Hot Girl Summer to Hex Girl Fall: A Beginner’s Guide to Witchcraft

Illustration by Alyssa Long
Illustration by Alyssa Long

Raymond Matthews
Opinions Editor

As we all know, witchcraft isn’t actually going to let you live out your 12-year-old, ABC Family marathon Harry Potter fever dream, but it is an effective way of setting intentions and finding a deeper spiritual meaning in the world around you.

Witchcraft itself is not a religion; it’s a series of practices and rituals that can be incorporated into any religious practice or performed on its own. Also, keep in mind that witchcraft is not inherently evil or dark. You can set your own intentions and customize your individual craft to your liking.

I’ve listed a few simple, entry-level spells below that are meant to introduce luck and positivity into your day-to-day life and help you deal with toxic people and situations.


Salt Circle of Protection: Before doing any spell-work, I recommend casting a circle using any type of salt that you have (this is the occult equivalent of Spongebob’s sea-bear attack circle). 

This is a quick and easy process: just sprinkle salt in a circle around you (moving clockwise) and imagine a barrier between yourself and any unwanted energy as you do so; it’s also a good idea to meditate for a minute or two so that you can start your practice with a clear head.


Exam Luck

For this spell, you’ll need:

  • Pens/pencils that you’ll be using during your exam
  • 3 pinches of cinnamon (cinnamon is used for money, success, love, and prosperity)
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (hot sauce is used for strength and empowerment)
  • Splash of vanilla extract (optional; vanilla boosts your memory and clears your head)
  • A bowl and spoon



  1. Put the cinnamon, vanilla, and red pepper in a bowl and stir them together in a clockwise motion; as you do this, imagine yourself taking your exam and knowing the answers to every single question.
  2. Sprinkle this mixture over the pens/pencils that you’ll be using and let them sit overnight (this works best when performed during a full moon).


Getting Rid of Toxicity or Negative Energy

In witchcraft, most practitioners believe in the rule of three, which states that whatever energy you put out will return to you three times as strong, which is why I wouldn’t recommend using witchcraft to intentionally harm or inconvenience others.

This spell is a good alternative to hexes or darker magic, as it gets rid of any unwanted negativity that may be looming around you, and protects you from unwanted toxicity in the near future.

For this spell, you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper (pepper is used to break hexes & guard against toxicity)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (salt is used for purification and cleansing)
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (along with strength and empowerment, hot sauce is used for protection and separation)
  • Sage (optional — Sweet Jane sells sage bundles for $6, sage clears any and all energy that’s lingering in your personal space)
  • A bowl and spoon


  1. Start by saging your house/individual space (leave a door or window open so that any negative or undesired energies have an exit point).
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, and hot sauce together in a counter-clockwise motion, and as you do so imagine that any unwanted energy is a black cloud that’s leaving your mind and your physical space.
  3. As a bonus step, sprinkle a little salt over your doorway to protect you from any future negativity.


Self Love & Empowerment

For this spell, you’ll need:

  • A La Virgen De Guadalupe candle (available for $3 at the IV Market)
  • Your favorite song/playlist (whatever music makes you feel happy or empowered)
  • A red pen and paper (red corresponds to personal power and self-love)


  1. Light your candle, start your playlist, and meditate for 5-10 minutes. As you do so, reflect on your positive traits and any recent achievements, big or small.
  2. Write a positive affirmation (I am statements like, “I am smart/confident/successful,”) on a piece of paper and leave it in a drawer or in your backpack to remind you to strive for personal fulfillment and growth.