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Practical Magic

A Beginner's Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics, and Spells


By Nikki Van De Car

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$23.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 5, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Practical Magic is a charmed introduction to the wonders of modern magic and mysticism, from crystals and astrology to chakras, dream interpretation, and, of course, a few spells!

Focusing on three primary areas — healing, magic, and fortunetelling — this books provides the perfect primer for sophisticated dabblers, with inviting text and spell-binding illustrations. Clear introductions on trending topics, like herbal tonics and astrological charts, are paired with home remedies, hands-on instructions, and suggested rituals in a chic, stylish format that will capture the imaginations of good witches of all ages.



DID YOU EVER WONDER WHAT ALL THOSE JARS IN AN OLD apothecary shop hold? And what do they do? Have you ever been just a little bit tempted to learn what a $20 psychic might say about your new job or that fun date you just had? What was your unconscious trying to tell you with that strange dream last night? What are chakras, anyway?

This is a book for the occult-curious. It's for anyone who has ever thought, "Hey, why not?" and bought an amethyst because it was pretty, but also because it just might bring peace and lucid dreaming. This book is for everyone who finds their daily horoscope weirdly accurate and for anyone who has always secretly wanted to live in a world of magic.

Here you'll learn the basics of crystal healing, herb magic, and palmistry. You'll learn how to cast a few basic spells (all white magic, of course!), see auras, and throw a proper Beltane party. You'll learn how to interpret your dreams, cleanse your chakras, and chart your stars.

Mostly, you'll laugh and have fun. But maybe, just maybe, you'll experience something surprising. That odd feeling of discomfort you have when you stand in that one corner of your apartment might just vanish with a little light sage-smudging. You might find that an eerily accurate tarot reading will cause you to make a slightly different choice than you might otherwise have or will give you the courage to have faith in yourself and what's to come. Maybe, for fun, you'll cast a love spell over your friend before she goes to meet her blind date, and they'll hit it off like crazy. It might be just a tingle, a hint of the supernatural, something unexplainable but undeniable.

Here's the thing—you don't have to believe in magic to enjoy this book. You just have to want to.



Chakras, crystals, and auras… look deep within, and expand your inner eye to explore beyond.


FOR A WHILE THERE, OUR IMPRESSION OF ANYONE WHO WAS interested in chakras was that they were just weird and kind of silly. But nowadays more of us are taking them seriously. There is a long history here, found in many cultures around the globe, and there's actually some real science behind it all.

We all understand and accept that there is energy throughout the universe—dark energy, kinetic energy, solar energy, magnetic energy, gravity, and so forth. A chakra is an energy center in the body. It is generally envisioned as a wheel or swirl found in specific places along the spine (the word chakra is Sanskrit for "wheel"), spots where our nerves are bundled and our hormones secreted. They are connected by prana, which can be described as our life force or interpreted as our peripheral nervous system. It's really the same thing—the difference is in how you think about it and whether you believe we have the power to consciously influence it. Qi gong, tai chi, acupressure, acupuncture, EFT, and Reiki all work with prana, though they may call it different things (energy meridians, nadis, qi, etc.).

There are thought to be over a hundred chakras, but we tend to focus on just seven of them. In order for the body, mind, and spirit to be whole, each of these chakras needs to be open and balanced. A physical issue with a chakra can create an emotional or mental issue, and an emotional or mental issue that relates to a chakra can produce a physical response. Your body is not separate from your mind and spirit; all three are intertwined. A chakra can close for several reasons, including day-to-day life experiences, emotional trauma, cultural influences, lack of exercise, or lack of self-care. If you face a trauma, your chakra will respond to that experience by protecting itself. For example, if you lose a loved one, your closed heart chakra could cause you to develop asthma or bronchitis.

A chakra can also be overactive, so that it overpowers the other chakras. An overactive throat chakra can lead to gossip, deceit, or an inability to keep secrets. We've all experienced some serious oversharing on social media—blame an overactive throat chakra for that one.

It's all about balance. In the same way that each part of our body is a portion of a whole, each chakra responds to another, so that if one is out of balance, the others are all affected. A chakra should have energy flowing into it (so that, for instance, the heart chakra can accept love) and out of it (so that it can give love). A chakra that is balanced has an equal flow, back and forth, like the tides, and that flow resonates at a certain frequency. Each chakra has its own sound frequency as well as its own light frequency (color). We can use these sounds and colors to open or close each chakra as needed. When your chakras are in balance, you feel at ease within your whole self, as you are giving and receiving freely with the world.


There are seven main chakras, and each one is connected to the physical, emotional, and spiritual body in its own way. Each one is associated with a color, an element, and a specific sound, which can be useful when chanting to open up the individual chakra.


This is the root chakra at the base of the spine, where the tailbone, bladder, and colon are located. This is the most instinctual of all chakras—our fight-or-flight response is seated here. It is our connection with the past, with our ancestral memories, and establishes our deepest connection with the earth. When this chakra is balanced, we feel utterly fearless and safe. Physical manifestations of imbalance can include problems with the legs, feet, and lower digestive system. Worries about our basic needs for survival—food, shelter, money—may indicate that the root chakra is out of balance.

COLOR: red ESSENTIAL OILS: cedar, clove, myrrh SOUND: O


This is the sacral chakra, where the ovaries and testes are located. Unsurprisingly, this is the center of our creativity and sexuality. Our passions and pleasures, both physical and spiritual, stem from this place in the body. When this chakra is balanced, we are more fertile in every way—every idea, every song, every story grows from here. Physical disruptions can include problems with fertility, kidney function, and hip and lower back pain. When the sacral chakra is overactive, we can be hedonistic and manic, and when it is blocked, we can have trouble finding pleasure in things we ordinarily enjoy.

COLOR: orange ESSENTIAL OILS: sandalwood, ylang-ylang SOUND: Oo


Located at the solar plexus, near the adrenal glands and the endocrine system, Manipura is about personal power, our sense of self and our inner strength. This is where we find the source of our willpower, the drive that takes us from inertia to action. It is about confidence and choice. Someone with a balanced solar plexus chakra is assertive without being arrogant, in control without being afraid, and full of self-love. Someone whose solar plexus chakra is blocked might be hearing that negative inner voice, fearing rejection, or sitting quietly on the sidelines for fear of being wrong. On the other hand, an overactive solar plexus chakra causes emotional outbursts, stress, and a need to be the center of attention. Physical manifestations of imbalance include high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and stomach ulcers.

COLOR: yellow ESSENTIAL OILS: chamomile, lemon SOUND: Ah


The heart chakra is, of course, seated at the heart, but also at the lungs. This is the center chakra, and it is responsible for maintaining the balance between the other six. And how else could we achieve that balance but with love? By love we mean romantic love, self-love, friendship, kindness, compassion, and respect. This is how we recognize that we are not alone, that we are part of a community, of a partnership, of a family. When we allow too much of this feeling, we can be needy or unwilling to set boundaries, even when we need to. And, of course, when we are closed off, we can feel abandoned, lonely, or jealous. Physically, a heart chakra that is out of balance can result in asthma and heart disease, as well as upper back and shoulder pain.

COLOR: green ESSENTIAL OILS: rose, bergamot SOUND: Ay


The throat chakra is located near the thyroid gland. If Manipura is about empowering ourselves, Vishuddha is about sharing our true selves. It is about speaking out, standing up for what we believe in, and presenting ourselves authentically to the world. When that is overdone, we can speak without compassion or interest in what others have to say. A balanced throat chakra means that we not only speak the truth, but we hear and accept it as well, which can often be the harder task. On the other hand, when the throat chakra is blocked, we are afraid to speak and share our true selves with the world for fear of rejection. This can manifest in thyroid issues, sore throat, neck pain, and mouth ulcers.

COLOR: light blue ESSENTIAL OILS: lavender, sage, neroli SOUND: Eee


The third eye chakra is seated near the pituitary gland. We are beginning to get outside of the self now, as Ajna is about seeing things clearly. It's about observation and perception, but also wisdom. When our third eye chakra is balanced, we not only see what is happening around us, but also comprehend it, feeling it deeply, with compassion and understanding. As always, there can be too much of a good thing, resulting in an overactive imagination, an inability to calm the mind, and a lack of focus. If we close the third eye too tightly, though, we cut ourselves off from the world around us, navel-gazing until we become paranoid and depressed. Physical symptoms of an unbalanced third eye chakra can include headaches, hearing loss, and blurred vision.

COLOR: indigo ESSENTIAL OILS: jasmine, vetiver, rosemary SOUND: Mmm


The crown chakra perches at the very top of the head, near the pineal gland and, of course, the brain. As we move to this chakra, we have left the self entirely—we are now focused not only on what is outside of ourselves, but what is beyond us. If magic is to be found in the chakras, it will be found here. There is no intellectual understanding in Sahasrara, but instead a mystical knowing, an intuitive understanding of our place in the universe, of our connection with all life. When the crown chakra is overactive, we tend to assume that we are more powerful/better than we really are, and we become judgmental and critical of others. When the crown chakra is closed, we feel isolated and lonely. We become uncertain, and we feel lost and depressed without a specific reason. Nightmares, migraines, and insomnia can all result from an imbalanced crown chakra.

COLOR: purple ESSENTIAL OILS: frankincense, olibanum SOUND: Ngngng


Meditation is the most effective way to bring all your chakras into harmonious balance. Sit comfortably—there's no need for a perfectly straight back or lotus legs. Instead, sit in such a way that you're not in any pain or discomfort, but you're not likely to fall asleep, either. Remember that meditation is not about stopping all thought—that's an impossible goal. It is instead about allowing our thoughts to come and go, observing without engaging with them.

When you've achieved a state of open relaxation, begin to focus your attention on your root chakra. Visualize its color, and visualize its swirl as it allows energy to flow in and out evenly. Take a deep breath and chant "Ohhhhhh."

Continue in this manner up through each chakra, moving in order and taking the time to focus your attention on each one in turn, seeing its color in your mind and chanting its sound aloud. When you've finished, visualize yourself surrounded by a glow of white light. Repeat a mantra that feels appropriate to you in the moment; perhaps it is something like "I am at peace within myself," or "the Universe/a higher power/God is for me/us all." Breathe deeply and allow the energy to settle within you.


You can balance each individual chakra with a meditation practice. Make use of each chakra's suggested crystals (see here), along with its associated essential oils. You can either rest the crystal on the location of the specific chakra while you're lying down and meditating, or, if you prefer to sit up, simply hold it in your hand. Chant the sound associated with your chakra as many times as feels comfortable and right, or sit in silence, focusing your attention on that chakra.

But if meditation is simply beyond you, there are other ways to balance your chakras, specific to each of them:

MULADHARA Seek out the color red, particularly in your food. Let your bare feet feel the earth. Do something practical, like saving for retirement or paying a little extra toward your mortgage. Use the suggested essential oils in a footbath, or apply a warm cloth with a few drops of oil to the base of your spine.

SVADHISTHANA Engage in a little romance, even if that simply means watching Bridget Jones's Diary or reading a sweeping historical novel. Eat orange foods and indulge in any activity that brings you pleasure, particularly something creative. Drop some essential oils in a bath or shower, or use them to scent a candle.

MANIPURA Get some sunshine! Go to the beach, if it's the right season, or even just curl up inside near the window. Eat yellow foods, including lots of citrus, drink some chamomile tea, and give yourself a lot of self-care. Definitely knock off any negative self-talk!

ANAHATA Make time for those you love—call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, spend quality time with your partner or children, or take your parents out to dinner. For each act of love you give, you will receive that love back tenfold. And while you're at it, eat lots of leafy greens, perhaps throwing in a beet or two.

VISHUDDHA Journal, blog, write some poetry, even sing! You may not be ready to share any of that with anyone else, but practice exercising your voice in whatever way you're comfortable. Seek out the color blue… there aren't many blue foods, obviously, but you could wear a blue shirt or simply choose to notice the blue you see in the world.

AJNA Make a point of listening closely when others are speaking. Read about what is going on in the world and ask questions. Ponder. Wear dark blue, and close your eyes so that you can reflect on what you have seen and heard.

SAHASRARA For this one, you really should meditate, if you can. If not, try prayer. Ask for guidance and be willing to listen for an answer. Look for purple around you. Imagine all the possibilities in the world, and even reflect on the impossible. Allow yourself to daydream.


HONESTLY, PART OF THE REASON WE'RE DRAWN TO CRYSTAL healing is because it's so pretty—it just feels magical.

Whether it is truly magical is up for debate. There is evidence that crystal healing has been around for 6,000 years, dating back to Sumerians and ancient Egyptians. Today's crystal healing most often relates to the Buddhist and Hindu understanding of chakras. All of these different practices assign different properties to different stones—diamonds to draw out poison, garnet to keep nightmares away, jade for longevity, and so forth.

There hasn't been much in the way of real scientific research done on crystal healing, and what little there is shows nothing more than a placebo effect. But, worst-case scenario, crystal healing is utterly harmless, and according to its practitioners, it can achieve a staggeringly wide variety of results—everything from stimulating psychic abilities to aligning the spine and offsetting alcoholism.

Because there are so many stones with such varied uses, crystal healing can be a fairly complicated practice. The effect of each crystal changes not just with its type but also its shape and how it has been activated and cleansed. For instance, rose quartz will produce different results depending on whether it is shaped as a wand or left as a tumbled stone. For a professional session, a healer will interview you about your needs and concerns before having you lie on a mat or a massage table for the session. The healer will then place stones on or near your body as you remain still and try to achieve a state of comfort and relaxation—which isn't always easy with someone darting about putting rocks on and around you.

Most often, the placement relies on the chakras (see here):



On Sale
Sep 5, 2017
Page Count
152 pages
Running Press

Nikki Van De Car

About the Author

Nikki Van De Car is a blogger, mother, writer, crafter, and lover of all things mystical. She is the author of ten books on magic and crafting, including Practical Magic and The Junior Witch’s Handbook, and the founder of two popular knitting blogs. Nikki lives with her family in Hawaii.

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