Ritual to Kick a Bad Habit

Man breaking cigarette
Image Source / Getty Images

Here at About Pagan/Wiccan, we get emails on a regular basis from people who want to know how to use magic to get rid of a bad habit. Now, this is one of those circumstances where the magical absolutely must work in tandem with the mundane. You can do all the rituals you want to quit smoking, but if you keep buying cigarettes, then you’re not going to stop, and the magic will be a wasted effort. This ritual is designed to be used in conjunction with mundane efforts.

If you can’t bother to do the non-magical part of kicking a bad habit, don’t waste your time doing the magical aspect of it.

That said, here’s a ritual you can adapt to your own needs to kick a bad habit. Just for ease and clarity, let’s assume the person doing the ritual wants to quit smoking. If there’s something else you need to quit doing, great – adjust the spell components and wording as necessary.

You will need:

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Chili powder
  • Charcoal disk
  • A red candle
  • A black candle
  • Sage
  • An empty pack of cigarettes (or whatever bad habit you’re trying to overcome)
  • Matches
  • A bowl or cast iron cauldron

Prepare your working space however you normally do.  If you normally cast a circle (and not everyone does), go ahead and do it now.  Likewise, if you call upon deities, now would probably be the time to do so. If your tradition recommends the use of a certain moon phase for various types of spellwork, do this any time during the waning moon – because you’re getting rid of something.

If your tradition has no guidelines on timing, do it any time you want.     

Light the red candle. Say, “Red is the color of strength, red is the color of power. I have the strength to kick this habit, day by day, hour by hour.”

Light the black candle. Say, “Black is the color that sends things away, and gives me the power to kick this today.”

Working between the two candles, mix the cinnamon, ginger and chili powder together, grinding them until they are powdery. Place the charcoal disc in your bowl, and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top of it. Light the charcoal.

You should have a nice burning pile of ground herbs now. Slowly tear the cigarette package (safety tip: without the cellophane!) into small pieces. As you tear the paper, close your eyes and visualize the nicotine and tar leaving your body. Picture your lungs changing from black and damaged to pink and healthy.

Place the torn pieces in the bowl with the burning charcoal. Light a match, and place it in there so that the torn cigarette pack begins to burn as well. It may not stay lit, but try to get it to burn a little bit. Say, “I burn what has no control over me. The addiction is gone, and I will be free.”

Light the sage, and smudge the area around your workspace. You are cleansing yourself of the effects of the bad habit, and freeing your body and soul from the addiction. Particularly smudge the area over the bowl with the burning cigarette pack in it. Say, “Within me is the strength, no doubt, and with sage I cleanse the air without.”

Place your smudging sage in the bowl as well, and take a moment to reflect.

This working is not about the habit itself, but about your rejection of the addiction. Realize that you will physically – and psychologically -- no longer need the habit.

Allow everything in the bowl to burn out on its own. If possible, allow the candles to burn out on their own as well.

Again, remember that you have to make mundane efforts along with your spellwork. Don't buy cigarettes, alcohol, or whatever else it is you're trying to quit using. Also, if your bad habit has physical side effects when you quit, don't hesitate to reach out to your medical professional for assistance with management.