What Are Personal Concerns?
When working on rootwork, you may hear the phrase "personal concerns" being used as an ingredient in your spell.
Personal concerns are items attached to the person you are working on. Think of them as adding the "DNA" of the person (literally or figuratively) to your spell - of course, that is going to make the spell work stronger!
Examples of personal concerns (in order of most powerful and intimate to least powerful and least intimate):
Semen, vaginal fluid or menstrual blood
Blood, saliva, sweat, mucous, or urine
Feces (for negative work)
Body hair or hair from the head
Toenail clippings, fingernail clippings or skin scrapings
Clothing that has been worn by the target and not washed (the more intimate and closer to the body, the more powerful)
Dirt from a foot print or foot track of your target
Something that was owned by the person
Photograph of the person
Another class of Personal Concern is graveyard dirt, that is dirt taken from the grave of someone and allows you to connect with the spirit of the deceased person.
When to Use a Personal Concern
You can add your own personal concerns to mojo bags, candle spells and other spellwork when you want to strengthen the ties of the benefit to yourself. For example, if you are doing a spell for prosperity to come to your place of business, you can add a little of your own urine to a prosperity floor wash, or if you are carrying a mojo bag to draw fame and success to your career as an artist, you may add fingernail clippings to ensure that work done with your hands draws the success.
You can add someone else's personal concerns to your spellwork when you want to work on them remotely. For example, if you would like your child to succeed on a school test, you can place a piece of their hair under a success candle along with your petition.
You can add your personal concerns and another person's personal concerns when you want to work on something for the both of you. For example, you can tie a strand of your hair around a strand of your lover's hair to tie him or her to you before placing it in a honey jar.
One of my teachers, Cat Yronwode, has said that getting a piece of hair is your relationship "insurance policy" - get a piece of your beloved's hair as soon as possible and hold it aside. You may have a great relationship and you may never need to use it, but if the day ever comes that you need to use it for a spell, you will have it. I have many clients who wish to do love poppets and honey jars and are only missing the personal concern. Yes, we can set candles and do other sorts of spellwork without a personal concern but not having that piece of hair limits the kind of spells that you can do. Don't let that be you!
What if I Don't Have a Personal Concern?
When working on yourself or someone you are close to, it is easy to get a personal concern. But what if you are working on someone who is far away or is estranged from you? If you can't get a personal concern, then my recommendation is to choose a type of work where a personal concern is not required.
Examples of work that require a personal concern are honey Jars and poppets or doll babies. You can most certainly try this type of work without a personal concern, but traditionally they are done with a personal concern and will have the strongest possible effect with one.
Examples of work that do not require a personal concern are candle spells, incense spells, spiritual baths and laying out of sachet powders or oils. These are not traditionally done with personal concerns, though if you wish to add a personal concern to a candle spell for example, you may.
Examples of work where a personal concern is optional are floor washes, setting lights (with a photo) and some mojo bags. Depending on the type of working your are doing, you may add a personal concern, but it is optional and not always necessary.
So, if you have a personal concern of your target, you have the full range of choices as to the kind of work you can do. If you do not have a personal concern, then your best bet is to choose a type of work that doesn't require one rather than choosing one that does and, in a sense, doing it only halfway.
If you have more questions about working with Personal Concerns, I offer magical instruction either in group classes or on a one-on-one basis.
I also suggest checking out the books that I offer that can teach you in depth about working magically with candles, oils and herbs.
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