The Junior Witch's Handbook

A Kid's Guide to White Magic, Spells, and Rituals


By Nikki Van De Car

Illustrated by Uta Krogmann

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 2, 2020. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

An empowering guide for young witches about the kinds of magic they can create for themselves every day.

Intended for children between the ages of eight and twelve, who are curious about the possibility of “something more” in their lives, this handbook focuses on three major areas of the witch’s life: friendship, personal fulfillment, and family. Each section includes spells, rituals, potions, and other useful information, such as tables about crystals, chakras, and herbs.




An altar is a place to focus your thoughts and energies, in either very specific or very general ways, depending on what’s going on in your life at that moment.

Your room is probably the best place for your altar, either in the corner on the floor or on your dresser or bedside table. It doesn’t need to be very big.

Start with the basics: First, what is going to be your central symbol? It can be a photograph or some other image of someone you love, an ancestor, or even a goddess. You could use a bowl or chalice if you want to focus on inviting positive energies into your life, or an incense burner if you want to disperse negative energies. You could use a large, powerful crystal—anything that feels right. This kind of magic is very personal and very dependent on your own intuition. And remember, your decision is not final—this is just what your altar will look like today. You can change it around anytime you want to.

You may also want to incorporate the elements. Here are some possibilities:



volcanic stones




essential oil diffuser




a mirror

jar of rainwater


horn or bone

sedimentary rock


From here, get creative and have fun with it! Add things to your altar and remove them when they no longer feel right. You can include things you find, like buttons or lost keys, pieces of friendship bracelets, essential oils, bits of cloth, crystals, dried herbs—anything and everything you want.

When you’re working on a big spell or focusing your energy toward something you really want, spend a little time with your altar, rearranging it and redecorating it. It’ll help you align your desires with your power.


Certain rocks, gems, and minerals have been used in healing and magic for 6,000 years, dating back to ancient Egypt. Different stones have different uses and abilities. For instance, diamonds have the ability to draw out poison, garnet to protect from nightmares, opal to boost creativity, and lapis lazuli to enhance mystical powers.

It can get really complicated! There are a lot of different kinds of rocks out there, and their uses can overlap and complement one another. The way we use them also depends on their size and shape:

CHUNK CRYSTAL. This includes geodes, pyrite, turquoise, or any kind of untouched crystal that looks basically the same way it did when it came out of the earth. These are often viewed as really useful knickknacks—you would keep them around your desk or in your room, providing your space with clarity, peace, protection, or whatever that particular crystal is best known for.

CUT CRYSTAL. Diamonds and other gems used in jewelry are cut to enhance their sparkle and capture light. They are very pretty, and often very powerful, as their impurities have been trimmed away.

TUMBLED. These are the stones you can often find in bins at a science or mystical shop. They’re softer, often rounded, and likely to be the crystals you use most in your daily magic practice.

WAND. This type is of crystal is shaped a bit like a literal wand, so that it’s pointy at one end. You will find these useful in targeting the crystal’s energies. In particular, a selenium or clear quartz wand is used to activate a crystal grid.

Your stones will require some care and feeding! They work by taking on and releasing energy, but that means that you need to clear those energies and then recharge your crystals fairly often. Do this as soon as you purchase a stone, clearing any energies it may have picked up along its way to you, and then repeat that process once it’s been used, so that it’s ready for the next time you need it.

CLEARING. You can do this in a number of ways! You can wave a smudge stick over it (see here) or soak it in salt water overnight. You can hold it in a stream or in the rain, or you can let it be washed by sunshine or moonlight.

CHARGING. For general charging, you can simply hold your crystal to your heart or your third eye (on your forehead, right between your eyebrows) and visualize its magic—its protection, its love, its healing. Feel that magic within yourself and within the crystal. Feel that interplay between the two of you. Then, gently place the crystal wherever it is you keep it, knowing that it is ready for you whenever you need it. However, if you want to program your crystal with something specific, say for instance healing a sore throat, rather than general healing, this is best done right before your ritual or spell. You’ll follow the same process as above, but focus your intention—if you’re using rose quartz, for instance, what specific love are you looking to enhance?


There are two kinds of herb magic. The first is the more obvious one, the one we do every day without thinking about it. When you’re feeling a little stressed, you drink a cup of chamomile tea. When you need a bit of a boost, you might chew some peppermint gum. When your stomach is upset, you drink some ginger ale. This is everyday magic, employing herbs and plants that are so powerful we have grown used to turning to them without thinking about it.

The second form of herb magic feels much witchier. This is where we use herbs not just for healing, but to enhance the power and energy of our spells. Like crystals, certain herbs have certain properties and can be applied to amplify our own abilities.

Often herbs are used in a gris-gris, or a small bag that can be used as a talisman (see here). You can also consume some of the herbs as tea—lavender is delicious, mugwort not so much—so that your body is prepared for your ritual. Check to make sure the herb is edible first, though!

You can also create a smudge stick to use before conducting a spell or ritual. A smudge stick is a small bundle of dried plants that you light on fire to activate their specific virtues. To create a smudge stick, collect the fresh or dried herbs of your choice, and lay them together into a bundle about five inches long and maybe an inch or two thick. Wind cotton string or yarn tightly around your bundle, moving up and down the length of the stems, until you have a nice tight stick. If you’ve used fresh plants, you’ll need to hang your smudge stick to dry for at least a week before using.

When it’s ready, light the tip of your smudge stick, but then blow it out so it’s just smoldering—you don’t need a licking flame. Wave your smudge stick over a crystal grid or around the space where you’ll be casting your spell, or let it rest on a dish and allow its smoke to move through you.

Essential Oils

You’ll notice that sometimes a spell will call for the same plant in either herb or essential oil form. The truth is that both are equally powerful, but have different uses. Essential oils are a distilled version of the plant; they capture its aroma as well as its magical properties—literally its “essence.” So it would take a handful of dried lavender to achieve the same power as a drop of lavender essential oil. Also, a number of the essential oils we’ll be using are hard to find in fresh or dried form! When’s the last time you saw myrrh or frankincense at the supermarket?

Now, you don’t need all of the recommended oils. There are a lot of sources for essential oils out there, and some of them are really pricey. You don’t need those.

Look for therapeutic-grade oil, but don’t stress about how highly rated it is. But no matter what, don’t ever drink your essential oils! Even essential oils made from herbs we normally eat, like sage or thyme, can be toxic because they are so very intense. Some of them, like lemon or lime, shouldn’t be used directly on your skin, while others like chamomile or rose are gentle enough and can even be good for your skin, which is a nice bonus. More often, though, you’ll use your essential oils to anoint candles or crystals.

Table of Correspondences

If you don’t have all the ingredients you need for a particular spell, this table will help you substitute a different crystal, herb, or essential oil. If you don’t have any of the herbs, you could just work in a crystal—remember, this is your spell, and you get to decide how it works!


HERBS: Alyssum, sunflower, lavender

CRYSTALS: Clear quartz, moonstone, pearl

ESSENTIAL OILS: Cedarwood, geranium, lavender

LIFE SKILL: Boundaries

HERBS: Hawthorn, yarrow, basil

CRYSTALS: Tiger’s-eye, pyrite, hematite

ESSENTIAL OILS: Basil, neroli, palo santo

LIFE SKILL: Communication

HERBS: Mint, parsley, yarrow

CRYSTALS: Aquamarine, blue calcite, blue apatite

ESSENTIAL OILS: Lavender, sage, neroli

LIFE SKILL: Compassion

HERBS: Marjoram, angelica, rose, hibiscus, violet

CRYSTALS: Rose quartz, malachite, jade, green aventurine

ESSENTIAL OILS: Rose, bergamot

LIFE SKILL: Concentration

HERBS: Rosemary, mint, sage, cinnamon


On Sale
Jun 2, 2020
Page Count
120 pages
Running Press Kids

Nikki Van De Car

About the Author

Nikki Van De Car is a blogger, mother, writer, crafter, and lover of all things mystical. She is the author of ten books on magic and crafting, including Practical Magic and The Junior Witch’s Handbook, and the founder of two popular knitting blogs. Nikki lives with her family in Hawaii.

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