How to Dismantle an Old Spell

In the world of witchcraft, we spend a lot of time talking about what to use in spells: what herbs work best for certain circumstances, types of crystals and writing your intentions down on certain kinds of paper. Sometimes, a spell eats up these materials, such as when we burn a handwritten incantation to release its power, sprinkle magickal herbs into a special dish that is then consumed or bury a witch jar by the front door.

How to Dismantle an Old Spell | The Witch of Lupine HollowHowever, as every witch knows, most spells leave something behind. Whether it’s ashes, candle wax or the fully intact contents of a charm bag, there is something that needs to be disposed. So the question arises: what are we supposed to do with items that have been magickally blessed or infused with energies but are no longer in use?

For most of us, it seems disingenuous to just throw them in the garbage, although in some cases, such as a banishing spell, that might be appropriate. Recently, I was going through some dresser drawers and came across my Lammas Abundance Charm Bag tucked under some lingerie (as is my habit with such spells). Now, a spell like this really shouldn’t be allow to sit more than a season. The point of the abundance charm bag was to insure a prosperous autumn – now that we are into the heart of winter, it’s time for the spell to be dismantled.

It’s important not to just open the bag, dump out the contents and toss them away. We don’t want to unintentionally break the positive energy of the original spell, (and have all my abundant living come crashing down.)

Ritual for Dismantling a Charm Bag

During a waning moon, lie the charm bag on the altar and light a few candles. It may be helpful to put on some soft, instrumental music as well.

Rest your hands, palms up, on the altar on either side of the bag.

Close your eyes and spend a few minutes meditating on what the purpose of the spell had been and why it is no longer necessary.

Open your eyes and gently open the charm bag. Reach inside and remove any crystals, if applicable. Cup your hands and hold the crystals one by one.

Say aloud: This spell is complete. Go forth with unhindered purpose.

Set the crystals aside and plan to recharge them at the next new moon. This will insure a proper reset of their energies.

Reach into the bag again and remove any papers or written elements, if applicable. Hold the papers up to the candlelight so they are illuminated.

Say aloud: This spell is complete. Return to the neutral earth.

Light the papers with a candle and allow to burn in a cauldron or other safe container. Let them turn to ash. If the spell had a positive energy, plan to sprinkle the ashes in your garden later. 

If the spell had a negative energy, plan to blow them to the wind, preferably in a space away from your home.

Turn the bag over and carefully shake out any remaining loose items such as herbs, petals, fruit pits, etc.

Move your hand over the remaining items in a counterclockwise (widdershins) motion.

Say aloud: This spell is complete. Return to the neutral earth.

Sweep the items into a plastic bag and dispose of them in the trash. If appropriate, you might instead incorporate them into compost.

Wash the bag that held your spell in water (preferably moonwater), careful to remove any remaining bits of herbs, paper, etc.

While washing, say aloud: This spell is complete. Go forth with unhindered purpose.

Hang the bag up and, when dry, put it away for use at another time.

Blow out the candles to complete the ritual.

This ritual can easily be adapted for any kind of witch jar, witch ball or any other spell that consists of items held inside a vessel. For ideas on how to dispose of spell ashes, wax or other items, my favorite resource is this post from Old World Witchcraft.

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