A wish is a simple form of magic. A wish is not fanciful thinking but an intention that, if projected strongly enough, can set cosmic and supernatural forces in motion. Making wishes is not as structured as casting a Spell, though certain observances should be made for best results.

Wishes are a common feature in folk and fairy tales. Usually a person is granted wishes—especially three (see Numbers)—by a spirit, a god, a magical animal, or even the devil. Sometimes wishes are obtained through a magical book. A lesson of some of these tales is that one must be careful what one wishes for. Wishes that are not well thought out or correctly spoken will backfire.

Folklore provides the best timing and circumstances for making wishes on one’s own. The most auspicious times to make wishes are:

• the night of the new crescent Moon

• the night of the full moon

• whenever a falling star is seen

• any Monday, the day ruled by the Moon

• birthdays

• anniversaries of significant events

• the changing of the seasons, marked by the equinoxes and solstices (March 21, June 21, September 21, and December 21)

• the appearance of rainbows, a sign of good fortune

Wishes should be stated three times to make them manifest. Lore also holds that wishes should never be divulged to others, for they then will not come to pass.

Ill Wishing

Ill wishing is a Curse that is often made spontaneously in the heat of anger or deliberately due to resentment or envy. If two people argue and one soon suffers misfortune or illness, the other party may be blamed for ill wishing. Remarks such as “You’ll be sorry” is a form of ill wishing. If someone enjoys good fortune or prosperity and then suffers a setback, they might believe themselves to be the victim of the secret ill-wishing of envious neighbors.

A widespread belief holds that wishing for a person’s death makes one guilty of murder if that person dies. A 19th-century account of explorations in Africa relates how 60 wives of the late son of a king drank poison for wishing the son dead. Thirty-one of them died, thus proving thmselves guilty for ill wishing to their community. The 29 survivors vomited upon consuming the poison, which probably saved their lives. Like other curses, ill wishing can be broken magically with a counter Spell or Charm.


  • Blasting
  • Hex


  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Angel Magic for Love and Romance. Lakewood, Minn.: Galde Press, 2005.

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.