This was originally approved to be edited and published but then sadly wasn’t, so I’ll just post it here instead. I apologize for oversimplifications or any information that may be very obvious to more seasoned practitioners. This work is meant to help very new beginners utilize basic critical thinking regarding magic properties and uses, among other things. I hope it is at least somewhat helpful.
On Properties and the Inverse of Correspondences
When creating a spell or ritual, regardless of its type, it is important to consider the properties and correspondences of the items you are using, no matter how small or insignificant, as well as to try and use items and ingredients that have properties associated with what you want to accomplish.
Often, an object used in witchcraft and occultism has what are called Correspondences. A correspondence is something that the object relates to regarding magic and spiritual affiliations. The difference between a property and a correspondence is that a property is what magical or medicinal capability the object has, and a correspondence is what that object relates to because of its properties. For example, let’s take the herb Rosemary. Rosemary’s medicinal properties include soothing anxiety, improving memory, and is an anti-inflammatory. It’s magical properties often include clarity of mind, aid with astral travel, and cleansing spaces. According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (p. 218) Rosemary corresponds to the Sun, the element of Fire, Masculinity, Youth, Love, and Purification. This means that Rosemary can be used in spellcraft that require the energy of the Sun, Fire, Masculinity, or work that has to do with youth, love, and purification. There is much overlap between magical properties of objects and correspondences, but a general way to tell the difference is how broad or specific the detail is. To draw money is more of a property because it is more specific, while money and wealth in general are correspondences. However, the linguistic semantics are not as important as the work itself.
Other objects can correspond to deities, spirits, times of day, and more. Regarding spirits, entities, and deities, typically a correspondence is what that entity was either historically given or associated with, or something that the entity favors according to the individual practitioner. For example, Cinnamon is often considered a spice associated with Fire and Masculinity, and because of this, modern Lokean circles often associate it with Loki, a Norse god associated with Fire. Another example would be snakeskin. In my local folk practice, snakeskin has been used to make a snake oil to help with rheumatism, inflammation, and arthritis. However, snakeskin is often corresponded to gods and deities associated with snakes, as well a corresponds to aspects of cunningness due to some folklores referring to a snake as cunning, especially Biblical. To some Satanists, snakeskin may also correspond to Lilith, Lucifer, Satan, or even Cain depending on your personal flavor of Satanism due to the association with the Snake of Eden, trickery, and the Tree of Knowledge.
Long lists of properties and correspondences is one of the common things that nearly every witch, occultist, and other magic user has likely seen across the internet. Many websites have many lists and citations for their own personal versions. However, it is equally important to consider correspondences of things relevant to your personal culture and local mythos are not universal. One example would be that Bay Leaf, in most general witchcraft circles I have seen, is frequently used for drawing money, be it burning the leaf, creating an oil with it, or other, more creative ways to use the leaf. In my local culture, burning Bay Leaf is meant to cleanse the area and repel negativity and evil spirits. That doesn’t mean that it won’t draw money, nor does it mean that people who use Bay Leaf to draw money are wrong, it’s simply a different use and interpretation of the leaf.
Layering Properties and Correspondences
Layering properties and correspondences is important to spellcrafting, but adding too much to a spell can weigh it down. It’s up to the practitioner to actively practice their craft to find the proper balance in their own craft. If you were to make a money-drawing spell, you can simply burn a green candle and speak your affirmations. However, without additional objects that correspond or have money-drawing properties, there is a greater chance of it needing to be done again and again. This does not mean that if you don’t have a multitude of correspondences to money, riches, or treasure that your spell will fail, but rather that it has a greater chance of working with greater potency, direction, and speed. Burning a single green candle for a money spell can work, though it can become more potent if anointed with an oil made of herbs that correspond to wealth or have magical properties that draw wealth. The spell can be made even more potent if you have drawn sigils into the candle to draw money to you, burn a smokestick of dried herbs associated with money, all on a Thursday in the hour of Jupiter (which are a day and planet most commonly associated with wealth). But again, that doesn’t mean that a simple candle spell won’t work or isn’t powerful on it’s own.
Similarly, the entire space itself, even what you wear can be used to hone the spell to your desired result, especially for those who may not have the wealth or means to buy dozens of herbs candles, and curios. Just as you can use a green candle to attract money, think of the potential properties of everything you use in your space. A green incense burner, green clothes and makeup, a green pen or marker, and more can all be utilized together. If you associated pink with love or affection, you can utilize an all-pink wardrobe for a love drawing spell, if you associate red with war, you can wear all red to elevate your mental mood to attune a curse to make people fight. Clothes and environment directly effect our mood and energy, thus these are things a practitioner should consider. You don’t have to have a stereotypical hooded robe to perform magic, what matters if how you feel in your own skin and how you feel in your environment. For some people, wearing a robe makes them feel powerful due to the association of robe to magician. For others, being completely nude feels freeing. This isn’t limited to clothes, of course. You can wear your favourite perfume during a love drawing spell, or use a plain red notebook you might have lying around to write petitions for destruction in black or red permanent marker.
Bending the magical properties and correspondences of objects to one’s personal will is an important skill to cultivate. For a money spell, if you happen to wear a pink shirt doing a ritual about money that doesn’t mean it will stop working, but rather take into consideration every small detail and how it may affect your work if you let it. And here, the key is: If you let it. You don’t have to consider it at all, but if you do, it can be a powerful agent in your magic, especially for those who have limited resources. If you don’t have anything green available, red is often regarded as a prosperous color, yellow can be corresponded to gold and riches, brown for uncovering treasure from the earth, pink for gaining the favor of others, and much more. It all also depends on your individual interpretations, experiences, and working. Not everyone can afford to purchase multiple incense burners of various colors, but if you happen to have some of different colors you can still use them if you consider that color’s correspondences to what you desire to accomplish. If you associated pink with love or affection, perhaps you could utilize an all-pink wardrobe freshly cleaned on a money spell to help “sweeten” a boss into giving a raise, or if you utilize yellow and gold in association with the sun you could help garner enough reputation to get a raise or promotion. There are many possibilities with alternative aspects of what you have immediately available to you.
Furthermore, bending correspondences to your will can apply to things that are more fixed, such as Planetary correspondences or the things that entities can teach or do for you. Saturn may be the generic day for cursing, but you can use the other planets for curses, especially when you learn the properties they invite. For example, the Moon is associated with the emotional state, with healing, and with dreams, thus you can use Monday, the hour of the Moon, or draw the energy of the Moon to cause madness, prevent healing, and shatter dreams. You can draw the power of Mars to cause strife, Jupiter to attack reputations, Venus to harm relationships, the Sun to take away self-esteem, and many other associations with these planets can be used to your favor. Even spirits and entities can be asked what they can help with when you read between the lines. For example, the demon Amon can tell all things past, present, and future, among many other demons. I have asked if he could teach me divination, and not only has he, but he has also taught me many unique ways to utilize divination as well as unique methods of divination. Another example would be the demon Cimejes: he is said to “make men like him” in that he is a soldier who can train men to becoming soldiers, but as a trans man I have worked with him to transition. Again, it is better to ask the specifics a spirit or entity can teach you, but there is much hidden knowledge when you read between the lines or look into key words.
It is also necessary to figure out what aspects of correspondences and properties you care about, and what parts you don’t. You can use the meanings of tarot cards to help cast spells, for example, and some entities have tarot cards associated with them, but if you’re not going to use tarot cards in this manner then there is no point in learning them or writing them down. Your grimoires, books of shadows, journals, books of mirrors, and so on are for your reference only, regardless of what you share to the public, unless you specifically intend to share the information in order to teach others. There is no point in writing down the properties of an herb you know you will never use, or any property or correspondence regardless of the object or entity if you are not going to use it in practice. Just because it is common to work with the elements, or specific crystals, candles, cards, and so on doesn’t mean that it is essential to do so. And this extends to the properties of objects. Common associates are common because they tend to work best with those properties in mind, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only way an object can be used.
Finding and Creating Correspondences
In order to be able to bend correspondences, one must be able to research the basic correspondences. I prefer to do three things when trying to find the properties of a specific plant or stone: Research, Research, and Test. Research online, first. I think that’s about the easiest and most common thing people do, however it isn’t always sufficient enough. When you search online for “properties of amethyst” you’re going to get a ton of witchcraft websites, certainly, but some may be contradictory or not list all the same properties. The first part of this research is to cross reference the similarities and make note of the outliers. That doesn’t mean that one websites that says “amethyst is good for soothing anxiety” and another website that doesn’t mention it means it doesn’t soothe anxiety, it just means that it may have worked for that individual under specific circumstances. So, take a note of it, and continue your research. On various blog websites, people have posted the steps to specific spells they have made. Take note of those spells, and what they specified the properties they are drawing from objects are. Make sure to note what is common and what is uncommon.
The second part of research is grimoires. You can search online, of course, for PDFs, or your local library if they have any books available, or if your library has the ability to order books for you. It’s important to remember that just because something is published, that doesn’t mean that it’s good. However, even absolute rubbish books can give you an unorthodox idea you may not have thought of, as well as a bad author can teach you what not to do just as easily as a good one can teach you what to do. Overall it’s important to look at grimoires, in general, for properties and ideas you may not have thought of before. Many old grimoires come from time periods where they had issues specific to the culture of that time. You can look to old grimoires for properties to slant in your favor. Creativity is essential when learning new properties for yourself, positive or negative or neutral. For example, in Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland by Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde, there is a portion that says:
Also keep a sprig of mint in your hand till the herb grows moist and warm, then take hold of the hand of the woman you love, and she will follow you as long as the two hands close over the herb. No invocation is necessary; but silence must be kept between this two parties for ten minutes, to give the charm time to work with due efficacy. (Wilde)
Because of this information, one can attempt to use different mints to test the outcomes of love and drawing love. With additional creativity, one might also be able to see mint as an herb that can bind a person’s will as an effective curse.
Read new and recent grimoires from current-living authors, as well. (Note: I don’t think I need to say this on this forum tbh but it was necessary at the time of writing) Many occultists put great emphasis on learning the old grimoires, and it is important, but do not snub the effectiveness of modern magic, either.
Once you think you have gathered enough information on the correspondences of an item and have taken note of the commonalities between various authors, you can test it in a spell. Keep in mind the time it takes for a spell to work for you. Typically, my spells work between 3 days and 6 months depending on the complexity of the spell and the intention of the spell, with 3 days for, say, a very simple money-drawing jar, and up to 6 months for a ritual to break lovers apart who are very much in love at the beginning of the spell. Some spells can take place within hours, and others after a year. The magic varies person to person, work to work.
When casting spells, take note of the specific results to help you define the specific ways your correspondences helped you. You can try casting multiple small spells, as well, to test the various ways objects help you. A money spell using cinnamon, bay leaf, and cardamom can be different from a money spell using cinnamon, cardamom, and black tea by the simple omission. Also keep in mind, when creating and recreating spells from anywhere, the main ingredient has already initially changed – you. Your energy and your work is not the same as someone else’s, so don’t be discouraged if your results are different.
When you have the basic correspondences of an object written down, look at ways you can twist them. Think of the ways a trickster spirit would twist words. There is a joke about a man who wished for “a million bucks” who meant a million dollars, and instead was granted one million male deer. This is the kind of literalism and slant meaning that you can harness to make a correspondences especially effective for what you want to accomplish.
Overall, a combination of research and creativity is all that is required to do something new with a spell and the properties of a given item. I hope that this provides a helpful guide on how to explore new possibilities regarding properties and correspondences.
Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Llewellyn Publications, 2008.
Wilde, Lady Francesca Speranza. “Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland.” To Cause Love, Evinity Publishing INC, www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ali/ali106.htm.