Birthday Ritual Ideas for Witches and Woo-folk

Full disclosure: I cried on my birthday five years in a row. 

I was smack in the middle of the wilderness years of my twenties, and I wasn’t too keen on the path my life was taking. Rather than celebrate everything I’d managed to achieve, I bemoaned what I hadn’t accomplished and drank way too much and stumbled home in a puddle of my own tears. They were far from the most enjoyable birthdays I experienced, but they did manage to teach me something: taking time to decide what kind of “party” we need can definitely make or break the occasion.

Since b-days always stirred up some serious shadow shit for me, I did my best to ignore them and didn’t plan much of anything. One of two things happened: the day came and I had nothing to do (and was therefore depressed and whiny), or my friends planned a get-together that often didn’t resonate with how I was feeling (therefore drunkenness and embarrassment).

Consciously working through some of the more difficult emotions that birthdays engender (read: I’m getting older, I haven’t yet written the great American novel, what’s my true calling, and what is life anyway?) will pave the way for meaningful contemplation that empowers you to honor who you are and to decide who you want to be.

Pimp Out Your Morning Ritual

It’s your birthday, beauty, and that means that you deserve to spend some extra time indulging in self-love and self-care. Make yourself a special breakfast (because who needs to rely on someone else to give us the love we deserve?) and bring it to the altar. Savor the scent and flavor of your coffee. Delight in the glorious taste of your waffles/pancakes/omelette and think about how many mornings you’ve had the pleasure to see on this earth. If you’re feeling adventurous (or particularly sharp), try and remember a few (remember that time you were allowed to eat Lucky Charms every day on vacation?). See if you can conjure the emotion of some of your best mornings and embody that emotion for as long as you can.

Light a candle and thank your guides for all of their love and support–whether real or imagined (or both), they’ve seen you through some serious shit and showing gratitude for their guidance will make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Switch on your favorite meditation music and devote some time to mindfulness. Let what comes up come up, and let it pass. Keep a journal handy to make note of any “birthday shadow” that comes up and that you may want to work on later. Take in the sounds, the smells, and tap into your inner smile.

Click here for more morning ritual ideas

Ritual Bath Time

I prefer to take my b-day ritual bath in the AM, but whatever time resonates with you is best. I smudge the crap out of the bathroom with sage and palo santo to clear out last year’s metaphysical detritus and I fill a sachet with my favorite herbs (red rose petals, hibiscus, red clover, chamomile). I add the sachet to the bath along with a decoction of cinnamon (good luck and prosperity), cloves (luck and protection), and cardamom pods (lust, because it’s my b-day). Then I toss in some sea salt and soak for as long as I feel the need. Depending on how long I’m in there, I may even dip into the astral and have a chat with my matron. Again, this is an exercise to help me relax and savor and to encourage any challenging emotions to rise to the surface.

Shadow Work Hour

By all means–take as much time as you’d like (or as you need) to shadow work. For some of us, it’s safer to shadow work at set times the week before your birthday (*ahem* this lady). For others, a little bit will go a long way. Regardless, I do recommend that you do some so you can clear the air and the space and make room for what awaits in the next year. Bust out your journal and write about some of the more challenging and difficult ordeals you lived through. How did you manage? What did they teach you? How will you apply what you’ve learned moving forward? If you have any funky feelings about childhood birthdays (maybe they weren’t honored or perhaps you had a parent or loved one who couldn’t be there), this is the time to think about it, to feel it, and to write it.

Think of how much you were able to thrive and survive through. Pat yourself on the back for making it through another year (relatively) unscathed. Praise your very soul and being for its strength and fortitude, and if you’re a fan of romantic poetry, read “To You” by Walt Whitman and struggle to hold back tears when you read the last line: “what you are picks its way.” Allow your shadow session to beautifully transition into a celebration of self, and in this spirit, get out the mags and the decoupage.

Make a Birthday Candle

Birthday candles are so often throw-away items; here’s a chance to craft your own personal birthday candle and imbue it with meaning. Perhaps you’ll let it burn all day in celebration of you and who you are. Perhaps you light it for an hour, then blow it out so you may light it again next year–the choice is yours.


Prayer candle (cheap and affordable and stocked at most grocery or dollar stores)

Magazine clippings that delight and inspire you

Mod Podge (Elmer’s glue can be used as a substitute if need be)

Paint brush or sponge

Anointing oil (optional)

Glitter (also optional, but why not?)



Cover the glass container of your prayer candle with a layer of Mod Podge and let it dry. Next, scrawl sigils, a spell, words of inspiration, self-love, and encouragement all over the glass container. Next, apply Mod Podge to the back of each magazine clipping and arrange them however you’d like on the candle. Let dry, and apply a layer of Mod Podge over the entire outside of the candle. Anoint either the wax or the candle with oil, and light that bad boy as you set intentions for the year to come.

Perform a Release Ritual

Birthdays are a perfect time to clear out all the psycho-spiritual crap that’s high-jacking your consciousness. Write a list of the behaviors, relationships, dynamics, and patterns you’d like to release as you move into your new year. Gather banishing materials (Sage, black tourmaline, smoky quartz, hematite, cloves, etc) and an organza (or mojo) bag and bring them to the altar. Create sacred space and light a black candle. Speak your list to the cosmos as you fill your bag with the crystals and herbs. When you’ve finished reciting, pass the burning sage over your spell bag and seal it. If you’re feeling so inclined, dig a hole and bury it, and whisper, “so mote it be.”

Blow Out Your Candles and Make a Wish

Seriously, though–this ritual is performed by so many people worldwide that it’s bound to have some pretty serious heft magick-wise. Even though it’s pretty difficult when you have several pairs of eyes staring at you, take a moment to look a little foolish and to wish with every fiber of your being. Male sure that you know what you’re wishing for before the moment, and that it’s a wish that has your highest good (and the highest good of others), in mind.

Happy, Birthday, Witches XOXO

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The pdf includes: 

~ Pre-Ritual Journalling Prompts

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~ Dark Goddess Invocation



This guide leads you on a journey of self-reclamation through building a ritual that incorporates what you love and encourages alignment with your desired feeling.



Let go, lean into risk, and “pull the sword from the stone” with this simple, yet powerful ritual!


10 responses to “Birthday Ritual Ideas for Witches and Woo-folk”

  1. I loved this post! I especially love the part on shadow work and I totally plan to try it out for my next birthday because I’ve had a pretty rocky past with birthdays!

    Great post~

    1. Thank you, lady! I’m so glad that you liked it! I had a huge string of rocky birthdays, and I got to a point where I really wanted something different, and this worked!

      1. I totally plan to try it out! Honestly your whole birthday plan seems relaxing and reinvigorating (and any excuse for me to hang out with my oils and crystals by my alter makes me happy)

  2. Hehe, I began to do special things for myself years ago. You can’t rely on others to do it for you, nor should you place that responsibility on them. Magick candles, wine, body oil and great food are my favorites!

    Same with New Year’s, business anniversaries…..anything you want to celebrate!

    It’s also a good time to set goals to reach for your next birthday.

    Thanks for sharing this, Jessi!

    1. Absolutely, lady! I find it empowering to make things special for myself! That’s not to say I don’t appreciate when someone else does something for me–quite the contrary. All I’m saying is if you want it exactly the way you want it, you’re best served by being the engineer!

  3. […] Jessi Huntenberg has some birthday ritual ideas for witches and woo-woo folks. […]

  4. Thank you so much for your post, it was beautiful and very very usefull. <3 )O(

    1. I’m so glad you liked it, and Happy Birthday!

  5. This is great––I’ve always been a birthday crier.
    Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  6. hi there… this seems to have come about quite aptly. i’ve been meaning to do some shadow work as i too have a rocky time every year around my birthday. i’ve already understood the why and the what and the rest of the stuffs behind these feelings i just needed a ritual to go about the shadow work and the letting go. i figured a birthday specific ritual would be good since the day is coming up and it seems like just a good a time as any to do it. so thank you tons for that!

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