Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.
Sarah is preparing a love spell for herself. The dating scene has been a bit of a desert recently, and she wants a little romance in her life. She’s dusted her altar, cleared her working area, and had a scented bath. Now, she carefully lays out a small collection of objects: a pink candle, a rose bud in a glass of water, two tarot cards (the Ace and Knight of Cups), a photo of a turtle dove, and a rose quartz crystal.
A few streets along, Tanya is also preparing to cast a spell. She needs money to get her car repaired. She has also prepared herself and the room where she does her energy work. Her collection of objects include a green candle, a favorite pebble, a sprig of oak leaves, a small china toad, two tarot cards (Ace and Six of Pentacles), and a chunk of malachite.
These items are commonly called ‘correspondences’.
What Are Correspondences in Witchcraft?
Correspondences are objects that are connected to, and representative of other things, intentions, desires and outcomes. They can be such things as candles, crystals, jewelry, household objects, ornaments, plants, herbs, and images of anything. As well as tangible objects, they can be deities, angels, scents, colors, symbols, numbers, and words. Even your own visualizations can be termed correspondences because they are an abstract mirroring of your desire. All spell ‘ingredients’ are correspondences. The elements of earth, air, fire, and water are correspondences. So are the cardinal directions. Each of these has its own distinct kind of energy.
Their purpose is to create a matrix to help focus the mind and magnify the energy which you release into the ether.
The following correspondences have mostly been taken from the comprehensive and very big, Llewellyn's Complete Book of Correspondences: A Comprehensive & Cross-Referenced Resource for Pagans & Wiccans by Sandra Kines. Its 450 pages contain a vast amount of correspondences for many situations and their potential magical workings/spells. The Kindle version has a really useful click-able index which makes the most of the cross-referencing. The lists below are just a tiny sample.
- Zodiac sign/s - Libra and Sagittarius
- Switchword - Praise
- Colors - Gold, green, peach, pink
- Number - Three
- Tarot cards - Empress, Nine of Pentacles, Queen of Cups
- Herbs & flowers - Angelica, borage, carnation, chamomile, clover, columbine, daffodil, daisy, jasmine, lavender, lilac, lily, primrose, rose (pink, red), strawberry, violet, yarrow
- Spices/magical ingredients - Clove, ginger, ginseng, nutmeg
- Minerals - Alexandrite, amber, apatite (blue), cat’s eye, desert rose, Herkimer diamond, jasper (red), kunzite, opal, tiger’s eye, topaz, turquoise, zircon (blue)
- Magical beings - Elves, mermaids, phoenix, unicorn
- Deities - Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Athena, Brigid, Devi, Diana, Freya, Hathor, Lakshmi, Nanna, Parvati, Sarasvati, Selene, Venus, Adonis, Angus, Apollo, Attis, Balder, Helios, Krishna, Loki, Surya
- Creatures - Gazelle, panther, goldfish, whale, canary, eagle, falcon, hummingbird, kingfisher, nightingale, partridge, peacock, swan, butterfly.
- Zodiac sign/s - Cancer, Capricorn, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Taurus, Virgo
- Switchword - Love
- Colors - Green, mauve, pink, red, rose, white
- Numbers - 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9
- Tarot cards - Lovers, Temperance, Ace and Two of Cups
- Herbs & flowers - Basil, carnation, chrysanthemum (red/pink), columbine, daisy, dill, feverfew, heather, heliotrope, honeysuckle, iris, ivy, lady’s mantle, lilac, lily of the valley, marigold, marjoram, mugwort, pennyroyal, periwinkle, poppy, rose, rose (red/passionate), rue, sage, spearmint, thyme, valerian, violet, yarrow
- Spices/magical ingredients - Anise, betony, black cohosh, bloodroot, burdock, cardamom, cumin, frankincense, galangal, ginger, mullein, mustard, myrrh, nutmeg, orris root, saffron, sandalwood
- Minerals/Metals - Agate (green, red), alexandrite, amazonite, amethyst, aventurine, bloodstone, calcite (pink), desert rose, diamond (pink), emerald, garnet (rhodolite), jasper (pink), lepidolite, lodestone, malachite, rhodochrosite, sapphire (pink), sardonyx, sugilite, tanzanite, tourmaline (red, watermelon), turquoise, copper, gold, silver
- Magical beings - Unicorn
- Deities - Aine, Amaterasu, Anat, Aphrodite, Artemis, Asherah, Astarte, Brigid, Chalchiuhtlicue, Diana, Fides, Flora, Freya, Frigg, Gaia, Hathor, Hecate, Hera, Holle, Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, Kuan Yin, Lakshmi, Luna, Maia, Nanna, Ostara, Rhea, Sekhmet, Venus, Xochiquetzal, Adonis, Amun, Angus, Attis, Cernunnos, Cupid, Dumuzi, Eros, Faunus, Krishna, Pan, Pushan, Shiva, Surya, Vishnu
- Creatures - Cat, cow, horse, carp, dolphin bluebird, canary, cardinal, crow, dove (turtledove), goose, grouse, hummingbird, kingfisher, parakeet, penguin, pigeon, sparrow, swallow, swan, butterfly.
Money and Prosperity
- Zodiac sign/s - Gemini, Taurus, Capricorn
- Switchword - Count
- Colors - Brown, copper, gold, green, orange, silver
- Numbers - 1, 4, 6, 7, 8
- Tarot cards - Empress, the Ace, Six, Nine, and King of Pentacles
- Herbs & flowers - Basil, bergamot, blackberry/bramble, borage, chamomile, clover, comfrey, dandelion, dill, fennel, fern, gardenia, goldenseal, gorse, grape, heliotrope, honeysuckle, iris (blue), lemon balm, marjoram, peppermint, periwinkle, poppy, sage, St. John’s wort, snapdragon, spearmint, sunflower, sweet woodruff, thyme, valerian
- Spices/magical ingredients - Anise, black cohosh, cinnamon, galangal, goldenrod, mandrake, moonwort, mustard, nutmeg, patchouli, saffron
- Minerals/Metals - Agate (brown), amazonite, aventurine (green), bloodstone, calcite (green), chrysoprase, emerald, herkimer diamond, jade, jasper (green), lodestone, malachite, moss agate, opal (fire), peridot, pyrite, salt, sapphire, spinel (red), staurolite, topaz, tourmaline (green), zircon (brown, green, red, brass, copper, gold, silver, tin
- Deities - Artio, Brigid, Demeter, Hecate, Juno, Lakshmi, Maia, Minerva, Cernunnos, Dagda, Dumuzi, Ganesh, Hades, Njord, Pluto, Zeus
- Creatures - Rat, toad.
Personally, I am fascinated with correspondences because they are
fundamental to how I view the world. There are connections everywhere;
nothing exists in isolation, and everything is associated with something
— Sandra Keynes, Llewellyn's Complete Book of Correspondences
- Zodiac sign/s - Cancer, Taurus
- Switchword - Guard
- Colors - Black, blue, brown, gold, green, purple, red, silver, violet, white, yellow
- Numbers - 3, 4, 5, 8, 9
- Tarot cards - Emperor, Four of Pentacles, Nine of Pentacles
- Herbs & flowers - Agrimony, amaranth, anemone, angelica, basil, blackberry/bramble, broom, carnation, chrysanthemum, clover, comfrey, daisy, dandelion, dill, fennel, fern, feverfew, foxglove, geranium (red), gorse, heather, honeysuckle, ivy, jasmine, lavender, lilac, lily, lily of the valley, marjoram, monkshood, pennyroyal, peony, periwinkle, primrose, raspberry, rue, snapdragon, solomon’s seal, spearmint, sweet woodruff, thistle, thyme, valerian, vervain, violet, yarrow
- Spices/magical ingredients - Asafoetida, bittersweet, black cohosh, bloodroot, burdock, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, ginseng, mandrake, mustard, orris root, pepper, sandalwood, wormwood
- Angel - Michael
- Minerals/Metals - Agate (banded, black, red), amber, amethyst, angelite, apache tears, aquamarine, aventurine, beryl, calcite (orange), carnelian, cat’s eye, chrysoprase, citrine, diamond, emerald, garnet, hematite, Herkimer diamond, jade, jasper (red), jet, kunzite, lepidolite, lodestone, malachite, obsidian (snowflake), onyx, peridot, petrified wood, pyrite, quartz (clear, yellow), rose quartz, ruby, sard, sardonyx, serpentine, spinel, staurolite, sunstone, tanzanite, tiger’s eye, topaz, tourmaline (black), turquoise, zircon, antimony, brass, copper, gold, iron, lead, silver, steel
- Magical beings - Dragons, dryads, lares, mermaids, penates
- Deities - Aine, Ariadne, Athena, Bast, Brigantia, Brigid, Cailleach Bheur, Cybele, Devi, Diana, Flora, Frigg, Hathor, Hera, Ishtar, Isis, Juno, Justitia, Kali, Kuan Yin, Kupala, Minerva, the Morrigan, Nut, Sarasvati, Sekhmet, Seshat, Venus, Agni, Angus, Anubis, Ares, the Dagda, Faunus, Freyr, Ganesh, Horus, Khnum, Loki, Lugh, Manannan, Mars, Neptune, Njord, Thor, Vishnu
- Creatures - Badger, boar, caribou, dingo, dog, elephant, groundhog, hippopotamus, horse, jackal, lion, monkey, porcupine, tiger, toad, wolf, wolverine, condor, crow, duck, owl, peacock, quail, raven, swallow, woodpecker.
Questions About Witch Correspondences
Can I Use My Own Correspondences?
Absolutely. You can use anything that resonates with you. Anything you can find in your home, yard, local environment (as long as it’s legal to take and you have permission if necessary). When you feel you really need an item that you can’t get hold of, then use an image. I use tarot cards a lot.
Can I Substitute One Correspondence For Another?
If they have similar properties, yes you can. If in doubt, don’t. Your spell won’t be a failure because of the lack of one correspondence. And, again, you can always use an image from a book or the internet. It might be a good idea to swap out, for example, a crystal for a deity or a store cupboard herb for a flower.
Can I Cast a Spell Without Them?
Yes. To be honest, nowadays I rarely use correspondences, apart from candles, tarot cards and Switchwords. Mainly because I have enough experience to understand how to manipulate energy with my mind and words. However, whenever I do use certain items it feels much more magical. It’s lovely to gather together a bunch of magical objects for Full Moon.
How Many Do I Need?
As many as you think you need. For a straightforward spell, I wouldn’t use more than five. They would be an appropriate colored candle, a crystal (should I have one—I don’t buy them anymore because of environmental considerations), a herb or spice, something to represent the elements (Earth, fire, water, air), and definitely a few tarot cards. I also use a Switchword in the chant.
How Do I Use Plants and Flowers in Spells?
Unless you are making some herbal mix or potion, all you need do is collect a leaf or bloom and lay them on your working space. I haven’t included trees in the lists above but they are also great correspondences. A good resource to find out the magical properties of trees is Tess Whitehurst’s website. She also has a useful book, “The Magic of Trees: A Guide to Their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties”.
How Do I Use Animals in Spells?
Well, you don’t use real animals, although if you find a cat’s whisker on the carpet, you should keep it somewhere safe for future use. Same goes for your puppy’s first teeth, a clump of dog hair on the sofa, and found feathers. If you want to use the essence of wolf, buy a model or ornament, or just print out an image of a wolf.
Can You Explain More About Matrices?
Yes, I mentioned above that the main purpose of using correspondences is to create a matrix or grid. You can imagine that energy passes between you and the objects in front of you. Each one absorbs your intention and then adds their own to the combined force that your spell projects onto the universe. Also, their presence makes you feel that you have created a magical space, which in turn increases your sense of power.
To make an actual physical grid, you can place your items around you to mark out your circle. Try to work out the best direction to place them. For instance, I would place a pebble or a container of salt (to represent Earth in the north) and a sprinkle of fiery-yellow saffron in the south, but don’t over think it. And do be cautious about placing candles on the floor—personally I would never do it, mainly because I have dogs and cats who are never banned from taking part in my spells.
Do I Have to Learn All the Correspondences?
No, it wouldn’t be possible. You’ll probably be like me and simply make a collection of those that are convenient. You might like to make a list of the properties of your favorite plants, flowers, trees, crystals, and colors, but don’t worry too much. There are many references and resources on the web. As you pass along your witch path, you will naturally absorb a lot of knowledge and, as you can see, correspondences in witchcraft are endless and fascinating. I encourage you to delve in to improve your witchy know-how and make your magic more powerful.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 Bev G
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on October 28, 2020:
Very cool, Karen. You can change it according to mood, seasons, and what energy you are working on/with.
Karen A Szklany from New England on October 28, 2020:
Thank you for this very informative article, Bev! It's given me lots of ideas. We're in the middle of switching the arrangement of rooms in our home right now, so I can move my desktop computer out of my bedroom and have a clearly dedicated magical/meditation space in its place. This gives me ideas about my new arrangement for maximizing the energy I bring into the space. ~:0)
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on October 27, 2020:
Kind of, Liliane. It's all based on the premise that everything is connected to everything else. We could expand that right out to 'as above, so below'. Symbolism, correspondence... all representation. It's fascinating.
However, looking at it on a more human level, it's more about that focus of energy within the structure of a ritual.
Liliane Najm from Toronto, Canada on October 27, 2020:
Is the content of your article related to the Law of Correspondences?