Spell work first begins with your own moral responsibility when performing magick. When you perform any magick spell or enchantment, you must be honest with yourself and accept that you are doing it not only for the good of yourself, but also for everyone else.
“What goes around comes around,” according to the law of witchcraft, and ill intentions sent out may be visited upon you – usually threefold. So remember, never cast spells in a moment’s impulse, in anger, or to hurt or upset others. Each time you cast a spell, think about your motives. Are they with goodwill, with no intentions of hurting anyone else?
Everytime you work with the magickal world, accept that there are unseen powers that may be difficult to contact. This is why performing spells at certain times of year creates the right interface between you, the spell, and the magickal powers of the heavens.
As witches, we must respect the workings of the universe and its magick, and it may be that at times we simply didn’t quite get it right. Perhaps we just didn’t believe in the magick enough for it to work. Perhaps our timing was off. What you must never do is worry or dwell on spells that don’t work. Rather, move on, try again, and most of all find deep within yourself a real sense of belief. The next time, you will succeed.
When casting spells, you must truly believe in the magick of the universe. You must truly believe that what you are doing is going to work and that you’re going to make something beneficial happen. Once you have accepted this, you will be quickly on your way to creating spells that will help you to form your own destiny, just as you want it to be.
~Spells For A Magical Year
Love magick is the most popular and sought after magick in the world. A smooth functioning of the world needs love to grow among people. Love magick is known to build bridges of peace between people at war, the magick could be used to arouse peace and harmony in the world by acting on the conflicting nations of the world. This is how love magick could be of immense use. Magick can be used in this case to arouse the feelings of love and harmony among people replacing feelings of jealousy, enmity, and hatred.
Love magick can really work wonders on the entire world populace. It can make people more generous and kind towards their fellow humans. It can negate feelings of animosity and resentment. These are feelings that arouse when we use our powers of reasoning and logic. Love magick replaces these intellectual achievements by feelings of compassion and hope, because love changes everything in the world. Love magick is thus seen as the agent of change in the world.
Love magick operates through objects used as symbols for proper action of the spell. Talismans, potions and charms are the most commonly used in invoking love magick when desired. These objects are not merely the agents, but these represent the thoughts and ideas of the individuals in love.
A good relationship always involves some amount of compromise among the concerned people. Love is a bit different. Love does not need the person or persons to make a compromise or adjustments. Love needs a comfortable coexistence of the lovers. Love magick works on the individuals erasing the need for these adjustments and compromises.
This fact highlights the importance of the psychological outlook of the person casting the spell. This automatically means that the spell caster needs to concentrate on the object, visualize his or her goals, and act on the projections for love magick to be effective. The fact remains that the goals of all sorts of positive magic are spells cast for the purpose of love and the company of the other person. One wishes to be in the other person’s company for a long time, and even for a lifetime. This is where love magick helps out people by preparing them for further interactions with each other.
True love between individuals is believed to identify the individuals with God. One feels so good that the earth is transformed into paradise. In some ways, love magick could go a long way into making people comfortable with their surroundings and such spells could be used to induce feelings of harmony.
People are guided by a flow of positive energy between the individuals. Love magick works by giving a definite direction to the energy. Your intentions and aims are thus given a definite flow by the use of love magick. The goal is then a lot closer this way. At the end of the day, the trick to make love magick work often is to practice it most often.
Retrieved from Articles Base.com
- Ask for what you need
If you don’t need it, don’t ask for it. The magical power of a spell is driven by a true need; if you’re asking for a second yacht, you probably won’t get any results that you would like.
- Don’t fence yourself in
The most likely reason for a spell to fail is if you’re asking for something too specific – you want to give yourself and the universe as much room to maneuver as you can. Don’t focus on details, focus on the feeling you want to have when things work out right. Close your eyes and try to find that feeling “out there;” if you find it, either move toward it or reach out and bring it toward you.
- Pay attention to the tides
The second most likely reason for a spell to fail is if the time is just wrong. Remember that spells work within the bounds of nature, and sometimes the wind and the tides are working against you. When that happens, the best thing you can do is to put a finger to the wind and figure out where you can go, working with the natural flow of things; or just wait it out until the tides shift in your direction.
- Give something back
If you’re asking for something, it’s a good idea to offer something in return, at least as a token gesture – a flower, or a bit of food, or a coin, for instance (no live animals, please).
- Remember other people are using magick too, whether they know it or not:
Most people have some natural magical ability, whether they know it or not, and an instinct for taking care of themselves. If you try to cast a spell that is inherently detrimental to another person, you will meet resistance from that person’s magical energy. The magickal universe is a crowded place, and things will work out best for you if you manage to navigate a path that avoids direct conflict with your fellow beings.
- Follow up with mundane action
Another important point about spells is that it’s very important to follow up with mundane action. If you cast a spell for money, don’t expect a check to just show up in your mailbox the next day; get out and look for a job, or at least buy a lottery ticket (magick doesn’t work terribly well with those, by the way, because everybody who buys a lottery ticket throws a bit of magick into it, whether they know what they’re doing or not). The idea is to make a point of putting yourself into situations where the magick has a chance of working.
Life isn’t always easy… and most of the people feeling the “pain” are desperate for anyone to help. This usually means they want someone to “fix it” for them by casting a spell for them. They don’t BELIEVE that Magick inside them exists… and/or they don’t BELIEVE they can use it to change their lives.
It sounds corny, but it’s true. You’ve got to BELIEVE in yourself and the Magick energy you were born with in order to bring miracles into your life… and transform your situation into one you’ve always dreamed about.
But you can’t just go to some online spell caster, or have someone else say a chant, light some candles, and have everything change.
YOU’VE got to do it… it’s the ONLY way. And it is VERY easy, and things can change EXTREMELY quickly. But you’ve got to believe in yourself and the power your Magick energy has to bring miracles into your life.
Here we have a list of thirteen steps for successful spell casting:
- One: Think clearly about what you need.
If you need a car, perhaps it would be best to do a spell that will help you to bring a car into your life, rather than asking for a few thousand dollars to come your way so that you can buy a car. Magic can work in many ways and you might be limiting yourself if you don’t stay open to all possibilities! But remember, magic works best if you really need something, rather than just desiring it.
- Two: Set a goal that is clear, concise and unambiguous.
Focus only upon one work of magic at a time. For best results, don’t scatter your power, channel it in one direction.
- Three: Avoid distractions when performing your spell.
To be effective in your magic, you must be fully focused upon your intentions. Put time and energy into preparing yourself and your spell. Find a location where you can work your spell in private, without any distractions.
- Four: Choose the right timing for your spell.
By choosing particular days, and by working in harmony with the phases of the moon, you can enhance the effectiveness of your spell. The days of the week and the phases of the moon all have specific energies associated with them, and by knowing the right time for your spell, you can give it greater power. Working magic is like swimming in the ocean, you are going to get to your destination quicker and easier if the currents and tides are moving in the direction you are wanting to go. You can still get there even if everything is going against you, but it will not be as easy to achieve your goal.
- Five: Use appropriate symbols for your spell.
When doing the spell, have appropriate music, incense, colors, objects and tools around you to reinforce the message of the spell to your subconscious.
- Six: Set a time for a result.
Include in your spell an indication of when you would like to see a result. If your spell is for greater prosperity, include a date for when you would like to see that extra cash in your wallet or purse.
- Seven: Create a simple rhyme to use during the spell.
Chanting a few appropriate words that you have written yourself, will have a much better effect than reading text from an ancient spell book. Repeat your wording lots of times during your spell. Repetition is the key to sending a message to your subconscious.
- Eight: Use the “For the good of all!” clause.
When creating the wording for your spell, remember to include the phrase, “For the good of all!” This phrase will help your spells to enhance your life, without having your good fortune being at the expense of another.
Another useful phrase is, “This or something better now comes to me.” Often that which you want at this point in your life may be different to what you really need, and it’s only when you look with hindsight from a future point in time that you can realize this. So, by asking “for this or something better,” you leave yourself open to greater possibilities becoming available to you.
I have heard so many examples of spells going wrong when the “For the good of all!” wording is not taken into consideration. One friend did a spell to get $1,000 for a holiday, and two weeks later his house was burgled, and the insurance reimbursement check ended up being $1,000 exactly.
Another person I know did a spell so that she could have some time off work, and she promptly broke her leg, requiring three months off work! I have also heard (many times) about people who do a spell to lose weight, and they get diarrhea, or excessive vomiting, or both. They sure lost weight, but not in a healthy way. Be careful for what you wish for, because you may get it!
- Nine: Realize the consequences of having what you asked for.
Apart from the examples just given, there are other consequences to be aware of. When something comes into your life, certain responsibilities come along with it. For example, when doing a spell to get a car, remember that along with the car comes registration costs, petrol and repair bills, perhaps monthly loan repayments, etc. Are you in a position to handle these?
A Law of Exchange is always at work when magic is used. Sometimes what you have wished for seems to come out of thin air, with little effort on your part, but often it will arrive from more mundane sources. For example, it may be that after doing a spell for a car, you win $20,000 in the lottery and you can buy it… Or it may simply be that you are offered the chance to do extra hours at your work, or a second job turns up so that you are then in a financial position to afford a loan for the dream car. Are you prepared to give this extra energy to the universe/gods in exchange for the items you wished for?
Another way in which money can become available to you after casting a prosperity spell, is through being asked if you want to sell something that is of value to you. Are you willing to part with that family heirloom if someone makes an offer out of the blue?
- Ten: Avoid using words that you don’t understand.
Spell books are great for getting ideas, but the spell will work better if you put it into words that are meaningful to you. In the book “The Key of Solomon the King” there is a spell for gaining inspiration, and at one point the spell-caster is supposed to say the Hebrew words, “Vegale hamicata umsa terata yeh dah ma baxasoxa un horah himesere…” But this sort of wording does nothing to focus awareness upon the aim of the spell.
It is much better to make something up yourself. For example, for an “inspiration” spell, you could scry into a water-filled cauldron and say the words, “Beneath the stars and moon so bright, from cauldron deep and candlelight, the answer that I seek tonight is now revealed into my sight.”
- Eleven: Use positives not negatives.
Make sure that the wording of your spell is phrased in a positive manner. For example, with a health spell don’t use wording such as “I don’t want to be sick anymore.” Your subconscious doesn’t recognize words like “don’t want”, it can only focus on words that it can put an image to, i.e. the word “sick”.
Spells are basically affirmations that include images or symbols, so while doing a healing spell, visualize yourself as healthy and turn this phrase around to something like, “I am healthy, I am strong – all the day and all night long!”
- Twelve: Be realistic.
Expect miracles, but don’t go overboard! A love spell will help you to attract romance into your life, but a love spell to attract a Hollywood movie star as your lover is unrealistic. Even Merlin would have trouble with that one!
- Thirteen: Raise power for the spell (if appropriate).
You can raise power to help send your wishes off into the universe by drumming, chanting, dancing, or even by running around your magical circle. Power raising is like pumping up an air rifle before aiming and releasing the energy, so after raising energy, drop to the ground and visualize your spell as fully manifest. See it in your mind clearly, and send this image into the universe knowing that it has already come true.
- Please remember:
A magic spell will not work by simply repeating some words that you find in a spell book. The magic of a spell is contained within you – your needs, your desires, and the energy you are prepared to put into the working of the spell. If there is no personal power in your spell, it is only words.
Author: Don McLeod
When people think of the word magic, the average person probably thinks of Samantha in “Bewitched” twitching her nose to turn a cat into a horse, or of Macbeth’s three witches standing around the cauldron while chanting, “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog…” But magic has nothing to do with the supernatural. True magic comes from within ourselves.
It can only work within the boundaries of natural law, but it can seem to happen miraculously, simply because most people don’t understand the extent of the natural laws that we are dealing with. The fundamental idea behind this is that the thoughts you put out into the cosmos are a form of energy, and this attracts other energy in many forms. Your brain is like a radio beacon that is constantly sending out messages…and the universe (or the gods) receive those messages and transmit a reply back to us in one form or another.
Thoughts are energy, and words are powerful. These are two truths that are the basis of spell work. There is a natural law that states that on a metaphysical level, like attracts like. By visualizing an object and affirming to yourself that you want this item to manifest in your life, you are sending a clear message to the universe and to your subconscious as to what you want…and the cosmos will listen…and a corresponding image to the one you sent out will soon find its way to you. What we send out in thoughts and words, we attract to ourselves. What you think and what you say has more power than you can imagine. This is a type of magic in itself.
We use this type of “spell” all the time, mostly without realizing it. How often do you say to yourself or others, “I’m always broke, there’s just never enough money to go around!” And what’s the result? That’s a form of magic that you are working against yourself every day.
Some other examples that I hear people say are: “As soon as I stop dieting, I put weight back on,” and “My car is always breaking down.” In this article, we will be looking at using this same principle, but we will turn it around so that this form of magic works for us to enhance our lives.
Magic is a natural process that can be easily accomplished. It is a wonderful demonstration of the power that we each have to bring about change in our lives, and in our world around us. The life energy within us, and the universal forces that surround us, are energies of specific vibrations. In order to create magic, we simply need to attune with the vibrations of what we desire, and we need to know how to send the message of our needs to our subconscious and the universe.
Spells are practical tools that help us to attune with our desires, and then, in conjunction with our will, we direct this power inwards and outwards to ensure manifestation. As Aleister Crowley said… “Magic is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” The subconscious mind is the source of the personal power used in magic. And spells are an effective way to convey messages to the subconscious because spells incorporate symbols – and symbolism is the language of the subconscious.
Know that words have power. And when words are used in conjunction with symbols, then the results are magical!
In the book “Myth, Religion, and Mother Right“, the author J.J. Bachofen eloquently describes the power of symbolism: “Human language is too feeble to convey all the thoughts aroused by the alternation of life and death and the sublime hopes of the initiate. Only the symbol awakens intimations; speech can only explain. The symbol plucks all the strings of the human spirit at once; speech is compelled to take up a single thought at a time. The symbol strikes its roots in the most secret depths of the soul; language skims over the surface of the understanding like a soft breeze.
The symbol aims inward; language outward. Only the symbol can combine the most disparate elements into a unitary impression. Language deals in successive particulars; it expresses bit by bit what must be brought home to the soul at a single glance if it is to affect us profoundly. Words make the infinite finite, symbols carry the spirit beyond the finite world of becoming into the realm of infinite being.”
From what we have described so far, I’m hoping that you now realize that magic comes from within. And the more energy that you put into creating a spell, the better the result will be. For a spell to be effective, you cannot simply say words from a spell book and hope for the best, you have to know how to put power into the spell.
The spell is not the magic, it is only by putting power into a spell that you create the magic.
Author: Don McLeod
A General Set of Steps to Follow
Magic spells are amazing ways to take back our power, one which had been taken away for centuries by organized religions and the people who presume that they personally know the Creator and are the only ones who are capable of communing with HER or HIM.Magic spells allow us to use the tremendous energy that each of us have for creating magick in our lives.
However, there are some simple rules that people need to remember when working spells. First and foremost; remember the Wiccan Rede; “An it harm none, do what you will.” This means that all of us have the power to do anything, unless it harms someone directly or indirectly. If we hurt someone, then the three-fold law will be set in motion and we will be the recipient of three times the hurt that we inflicted on someone else. That’s a good thing to remember, right?
It is not easy to think of all the people that our actions affect, directly or indirectly. For example, if we love someone and work a spell to increase their love for us, maybe that indirectly affects the time and energy they have for loving the rest of their family! So think deeply before deciding on a spell and how to express your intentions. Make sure your words and thoughts do not hurt anyone or anything.
The next step is to decide what your intentions are and what tools you will need to work your spell. For each intention, there are colors, herbs, gemstones, tools, etc. that will make a huge difference in the ambiance or environment around us. Always use your own words while working a spell. Just because the words sound exotic or the words rhyme, it doesn’t mean that your spell will work. Your words have to mirror your intentions; that’s the only way the spell will work. So give yourself enough time to think about what it is you intend and how best to express it to the powers and energies who will be doing the work for you.
Whether you work the spell inside your house or outside, make sure that the area is clean of clutter and old, used things; for everything contains energy. If there are things used by other people around the area where we do our spell, that energy will affect the outcome of our spell. Also, if we use items used by other people, their energies will be part of our spell working. Depending on the items, it could help our cause or hurt it. Remember to consecrate all your tools and also bless them just before you use each of them.
The area where you work your spell is also very important. The best place is outdoors on inside your house where you spend some time in daily spiritual practice. An altar, images or candles representing Goddess and God or any deity that you respect is very conducive to our relaxation and inspiration. Some people use the powers of the creative energies, such as the Earth, Air, Water and Fire. We may use salt, water, incense, or candle flame for consecrating our tools. Also, use the directions, East, North, West, and South for guidance to accomplish our goals.
When we have gathered all our tools, a sacred circle needs to be cast. This is for the purpose of protection so that our energies remain pure and powerful and will not be tainted or reduced by negative ones. Casting a circle may be accomplished using the Athame, Besom, Wand or pointing a finger in the direction of the circle and calling upon the energies mentioned above to guide us in our path.
After the circle is cast and we have all the guides we invited into our sacred space, we have to close the circle so that we remain protected in our sacred space. Now we visualize on the intent of our actions and complete the rituals of spell working. Once the spell is complete, we have to remember to thank our deities and other guides before we open the circle.
Remember to dispose of all the remains of our spell working (such as candle wax, ash from incense, holy water, etc) in the proper ways. Throwing them away as trash is not a good idea. Mother Earth is our first ally. So burying most of the materials used, (as long as they are from nature) is a sensible thing to do.
The best practice is to use very little of nature’s resources and put back into life more than you have taken out of it. This is the only way our Universe will survive and thrive.
Retrieved from: Articles About Magic
Here is an exercise in being grounded and fully present in the body. This is important before and after any spellwork or magick.
Wherever you are in this moment, as you continue to read and pay attention to the words on the screen, become aware of your feet. If they aren’t on the ground, put them there and feel the earth beneath you. Notice how you automatically experience the motion of your breath, the tension in your shoulders, the hunger in your belly. When awareness is grounded, we become aware of what is going on in our bodies in the space between our heads and our feet.
Take a walk and keep shifting your awareness back to your feet. Remember to make this shift throughout the day; while you’re standing in line for the cashier at the supermarket or at the bank, or waiting for a red light to turn green, or scrambling eggs. Find your feet.
From “Sweat Your Prayers”
by Gabrielle Roth
Circle casting is an important, and at times, difficult activity. It involves the use of many skills, and for the beginner it can seem like a pointless, if not impossible, routine. How do you do it properly? When should it be done? And perhaps most importantly: how do you know if you’ve done it?
What is a Circle?
A circle is a boundary of energy extending halfway above the ground and halfway below. It marks the boundary between the worlds: inside the circle is a cleansed space where the two worlds can interact. Outside is the mundane, ‘regular’ world. That’s the basics; more on this later.
Why do you need a Circle?
A circle is cast to create a clean space in which to do ritual and magickal workings. It creates an area in which both worlds are present; in a very real sense, it is between the worlds. To invite a Deity, or an Elemental, etc. without a circle (into the mundane world) isn’t always such a great idea. It’s easier to interact inside a circle. It also acts to keep magickal energy inside until it is ready to be released, or to keep negative energy outside.
What do I need to know to cast a circle?
Well, you must have a lot of focus. You must be able to clearly visualize what you are doing, and how you are doing it. You should be able to feel the energy you are attempting to move, and have a clear idea of where you want to put it. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- 1. What is the purpose of your circle?
To protect from outside negativity; to contain magickal energy; to create a space between the worlds; another purpose; a mixture? The nature of your circle will depend on the ritual you are planning on doing.
- 2. How big will your circle be?
If you are casting the circle for practice, then all you need is a circle the size of your own body. For a larger group, no big surprise, a larger circle. In my personal opinion, it should be large enough that you don’t keep wandering to the edges and sticking your head through it.
- 3. How will you visualize your circle?
If you are just learning, it might be best to stick with simple colors. Later on, you can learn funky patterns and effects. Practice casting a circle in your mind during meditation. You must learn how to visualize things clearly, hold them in your mind, and focus while you rotate and move them. At the beginning, stick to the basics: there’s no substitute for them.
- 4. Can you keep your focus for as long as it takes to set up the circle?
If you are constantly second-guessing yourself, you can’t maintain your concentration. Trust yourself.
- 5. Treat it with respect.
Constantly walking in, through, and out of the circle without cutting a door, or otherwise ignoring its boundaries doesn’t really help you much. You can’t really expect to cast strong circles if you can’t create and keep it in your mind first. The circle is real because you make it real. You make it real by believing in it and acting on it.
- 6. Finally, don’t be disappointed if you don’t get it the first time.
Or the second. Or the 30th. It takes time; it takes self-trust; it takes PRACTICE.
When do I cast the circle?
I’ve found that the best time is right after you have cleansed the space (by blessing, sweeping, or making lots of noise), and before you invoke any elements or Deities. If you have others with you for the ritual, save up jokes, and try to make each other laugh really hard just before you create the circle. This further gets rid of any negativity that might be present, and provides enough positive energy to cast a good circle. My friend and I have had some fascinating rituals this way.
So, how do I cast a circle, exactly?
Well, there are many ways. If you’re reading this for information, then you’ll probably want a simple one.
First, ground and center yourself. Stand with both feet firmly on the ground, and relax your arms at the sides of your body. Simply feel and visualize the energy of the Earth below you, and the Sky above you.
Face one of the directions, and physically reach down with your arm and gather the energy of the Earth into your hand. Reach up to the Sky and gather the energy of the Sky into your other hand. Now scoot down near the ground and face your palms outward, sending that energy into a smooth wall of colour that will spread itself into the shape of a circle. Rise up as you do this, shaping and smoothing the wall at this corner.
Repeat this at the other three directions, constantly smoothing and shaping it with your hands. At each direction, the circle gets stronger and thicker; there are no gaps because the energy of the circle constantly swirls around evenly.
See the energy as a thick, fluid stream of color. It also flows under the ground, to even itself out as a complete sphere. You can shape it underground by visualizing it through the floor. Solidify it by visualizing the energy of the circle as sticking together, like hot glue or warm honey.
When you feel the circle is ‘set’, all you have to do now is keep it in mind, and perhaps make minor re-adjustments if you feel it is necessary. Take as much time as you need, and don’t rush. No one is holding a stopwatch. Don’t be afraid to move around spontaneously; no one is marking you on grace or coolness. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to screw up; that’s an important way to learn.
Casting A Circle – How do I know if I did it?
This is the fun part. Everybody has their own unique way of sensing circles. Some people can see the circle; as a band of color, or a thickening of the air. Some people can feel it as a spark of electricity, or again as a thickening of air. Some people can hear it as a low hum. Everybody is different.
One thing is certain, however: circles get really hot. In a strong circle you can feel the cold air rushing in when you cut a door. When you take it down, you can practically feel a breeze. In the beginning, you may not be sure whether or not you’ve succeeded; don’t let that bother you. When you really get the hang of it, you’ll know for sure.
Casting A Circle – What’s this about cutting a door?
Cutting a door basically means opening a hole in the circle so you can leave it. It’s best to stay in the circle the whole time it’s up, but there are times when you’ve forgotten something important in another room (like a lighter), or there’s something you have to deal with.
My personal favorite way of cutting a door is to hold your fingers and hand in a straight line, and move your hand around a rectangular outline large enough for you to walk through. Visualize the energy of the circle inside that rectangle being sucked into your forearm where you can store it until you get back.
When closing the door, do this in reverse, and then smooth out the edges of where the door was. Visualize the energy of the circle swirling around until the location of the door is lost. Still, cutting too many doors in a circle can also weaken it eventually.
I live in an apartment; will the people downstairs walk into my circle and mess it up?
I just added this question because I’ve wondered about it myself. Yes, the circle does extend halfway below the floor, and yes, someone downstairs could walk right through the bottom part of it. All I can suggest is that you either do your rituals after you’re sure they’re out or asleep, or just try not to think about it. 🙂
When and how do I take the circle down?
At the very end of ritual. After the Deities are gone, the Element/als have returned to their respective realms, etc. etc. etc. The only thing that generally follows taking down the circle is eating, drinking, and chatting. Take the circle down exactly the same way that you set it up, in reverse. Take as much time to take it down as you took to set it up. Send the energy back into the Earth, the Sky, or wherever you chose to get it from. If you used the energy from the Earth and Sky, then it’s a good idea to change it into healing energy for our planet and our skies before you channel it back.
What’s the best way to practice casting a circle?
Actually: alone. If you can do it alone, then you can do it in a group; it doesn’t always work in reverse. Working alone also lets you develop your own style, and you don’t need to worry about people staring at you. You can work on your concentration more easily by yourself, and you don’t feel like you’re boring people if you take a while. Write your own visualizations and keep track of your results in a journal. But above all, learn to trust yourself and your instincts; it’s one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself.
Author: Keitha (FireWind)
They say that the longest journey begins with a single step. So, too, the exploration of Magickal studies begins with a single step. Though the first step in a physical journey is often self-evident, the First Step on a Magickal journey is often not quite so clear. While formally organized groups often have a path of lessons to instruct newcomers, the solitary or isolated student is often left standing in perplexity on this broad plain of knowledge, wondering just where in the heck to begin. And wondering, too, if it’s “okay” to start just anywhere.
While it’s true that studies can begin in a direction that attracts you, the necessary first step must be learning to make psychic shields. There are “Things of the Dark” out there. There are any number of explanations for what these things might be– ghosts, demons, or simply uncontrolled urges of the subconscious mind. In truth, it doesn’t matter what they are. What does matter is that their effect is very real and unless they are put under your control, they will drag you over the borders of sanity into psychosis.
You are most vulnerable to them while you’re in an “open” trance or meditative state. That’s why the wise practitioner always begins by taking steps to define exactly what will be permitted through the portals of their “psychic shields”– no matter how simple the ritual. And this, in a nutshell, is what “protective magic” is about.
There are a number of ways to do this. The most common is to begin by drawing a circle (around a group or yourself) and invoking the one or more protective powers. Generally, this is done by candlelight, in front of an altar that holds certain magical objects. The circle may be further “secured” and “cleared” by using salt, salt water, rum, incense, or some other method. You may be wearing a special robe and will have taken a bath (or performed a cleansing ritual) earlier. The powers that protect you will be called on and then you will begin your ritual.
Is it psychological? Absolutely! Is there a reason why protection rituals always take this form? Positively! Let’s take a step back and see what you’re actually doing and how the process works– from a psychological standpoint– and how to use this knowledge to help you refine your circles to enhance your rituals.
Psychologists and psychics alike view the mind’s structure as a three-part entity: The ego (that which you think of as yourself), the superego (the “higher self”) and the Id (the child within). The Id is, in a sense, a computer. Like most computers, it operates on the “garbage in – garbage out” principle.
There’s an old superstition “as you name something, so will it become.” Tell yourself that you’re very unlucky and your id will obligingly give you bad days by enhancing any negatives in your environment. Tell yourself that you are clumsy, and your id-computer will obligingly arrange for you to break a leg while stepping off the sidewalk.
The bad news is that the Id can’t make a judgment as to whether or not this is a good idea. It only knows that it’s received these “instructions” and must carry them out. The good news is that you can actually program/reprogram this portion of your mind.
You begin programming this Internal Servant of yours by first drawing its attention to what you want done and then explaining what you need done in a simple and clear manner. Repeating the instructions in a chant help fix the goals for the Id– rhymed chants seem to be easier for it to process. Each time you perform the ritual and repeat the chant, the programming is strengthened. Never mind that your ego and superego understand that you’re going to program the child-like Id. It works just the same.
To direct the Id’s attention to the process, you first have to impress it. Using special tools and clothing alert it that something unusual is going on and that it must pay attention. Acquiring hard-to-obtain items, drawing symbols, performing a symbolic sacrifice (donating money, say, to a good cause) are all ways of reinforcing the Id’s impression that this ceremony is very special and that the result will be very powerful. Organized, meaningful symbols, speak to your subconscious mind in ways it understands, reinforcing the goals you have set.
Drawing the circle itself establishes boundaries within your environment (“The rest of the world can do what it likes Out There. All within this circle is in MY control!”). Purifying the circle and consecrating it (sprinkling water which has been blessed and salt added) further enforce your territory, defining the borders where you are “safe”. Nothing can enter this area except what you invite inside. You further tighten these borders by calling on certain powers.
You can call on any powers you like. Some use traditional Christian images. Others call up deities from the religion they are most comfortable with. And many people use the thought/image of a beam of light that represents either God/Goddess (whichever one they like) OR The power of light and life and goodness in the Universe.
The number of powers called as guardians varies. You may choose to invoke one powerful being to protect your circle. Or you might call on the Universal Being/Light AND four guardians (one for each quarter of the compass). A third approach is to use a guardian for the four quarters of the compass and no higher being. There is no “absolutely correct” system; the correct system is the one that YOU are comfortable with.
Take time to choose the guardians of your circle carefully. You should select guardians (gods or animals or some form of life) which have a deeper meaning to you and whose qualities are in harmony with your goals. For the new student, it’s best to have all your Powers and Guardians from the same belief system/religion/mythic universe so that the symbols will be consistent and not confuse the Id.
You CAN use people– saints, movie actors, figures from favorite books as guardians. DO, however, pick someone who’s dead or non-existent. The dead can’t argue with your interpretation of them, whereas the living may be highly offended to be approached as gods/ guardians).
As your studies continue, you will find that your totems or guardians change. This is to be expected; as you explore new realms in your studies, you may find you need guardians who deal with very specific areas to strengthen and guide you in these new fields.
But don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’ll become so powerful that you will never need the protection of the psychic shielding circle in some form. And don’t assume that you will not need a circle for “positive” magick such as healing. Open is open– and open is vulnerable. And circles strengthen and protect you by defining what psychological influences will be allowed to work with you.
NOTE: It is equally important to close your circle when you are complete. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Key elements are a statement of intent, for example: “The circle is open” and the releasing of the energy contained within the circle either by sweeping the perimeter, retrieving objects, or whatever feels appropriate.
Author: Mel White
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