A WITCH’S GUIDE TO GHOSTING: A Spell for When Your Lover Disappears

    By Amanda Yates Garcia


    You’ve stared into each other’s eyes, splashed around on paddle boats and have plans to go to the museum this Tuesday but then…crickets. Your lover stops returning your phone calls.

    If you’ve ever dated, you’ve probably been on the pointy end of the phenomena known as ghosting: when someone you’re into suddenly disappears without any explanation.

    Like virtually nothing else, ghosting can cause you to blunder through a nauseating fog of misery, never knowing exactly what it was that caused your lover to leave.

    A while back, the New York Times published an article suggesting that in the age of text messages and Tinder, people are peace-ing out sans excuse like never before.

    But in reality, ghosting is a pan-historic world-wide phenomena.

    Remember how in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility the cad Willoughby wooed Marianne Dashwood, made her think they were going to get married, and then saw her at a party and was like “Do I know you?”

    Amanda1Illustration of Willoughby cutting a lock of Marianne Dashwood’s hair (probably to enact some kind of evil ghosting spell). By Hugh Thomson (a scan from the book Sense and Sensibility). Via Wikimedia Commons.

    That book was written over 200 years ago! Back then you’d have to go to the trouble of writing a letter, with a QUILL, if you wanted to give someone the courtesy of a clean break.

    It’s actually easier to do the right thing now, you could just send a text.


    “I’m leaving you because you’re cynical about tarot. #YouSuck.”

    Alas, the world is still teaming with ghosts, hence at least 15% of my clients come to me with a ghosting ex dribbling ectoplasmic goo upon their shoulder.

    Some of the most powerful work I do is to help release the spirits of malingering ex’s, so if any of this sounds familiar, book a session, we’ll banish your ghost together!

    Or, if you want to try working a little magic on your own, read on.

    And remember, you are more powerful than you think. Don’t let those sad ghosts fuck with your head.

    Amanda2image source

    Ghosting Hurts

    As you know, the worst part about ghosting is that it encourages the abandoned party to think the ultimate worst about themselves.

    “He left me because I’m not pretty enough, not smart enough, not rich enough.”

    “She thinks I am boring, have bad breath and am bad in bed.”

    We often default to thinking the worst rather than recognizing the reality of the situation, which is that if the person who left you couldn’t even do you the basic courtesy of telling you that it was over, it says more about them than it does about you.


    Because, let’s say for example that the worst you imagined was true, they left you because they thought they were cooler than you; they wanted to hang out with people who know celebrities and organize music festivals, who live in Modernist houses in the hills of Silverlake and whose parents are Pulitzer Prize winning poets.

    It’s somehow worse to suspect they thought you were a loser than to actually have them tell you to your face.

    Your default obsessing will convince you that they left because of whatever it is that you like least about yourself.

    However, if your ex was like, “I’m leaving you because you’re not hip enough and I want to be around arty-er people,” or “I’m leaving you because I like girls with big tits and you’re a B cup,” then it might suck in the moment, but quickly you’d realize that they wanted something you couldn’t give them, and also, you’d see just how annoying and lame they really were.

    Reader, that’s why they didn’t tell you they were leaving!

    Because they knew that you’d realize what a jerk they were and they wanted you to only think worshipful thoughts about them.

    They cared so much about what you thought that they couldn’t bear the idea of you knowing what trembling little flowers they really were. So they decided to just fade away, sad, lame specters of their formerly chivalrous selves.

    The worst part is, of course, that they were so afraid of experiencing your disapproval that they decided to pawn their discomfort, to displace on to you the very thing they were so afraid of in the first place.

    Can you see how lame that is? Do you really want to sit around crying over someone who behaves like that? Is that the kind of love you want?

    I didn’t think so.

    Amanda3image source

    How to Banish a Ghost

    From a paranormal perspective, ghosts are unquiet spirits, usually the spirit of someone who has died but lingers around haunting the places where they lived and were attached.

    They usually do this because:

    1. they’re afraid to move on
    2. they’re confused and don’t know how to move on, or
    3. they’re traumatized

    Ghosts of the chain rattling, table thumping variety haunt you, they come back, and in fact, they won’t leave.

    Whereas the problem with ghosts of the “dude from Tinder” variety, is that rather than spookily lingering in your bedroom and watching you sleep, they actually make you feel like haunting them by driving by their house or whatever.

    Lucky for you, because magic works by psychically manipulating archetypes, you can de-slime yourself from the comfort of your very own home.

    What follows is one technique you can use, but remember, the point is not to get the ghost back!

    Getting ghosts back is not the way it’s supposed to work.

    The point is to let them goooooo. Buh-bye!

    Amanda4image source

    Séance to Banish a Ghosting Ex

    1. Step one is to remember not to be afraid (this also holds true for your literal kind of ghosts).

    If you’re being haunted by the ghost of an ex-lover, they are now just a memory. They can’t hurt you. You aren’t under any physical threat.

    The haunting is going on between you and their psychical residue, so remember in this situation, you’re the boss.

    Don’t let the ghost get the upper hand by making you feel bad about yourself.

    2. Create a sacred space.

    For this activity it’s important that you signal to your psyche you’re switching gears, that you’re no longer in ordinary reality.

    If you came in for a session with me, there would be a very specific series of steps that we would do to achieve this.

    But you can do it perfectly well on your own by using your intuition. Meditate until you feel grounded and powerful.

    Then, light a candle, burn some sage or your favorite incense, and call in your helping spirits.

    3. When you sense that the timing is right and you feel powerful, call upon the higher spirit of your ex-lover.

    If you find it helpful, you can use a photograph or an object that reminds you of them to call their spirit up.

    Be clear and powerful in your communication with them. Say everything you need to say. Ask them any questions you need to and be sure to listen for their answers.

    When you feel that you are done, tell the spirit that you release them.

    For the greatest good of all concerned, you banish them.

    Say it out loud. Be forceful! Bang on pots and pans and make other loud noises if you find it helpful.

    4. When you’re done, thank your helping spirits.

    Then, if possible, light some candles and take a cleansing bath with lavender and chamomile (to sooth and calm), sage (to cleanse and protect), and rose (to replenish your love for yourself), and salt (to draw out impurities and negativity).

    If you have black rocks such as obsidian or black tourmaline you can place in the water, even better.

    Visualize as you bathe any residual goo from your ex draining into the water. When you feel completely cleansed, empty the drain.

    Rinse off in the shower, and start your new life.

    Be the big, magnificent witch you were born to be.



    If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.


    About the Author:

    AmandaBioAmanda Yates Garcia is an artist, writer, witch, healer and the Oracle of Los Angeles. Recent performance rituals include Capitalism Exorcism at Human Resources and Devouring Patriarchy at the Women’s Center for Creative Work. Amanda hosts her bi-monthly show The Oracle Hour on KCHUNG radio; teaches the Magical Praxis monthly mystery school; and performs private rites of healing and empowerment at her magical studio in West Adams. Get in touch to book an appointment, or find her on Instagram.


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