Today’s entry is one part a description of a spell format, and one part exploring some of my autobiography, and misadventures in it’s evolution … with appropriate bits of discretion of course.
To appease those who might be vexed at a number of paragraphs of evolution and misadventure in the development before the outline of the spell, as much a hazard of this type of blog as in the Culinary world of recipe blogs, we will lead with an outline of the spell itself and then we can dig deeper.
The Red Letter
Inspired by a journaling exercise/Will exercise/spell from the writings of T. Thorn Coyle, where one writes out a sentence regarding what one is Willing into existence/manifestation in red ink, a Red Letter is a vaguely letter format page or more of writing with appropriate symbols sprinkled throughout in red ink on a special piece of paper.
Opening with the subject/targets name, and various identifiers like nick-names, planetary and astrological and elemental correspondences and symbols related to them. The letter then flows into the energies and powers your calling upon and what your calling upon them to do. Be entirely focused on the goal of the spell, but be as poetic and evocative in your imagery and wording as you can. In this case the symbols are used to help signify the person/subject being worked upon/for and to signify some of the powers and energies brought to bear, but the main focus of our efforts in the Red Letter should be in the power and beauty and eloquence of the words we choose as we work to express to the universe our desires in the matter.
From here The Red Letter should move into calling upon the elemental powers and whatever ancestral powers or spirits you work with and finally any Gods that you work with/worship. We end, as so many spells do, with whatever variation of So Mote It Be that strikes your or your traditions fancy.
This spell is one that, in part, relies on the relationship between the persons involved and it is not just the casting of the spell, but some form of sharing it WITH the subject or their petitioner that is the key that unlocks the magick.
The Red Letter is read aloud at a proper ritual moment by the caster. This can be during an appropriate Moon Phase, or on a particular Planetary Hour and Day, or however your practice and path move you.
Then we need to do something to ‘send’ the letter to our subject and into the aether. Burn it, fold it into a charm bag for the recipient, or you could actually mail the letter to the recipient for them to either place in a charm bag or perhaps tuck into their Grimoire or Book of Shadows as a token of love and well-wishes as they feel appropriate. Another key element of The Red Letter is that it be an interpersonal interaction of some sort, it is not enough to simply cast and forget; the recipient should be aware of this working and ideally at least some of the wording. The working, and the wording, are meant to touch their mind and heart as well as their fate, it should inspire their own prayers and imaginations, and in the case of a fellow worker of wonders their workings.
NOTE: while intended for and inspired by a work of blessing or healing, I acknowledge that blessing and cursing can grow from the same stalk.
One could conceivably use a Red Letter for baneful work, and I am sure those so moved would be able to find multiple loop-holes in the above, and self justifications, towards that end.
However, the recipients knowledge of the working and its words would need to be very carefully handled, and actually sending The Red Letter would conceivably constitute what the legal courts like to call evidence and is NOT recommended!
(As you will see below, some of this format was brought about because I lack confidence in my artistic tallent and focus to create either a sigil or bind-rune, and this spell came about as the result of a very personal request. If you have the focus or artistic temperament to create bind-runes and sigils, then have at it my darlings!)
And now the circumspect biographical details and catalog of some of my metaphysical misadventures ensue!
Some years ago, DK and I had been friends and co-conspirators in the Pagan and Witch communities, among a few other Venn Diagram overlaps of friendship and interests that can happen in a relatively isolated largish small town like Anchorage, AK. We had at some time in our mid to late 20’s had a falling out when we ended up working at the same employer for a while and some of the qualities that led to affinity and friendship ended up at odds with our individual emotional/spiritual/mental baggage in collision.
We reconnected a few years ago over the death of a dear mutual friend. We ended up in a few long conversations at the time. We had both, in the intervening almost two decades been through life changes, growth, addiction, recovery, illness and many other hazards of life and adulting. Apologies, commiserating, the sharing of hard won tidbits of wisdom, and life lessons, ensued; and we both realized that life is far too short to let ones (reasonably worked through) emotional baggage cut off friendship and co-conspiracy. We have been in semi-regular contact since. The occasional text chat or video call, conversations via meme, and lately the sharing of relevant Tiktok’s with one another.
So when she messaged me with an urgent request for spells and prayers for her beloved, who was facing a diagnosis of Cancer, I was both honored, humbled, and a bit surprised.
She too is a Witch after all. At the same time she is wrestling with some similar issues of returning to her path and self and health after some roller coasters of life experience that I myself have faced. Something in me stirred, something sparked like a delightful memory and I immediately found myself throwing in with her cause.
I pressed her for information on her beloved’s full name, date of birth, any associations with religion, nick-names and various random bits of information as I formed my plan. I also made the decision to keep her in the loop as to the spell, because it felt as if she was as much in need of some inspiration and tools in her own efforts for her beloveds healing as he was in the need for healing.
Now some of my readers might object to the idea of sharing the details of a working with another, after all one of the cornerstones of the Witches or Magicians Pyramid is Secrecy. To Keep Silent. At the same time however a synonym of to keep a Secret is to keep a Confidence. One can share a Secret and still keep things confidential. It was in this spirit that I shared developments with dear DK.
I began by crafting and cleansing a healing candle with oils of Rosemary and Patchouli and Peppermint, a bit frou-frou for the gentleman I was working for, but sometimes as a Witch you work with what you have on hand. As it evolved, and as I will cover perhaps in another post, I did not end up tying this candle specifically to DK’s beloved, but found another purpose for it… but that evolved later.
As I considered the nature of the spell I began to think of a rite where a sigil or bind-rune would be lit a-flame by the candle flame. So I reviewed one of my old notebooks and the notes on runes. I selected a few that seemed to speak to either healing or health or vitality. Then… I ran into a block. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my artistic abilities related to drawing or design. This presented a brief road block and I was in a bit of a time crunch because I had determined by our subjects date of birth the right day for a working based on his astrological sign and the Planetary Days and Hours of the Chaldean system. The start of his chemo was approaching, and I needed to pull things together. The Full Moon on the right day had already passed, but the Last Quarter would also fall on the right day of the week and since I was aiming to infuse health and vitality and life force to our subject and to fight against his cancer using the waning of the moon could work and the Moon was going to be in Aires so the theme of removing unwanted things was still astrologically in play…
I realized that words and writing have been a deeply important aspect of my creativity and witchcraft for as long as I can remember, which is how the Red Letter format took shape. The Runes, became stanzas in the letter, the runes on the margin and the lines calling upon and referencing the powers of the world represented and directing them towards our subjects health and healing. The poetry found it’s way to flow once I settled into the preparations for the working.
The night of the working itself had it’s own bit of revelation.. but I think I will save writing more about that for another post…
This spell is done and my revels at an end, all that remains is for the ashes of our Red Letter and some of the Candle Wax to be mailed to my friend, along with a bit of a Witchy Care package.
I hope this proves useful to some of you in your own journey’s.
Bliss and Blessed Be,
Pax / Geoffrey