6 Magic Spells & Rituals That Could Combat Burnout

Depending on who you ask, "self-care" can mean anything from eating greens to scheduling a regular mani-pedi — and neither of these definitions is wrong. While the definition of self-care varies, the purpose is easy to define. And Lisa Marie Basile, creator of Luna Luna Magazine and author of the upcoming Light Magic for Dark Times, encapsulates it beautifully.

"I think of self-care as the little things we do to nourish or sustain our mental and physical health," she tells Refinery29. "Being mindful about making a little time each day to destress and focus on self-development is so important on a physiological level. But it can also help us connect with our intuition, dreams, and goals."


Basile adds that, while relaxation is a valuable part of any self-care practice, regeneration, where we take steps to feel restored and determine where to direct our newfound energy, should actually be our goal. "Regenerative practices are all about shaking off the darkness and making new, amazing things happen — especially during times when you feel you’ve been kept down or silenced," Basile says.

An entire chapter of Basile's book is dedicated to regenerative self-care rituals detailing practices that anyone can adopt in order to restore their confidence, motivation, or sensuality. But, Basile is quick to add, the guidelines of each ritual are merely that — not hard and fast rules. As long as your intention is clear, that's what matters: "Ritualized self-care is like a secret little tool we always have, even when everything else feels stripped away," she explains.

Ahead, check out a selection from Basile's chapter of regenerating and recharging rituals from Light Magic for Dark Times, available for purchase tomorrow.

illustrated by Tristan Offit.
A New Moon Ritual for Kicking a Creative Block

If you’ve ever hit a wall creatively, you know the sting of a blank page staring back. Unwritten work, unfinished paintings. Your heart feels like a blank canvas begging for color, but it remains undone. Unfulfilled creative urges can weigh heavily, which is why this practice allows you to get those creative energies flowing.

Begin this ritual on the day of the new moon. It will last five days.

Tarot deck
White candle

At the end of each night, pull one tarot card. Look at its corresponding meaning and journal about how the selected card might associate with your work. You can focus on the imagery and write down ideas that inspire you, or you can focus on the card’s story and how it meshes with your own as an artist. You can also journal about how the lesson in the card corresponds to your piece of art.

Be creative. Make lists of ideas; allow for stream of conscious. What do you feel? What do you think? Nothing is irrelevant. When you move through all the junk, you might find gold. As a creator, you must sow the seeds to reap the garden.

At the end of the fifth night, display your tarot cards: Make an altar or simply prop them up on your desk.

Light a white candle and say: I am creative. I am generative. I am prolific. I have planted a garden of ideas and it blossoms bright.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
A Ritual to Celebrate Yourself After You’ve Lost Self-Confidence

If you’ve ever taken a major hit to your self-confidence — you got laid off, you did your assignment all wrong, you failed a test, you didn’t land the job — then you know how hard it can be to get your mojo back. You feel like a wilted flower, passed over. This ritual will get you thinking about why you’re absolutely magical, so you can start feeling like yourself again.

7 small candles, each in a different color to represent the different days of the week.
A container, like an empty coffee can or a large sachet bag

Do this ritual over seven days. Select seven colored candles, one for each day of the ritual. The colors should correspond to an element of your personality that you love and want to celebrate. For example, a red candle might symbolize your fiery passion, while a light-blue candle might represent your ability to go with the flow, like water.

At either the end or the beginning of the day, light one candle. Envision how that color represents an element of who you are. Think about why that element is so powerful, so lovable. Envision your body emanating with that quality. Bask in it.

As you concentrate each day, say: I am ___ and this is enough.

Fill in the blank with whatever word or phrase you’ve chosen for that day. It might be something like “trying” or “alive.”

Burn each candle for as long as you can each day. At the end of each day, place your candle in your container. Sleep with it near your pillow. On the seventh day, charge your container under the moon’s light. Then it will always be a symbol for why you’re so amazing.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
A Mood Board Ritual for Making Things Happen

Need to rejuvenate your life in some way? You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution. Maybe you need to revamp your closet or work on developing a new, more confident you after scoring a big-deal job. Maybe you just need to stop using social media for a while.

In this moon-shattering ritual, you’ll make a magical mood board that will help you pull your ideas and inspirations together. It will help you meditate on your ideas and integrate them into your day-to-day life.

Magazines, books, tarot cards, or any visual images of your archetype; pen and paper work too
Paper and glue, or a photo album
Yellow candle

Look through magazines, books, and other media. Find images that represent your goal or your ideal self. If you can’t find the right images, you can also draw them. If you’re looking to amp up your confidence, you might cut out pictures of people who deliver serious fierceness. You might print out an image of a tarot card that represents an archetype that inspires you.

Once you’ve collected these images, put them together as a mood board. You can paste them onto a piece of paper or arrange them in a photo album that can be your own magical flip book.

Add to your mood board as often as you want, and dazzle it up with glitter, flower petals, poems, or anything else that speaks to you.

Supercharge your manifesting by lighting a yellow candle beside your mood board during the new moon. Concentrate on the flame. Think about what inspires you and visualize the small changes that can make your mood board self come to life. Hold these thoughts in your mind each time you add to your board.

Put your mood board in the moon’s light to charge. Turn to it whenever you need a little dose of your own magic.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
A Ritual to Conjure Sensuality When You’re Not Feeling Very Sexy

When you’re working, raising a family, dealing with a crazy commute, and handling health issues, or when you’re simply out of steam, your sex life can take a hit. That’s all right, bebe. You can still connect with your body and enjoy feeling the love.

For any time you feel like you want to get back in touch with the Scorpio in you (Scorps are ruled by Pluto, and all the super chthonic things, like death and sexuality), this pick-me-up ritual involving the archetypes of the Egyptian god Bes (god of music and sexual pleasure, and, awesomely, helping birth babies) and goddess Bastet (goddess of perfume and protection and, amazingly, cats) will get you moving and feeling divine.

Comfortable or sexy clothes (or none at all!)
Red candle
Perfume, cologne, or essential oil
Sexy music

Slip into something cozy or sexy, or wear nothing at all! Light your candle, spritz a bit of perfume, cologne, or oil on your skin. State: I ask Bes and Bastet to fill me with a sense of pleasure and desire. I celebrate and honor my body and its sacred sensuality.

Put on your music and dance. Go wild. Think about the way your body moves and feels as you dance. Think about how your scent sways in the air as you move. Notice how body and fragrance are linked — a perfume wears differently on everyone.

Don’t ascribe to traditional ways of “sexy dancing” — just move. You don’t have to be anyone, represent any gender, fulfill any social role — just be you in your glorious natural state.

When you’re ready to end your ritual, snuff out the red candle. Take a moment to appreciate your own power.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
A Spell to Recharge After Attending a Protest or Doing Social Justice Work

Wanting more, wanting better, and wanting equality is good — and it’s worth fighting for. In fact, many witches would say that resistance is part and parcel of an ethical craft. Using your privilege, be it your platform, your voice, or your vote, is a form of magic. However, social activism and protest can be emotionally and physically draining.

In this spell, you’ll be able to recalibrate and focus on recharging your energies after acts of protest and resistance, or even simply engaging with trolls on the Internet.

A bowl of lukewarm water
Your favorite essential oil

To your bowl with lukewarm water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. (Lavender is great for tranquility, while rose is good for love.) Place one palm up, facing the sky, and place one palm over the water, facing down.

With the face-up palm, begin to envision the universe’s energy coming into you. Feel it charging through you as a pure, white light. Say: I ask for the energy to stay active, healthy, and efficient. I ask to be replenished. I am a tower of strength and power.

Imagine that energy moving through you toward your other palm. Pour that white light into the water. When you feel you’ve sufficiently charged the water, wash your hands in it, rubbing them carefully together, making it a point to care for your body. Enjoy this moment for yourself, and repeat whenever you need to recharge your energies lost to resistance work.
illustrated by Tristan Offit.
A Spell to End Loneliness and Conjure New Friendship

People rarely admit it, but making new friends is not always easy, especially during times of transition, like leaving college or moving to a new city, or even deciding to say goodbye to a group of toxic, not-so-great friends. In this spell, you will break down barriers to new friendships — leaving you open to beautiful, magical, mutually respectful new relationships.

White candle
A small piece of paper
An envelope

During the new moon — when manifestation practices are strongest — take a moment before bed to perform this spell. When you wake up, you’ll start the day knowing that you’ve removed anything in the way of new friendship.

Light the candle and sit for a moment with your thoughts. Visualize what sort of friends you’d like to have. Are they supportive, creative, open-minded? Think about what you can offer your friends, too — maybe you’re loyal, optimistic, and radically vulnerable — and the qualities you possess that you’d like others to appreciate.

On your piece of paper, write down this statement: The new moon has brought a gift. A friend, a light, a come-true dream, a friendship as wild and as beautiful as the sky.

Say this statement aloud, as well.

Pour a bit of the wax onto the paper, fold it, and put it into the envelope. Carry the envelope with you throughout the day.
Load more...