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New thoughts on old spells   Leave a comment

Graveyard dirt!!

Now and then I have ideas and I just feel the need to share them so here it is.  There are so many old folk magic spells that call for graveyard dirt.  I have read all the modern neopagan articles saying “they didn’t really mean graveyard dirt.”  Well, yes they did.  Read up.   Any resource on Hoodoo will have more than enough American folk magic references to make sure you are aware that they really…did…mean graveyard dirt.  The modern neopagan articles suggest powdered mullein or mugwort as a substitute and these are fine if they work for you.

However, I have been exploring the ideas and symbolism behind the use of soil from the graveyard before.  Conventional wisdom is to use soil from a specific grave chosen for a particular reason.  Soil from a soldier’s grave for protection, soil from a loved one, for love spells…you get the idea.

This wasn’t part of my training and in truth, it goes a bit against my grain to go digging around on an actual person’s grave.  Maybe it’s my very white-girlness.  I’m probably just too European for my own good and our people are not known for going mucking around in graves.  Who knows?  But I have used soil from a cemetary for my own purposes, in a different way that I wanted to share.  It’s my “modern take,”  we will call it, on the graveyard dirt.


First, I like to select soil from a consecrated cemetary so any religious cemetary will do.  Secondly, I do not choose soil from an actual grave.  I will select it from an area around a tree or near a shrub or whatever.  Someplace that does not cover a body.  What I am looking for is the restful, finality, “putting it to rest” sort of energy found in the cemetary.  I’m not looking for a spirit’s input or assistance, I am looking for the energy, or “vibe”, if you will, that is found in that soil.

Having said that, I still bring a gift or two for the spirits of the cemetary.  I may not be taking soil from their individual graves but I am taking something from their backyard and I like to be grateful.  Chocolate, brandy, coins, pretty beads, or whatever I think they may want, I bring along and place in the area from which I took soil.

I then use the soil for anything I want to halt, settle, put to rest or terminate….permanently.  I recently made a protective “witch bottle” to attract any bad energy being sent my way, and put graveyard soil inside it, to put that damaging energy to rest permanently.  It seems to blend energetically well with sea salt (to neutralize), and I like to use it along with fumitory, wormwood and yes, even mugwort for banishing, binding or creative protection work.  I haven’t tried mullein so I can’t speak to its effectiveness.

Try this blend for a powder to sprinkle around your property for protection:

-Graveyard dirt (any consecrated soil, no specific grave)

-Sea salt (or even kosher salt, which is already blessed!)

-Wormwood, fumitory, yarrow or a combination

-A blessing herb like lavender, rose, jasmine, blessed thistle….whatever you like

Mix these in proportions that seem best to you.  Create an incantation or choose one that you like from written literature.  Pass around your property in a circle (clockwise!) three times if you can, but at least one full time.  Pour out any remaining powder on your threshold with thanks.

Posted February 1, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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