So, I was going through some pennies I’ve collected, and I got started thinking about the uses of pennies beyond, y’know, buying stuff. So here’s my ruminations on pennies in magic.
First and foremost, birthyear pennies are always useful and probably the easiest to find. I collected a bunch for me and the Pumpkin King out of my stash and got almost a full penny-roll each. These are useful as taglocks, especially if you let them soak up your personal energies. They are also useful to add to a payment to a spirit since they represent you. Add them to targeted spells for health, wealth, whatever you like.
Next are special-looking pennies, whether by design or by accident. By design, I mean the designs stamped on from the mint. Two in particular; the old-time wheat penny and the brand new shield penny.
The wheat penny stopped production in the late 50’s. They are correspondingly rare, since most people tend to try to make big bucks from them and sell the ones they find on eBay. I found 2 in about 6-7 cups of pennies, and had saved back 2 others in random change that passed through my hands. (When I was a kid I found a 1919 that I gave to my mom, the coin-collector. I want it back, if I can manage it, because that’s my dead grandmother’s birthyear.) Wheat pennies are great for money magic, to increase, and for prosperity. They also make good offerings for deities and spirits related to aforementioned activities. Basically, take the idea of wheat and all you associate with it, and apply to magical thinking.
The shield penny is very new. It’s only been in production the last few years. Anything you associate with shields, you can use this penny for. I use them currently to give as offerings for the Little Green Man, along with any pennies or other change found as I drive (the logic being that he will shield my car from harm as well as bad traffic. Or traffic-related harm.) Also good to ring a protection candle with, or carry in pocket-charm bags, or use as super covert pocket spellcraft. Who looks at bowls of change on the dresser?
Accidental and situational pennies depend on what’s been done to them for their oomph. Accidental pennies could be road pennies (been on the roadway and all scratchy), those squished by a train, one that has been torn or gouged in some way- any penny that has a “defect” in some way that you see potential in. Situational pennies are those that you find in a special place and therefore have oomph because of that. A penny found in a sacred place or one found at a portentous moment, maybe one from change received from an important or special purchase, all have some flavor of their origin regardless of the year or condition of the penny.
I tend to use the older pennies (prior to 1981) as offerings in general because I prefer the higher copper content (95% copper with a little tin, as opposed to zinc-cored copper) since they are actually closer to bronze than anything else. (They actually switched the metals in mid-1982 with no way to visually differentiate the two, so my cutoff is 1981.) This preference for the older pennies is just that- a preference. I have no reason for it beyond the metal makeup and the fact that I like bronze ^_^
Particular years beyond just birthyears can also be useful. Pennies from the year you were married, or first started dating, or decided to be commited to the other person can be incorporated into a blessing bottle for the relationship. A pair of pennies, one from the birthyear and one from the year they died, can be left as an offering at graves or on ancestor altars (or be used to represent them, if you have no access to their grave and/or no memento of them.) I saved pennies from 2000 because I like the idea of using them as offerings because they mark the turn of the millennium (yeah I know, I just had a whole spiel about the old pennies. These are special for the year, not necessarily the composition >.> ).
What do you do with all the non-special pennies, though? (Beyond using them to buy a candy bar and soda at a store you hate, of course.) Think creatively- if you work with spirits that like to hoard (dwarves, dragons, goblins, crow-spirits), pennies can be a good start for an ongoing offering. Be warned though, if you give the pennies to them, they are their pennies. If you end up overflowing, ask them if you can use it to buy them something else. If you’re really down on your money, they may loan it to you. But do not just grab back the treasure you gave them to buy yourself something. That is rude, bad manners, and stupid to do for a spirit you want a relationship with. Or, try putting a bunch of pennies in a jar with money-drawing powder, herbs, and stones and burying the bottle in a planter with a vigorous grower to encourage finances to grow similarly.
Finally, no penny magic would be complete without the semi-silly one. I can guarantee that not many people have thought of this angle- how about using 1969 pennies in sex magic? Especially for the non-vanilla sexual endeavors? Maybe charging a bunch of 1969 pennies and dropping them strategically in the club to draw love and sex? (Maybe just sex, if you wish.) In my own twisty brand of magic, you are limited only by your imagination, and by the amount of pennies you have hoarded.