5 Spells & Rituals To Try On Yourself Before Your Next Date

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Dating often settles into a boring script, especially in the age of rapid-fire Tinder swiping. Match, chat, meet for drinks, small talk, maybe you vibe maybe you don't, repeat. Wouldn't you like to inject a little magic into your love life? Of course you would! So let's talk witchcraft, friends.

Although witchcraft is a centuries-old pursuit, these past few years, we have enjoyed an extended season of the witch. A sea of think pieces offer a few suggestions as to why this trend popped up: Growing aversion to Christianity among some young women; a pop-culture driven conception of feminism; just some hipster stuff. Perhaps the fact that our leaders have launched an assault on the environment means some people feel a more urgent connection to nature. In any case, witchcraft has become a lot more popular and a lot more visible in recent years. Which makes executing pre-date magick a lot more accessible.

When undertaking a spell that implicates others, however, it's best to tread lightly: If you attempt to control someone else's free will, it may definitely backfire. "When it comes to working on someone in particular, be wary of consent," Melissa Madara, a folk witch and herbalist who owns Catland Books in Brooklyn, New York, tells Bustle.

"This year, there’s been a lot of discussion about consent as it relates to love magic," she says. "I think that basic attraction stuff is fine. We do plenty of things to make ourselves attractive that aren’t witchy," like buy clothes and perfumes and fun shoes and other adornments. As long as you're treating enchantment-boosting spells as another of these enhancements, and not specifically trying to snare Sarah from two cubicles over, you should be fine. Focus on boosting your own vibe, rather than targeting others.

The kind of spell you choose, and the kind of ingredients you need, will depend entirely on the desired vibe you wish to create for your date. To help you ideate your magickal evening, here are some spells and rituals geared toward an assortment of different scenarios to try before your next date.

1Before A First Date

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A ritual bath: Valerie Mesa, a witch and astrologer, tells Bustle that baths can be "a very positive ritual for self-love." To execute her method, gather five sunflowers, honey, cinnamon, and your favorite perfume, and a bowl.

First, pull the petals off the sunflowers and place them in your bowl. Sprinkle them with a reasonable amount of cinnamon — you don't want the mixture to be too hot — and drizzle them with honey. Add a few drops of the perfume, then head to the bathroom for a shower. After you've finished, add a little water to the mixture and pour it over your body from the neck down.

"The yellow honey and sunflowers are a sensual symbol of your solar plexus chakra, which is the energy center responsible for your self-esteem, and personal power," Mesa says. "The reason I suggest yellow instead of red for the sacral chakra, a symbol of our relationships and sexuality, is because self confidence goes a very long way, especially on a first date. You don't want to jump into the eroticism of it all until you're actually content with yourself."

Incense ritual: If bathing isn't really your thing, or if you don't have time to do it right before a date, you can make a loose incense to transfer specific herbs' magical quality to skin and clothes. Madara recommends selecting the plants based on the vibe you want to impart. Sexy, sultry? Try rose hips ("a little more sensuous in nature" than other parts of the rose, Madara says), Cubeb berries (part of a pepper plant, for spice), and Damiana, all crushed up and burned on charcoal. In the mood for a sweeter date? Madara suggests basil, rosemary, and lemongrass.

2Before A Fancy Date

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Makeup magick: People who enjoy wearing makeup may also enjoy incorporating some witchcraft into the experience, and there are a few ways to do it. One, Madara says, involves a sigil: A symbol that encompasses the spell caster's intention, often formed by winding the words and letters together into a design. You can inscribe the sigil in your contour and blend it out, Madara says, or you can consider making a magic oil (instructions here) to enhance the signals you want to send. You can add a few drops of that oil to your liquid makeup, shampoo, or body lotion for a magickal touch.

"[Speak] your spells into the mirror as you put your makeup on, and [tell] yourself and your reflection how it is you wish to be perceived," Madara advises. Positive affirmation never hurt anybody.

3Before A Sex Appointment

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Make a magickal sex den: If you're hoping this date ends in sex, or if you know it will, consider taking this extra step: Throw your sheets and bedding in the washing machine, adding a few drops of the aforementioned magick oil to the load. As a result, your bed becomes "this sort of love nest," Madara says. If you really do some planning, or if you keep an assortment of magick oils around for whatever specific mood might arise, you can curate the ingredients to create your desired atmosphere.

"Each herb’s association with love is a little bit tailored to specific intentions," she says. "There are some that are more for flash-in-the-pan romances and one-night stands, there are some that are geared toward long-term relationships and marriage. There are some that are to bring people together and some that are to keep people who are already together, together. It takes some learning and it takes some research, but there’s a lot of different ways to tailor your workings ... to different intentions."

4Before A Tinder Date

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Tinder magick: Madara teaches a whole class on Tinder witchcraft at Catland, schooling students on how to infuse magick into their profiles. She suggests two maneuvers: Include an emoji sigil in your bio, and/or anoint your phone with your trusty oil.

If you want to go the sigil route, Madra says, first you have to set an intention: So, "I want to find a long-term boyfriend, or I want to go out with someone this week, I just want lots of attention, or I want to date guy with a cute dog," she suggests as examples. Then "you break down each word of your intention into a different emoji, and then you scramble them into a different order: The idea behind sigil making is that you remove the specifics of your intention from your conscious mind and put it into your subconscious mind using symbolism." You'll end up with a random-seeming row of emojis, which you can tack onto the bottom of your bio. "No one would think anything of it, but you’ve charged that for yourself as a ritual act," she says.

Or, use that magickal oil to make the entire apparatus a little bit witchier, but be sparing: You don't want to damage your phone. "We’re not deep frying it," Madara says. "We’re talking a little bit on your fingertips." Either on the screen or on the phone back (if you're anxious), you'll then execute a five spot: Tap a dot of magick oil on every corner, starting in the top left, and finally the screen's center. Still apprehensive about adding oil to your phone screen? Madara suggests making a tincture with herbs and rubbing alcohol instead — equal parts magickal and practical.

5Before A Casual Night Out

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Granted, the theme here is date night, but sometimes it's nice to take yourself out, you know? Of course you do.

"If you’re going out to a bar and you don’t know what you’re looking for, but you know you want to meet someone that night," try brushing a charming little oil called Follow Me Boy on the soles of your shoes, Madara says. "As you walk around, people will notice you and come up to you."

A storied Hoodoo blend used to conjure attraction, power, and dominance, Follow Me Boy can be purchased as-is or whipped up at home.

As long as you don't try to snare anyone specific in your spellwork, sky's the limit when it comes to magick. "Witchcraft is one of those things that’s suited to a thousand different kinds of applications. Any kind of practical result you want, you can come up with a spell for," Madara says. "The options are sort of limitless if you think that way."