by Paige Curtin/@junk_witch
Sometimes your craft is for your eyes only. We get a lot of questions from witches who can't or don't want to be public about their practice, so we decided to round up some useful information about discreet witchcraft for our coven in the broom closet!
The most important thing to know is that you actually don't need anything to be a witch. Really. Not a ding-dang thing. All the instruments we work with in witchcraft are tried-and-true and can add oomph to a spell, but does not having a candle make you not a witch? Heck no! The REAL magic is all about YOU and the energetic space you create for yourself. You can meditate for a few minutes a day and make a wish at the end and that's a totally real and valid practice. You can privately keep track of the moon's cycle and give her a little wink and that's also a totally real and valid practice!
But! There are some helpful tools that you almost definitely have around already. Keep reading for some spellcasting secret agents who can help you make things happen! At some points we'll mention things like numerology or color symbolism: find a quick n' dirty guide to that stuff in DIY Witchcraft: Suggestions for Creating An Empowering Witchcraft Practice Based On Your Experiences And No One Else's (conveniently available as a PDF if you don't want to leave your sacred texts where nosey housemates can find them!)
Who’s gonna be suspicious of a spice cabinet?! Kitchen Witchery is one of the easiest ways to infuse your life with nutritious magic, even if your usual cuisine is ramen and cereal. A trip to your local grocery store or bodega can yield treasures in so many forms: powders and juices and oils, oh my! Look into the magical symbolism of common ingredients like basil, bay leaf, rosemary, garlic, ginger, fruits, vegetables, nuts… everything has a story! Food is a great offering to your guides and ancestors, and you can play with numerology by stirring a special number of times, or in a particular direction. According to some traditions, stirring clockwise, or towards your body, is for bringing in energy and counter-clockwise, or away from your body, is for banishing/cleansing.
Not a culinary goddexx? No problem! You can still work kitchen magic into your meals by saying a quick thank you to whatever energy you vibe with before you start eating. It’s polite and effective!
We already have a whole article about shower spells, but we couldn’t resist mentioning it again as another discreet way to make some magic. Your shower is (hopefully) a place of total privacy, where you can draw designs on your skin and talk to your guides in peace. Shower singer? Sing a spell and your housemates will just think you’re practicing for karaoke!
This is a particularly discreet one, since everyone loves a haus plant! You can even combine plant magic with kitchen witchery and grow your own herbs for cooking! There are tons of suggestions for working with your leafy familiars in the Plant Magic Zine by Salem local Cheryl Rafuse (Official HausWitch Plant Priestexx!) and a very helpful quiz for gauging where you're at in your gardening journey.
Plants are great protectors too, and can help absorb and transform negative energy that comes your way. As our friend Zhana Levitsky of witchx.org says: "The Earth is a great recycler and knows what to do with it". This can be particularly helpful for folks dealing with intolerant family or roommates who might be throwing some shade (terrible pun intended). Luckily, some of the most protective plants are also the easiest to care for: cacti to the rescue!
Make your outfit the spell! Literally cover yourself in magic and no one has to know unless you tell them. But another cool thing? Colors naturally affect other people's moods whether they're witchy or not, so wearing blue for confident communication can help you speak clearly AND help your coworkers or classmates feel calm + receptive.
Same goes for the way you decorate your spaces: suddenly everyone will want to stop by your sunshine-yellow office on Monday mornings (fresh bagels help too, though)! This article about candle color magic has a ton of great info about color symbolism in general!
Other spellcrafting tools that look totally normal:
-Salt: sprinkle across your threshold for protection (doors and/or windows), or sprinkle on your floor + sweep up for cleansing!
-Candles: even those cutie battery-operated flickering tealights if open flames aren't your thing! Your nervous grandma ancestors will probably breathe a sigh of relief anyways. Candles are great for setting intentions, and you can think of them like a beacon drawing your guides closer. If you're working with a wax candle, use a safety pin to carve some intentions into the surface. The evidence will disappear as the candle burns, but your work will release into the ether!
-Paper + something to write with: Written spells and drawn sigils are some of the most powerful magic out there! You can start with something simple like the classic "Abracadabra" charm or Sator square, or create your own
-Water: Make enchanted water by filling a glass vessel and holding it while you meditate. You can include water-safe crystals, align your work with the moon phase or astronomical events, or you can even include some of those magical kitchen treasures and make yourself a moon or sun tea. The important thing is your intention. Preserve your essence for future use by diluting it with an equal amount of alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin, or store in your fridge for up to a month.