Using Ashes For Spellwork and Magic

One of the aspects of spellwork I love most is the layering of items, herbs, potions, symbols and colors that create a landscape of correspondences to empower the spell and its energy.

Candle dressing is one of those ‘layerings’ and though most of the time, candles are dressed with just oils or potions, Ashes are a powerful tool for me; especially for use in spellwork.

What Ashes Are In Magick + Spellwork

It is said that ashes hold no active energy, but I completely disagree.  Ashes are the alchemical result of fire and earth, water and air. Sympathetically it represents change, transformation, union of different parts and the whisper of its parts.  In other words, when you take, say, wood from Cedar, Manzanita, Oak, and Pine, as I have with my ash, burn it and collect the ash, what you have is a new substance. 

There is a very specific movement to this energy. Yes, deep and pervasive transformation, but it’s a cleansing, retreating, releasing and cutting away energy.

Consider ash and charcoal, it draws out, dries out and pulls back. This is a very refined type of movement and energy.

So when using ashes for shellwork, more than anything you’re tapping into the energetic of transformation and alchemy release, banishing, purifying and taking away in order to leave what is most purely left.

And the beauty of ash is that you can make it out of any combination of ingredients you choose. So the type of release or cutting away can be supported by the type of ash it is as well. The possibilities are endless.

Uses for Ashes in Spellwork

As with any single ‘ingredient’ we use magically, simply having a bit of it on your altar or on your person, holds the energetic intention for you.  The image above, where I have a small bowl of ash, can be a great anchor in and of itself.

As another example, I attend fire ceremonies for various deities in my personal practice, and often the ashes from those offerings that are burned are given to each of the participants of the ritual in order to have a ’tie’ or connection to that working that can then be kept on our personal altars.  I love this practice very much as when I’m working with that particular deity, I’ll have an altar erected for them, that also holds this container of ash as a resonant vibration of that ritual and devotion.  

Other uses are additives to potions, making it something to anoint tools, your body, places, circles and inks.  The last being something I love to do. Adding a smidge of intentional ash to a magical ink that you use to write in your Book Of Shadows or to create sigils with is a powerful layering that we can all easily be doing all the time.

This list isn’t by any means comprehensive, but I wanted to give special attention to candle dressing.

Candle Dressing with Ashes

Because of the particular energy of ash, dressing candles with it is best done when the intention fo the working is to banish, release, cord cut or purify. Again, remember, ash draws out, absorbs what you need it to.

I like to take my candles and with a hard fine instrument, I’ll carve a sigil, a word or rune into the candle. Then I’ll rub an oil all over it, especially into the grooves of the symbol. The oil I choose will also have energy in alignment to what I’m working on. Then, take the ash and rub it all over the candle, making sure it’s nice and thick over the symbol.

It’s messy, but then so is life, yes? You’ll feel the potency of the energy the instant you dress the candle in this way.

Sourcing Your Ash for your Spellwork

Again, you can create specific ash out of whatever ingredients you have on hand and mean something specific to you.  Ash is such a versatile ingredient! And it’s important to note that the blend I use and offered in boxes is made up of ingredients I have an abundance of supply of, because the Witches Box workshop is in the middle of a forest.

I say that to indicate that where this particular blend is powerful for me, it is not indicative of a recipe you have to have or should be seeking to create if you don’t have access to this combination of woods.  

Layering ingredients for ash in your spellwork is just as powerful if not more so, for you, if you create these combinations out of things that both have meaning for you and are accessible for you.

Sourcing ingredients for ash blends can be as easy as beginning to collect the ash left over when you burn a particular incense that you love and find particularly potent for things like divination, clearing, astrological work, etc.  

Consider the things you burn typically in your rituals and spells and you can begin to get an idea of the type of ash blends that will make most sense for you.

How To Create Ashes for Spellwork

I wasn’t going to include this here, but perhaps in the interest of thoroughness, I will. Spellwork is always most potent when we’re being responsible and informed!

Ash is what is left over after you have burned flammable items.  It can be dried herbs and twigs or logs of wood, it can be paper, fabric, incense, hair, oils on other flammable objects, etc.

There are a few words of caution here:  

  1.  Be mindful of not burning things that are toxic to you and the environment such as plastics, synthetic fabrics, photographs or any other man made substance that you can’t readily find or create from natural products easily.  Magickally these items will be weak, unless you have ascribed special meaning to it, and then it may have power for you, but you have to weigh out whether the toxicity is worth it for you. Admittedly, there have been times when I have burned photos and kept the ash, but the smoke was absolutely toxic, so my alternative now is to just make a color copy of the image on a printer.  Still a bit toxic due to the inks, but no where near as much as an actual photograph.
  2. And as always when burning anything, use caution so as not to burn yourself, your home or anything else down!

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