After a spell, I usually have a candle stub, or at least a pile of wax, some bits of paper, herbs, stones, ashes, etc. Is there a “proper” way to dispose of these things?
How you dispose of used spell components will depend on the spell. But before we “dispose” of our used components, lit’s a good idea plan ahead a little. You should have a plan for disposing of your components before your spell work begins.
Make sure that you are using safe, biodegradable materials. No plastic bags, no Styrofoam, etc. Choose candles made from tallow, soy or beeswax versus paraffin or gel which are petroleum products. Choose natural fibers for any fabric you are using in the spell for poppets or mojo bags or whatever. This way, when you dispose of these items, they will eventually decompose into the Earth and cause no harm. I dispose of most of my spell components by putting them in the compost or tossing them on the fire, but not everyone has a fire pit or a compost bin. In this case, putting items in the regular garbage is usually just fine, but there are some spells that benefit from more specialized consideration.
Often a spell will tell you what to do with the components when you are done. If it doesn’t, or if you are writing your own spell, then you can use these guidelines:
For Drawing Spells
If you are casting a spell meant to draw something toward you, your home or your place of business, I suggest you bury your spell components nearby, in the yard. They will continue to draw energy as the items biodegrade into the Earth. (Also, if you’re trying to draw energy toward someone else, it should be their yard.)
Burying your items on the East or South side will utilize the sun’s energy to help grow something. The East is better for things like communication, bringing in new customers, etc. The South is best for things like love and creativity. If your spell is focused on creating a solid foundation or security, I would choose the North. If your spell is about deepening existing relationships, I might choose West. You may decide to bury your spell components on the side of the house closest to where the target sleeps. Or you may find you don’t have a lot of options and that is okay. Cunning folk use what we have an don’t sweat the small stuff.
If burying is not an option, you can put your bundle of spell components in the crotch of a tree or hang it from a branch. When doing this, I like to make the item look decorative, to reduce the creep-out factor. But if you are cursing someone, the creepier the better.
If you have no yard, you may wish to bundle up your spell components and put them inside a wall or in the back corner of a closet that touches an outside wall or put it under the bed or inside the box spring of the target. In this case, you want to make sure that none of your spell components are easily biodegradable. Use dried herbs rather than fresh, for example, so that your spell bundle doesn’t start to rot and stink and attract bugs.
For Sending and Banishing Spells
If your spell is designed to send energy out into the world, you can burn your items (again, choose items that are safe to burn) or send them out into the world by tossing them into moving water, like a river or a storm drain (please make sure they are safe for the local wildlife).
This also works for banishing spells. As does flushing the items down the toilet (assuming they won’t back up your system) or down a drain or putting then in the regular garbage so the garbage truck carry them away and bury them in the landfill.
For binding spells, I like to tuck the bundle under a large rock or paving stone.
For Cleansing Spells
Many cleansing spells involve absorbing negative energy into an item that you then discard. Traditionally, this is done by leaving the item at a crossroads or burying it at the base of a tree. In the case of an egg cleansing, for example, the egg is smashed at the base of a tree to neutralize the energy or in a crossroads to send it far away.
In the case of cleansing washes, the water used can be sent down the drain while visualizing the negative energy washing away. You can also flush it down the toilet. Make sure any bits of herbs have been strained out and use caution with oils, but salt can usually be safely sent down the drain. Depending on your septic situation, you may need to make special considerations. Floor washes may be sent down the drain or tossed out the door with conviction, again, assuming there are no chemicals mixed in the water that will damage your soil (like salt).
Reusing Spell Items
Some non-disposable items can be re-used with a good cleansing. Use your judgment on this. Sometimes it feels too weird to reuse something. If it feels uncomfortable, don’t do it. The advice for candles is generally not to reuse them or to make sure you use them for a similar purpose because of the sheer amount of magical energy they absorb and retain. Things like jars, crystals, fabric items, and tools can be carefully cleaned in the appropriate mundane manner, and then cleansed using smoke, salt, or whatever means is most appropriate to the item.
I think that about covers our possibilities, please someone correct me if I missed something.