Have you ever been ready to cast a spell but realized that you were missing an ingredient? What if you didn’t have time to go shopping or couldn’t find the ingredient anywhere? 🌿 Sometimes Green Witches must substitute an herb with another one, a candle with a different color, and craft our way out!
How to Substitute Spell Ingredients?
Substitute by purpose: If, for example, a love spell calls for Honeysuckle but you don’t have it, use a Carnation instead. If a prosperity spell requires Blessed Thystle, you may use Basil instead. Find a printable page below with magickal purpose correspondences. ↓
Substitute by fragrance: When making anointing oils and other potions, the fragrance of the ingredient can be substituted by a similar one. Find a printable page below with common magickal fragrance substitutions. ↓
Follow your intuition. Ask yourself “If instead of casting a spell I was cooking, what ingredient would I use to substitute this?”
Each ingredient in a spell recipe has a specific function. However, there will come a time when you will simply have to find a substitute and trust that you are making the right choice. After all, your Witchcraft is entirely yours to modify.
List of ingredient substitutions
This printable grimoire guide will give you ideas on what to use as replacement for herbs typically used in Witchcraft, achieving a similar end to the original one.
Powerful plants that can substitute any other ingredient:
- Rosemary and Lemongrass can replace any other herb in the spell.
- Rose can be used instead of any other flower in the spell.
- Sandalwood can substitute any other type of wood.
- Frankincense can be used instead of any gum resin.
Substituting Essential Oils & Fragrances
Can I substitute an essential oil with an essence or synthetic fragrance? Yes. Try to find one that legitimately resembles the odor of the real plant or its essential oil.
How to download these PDF pages? If you are logged in to your Spells8 account, you’ll automatically be able to print each file.
Aromatic herbs and oils, including essential oils are an integral part of spiritual practices.
Keep this guide in your grimoire (2 pages) for reference. Use these fragrance substitutions when making spiritual anointing oils and other potions.
Note: Everything is made out of chemicals. Plants are made out of chemicals. You are made out of chemicals. Synthetic fragrances are symply made by manually combining the same chemicals that occur naturally to make up a fragrance. However, not all synthetics are created equal. If you use them, take the time to find a good one.
Spell Ingredient Substitutes by Purpose
This type of substitution occurs when there are two ingredients that can be used for the same purpose. If you don’t have one ingredient for the spell, you can use another one that fulfills the same intention or purpose.
▶️ Learn more about each plant’s uses: The Green Witch Video Course
Live plants, especially herbs, can bring prosperity into the home. You can also use dried herbs in the form of incense by burning them in specific areas to attract luck.
The most common way to use prosperity herbs for your home is in pots. You can also use herbal essential oils in a diffuser or in the form of incense.
Love & Joy Herbs
Make oils and teas with these herbs or add them to warm water in a spiritual bath. They can be included in spell jars or in mojo bags to make us feel more attractive and predisposed to self-love and romance. Find more love spell recipes here.
When doing a spiritual cleanse, certain herbs are burned like incense. The smoke is used in order to purify oneself, feel protected and blessed. It can also be used to offer and give thanks, to protect places or people.
Live plants can also be hanged or placed in the home to attract good fortune.
Substitutions of Dried Herbs for Fresh Ones
Do you use fresh or dry ingredients in your spells? The answer will depend on what kind of spell you are casting. If you don’t grow your own herbs or go foraging, dry ingredients can be a lot easier to find. And even if you have a garden with your own Witch plants, you may end up drying your herbs to keep them year-round as you celebrate the Wheel of the Year.
As it’s done in the kitchen, when substituting herbs for spells, the general rule of thumb for replacing a dried herb with a fresh herb is to use 3 times the amount required in the recipe.
In Wicca and other Neopagan traditions that deal with Candle Magic, it’s generally accepted that a white candle can replace any other color in the candle spell or ritual. White light is a combination of all colors in the color spectrum. This can be used to symbolically justify the use of a white candle when other colors are not available.
Explore and come up with your own witchy substitutions. As long as the substitution is well considered, it shouldn’t harm the spell’s effectiveness.
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