Tender Heart: Language as Spell-Craft guest blog by Maria Minnis

*Don't miss Maria's upcoming workshop, "Word Magic for Dreamers" on April 2nd at 1pm PST on Zoom! You can sign up to join us right now!*


As my friend Angela Mary Magick says, “Everything is a spell.” I think about this quote a lot, about how our everyday will and intentions lead to actions that create change in our worlds. Our mundane habits are like rituals, cultivating and influencing our futures as individuals and communities. Our everyday patterns can include anything from brushing our teeth regularly to dancing every time Friday at 5:00 comes around. Whatever your day-to-day looks like, most of us share one daily habit that doesn’t quite feel like a habit: using language. 


Yes, language is a spell.


We use language all the time. It moves, connects, inspires, ignites, directs, and delights every single day. It’s interactive, transitional, artful, and sometimes mysterious. It’s magical in that it’s transformative. It’s word magic. However minimally or significantly, the world is changed by every utterance!


Word magic is the practice of using sounds, symbols, and intuition to direct our energy and manifest our dreams. It provides opportunities for us to reprogram our thinking, maintain focus and motivation, gather communities, and more. Different words have different meanings and different relationships, and thus different effects on the worlds we’re creating.


Think about the last time someone earnestly said they loved you. Did that spell work? Did you feel loved? Or did the spell go awry, leaving you feeling something other than adored? Words are spells.


Or think about something a politician once said that inflamed the public. What do you think was their intention? Do you think their language landed them where they wanted to go? Did it impact people’s lives? Words are spells. 


What about music? Do you have a favorite lyric or song title? What does that mean to you? How does it make you feel every time you hear or sing along to it? Does it raise your energy? Words are spells.


To quote liberal arts scholar Hamza Yusuf, "Don't ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs." If language is a spell, then what world are you manifesting?


If word magic is new for you, I’d like to share one process for creating a simple language spell.



  1. Pencils, markers, crayons, and/or whatever you’d like to write with

  2. Three pieces of paper (post-it, glitter paper, cardboard, whatever!)

  3. An envelope

  4. A timer




  1. Explore your intention. You know what you want, but try to go deeper. Is there another layer to what you want? One that isn’t initially recognizable? For example, I once cast a spell for a new job with many requirements. This being my sole focus meant that I was less receptive to other things coming through for my actual, deeper goal: to achieve financial stability and security. Make space for magic to happen! Sometimes the universe is ready to give you something more fitting than what you’re specifically asking for. It helps to be prepared. 

  2. Find a spot to do your writing. Make sure it’s an energetically clean and comfortable place to focus. If it’s in your practice, feel free to invite any benevolent spirit helpers to your space.

  3. Ground yourself. Find your center as best you can. Visualize that you are protected. If possible, shake off any tension or distracting feelings before you move to the next step. 

  4. Set a timer for 9 minutes. Spend the time meditating on your deeper intention. Notice what comes to mind, no matter how far out it may seem.

  5. Write down your meditations. On the first piece of paper, free write whatever feels relevant or notable from your meditation. Maybe an image or a word kept popping up, or maybe you conjured some memories. Write it all down. Let it be wild, let it be messy. 

  6. Make some sense of it all. On the second piece of paper, try to make some sense out of what you wrote on the first piece of paper. You can group themes into different categories, write a story from your meditation, write a silly poem, or write in whatever other form helps you clarify how your meditations relate to your intentions.

  7. Write a short mantra. On the third piece of paper, write down a mantra based on the previous reflection. You’ll want it to be short for the next step!

  8. Speak your mantra 108 times. You don’t necessarily have to say it out loud. Some of us speak with our hands, while others speak to themselves in their heads. Whatever form of “speaking” raises your energy and confidence in your intention, do that.

  9. Set a timer for 3 minutes. Visualize your dream-intention coming into being. Consider how it looks, feels, sounds, tastes, and smells. Consider what it’s like to be that person on the other side. 

  10. Close the spell. Release any spirit helpers you’ve invited along and announce that the spell is complete. 

  11. Place your mantra paper in a prominent space that reminds you to “speak” it every day, and (if possible) act on it every day for the next 3 months. If this isn’t accessible, consider setting up a reminder in your phone to speak your mantra, or even make your mantra your phone background image. 

  12. Place the first two pieces of paper in an envelope. Remind yourself to check back in with your envelope in 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months from now. Whenever you check in with your writings, notice where you are in relation to your intention and consider how your mantra recitations and related actions relate back to your original meditation.


And so it is!


About the Instructor:

Maria Minnis (she/her) is a Bay Area-based writer, editor, artist, and tarot reader with Southern roots who writes and teaches about everyday magic and holographic thinking. Sparked by a Kundalini awakening after a near-death experience, her work is inspired by voids, whale songs, Southern ritual, the moon, movement, experience, plant wisdom, and infinite interconnectedness. She is unapologetically Black and wildly intent on living on purpose. She lives on Ohlone land.

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