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I Practiced Witchcraft For A Week, & Here’s What I Learned About Self-Love

If you’ve been scrolling through TikTok nonstop the past few months like me, you’ve probably stumbled upon #WitchTok, a community of practicing witches who make videos about manifestation, tarot cards, spiritual healing, and more. I’ve always been struck by how accessible and personalized “witchy” practices seem for the everyday person, and I’ve started to wonder what witchcraft actually looks like in day-to-day practice — and, specifically, if there are any witchcraft rituals for self-love.

To learn more, I consulted with DeVante Love, a practicing witch, spiritual wellness counselor, and the founder of Healing Kung Fu to help me create a week-long witchcraft ritual. Given that one of my goals is to practice more self-love, I asked Love to help me curate an experience that would help me achieve that goal. Together, we created a personalized pre-ritual, followed by daily morning and evening practices to help me get in a true “witchcraft routine.” Here’s how the experience went, and what it taught me about the importance of self-love.

Pre-ritual (before the 7-day exploration)

  • Create a playlist of seven songs 
  • Etch my name into a candle 
  • Answer reflection questions 

Morning practice

  • Light the candle
  • Burn sage or spritz sage spray
  • Listen to, sing, or dance to a song of my choice 
  • Journal or draw about what I’m feeling
  • Put out candle

Evening practice

  • Light the candle
  • Burn sage or spritz sage spray
  • Pull a tarot and/or oracle card 
  • Put out candle

Love also advised me to begin day one and day seven with a guided self-love meditation — a practice that integrates mindfulness, imagery, and breathwork to help you manage anxiety, and address negative thought patterns. 

Day 1

I started day one of the experiment with a guided self-compassion meditation, and bestie, let me tell you, it was a lot. During the meditation, I was encouraged to reflect on old memories that honestly brought up a lot of emotional baggage that I had been carrying. At first, I felt an unexpected heaviness, but by the end of the meditation, I was encouraged to “let it all go” — which was hard but gave me a bit of courage to face those emotions head-on.

After the meditation, I moved on to the next part of the ritual, which was to light a candle and dance to a song of my choice. I chose “Naked” by Sabrina Claudio, which is all about womanhood and reclaiming your body. As I lit the candle and danced around my room, at that moment, it felt like I was reclaiming my body and acknowledging the beauty it holds for the first time in a long time. And for the first time since the fall semester started, I felt calm.

Day 2

In the past, it’s been a daily ritual for me to look in the mirror and critique my body. Maybe it’s my professional dance background that naturally leads me to look for imperfections or the fact that society tells us we have to look a certain way. But for some reason, day two of this witchcraft experiment was the first time in two or three years that I didn’t critique my body.

On day two, I woke up, lit my candle, and danced to “Just Like Magic” by Ariana Grande. While doing this morning ritual, I felt motivated filled with a greater sense of self-love; especially when I heard the lyrics “I get everything I want, ‘cause I attract it.” The best part was, rather than pointing out what to “fix” about my body while dancing, I pointed out the beauty. I noticed my waist, my biceps, even my eyes — which magically didn’t have bags underneath them. Even though I’ve struggled with self-love in the past, it felt like the song was talking to me and I could actually start to embrace that feeling for the first time in a long time. 

Day 3

After a long day of homework and studying on day three, I was ready to feel calmer and more grounded. Love encouraged me to burn sage, a sacred herb known for its healing properties. However, as a college student in a small dorm room, I opted for a more practical version — one that wouldn’t potentially burn down my building — and bought sage spray instead. As Love advised, I spritzed sage around my room with the intention of lowering the negative, stressful energy in the space that I’d been holding onto. 

I then pulled a card from my oracle deck, a self-reflection tool similar to tarot cards that can help your spiritual practice. The card I pulled said: “Water your garden. Nourishment. Body care. Tenderness. Rest.” Knowing that this is exactly the message I needed, I blew out the candle, took a deep breath, put on some relaxing music, and enjoyed a warm shower. Giving myself time to rest on day three made me feel like I was actively prioritizing my mental health and taking a small step toward more self-love.

Day 4

On day four, I woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed — I even began the morning by reading a book by my favorite author and doing some yoga and meditation. I then went to apply my makeup — one of my favorite daily rituals — and thought, why not incorporate beauty into my witchy routine, too? Normally, I’d associate makeup with covering up my imperfections, hiding something, or simply getting ready for the day; only this time, I tried to focus mindfully on the artistry of it all — noticing every brushstroke and detail. 

Everything was going smoothly until I finished my makeup and looked in the mirror, and suddenly, I felt fake. Was I putting on an “act” by participating in witchcraft? Was I a fraud, especially since it’s not a spiritual practice I grew up with? Was I lying to myself, or worse — trying to find self-love that wasn’t really there? That feeling of discomfort sat with me the entire day, and I began to doubt my investment in this week-long exploration.

Day 5 

On day five, while completing my witchcraft ritual for the day, I began to feel lost. The experiment was supposed to be all about self-love, but why was it so hard to practice? Loving yourself is supposed to be such a simple act, so why couldn’t I do it, too? I desperately wanted to feel refreshed and renewed, but I was exhausted from a long day of exams and difficult professors, and I couldn’t help but feel frustrated overall.

Despite my low spirits, I managed to pull a few affirmation cards from the oracle deck, and I was brought to tears. The cards said: “You’ll survive this. New solutions and beginnings,” and “Forge, don’t follow. Pave a new path. Be the leader you wish you had.” These messages were exactly what I needed to feel confident in this journey again. The cards reminded me that life is full of different chapters — not every day is going to be full of smiles and unconditional joy, but I have to trust that I’ll come out strong. 

Day 6

On day six, I honestly wasn’t in the mood to do a witchcraft ritual at all. In fact, I almost skipped it and desperately wanted to go back to sleep instead. But when I received a text from my boyfriend saying, “I believe in you,” it gave me the reassurance that investing in my emotional growth is the only way I can work toward self-love.

I lit my candle, danced to “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, and suddenly, I could breathe again. Slowly but surely, I reminded myself to be proud of the little things — from brushing my teeth to putting on something other than sweatpants for the day. One of the most powerful effects of this ritual was how it taught me to appreciate and thank myself for the little things that are often easy to miss.

Day 7 

When I finally made it to day seven of my witchcraft journey, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Love had suggested that I start day seven with the same self-love meditation I completed on day one as a symbol of tying together the week-long ritual. When I started meditating, I felt like the pressure on my shoulders was lifted; surprisingly, it felt like I had made more room for appreciation in daily life, and even joy.

After the meditation, I lit my candle and watched it burn, meditating on the idea of self-love. Despite having a difficult few days, at that moment, it felt like I was finally letting go of the self-consciousness and negative thought patterns I had been holding onto. Instead, I felt beautiful and loved. 

Now that the seven-day experiment is over, I genuinely feel like it has changed my life. By participating in a semi-structured witchcraft ritual every day, I feel like I grew emotionally and spiritually — even across just seven days. Over time, I found myself asking deep questions about my belief systems and personal self-care practices; I even felt inspired to re-familiarize myself with the power of prayer. 

Despite the positive experience I had, though, I must say — this seven-day journey was not easy to fit into a week of midterms. It definitely took constant motivation and self-reflection to get through the activities, and at times, I found myself feeling more drained than a typical week of college. The rituals, while powerful, also brought up a lot of personal memories and experiences that I didn’t always want to think about; but even so, I’m glad I gave the experiment a shot.

The truth is, you can practice and appreciate witchcraft in a variety of different ways, and at the end of the week, I do feel like it helped me re-establish a greater sense of self-love. If you’re in college and want to explore witchcraft for yourself, or simply want to reconnect with yourself spiritually, remember: we all have “magic” within. Sometimes we just need support from a spiritual practice to find it. 

Experts
DeVante Love, Witch & Spiritual Wellness Counselor 

Meguire Hennes is a Her Campus Editorial Intern and a senior at Montclair State University. She is majoring in Fashion Studies. Meguire is excited to share her knowledge of pop culture, music, today's fashion and beauty trends, self love/mental health, astrology, and musical theatre. When not writing or in class, Meguire can be found living her best Carrie Bradshaw life in NYC, singing 70s/80s classic rock a little too loud in the shower, or watching her favorite rom-coms over and over again. Coming from a small town in Wisconsin, she's excited to see what adventures await her in the big city!
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