Haste makes waste. Garbage in, garbage out. In witchcraft—as in life—taking too many shortcuts often leads to underwhelming results.
However, fast magick doesn’t necessarily have to be sloppy magick. Few of us have time for hours-long rituals, but we can still find ways to fit spiritual practice into our busy lives. Here are seven suggestions for shaving some minutes off your witchy routine:
1. Rely on one-card Tarot readings.
I am a big advocate of the one-card Tarot reading. You, too, will be amazed at the concise eloquence of your deck when you ask it for an executive summary of the situation. Just ground and center, then pull one card from your deck. (No cheating!)
The one-card method is quick and honest. It leaves no room for overthinking or second-guessing. Of course, this shortcut works for oracle-card and rune readers, too.
2. Have a stash of cleansing sprays.
Feeling some stale energy in your living space? Having a yucky day at work? Try resetting your energy with a quick spritz of cleansing spray. Aim it above your crown chakra, say a favorite prayer or affirmation, and feel the calming vibes spreading all over your body. You can perform a more thorough cleansing later, if necessary.
We love the White Sage and Palo Santo smudging sprays from Sun’s Eye. You can also make your own with purified water and essential oils. If scents aren't your thing, try using fresh water charged with crystals or sunlight.
3. Practice sigil magick.
Sigil magick has been enjoying a bit of a moment recently, and with good reason. Sigils (or purpose-made magickal symbols) are a great way to conceive and deploy powerful spells, fast.
One caveat: You still must put some sincere effort into creating and charging your sigil. Borrowing somebody else’s (or mindlessly scribbling it somewhere) usually won’t cut it. But once a personal sigil has been properly activated, it can take the place of longer chants, petitions, and spells and be a significant time-saver.
4. Reach for stick or cone incense.
There’s something really special about old-fashioned charcoal and resin incense. But let’s be honest…it can be too messy and time-consuming for your everyday spells and devotions. People all over the world rely on the trusty ole joss stick to create a spiritual atmosphere in a hurry. Pre-mixed incense is widely available and comes in fragrances to suit any ritual purpose. (Brush up on some incense meanings here.)
5. Take a salt bath.
An old witchy formula for purifying and blessing involves just two ingredients: Salt and water. You’ve gotta bathe anyway, right? Add a handful of salt to your bath and mix it in. Soak for a few minutes and visualize all pain and negative thoughts pulled away and down the drain. (Shower-takers can play, too! Grab some salt and gently rub your major energy points with it while standing under the running water.)
6. Re-discover common herbs.
Your witch’s pantry may contain exotic botanicals from far and wide—but plenty of witchcraft ingredients can be found in the backyard or grocery store. Folk magick traditions have many magickal uses for ordinary household herbs. Gather Dandelion for prosperity, Rosemary for cleansing, and Mint for uplifting energy. It just might save you a trip to the metaphysical shop across town.
7. Choose seasonal rituals from a book or website.
They say that the most powerful rituals are the ones you write yourself. And they certainly have a point. Especially when you are trying to fulfill a personal goal or desire, your ritual work should contain as much of your own energy and language as possible.
But not everyone’s a poet (and even poets sometimes come up short on words). Fortunately, there’s a bounty of books and blogs offering pre-made rituals for the busy witch. Most are beautiful, inspiring, and totally adequate for the regular seasonal observances on the Wheel of the Year.
Feeling pressured to craft a unique personal ritual for an upcoming Sabbat? Go ahead and cross it off your list, and just select something that speaks to you. Human beings have been experiencing pretty much the same seasonal cycles for tens of thousands of years. I hereby give you permission to not beat yourself up because you can’t think of something original to say about Ostara.