Thursday, October 25, 2012

Practical Magic Spell Book

I'm still busy cooking for this fall party, so I'm reposting this entry from 2010.  Enjoy!

One of the most prized possessions in my extensive, authentic witch collection happens to be the original spellbook from the movie "Practical Magic".

I keep it on permanent exhibit on an antique lyre book stand in my library.

As you know from watching the movie, hidden in the back of the spell book is a secret section that you can see in the picture above.

The front section has lighter, cheerier spells.

On this page I have displayed two dried flower petals. These and many other items such as notes, ribbons, pieces of fabric, and feathers were included with the book. I have set them aside to prevent them from falling out.



A page from the second part of the book for when the love potions don't quite cut it.

Now that you've exorcised the demon, it's time to drink these potions and find a new one.

And these are for when the new one breaks your heart.

When you're tired of this vicious cycle and decide to end it once and for all, that's when you visit the back of the book.

In the movie, you'll remember that they threw the book on the table, turned it upside down, and opened the secret area in the back in order to get to the dark spells.

In the movie you don't get to see too many pages of the book, which is a shame because it is full of illustrations and incantations like this one.

When a man has broken a woman's heart and she wants him to feel the pain he caused her, she casts this spell.

This is the spell that was used in the movie when the girls attempted to bring Jimmy Angelov back from the dead.

"There's a little witch in every woman" is my favorite line in Practical Magic because it exemplifies female empowerment, the theme that I believe has made this movie so popular. Owning something like this spellbook is cool, but it can never hold the power and significance of a spellbook that you make yourself. I am now going to take you through the way I make a spellbook, and I hope that you will give it a try.

There is a hidden pact which states that a witch should never show her spell book to anyone. I disagree with this; I think this is why so few women know how to go about creating them. And also, I write a blog. No one wants to hear about my spellbook so much as they want to see it.

This is a handmade replica of the Practical Magic spellbook that I purchased at a witch store in Salem, Massachusetts this past October.

As you can see, its binding is the same as the Practical Magic spellbook above. I have not yet begun this one because I have another spellbook that I am still completing.

The spellbook completely open, showing the hidden area.

The next few pictures are a collection of different spellbooks that I have not yet started. This book has has a bronze Green Man on the cover.

Each chapter in the book of shadows begins with this kind of illustration.

The following photos are pictures of spellbooks in my collection.











This is the first spellbook that I started, and it's the only one that's totally complete.
When I finished it, I wrapped in in the black satin ribbon shown here.. As promised, I am now going to show you the inside of my spellbook.

I believe a spellbook should show things near and dear to your heart. I'm not talking about Martha, but being the chow lover that I am, I had to include a picture of her with her Chow.

A spellbook should be like a treasure box; whenever you find something that holds special significance to you or even just makes you smile, make sure to add it.


Each year, I like to add a picture of the home made invitations to my Halloween party.

From year to year, I forget what my invitations looked like. It is fun to go back periodically and look at them.

Loving fall as much as i do, I clip anything that reminds me of my favorite time of year and add it to my spellbook.

I include special cards that remind me of different times in my life.

I especially like to keep one-of-a-kind Halloween cards that people send me every year.

This spellbook took me six years to complete.

I write all of my best recipes in my books. I put a little love and magic into all of my recipes. Just like the best of spells, they profoundly alter or affect the people around me.

I always made the same recipes when my children were sick, which always made them feel better. A couple years ago, I made all of my best recipes for a man dying of cancer, and it extended his life span two more years than the doctor had given him. They called it magic, and so do I.

I'm not going to lie: I have on rare occasion made some recipes from the secret area in the back of my book. As it turns out, however, you can't kill evil!!!

Dried flowers from my garden shown in the pictures above play a big role in my spellbooks. This is the flower press I use to preserve them.

Snippets of inspiration can be found scattered throughout my book as well.

These are vintage die cuts from Germany that I frequently use to decorate spellbooks.

This is the spellbook I am currently working on. I purchased this from The Broom Closet in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a duplicate of my first one.

More vintage German die cuts decorating the inside of the cover.

In my witchy mind, I thought I might be able to reincarnate my dearly-beloved dead chow Freddy. But just like in the movie Practical Magic, you can bring someone back, but they won't be exactly the way they were. Teddy proved this point!

I feel very comfortable displaying my political views within the confines of my book.

A poem from the inside of one of my Halloween invitations from a few years back.

Fall inspiration comes from all different sources.

More vintage German die cuts.

I like to include pictures of loved ones here and gone.


There are no guidelines for the way your spellbook needs to look. It can be as fancy as any of these, or as simple as a notebook or binder.


Just a little witchy wisdom for you: to hide a spellbook is to hide your true self. I hope that this post has inspired you to let your witch flag fly.

The magic is within you!!!

To end this post, I give you one last treat: Sally's umbrella. This is the actual umbrella used by Sally (Sandra Bullock) at the end of the movie when they all jumped off the roof!

And in true witch fashion, I don't believe in any of the negative energies out there. I like to open my umbrellas in the house.

Whenever you need your witch fix, please remember to stop by and visit me where it's Halloween today and every day, for good and for bad.