Prayers and Spells for Health
A witch’s spells are all meant, in the broadest sense, to bring healing or to restore harmony in some way. But in this chapter, we will look at some magical prayers and rites which may be used to heal actual diseases. Health is both simple and complex to the wildwood mystic who practises hedge witchcraft. It is simple because it means being in harmony within ourselves and with all Earth’s creatures — that’s all. Harmony concerning what we eat, how we sleep, what we do with our lives, where we live, whether we are creative and how we are in our relationships with other beings. It is complex because the reasons why these requirements are often not met are dependent upon the culture within which we live — whether it is rich or poor, at peace or at war, environmentally caring or greedy, just to everybody or elitist etc. — as well as on our own psychology, genetic inheritance and strength of spirit.
To put this another way, none of us can expect to be fully healthy all the time, until the world is. Even we who live in wealthy countries and in beautiful places still breathe polluted air, eat and drink food and water that is tinged with pesticides, and are subject to a wide variety of economic, social and personal pressures. The only kind of person to be permanently fit in such a world would be one who lived in a bubble — and the bubble would have to have a miraculous private supply of clean air, food and water! Certainly no wildwood mystic is likely to conform to this self-serving pattern, even if it were possible. In fact, being more psychic and sensitive than most, we are more than usually open to stresses of all kinds. So, it’s just as well that we can protect ourselves with a variety of healing spells, as well as (if we’re lucky) spend much time in nature ’recharging our batteries’.
To reiterate: nothing will prevent us from ever getting ill at all, or not until we have helped to heal the whole world, however many lifetimes this takes us all to achieve. The good news is that our mystical efforts and rites help us and others to be more likely to recover, and much more quickly!
As a first line of approach, we may pray to the deities of middle Earth, about how we, physically, live our lives.
Prayer to the Earth Goddess for Healing
Mother Earth, grant to—[name them] a solid foundation for her/his/my health and whole life. I pray to you as the mother of all, the creative one who shapes and upholds existence. You are the mother of forests and oceans and all creatures, everything that lives. Help—[name them] to become rooted into your rhythms and in harmony with your laws of life. As though she/he/I were a tree, help her/him/me to plunge roots into your strength and be nourished, and so grow stronger, both grounded and free. Restored in health. So may she/he/I live to create beauty and realize every vision of harmony.
Prayers like the above are best said outside with your feet on the earth — barefoot, if it’s warm enough. If indoors, sense the earth under the floor coverings, and visualize her strength and creativity in the form of all the grass, flowers, trees, pools and rocks, birds and beasts, crystals, hills and valleys that she makes.
This may be followed by a prayer to the God of all nature for his help and guidance.
Prayer for Healing to the Green God
Green Horned God of woodland and of wild places, I call to you — guardian of all the animals! You who guide creatures to find herbs that heal them and to know when to rest or eat and when not to, I ask you to guide—[name them]. Lead her/him/me to the best remedies and to healing. Whether these come via a health practitioner or by the right changes in life, may health be restored. And may your blessing be on us all. May all be led to live in ways that are best for our own health and that of all beings.
Pick up a stone, to represent mother earth, and say something like, Mother Earth, I bless this stone in your name, as a link with your great strength and your healing magic.
Then take a leaf or some grass to represent Mother Earth’s partner, the Green God. Stain the stone green, saying, Green God, your word is on all alive places. By this sign, may—[name the person] receive true healing.
Give the stone to the one who is ill. It should be kept near to where they sleep — on a bedside shelf or a table. If you have done the spell for a creature or place, not for a human, the same rule still applies. Put it under the animal’s bedding. Or, if it is a place that has become diseased, just take the stone there and leave it somewhere that feels suitable. Of course, the prayers may need adapting (especially for a place). In any case, they are not rigid formalities, just guidelines.
These prayers concerning how we live, and the need for physical changes or remedies, are our first resource. However, an illness may have a deep hidden cause, that is located in our psychology, or in the psychic dimension. There may be a number of unknown factors in ill-health, that could range from living in an unhealthy psychic atmosphere to having creative blocks, being in unspoken conflict with a person or with a spirit, harbouring grudges, being in trauma or having emotional wounds of one kind or another. These things are underworld matters. They are about subtle and possibly hidden things that detract from our fulfilment and put us at odds with fate.
The prayers to our Mother Earth and the Green God are best said in springtime or summer, but may be said anytime, as needed. Those to the underworld deities, however, are best in autumn or winter, or at any time of year when the Moon is on the wane, (or on the ebb-tide, if you’re by the sea).
You may pray to the Goddess and/or the God separately, or to both together, as in what follows.
Prayer to the Goddess and God of the Underworld for Healing
Lady and Lord of the hollow hills and underground pools and sea caves and all underworld places, I call upon you to send real assistance to—and heal her/his/my sickness. Banish all deep causes for any illness. Let these be washed away. Let any resistance to good health be transformed. Let all bad patterns within her/his/my fate that lead to disharmony be changed to good ones. Let there be a cleansing of destiny and let all bad influences upon health be gone. You, Goddess, who ordain the plot of all our lives, and you, God, who help us to understand it, guide her/him/me in a profound quest for wellbeing. And let her/him/me emerge into renewed health.
Now take a small piece of cloth, like a hair tie or neck scarf, belonging to the ill person. Wash it in warm, soapy water, to which you have added five drops of juniper oil, or a half cup of cider vinegar. Just before plunging the cloth in the water, say, This cloth is the weaving in the soul of—[name them] that prevents her/him/me from being well. As I wash, so may this pattern of destiny be cleansed, removing all hindrances to wellbeing, of any kind. Removing all unhealthy influences, whether internal or external, from heart and mind. So may the pattern of fate from now on be one of good health for—in the names of the deities.
When ready, give the dry cloth to the owner, all fresh and smelling of juniper (or cider vinegar) and ask them to wear it for at least one day. If you are doing this spell for an animal or place, then you can buy a small piece of cloth and link it with them by leaving it where they sleep or on site, for nine nights. After it is washed and dried, you can return it.
Sometimes, illnesses are linked with lack of spiritual energy, a feeling that your ideals have become small or narrow, that you don’t look above the horizon. This feeling — that your aspirations have been badly damaged, or that you never seem uplifted, but always nose-to-the-grindstone in spiritual shabbiness or in depression — may be undermining you, physically. If so, then you need the light of the Moon or Sun or Stars, or the Moon’s magnetic pull or the Sun’s vibrant warmth and strength. Prayers must then be said to upper-world deities. You may know it is the Moon’s mystery or the Sun’s warmth and joy or the Stars’ guidance that you crave. But if you’re not sure, then you may need to pray to each of them. The prayers can be something like this.
Prayer to the Moon Goddess for Healing
Lady of the Moon above, giver of visions, you who are Goddess of poetry, as well as mystery, restore the meaning to the life of—[name them]. Grant a renewed inspiration that leads to health. Bestow a dream or an inner sign of beauty, one that she/he/I can understand. Lady of inner sight in darkness, give healing visions and new sense of purpose.
If the Sun’s light is needed, the prayer might be this one.
Prayer to the Sun God for Healing
Great Sun God of strength and vitality, give health to—. Grant vibrant living. Give her/him/me renewed warmth of heart. And give of spiritual illumination to us all, increasing our joy in life.
As a witch, I am happy to pray to the Moon Goddess and Sun God, as is our tradition. But many Pagans feel happier to worship a Sun Goddess and Moon God. This is just as valid, and there are many precedents for it worldwide. My own opinion is this: the Sun, Moon and stars are but physical counterparts of kinds of spiritual energy. They manifest something divine, mysterious. Of course, that energy, in every case, has both a female and male aspect. So there is both a Sun Goddess and Sun God, a Moon God and a Moon Goddess. We are not praying to lumps of rock or balls of burning gas, but to divine presences who are both or either gender. For anything may express the mother of all life and/or her son, the all-father. It is a matter of preference how we see them. Either way, we will be correct, and there are traditions supporting each point of view.
Prayer to Star Deities for Healing
Great Lady and Lord of the Stars, who represent to us guidance, I call upon you. Rekindle hope in—, who has lost the way in the quest for health. Shine your light in her/his/my soul. Bring back a sense of faith; bring her/him/me from thoughts of death to life. Give a new beginning.
Prayers to the Sun should be said in the day and those to the Moon or stars at night. Though remember, the Moon’s light is not above us in the day, but her magnetic power is, in the time from halfway to the new moon until halfway to the full.
To follow these prayers with magic, stand a glass jar or bottle of spring water in the moon, sun or starlight, for at least one hour. Then use it to anoint the ill person, place or creature. (If it is a person, you can bathe their brow with it.) Letting starlight shine on water may not be too easy, if you live in the city. It tends to be terribly obscured by streetlights. But if you take a clear glass jar full of spring water, then hold it up till you can see the stars through it, and visualize the light entering the water, this will do.
Before leaving the subject of healing, I would like to add that sickness is a part of life and not always entirely negative. It can have a part to play in allowing someone to process grief or disillusionment, or in spurring us on to seek the real causes of unease in our lives. It can give us time in which to rest and reconsider priorities. The wise witch is therefore not phobic about ill-health, but able to see its place in the larger scheme. From a wildwood mystic’s perspective, it teaches something each time. The whole quest for healing is linked with the way we live, who we are, on every level.
Finally, I cannot leave this chapter without including some prayers for the biggest form of healing, the one that concerns our relationship with all beings, environmentally.
Prayer to Mother Earth to Heal the Human Spirit
Our Mother Earth, Great Lady of Creation, you who have given birth to every land and all creatures and plants and to all people, we call upon you. We know that you can heal and restore the balance of nature, as you have done before. We know that after each human catastrophe, you have clothed the land again, in flowers. After each abuse, or after war, you break down poisons. Over years, you cover buildings and battlefields with plants and creatures and bring back the beauty. We ask you to change us, restore us, within our spirits. Let your wise magic make us new in harmony, that we may live in peace and creativity and in adventure, with harm to none. Bring us to wisdom.
Prayer to the Underworld Deities to Heal the Human Spirit
Great Goddess and God of the memory’s storehouse and of the true source of true actions, be with us. Help us to understand ourselves and each other. Lady and Lord of the deep caverns, the underground rivers, the buried treasures, guide us to see and know and come to terms with our reasons for feeling as we do. Bring to light hidden potential for goodness, locked up in whatever gives fright. Let all that is underground, in our souls, flow out in fulfilling purpose. For it is only that which is stagnant that breeds corruption. And by you, we can become one with what moves and lives.
Prayer to the Sky Deities to Heal the Human Spirit
Great Lady and Lord of night and endless starshine, Lady and Lord of time and what is timeless, we call upon you now. Help us escape from all false limitations. We see your realm far beyond us and cannot imagine what is beyond the beyond. Break us free of that which keeps us in chains of oppression or violence or pettiness. Make our capacity for love and wisdom be limitless and based in wonder.
With imagination, many magical rites can be devised to follow such prayers as these. When rites for healing succeed, there is this:
Grace for Good Health