Gabriela Herstik answers questions on magic


Ask A Witch: Can Magick Fix My Money Problems?

Money spells, anxiety, and visualization... oh my!

In Ask a Witch, Gabriela Herstik answers your questions about channeling ancient wisdom in the modern age. From spellcraft to finding your path, explore what it means to be a millennial witch.

It's been a while, beloved witches, but here we are once again on the spiral journey of growing our magick. Our coven has reunited and now we meet in the woods as Midsummer burns bright. Another season, another chance to hone our intuition, honor the natural world, and work with energy to be the agents of karma we are. Today, June 21, we are greeted with the longest day of the year and the first day of summer, the Summer Solstice. A celebration of the sun's power, the Solstice grants us the opportunity to connect even further with the potent and active wisdom of the cosmos, a celebration of light and radiance.

In this installment of "Ask A Witch," we'll be covering a lot of ground that surrounds the idea of power, from money spells to dealing with anxiety through witchcraft, to visualization and meditation. As always, grab your grimoire and make yourself comfortable. We'll be examining different aspects of witchcraft that can help us return to our center amidst all the change and shifts and cycles around us.

Question: Do you have a suggestion for money spells? What's your favorite one?

Answer: Ah yes, the money spell. While there are powerful spells out there, I would like to suggest that it's not so much a spell that will get us money, but a shift in the way we relate to and witness money. Language is the first step in this for many of us. What is it that you're proclaiming about yourself and your finances? If you want to be rich and abundant and wealthy, start noticing when you're saying the opposite. Rephrase your language to support your vision ("I am working toward abundance") and not to support what you don't want ("I'm working, but it's not going to be enough"). You can also work with mantras and affirmations for money and say them to yourself in the mirror every day. Some examples: "I live with an abundance of money, love, friendship, and support." Or: "I am a rich bitch. I am a wealthy bitch. Every aspect of my life is abundant."

You may also wish to create a money altar, using dollar bills, stones for abundance like green aventurine and citrine, gold candles, coins, checks, gold jewelry, and anything else that you see that makes you feel like you're already securing the bag. Charge and carve a candle for abundance that you can light every day at your altar. Find a prayer for abundance that speaks to you, or write one, and say this as you light your candle. Put a piece of citrine in your wallet. Carry around two or three hundred dollar bills in your wallet so you feel wealthy. Don't use them, but keep them there.

In the mornings, before you begin your day, meditate on the color green, pulling it into your heart chakra. Then surround yourself with a cocoon of gold light, as you align yourself with the energy of abundance. You may also wish to do EFT, aka tapping, where you repeat affirmations to yourself as you tap on energetic meridian points to dissolve fear and old patterns. Radical Self Love Goddess Gala Darling has some really powerful tapping videos on her YouTube, including this one on tapping for gratitude, appreciation, and abundance. One of the ways we can invite in wealth and money and all the freedom it brings is through gratitude! Write a list of all the things you're grateful for, or record a voice memo for this. Feel the electric buzz of this in your body, making a list of all the things you're thankful for that already make you feel rich. Give yourself permission to deserve this.

One of the reasons money spells so often don't work is because we don't believe we deserve them. We are so programmed to believe that life is a struggle, that money must be worked for, that we forget that we ARE abundance. That the universe itself is infinitely able to support our needs. When we work with affirmations, tapping, meditation, ritual, we reprogram the part of our mind that believes we need to play small or that we need to struggle to be successful.

And if you still want to do a money spell, try adapting this honey jar for some major money mojo instead. Put coins into the jar, add herbs like mint, lavender, basil, bay leaves, sage or thyme, and perform the spell at a Full, New or Waxing Moon.

Question: Hi, do you have any tips on how to help anxiety with witchcraft?

Answer: Hello, fellow human who is living with anxiety! First of all, let me just say I see you and I hear you. I also feel you. But I do want to say that as a witch I am an advocate for all different types of medicine, including therapy and prescription drugs. I consider my weekly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy part of my spiritual practice, as it helps me keep my mental state healthy. While witchcraft can be, and for me definitely is, a worthwhile and helpful complement to this, it's not a substitute. If you are struggling with your mental health, please also get professional help, whether it's online therapy like Talkspace or IRL.

But let's say you are getting help and want some practices and tools to supplement this! One of the things I recommend is breathwork and meditation. There are many different breaths, but one that is said to help with anxiety specifically is the 2/4 breath, where you inhale for two counts and exhale for four. Doubling the length of the exhale can help turn off your fight-or-flight response, helping you find a little calm in the moment. Meditation can also be a tool you use in the morning or in states of intensity when you need instant relief. You can work with specific colors, visualizing yourself surrounded by and cocooned in a sweet ocean or blue sky, for a peaceful and calm energy. Create a happy and sacred space for yourself in the astral realm, the realm beyond ours where magick takes place before transpiring on the physical. Think of and create a home or environment where you feel safe and comfortable here. Then, when you need to you can meditate here and return when you're anxious or want a bit of escape.

Another way I have recently been relating to my experience with stress and anxiety is through the elements, and through connecting what I'm feeling physically and mentally through this sphere. Earth is our body, our home, the physical. Air is the mental, our breath, our thoughts. Fire is our passion, our desires, our sexuality. Water is our emotions, our inner world. Spirit is us, our soul and how these all work together. Next time you feel anxious, notice what element is coming into play. What's triggering your feelings? Do you feel caught in your body (too much earth), or totally separated from it (too much air)? Do you feel totally overwhelmed by the scope of your emotional world (too much water), or totally enraged and anxious at all the things around you (too much fire)? We can work with the elements we're lacking to help us find equilibrium again. You can connect to the elements by spending time in nature, by visualization and meditation, or by working or scrying (gazing and divining) with the elements themselves too.

Working with the breath associated with water may be a tool you wish to utilize to embrace the calming effects of the element. You inhale, exhale, hold, and then begin again. Start with four seconds for each piece, then move to five or six. You may visualize blue, purple, or silver light being pulled into your body and your lungs through your crown chakra as you inhale to embody this relaxing energy.

Herbs, tea, and CBD are all other ways we can use the tools of witchcraft to find some peace. Making herbal teas with lavender, nettle, valerian, damiana, and dandelion can help reduce anxiety, so sip away. You can also make some tea or an herbal infusion and then add this to a bath with Epsom salt and magnesium to really help you calm down. You can also work with CBD, by ingesting it, smoking it, using it topically like in a lotion, or in a bath. Derived from the hemp or cannabis plant, CBD works with our body's endocannabinoid system to help us come back to homeostasis, which helps to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and the sensation of pain. There are many different kinds of CBD, whether ingested as a tincture, gummy, or vape, and it takes some figuring out to know what will work for you, but trial-and-error is key and so is patience.

Unfortunately, witchcraft can't help us cure anxiety, but it can help us understand it. Be compassionate to yourself. Make an altar dedicated to yourself, and write a letter to the anxiety you feel. Leave it here to charge, and then on the waning or new moon, burn this up. It's okay to not be okay. Your anxiety doesn't make you any less of a witch. Keep doing it, and blessed be upon your path.

Question: I have so much trouble visualizing during rituals! How can I improve this?

Answer: Visualization! Otherwise known as one of the things that my air sign mind is really good at and really bad at. While I can think about anything at any time, holding onto a single vision during visualization is hard for me. It's like the bubble bursts. And while it's an ever-evolving process, I can say with confidence my daily meditation and ritual practice has helped. If you want to work with visualization in ritual, then you should start outside of ritual. Work with guided meditation to help you strengthen your inner vision and third eye, using an app like Insight timer (my favorite) or YouTube. Guided meditations mean you don't have to figure out what you are or are not thinking about. Doing one of these can help you practice your visualization skills by following along someone else's journeys.

You may also wish to do short visualizations in meditation as well. Try visualizing drawing down a color of light, or a rainbow of light, through the top of your head at the crown chakra. Visualize this light, which could be anything from magenta for love and passion, to gold for wealth, or white for healing, moving down your spine, down your arms and torso, down your legs, filling you up with this radiant colored. Play around with this light, maybe it turns into a cocoon of light around you, maybe it grows from your heart to surround you. Maybe you draw in different colors of light in layers, adding this energy to your auric or energetic field. You may also wish to visualize objects, taking something simple like a flower and looking at it and then closing your eyes and trying to recall as many details about the flower as possible.

Meditating and envisioning yourself in a specific setting can also help you strengthen this third eye muscle. Close your eyes, breathe, ground, and return to your body. Then imagine yourself outside, in a natural setting. Maybe you're in a meadow, or near the ocean, or in the forest. Try your best to notice all the details, or to feel them, or smell them, or hear them. Your intuition and sense of visualization may not be super-visual, and instead, it may be more sensory-based. This is okay! Explore this through visualizing different environments, taking notes of the way you perceive and feel things. Both High Magick by Damien Echols and The Spiral Dance by Starhawk have even more visualization practices to help you hone in your inner psychic. Consistency is key, and practice is the only way to get better! Try to meditate as often as you can, even if it's for three to five minutes. Eventually, you'll notice it will get easier in ritual to hold focus and visualize, however it is you visualize. Best of luck!