Magic spells spring from the observation and consideration of an Earthly paradox. Earth is beautiful and brimming with power and potential. Yet individual existence often is harsh, miserable and limited. There is no guarantee that the benevolent forces of the universe will meet or coincide with your needs and desires. Life is not fair. Knowledge of magic, however, is unrestricted – all you have to do is acquire it.
Magic encourages and rewards creativity, curiosity and persistence. To wield magic power, you must possess desire and awareness, as well as knowledge, wisdom and will. Magic is not for the passive – it is employed by those who are unwilling to submit meekly to their destiny or fate.
Magic recognizes that the Earth is full of gifts, that anyone can access Earth’s energy and that there is enough for everyone. In fact, magic power is constantly being generated, and the energy that each individual produces affects and may be drawn upon by others.
From The Smart Witch Glossary:
Magic Spell: A specific and
to harness and manipulate the energy following
a formula or direction. A conscious, formalized attempt to manipulate magic power and energy
in order to achieve personal goals.
Magic is the manipulation of Earth’s naturally occurring energies in order to provide you with the abundance, success, prosperity, love, health and happiness you desire. Magic spells are deliberate, specific attempts to connect to and control the Earth's energies following a specific formula or general direction.
Magic spells can be dramatic, shocking or, quite frankly, mundane. What differentiates a random series of actions from magic spells is your intent, desires and goals. Magic spells are a conscious, formalized attempt to manipulate magic power and energy in order to achieve your personal goals.
Before you perform an act of magic, you must be certain – absolutely clear – on why you are doing it and what you hope to achieve. Determine why you are planning to use magic in every case, and consider whether you really have attempted to attain your goals through non-magical (mundane) means. Consider whether your actions will be for the good of all, and not merely in your own self-interest. Are you absolutely sure that your magical action will not harm anyone? Then proceed!
Once you are ready to use your magical energy, you must be able to concentrate. You must be able to focus intently and visualize the magic. What you want to happen must be perfectly clear in your mind.
When you perform a magical act, you will build up a massive amount of energy with your powers of concentration, then, when that energy is most intense, you will send it out to work for you.
My goals here and on my Facebook page are to explore, discuss and share different facets of magic, from the historical to the practical. These goals include:
Magic is a realistic art and science. It
is not idealistic. That said, magic is best used by optimists. For one
thing, magic requires the belief that things can get better.
In addition to optimism, another thing magical practitioners share in common is curiosity – the quest for knowledge. We bitterly resent obstacles to knowledge, and so I hope to ease the way with well-researched historical and magical information for us to share.
I will continually remind you of the basic witches’ principle: whatever energy or action is sent out, whether it be negative or positive, will be returned to you in kind. If you send out positive energies, you will get positive energies in return. It’s akin to tossing a pebble into a pond – every positive ripple you send out has the potential to affect many and much. In this way, your life will continually expand and improve.
Being a Witch is about more than casting spells. It is not for dabblers, nor is it a hobby nor pastime. Being a Witch means that you are walking a certain path. It is a lifestyle and more. Being a Witch is about commitment and responsibility: to yourself, to the community, to the Earth, and, if you have one, to your coven.
A central pillar of the practice of
witchcraft, for many, is found the Wiccan Rede, a poem actually, which
was first published in 1975 in the Green Egg Magazine (Note: a different source and an earlier year are also cited as the first publication of this work; that reference is given in the Introduction to Magic page).
I think this poem is quite sweet and lovely, but what does it mean?
The Smart Witch Summary of the Wiccan Rede:
Magic power is inherent on Earth. By various means, we have learned how to use it. We hold the complete, pure energy of the All – of the Goddess and the God – most high. As witches, we know that we are a minute part of the universe. Yet we are connected to every other part of the universe. Everything affects us, and what we do affects everything.
If you do magic, it can truly change things. As a witch, you must respect this. You have the power to change things, and you can have a major impact on people and their lives. With this power comes great responsibility – to other people, animals, the Earth and to yourself.
Practitioners of magic understand that what is perceived to be the difference between the physical and the non-physical is due to our limitations as materially based entities. Some of the tools used in the practice of magic are indeed non-physical. Three of the most effective of these are music, dance and gestures. Writing and creating art can help to free your conscious mind and focus your concentration for working magic.
Techniques used to raise power, alter consciousness and to unite with the Goddess and the God often are part of ritual. In fact, effective, even powerful rites can be achieved using mere gestures. We honor dance and music as being among the earliest magical and religious acts. From the earliest of times, practitioners of magic have employed color, rhythm, hand gestures and bodily postures in their craft.
I define ritual as specific movements,
manipulation of objects (tools) or a series of inner processes, which
are designed to produce desired effects. For Wiccans, rituals are
ceremonies that celebrate and strengthen the relationships with the
Goddess, the God and the Earth. A simple rite may consist of a lone
celebrant lighting a fire and chanting sacred names as she or he watches
the moon rise. Conversely, a Wiccan rite may involve a number of
people, each with specific roles, speeches and offerings in honor of
Deity. Rites may be ancient, newly written or spontaneous.
Cleansing Magical Tools
Any tool or object – such as an athame, a crystal or a chalice – to be used in a spell or ritual should be cleansed and consecrated. Once a tool it consecrated, it should be used only for magical purposed. It should be properly stored so that its magical energy remains strong. Should a tool become clouded with negative energy or spiritual debris, it can be re-cleansed and re-consecrated.
There are a number of ways to cleanse a tool before its first use:
Once a tool or object has been cleansed, it must be consecrated. This is done on a new or a full moon before the object is used in one’s spells or rituals. Several tools can be consecrated at once, or a consecration ritual can be performed on each separately.
You will need: Ritual space (it does not have to be your altar); a small, light colored candle (I rub mine with essential oil of lavender or rosemary, or sage or thyme); a sage wand; a fire-proof plate, large enough to hold the candle and sage; and small bowls of salt and spring water.
John William Waterhouse
The Pagan resurgence ... seems to be part of a general process of putting humanity, long seen by both the monotheistic religions and by secular materialism in abstraction from its surroundings, back into a more general context.
- Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick,
A History of Pagan Europe
Respect the Effects of Magic
If you do magic, it can truly change things. As a witch, you must respect this. You have the power to change things, and you can have a major effect on people and their lives. With this power comes great responsibility – to other people, animals, the Earth and to yourself.
A true name is a name of a thing or being that expresses, or is somehow identical with, its true nature. The notion that language, or some specific sacred language, refers to things by their true names has been central to philosophical and grammatical study as well as various traditions of magic, religious invocation and mysticism (mantras) since antiquity.
According to practices in folklore, knowledge of a true name allows one to magically affect a person or being. Knowing someone's, or something's, true name therefore gives the person who knows the true name power over the other. This effect is used in many tales, such as in the German fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin.
In fantasy fiction where magic works by evoking true names, characters often go to great lengths to conceal their true names. This may be a rule for all characters, as in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea, or for those of magical inclination, as in Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away, where a wizard is revived from the dead only by another who found his name, with great difficulty.
Technique: Cast the circle, call the quarters and light the incense. Invite a goddess and god of prosperity to join you. “Lady Rosmerta, goddess of abundance and wealth. Lord Cernunnos, god of prosperity and riches. Please join me in this rite of prosperity. Bring me your gifts of wealth and wisdom.”
Dress the green candle with patchouli oil, and then light it. Hold the prosperity symbol and say, “I charge this (symbol name) to invite prosperity into my light. This is the guardian of my wealth.” Hold the symbol in both hands and imagine how it will feel to be prosperous, and helping other to benefit as well as yourself. Use the oil to draw a pentacle (star) on the symbol and on the bill. Place the symbol on the bill and say, “Prosperity is mine. My life is filled with abundance, peace and love. An’ it harm none, so mote it be.”
Release the deities, “Lady Rosmerta and Lord Cernunnos, thank you for giving me the gifts of wealth and wisdom. Stay if you will, go if you must. Farewell and blessed be.” Release the quarters and open the circle. Place the prosperity symbol and bill in the feng shui prosperity corner (southeast) of your home. Let the candle burn all the way down.
Technique: Sit comfortably and place the candles before you. Clear your mind and light the white candle. Say the following:
Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit,
I ask thee to cleanse my body
of all negative energies.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit,
I ask thee to free and heal my body from all negative forces. Blessed Be!
Notes: This constructive spell is most effective when performed during the waxing of the Moon, when the Moon is shining brightly. Practice this spell while in a positive mood, as this will achieve the best end.
If you would like to set some herbs around the candles for additional effect, bay leaves are believed to possess a great deal of positive energy. Use five bay leaves: Place them so that one leaf is on each side of each candle (that’s four) and the fifth is in the front and center.
Egg Personal Cleansing Spell
Eggs are believed to be extremely absorbent. Thus, they are able to remove and eliminate negative energy and spiritual debris.
Tool: An egg, preferably fertilized.
Technique 1: If performing on yourself, pass a whole egg over the body, moving from the top of your head downward, mentally focusing on eliminating any negative psychic debris. When complete, take the egg outside, far from your home and smash it on the ground. Leave it there and return home via a different, circuitous route.
Technique 2: If performing on another person, pass the egg over the entire body. Let the person who is being cleansed exhale upon the egg. Break the egg in a dish and examine it. If there is blood or any abnormality, then this indicates that further, stronger action must be taken. If the yolk appears normal and is free of blood, then the cleansing is considered complete.
Notes: In theory, one should use fertilized eggs so that the possibility of blood exists. If blood appears in regular, unfertilized eggs, however, this is an extremely powerful indication that further cleansing is required.
A Spell Against Spite and Gossip
Traditionally, witch bottles filled with rusty nails, sour red wine (or even urine) and sprigs of rosemary were buried under the doorstep of a house as an age-old method of keeping away spite.
Here's a contemporary update on this practice.
Tools: A dark bottle with a cork, sour milk, old red wine
and dried rosemary
Technique: Into the bottle pour the sour milk, wine and dried rosemary. As you do so, say:
Viciousness and venom,
malevolence and malice,
feelings turned sour,
envy and spiked tongues,
Close the bottle with the cork and shake it over your sink. As you do so, say:
Curdle and coil,
serpents of spite,
hiss and miss me,
spit where you will
do no harm.
Uncork the bottle and run it under the cold tap until the mixture has flowed away and the bottle and sink are clean. As you do so, envision all of the harmful words and the negativity associated with them, swirling down the drain.
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the bottle, give it a good swirl, pour some into the sink drain and rinse the bottle again. As you do so, say:
go in peace.
Notes: Observe that you have neither attacked anyone nor returned the spite. You will probably find that the other person may be more positive on the next encounter. If you are suffering from an emotional vampire who drains you emotionally, add powdered garlic to the mix.