A petition paper is a paper with a spell written on it in a rather specific way. Since I have some folk magic posts planned that call for petition papers as a component, I thought I’d first write about how to make them.
The best kind of paper to use for this is paper from a brown grocery bag. In folk magic, this is considered “pure” paper. (“Found” paper is good too, and sugar sack paper for sweetening spells.) It is not cut, but torn on all sides in the shape of a square. (I like to tear mine into a three inch square.) You tear instead of cut because cutting represents severing something; you don’t want to sever the spell. It is traditional to use a lead pencil without an eraser for writing out your petition, but you can also use ink pens in the colors suited to your intentions.
name of target or desire
First of all, you decide what the desire or who the target of your magical working is going to be. (Oh yes, traditional folk magic has no qualms about casting spells on people.) Write out your desire or target three (or seven or nine) times in the middle of your paper, using cursive writing and not lifting your pencil until you go to the next line.
your name or action
Now turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise. Write your own name (if the spell involves you), criss-crossing over the name of you target or desire, the same number of times. Alternatively, write the action or influence you want to have over the target instead. If the action is one of decrease (say, like if you want someone to go away), turn the paper counterclockwise instead of clockwise.
circle of command
Now, in a circle around the names, write a short phrase that summarizes your spell (this is your “command”). Be sure and write it in an unbroken circle without lifting your pencil.
If you like, you can personalize it by drawing symbols that go along with your theme in the four corners of your paper (for example, hearts for love, or dollar signs for money).
Now that your petition paper is written out, you can put on the final touch of “dressing” it. Take an herbal tincture or oil that matches your desire and dab it in each corner of the paper and in the center. This is called five-spotting the paper.
Petition papers can be folded a number of times (towards you to draw in, away from you to repel) and placed in sachet or bottle spells, in your pocket, purse or shoe, and under candles.