If prayer is communication with and supplication to divine forces, magick is the independent technique of influencing the world around us with or without the assistance of a divine being. This is why some Pagans (particularly solitary Witches) are atheistic. The power to control one’s environment isn’t supernatural, in this case. Casting a spell for health or finances is no more than a precise extension of one’s will and channeling the energy around us.
“To perform effective magick, three necessities must be present: the need, the emotion, and the knowledge.”
–Scott Cunningham, Wiccan author
Magick then, is like a science. Practitioners spend years refining spells and rituals until the results turn out just right. Many of these spells are then recorded in personal journals called a “Book of Shadows” (more on this later). The media and popular culture portrays spell casting and magick with glamorous special effects such as in the Harry Potter films. Mainstream media and even other religions often give us images of gnarly and twisted Witches cackling over a huge cauldron, perhaps boiling children or animal parts for spells.
Welcome to the stereotype.
In the old days, before the rise of Christianity in Europe and the subsequent villainization of Pagans, a benevolent practitioner of such skill was considered a helpful member (usually female) of the community. People would visit her for remedies curing all sorts of ailments using natural herbs and other ingredients. This sort of work constituted the bulk of spell crafting for a Witch and from what I’ve heard this month, modern Pagans (including Witches and Wiccans) use magick for the very same, practical reasons.
As part of the magick working process, spells are also written for other areas of life. Perhaps one is suffering financially. My Mentor recently sent me a few magick spells–very simple ones–that she’s used over the years for such an issue. Here are just a few she suggested:
Keep a bay laurel leaf in your wallet to protect against poverty
Carve and dress a green candle to fit your needs. Put it on a saucer and arrange coins at the base. Light the candle and chant the following:
“Money grow, money flow
Candle burn, watch me earn
Money grow, money flow
Flame shine, what I want is mine
This is my will, so mote it be.”
Willpower is energy. If one does not fuse the spell with will and belief, it won’t work.
But something interesting happened yesterday. I planned to write this very post yesterday morning, but then I woke up with a ridiculous headache. One “Congregation” member suggested that I use magick to help with the headache. Perfect idea!
She suggested a tea using ingredients such as skullcap, feverfew, oregano, and lavender, add honey and sip while burning a lavender candle. While making the tea, blend the purpose of the tea and you will into the process. Sip the tea with confidence in your work. I didn’t have all the ingredients listed above, but I did have a blend of tea with other ingredients known to soothe ails, including peppermint, chamomile, and rose blossoms.
I also had another piece growing in my yard.
This is typical spell work, folks. Using knowledge, the natural energies around us, and the power of our will to influence our world. Magick is a practical tool in the life of a Pagan and what you might consider a home-grown remedy might actually have its roots in magick work. It’s curing headaches, giving love an extra nudge, and helping gardens grow. Magick is indeed like fire and bends only according to the intent of the user. More often than not however, if you are bending fire to burn others, don’t be surprised if you come away with a burn of your own.
And yes, the tea worked like, well, magick!
What is your experience with magick and spell work? If you work in this medium, what sort of needs do you find yourself using magick with the most?