more energy and focus you put into your spell, the more powerful—the more real—it will become.

Line illustration of an open book next to a candle, from "make your own magic"

your magical journal

next, it’s important that you start a magical journal. (you may hear some witches refer to this as a grimoire or a book of shadows, but i’ll be referring to it as a magical journal.)

honestly, any old composition notebook you have lying around will do, but i recommend getting a big binder if possible so you can easily add things and move them around. if you prefer a little more direction from your magical journal, you can also look for a guided one where another witch has offered prompts to start you off—i have put one of these together myself!

of course, it is the twenty-first century, and most of us are at least a little tech savvy, so you may instead choose to keep a “magical journal” file going on a reliable computer, phone, or tablet. (no matter what anyone else says, a magical journal is not less magical just because it’s electronic.)

your magical journal is a place where you can reflect upon where you are in your witchcraft journey as well as your life, take note of all the things you’ve learned (from this book and from others, as well as from any other sources you stumble upon, such as videos or information from witchy peers), and record details about things like spells, rituals, and tarot/oracle card readings.

you’ll notice that from this point on i include magical journal prompts on some pages. these are intended to help you get the ball rolling on the self-reflection front. i hope that they’ll inspire you to discover magic in every area of your life.

having all of this information at your fingertips will make you a stronger witch over time—trust me. i, for whatever reason, decided not to keep a magical journal for the first few years of my practice, and i regret that decision every day. there’s so much progress i can’t look back on, and there’s nothing i can do to change that.

be better than i was.

if my experience is anything to go by, you’ll likely have many magical journals over the course of your practice, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself to make your first one perfect. the way your craft looks isn’t nearly as important as the way it makes you feel. though it may be tempting, it’s not necessary to go out and buy a hundred dollars’ worth of stickers and pens to make it pretty. be as realistic as possible and remember that you can still make it authentically you on a budget.

magical journal prompt

think about the magical journey that lies ahead. what are you most excited about? what are you most afraid of? let it all out. mark this entry and make sure to come back to it at some point in the future so you can see just how far you’ve come.

Line illustration of a framed photo next to crystals and a candle, from "make your own magic"

your magical altar

now that you have your magical journal, it’s time to find a place for your very first magical altar—a dedicated space where you can work your inner magic in the form of spells, rituals, divination, meditation, and more.

it can be anywhere: a bookshelf, a bedside table, a tray. it doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant; just make sure it’s clean and you have enough room to do your magic. (keep in mind that you can always switch altar spaces later if you need to! you’re not beholden to the first space you choose if you outgrow it or it’s just not working for you anymore.)

another thing to keep in mind is your personal comfort level. if you live in a house with other people, ask yourself if you think they would be open-minded about you practicing witchcraft. if you’re 100% certain that they would be, then you might consider setting up a permanent altar out in the open. but if you live with close-minded or unsafe people, you might want to choose something like a container or box you can hide and take out when you have privacy.

however, i think you’d be surprised how many times people have seen my altar and had no idea what they were looking at. after all, just about everybody has things like crystals and candles in their homes these days!

Line illustration of candles, from "make your own magic"

your magical tools

magical tools give you a way to direct your inner magic. they help you bring it physically and energetically to life.

a good portion of your altar should be practical and suit your personal magical needs. on the next few pages are some basic tools you might want to consider stashing on, in, or around your altar. (it’s helpful to have some drawers, shelves, and/or boxes nearby for this purpose.)

i know, i know, it seems like a lot, but try not to get too overwhelmed by this list.

these are all things you can obtain gradually over the span of your practice. if you need something and don’t have the means to obtain it, then be a resourceful witch and substitute it with something you already have on hand.

for example, if you don’t have a jar, that’s fine, just clean and use an empty jam jar instead. if you don’t have a clear quartz crystal, that’s fine, too, just find and use a nice rock—those work the same and are (usually) free. make your practice suit you, not the other way around.

“welp, that should be good enough!” is basically my favorite phrase as a witch.

  • your magical journal
  • a writing utensil
  • sheets of scrap paper—these will have endless uses, including writing down affirmations.
  • a white candle—considered by many to be the all-purpose candle because the color white contains every color. (can’t have an open flame in your home? opt for a battery-operated candle instead!)
  • a lighter or matches—used to light candles. also used to burn paper or herbs.
  • a candlesnuffer—to safely put out your candles.
  • a candlewick trimmer—to trim your candlewicks before each and every use. (untrimmed wick = large flame = danger!)

whenever fire is involved in spellwork, make sure you use caution and follow fire safety!

  • dried rosemary—considered by many to be the all-purpose herb due to its myriad properties. (good to have in its plucked leaf form and dried bundle form, as the latter can be used for smoke cleansing.)
  • a clear quartz crystal—considered by many to be the all-purpose crystal, as it can amplify any intention you give it.
  • dried roses—considered by many to be the all-purpose flower for the same reason rosemary is for herbs—so. many. magical. properties! (plus, they’re very easy to find.)
  • divination tools such as a tarot deck, an oracle deck, and/or a pendulum—for self-reflection and guidance, among other uses.
  • a cauldron or firesafe dish—for burning paper and herbs in, or for putting water in.
  • a bell—a great cleansing and protection tool.
  • jars, cups, and bowls of all shapes and sizes—i can’t even emphasize how many uses these have. for starters, you can store herbs and ingredients in them, and many spells are even contained within them.
  • drawstring pouches—like jars, cups, and bowls, you can store herbs and ingredients in them and many spells are even contained in them—these are known as spell bags.
Line illustration of crystals, from "make your own magic"

all-purpose tools

you probably noticed that i suggested a few all-purpose tools: a white candle to replace any candle, dried rosemary to replace any herb, a clear quartz crystal to replace any crystal, and dried roses to replace any flower.

you should be aware that there’s been a lot of debate among witches whether or not all-purpose tools should be encouraged, because, according to some, there are more specific and effective tools a witch could instead use.

personally, i believe that the intention a witch has when using their tools as well as their own personal correspondences are what truly matters when it comes down to it. i also think that anything that makes someone’s witchcraft journey just a little bit easier—especially at the beginning—should be seen as a positive thing.

you can consider these all-purpose tools a mere starting point, or a way to substitute whenever necessary.

it’s up to you.

Line illustration of a woman's face with eyes closed and flowers and nature in her long hair, from "make your own magic"

“personal correspondences?”

yep!

most magical tools have established magical correspondences that you can find in books or by doing an internet search. while i see the importance of them, i think a witch’s personal correspondences are way more important.

even if you don’t think you do, you have thoughts and experiences that give you a unique perspective on the world, and that unique perspective is going to make your spells even more special and powerful, because your magic is ultimately tailored to you.

next you’ll find lists of established correspondences for tools like candles, herbs, and crystals that you can use as a reference when doing spellwork, but whatever you do, don’t consider them your holy grail.

say that, for example, a happiness spell calls for a yellow candle because that’s the established correspondence. cool. but maybe when you think of happiness, you think of blue because of a memory you have of a fun day spent swimming in the ocean. or maybe the color blue just makes you super-happy and you can’t explain it. use that instead!

Adapted from make your own magic: a beginner’s guide to self- empowering witchcraft by amanda lovelace

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amanda lovelace, bestselling poet and author

Amanda Lovelace

About the Author

amanda lovelace (she/they) is the author of several bestselling poetry titles, including her celebrated “women are some kind of magic” series as well as her “you are your own fairy tale” trilogy. they are also the co-creator of the believe in your own magic oracle deck & the cozy witch tarot deck, & they are now the author of their very first witchcraft book, make your own magic. when she isn’t reading, writing, or drinking a much-needed cup of coffee, you can find her casting spells from her home in a (very) small town on the jersey shore, where she resides with her poet-spouse & their three cats.

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