Witches Encouraging Mass Spells/Rituals..

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Just this past year, I have noticed several instances where websites were erected by Witches, where not only are they calling out to any other witch who might happen upon them, but anyone to perform a mass spell or ritual for whatever they think is a worthy endeavor.  I think they do so because they are seeking some kind of resolute, justice, or accomplishment that they feel is for the better good.  In other words, they are typically well meaning, with all good intentions.  But  yet, I can’t help thinking of the following aphorism and with good reason: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”  Therefore, I am an opponent of this idea, even if its about something I full heatedly agree with, which I intend to explain in-depth.  In fact, I find so many problems with this idea, that I am not sure I can even touch bases on all of them, but hopefully the most important problems with it, point by point.

1.  It begs to involve many people who have either very little, nor no experience in witchcraft at all to try it.  The funny thing is, many witches that will present these mass ritual ideas are usually the first, when approached by a new comer, to warn them about pacing themselves, not rushing into anything, don’t jump into spell work until they understand how energy works, don’t dabble or things can get dangerous, and so forth.  But yet, it doesn’t seem to occur to these same witches that they are actually encouraging every thing that they warn about!   They have no clue about the experience or proficiency of everyone wanting to do their ritual, and worse, they don’t even seem to care about that; as long as they can incite people by the masses to do it, that’s all that seems to matter to them.  Obviously, this invites quite a few mishaps, and all the things that can go wrong which caused them to utter their warnings to those with little or no experience in the first place.  Now consider a million people read the ritual and tried it, but 500,000 of them did not know what they were doing, or did something very screwy and unintended; the lucky ones will wind up with just nothing working, but many, not so lucky, and the effects this would have on the spell/ritual as a whole can not be a good thing.

2.  It’s bound to cause quite a bit of unwanted attention.  By this I mean, for every one witch that thinks something is worthy, there’s another witch out there who disagrees, and this will attract their attention to do some of their own counteractive work.  Not only that, but not everyone out there is nice, and some might want to just counter act it, just for the sake of being nasty.  These mass spell ideas are put out for all eyes to see, and the funny thing about them, is they tend to give blow by blow details about how the whole ritual is suppose to work, what to utter, ingredients, etc.  Now you get enough witches to fill an army base out there that do not like the plan, and disagree with the endeavor, who also know the workings of it, it’s not at all hard to for them to swiftly unravel the entire thread of it. In all likely hood too, these are going to be very experienced strong witches, unlike the big horde of inexperienced people jumping into the mix trying to get the spell to work.  I’d even say, with all the details these mass rituals give, just one very proficient witch would even be enough to do the spell in before it even had any time to work.

3.  They are often sloppy and poorly written.  In just about every single case of this that I have seen, the actual spell seems to involve a part where those performing it are suppose to utter some very poorly written word verbatim.  It’s painfully clear that the author did not think about choosing words wisely.  The final result (from what I have seen) is typically very vague, rambling word salads, and/or contradictions.  In my experience, magical energy takes the path of least resistance, and these poems, ritual words, mantras or whatever you want to call them that are within the spell tend to render multiple interpretations, or the confusing  contradiction may render the energy to go which ever way is least resistant, even if it was opposite of what the witch really wanted.

4.  They often involve petitioning deities or spirits of some kind.  Most witches are wise enough to realize that deities or spirits are not bell hops waiting around to appease every one’s request. In fact, most witches I know emphasize the importance of developing connections and relationships with any spirits or deities one intends to work with.  Yet again, when it comes to something like this, that logic is suddenly lost, since these rituals are being handed out to every Tom Dick and Harry.  So now, you quite possibly have scores of people who never dealt with these deities or any spirits before, are too new, or never been a witch, trying this out!  Picture the equivalence of getting a flood of phone calls from a whole slew of random strangers either demanding or asking you to do things for them?  Wow, what a way to piss off, or horribly annoy the very same deities, or spirits expected to be help in this. I’d say if there was ever a  hand book on how NOT to get the help of deities or spirits, encouraging a mass of strangers to bother them should be in it.  Not only that, but when involving deities or spirits in spell work, you now run the risk of involving beings that are not in agreement with your request.  If course if you think your plight is a wonderful one, or totally just, you can’t imagine how it could be possible that they might not agree; however your inability to understand how or why they might not agree, won’t force them to agree with you if they don’t.  Now should one or a few not agree with you…well…lets just say I’ve heard some pretty nasty stories from others who’ve experienced asking a deity or spirit to do something that said entity did not agree with.  Perhaps a seasoned witch can deal with such a thing, however, should a scantly experienced person have this happen to them, my opinion is the witches who knew better but encouraged this anyways are responsible for the misfortunes such a person might endure for inflaming the spirits.  So why even involve deities or spirits in the first place?

Well that’s pretty much what I think are the most important problems with this sort of thing.  However, I do not want to leave you with the idea that I am against group work, on the contrary I am not.  I myself have done spell work with others.  But the difference is, in one case you are working with a closer knit group of people where you are well aware of their proficiency as a witch, whereas the other scenario, you are risking one big nasty hot mess by inviting every one under the moon who reads and likes the idea into it, where you know nothing about them, while leaving your whole plan open to the problems and vulnerabilities I outlined above. When it’s a close knit group, on the other hand, the contents of the actual ritual are kept within their group only, they tend to do much better planning, and wording of whatever it is they might chant.  They all review their roles in the ritual, mull things over for possible loop holes and everything else that needs to be ironed out.  In the end, there is a far greater tendency for success in doing things this way instead.  Consider this, it has been stated that Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca had once done Cone of Power to keep the Nazi’s out of England.  What Gardner did NOT do, was go out into town, posting billboards about this planned event, inviting everyone that wanted to join in, into it.  He most certainly did not put postings in the news papers that gave a entire blue print of how this ritual was going to happen, for all eyes to see either.  Although times have changed, I firmly believe he STILL would not broadcast it every where. It is obvious, just by looking into actual traditional Wicca, that Gardner not only understood the wisdom and importance of keeping things within their own ranks, but this same view is held firmly within Traditional Wicca today.  This is why people not initiated into Traditional Wicca are not entitled to their book of shadows, their deities names, or other things considered oath bound.  It’s not snobbish, it’s smart and being responsible.  In the end, even though the Nazi’s planned to invade England, they did not.  Then again, the ritual to keep them out, was carefully guarded, planned, calculated and done among a group of witches who were precise and knew what they were doing.  So, while you may have an excellent reason for doing a ritual for a just cause, I think your best and potentially most successful way to go about it is to follow Gardner’s example.  If you can’t find a group, then even doing it on your own would be far better than creating a big recipe for disaster known as mass spell/ritual work.

 

 

 

Spells are NOT Breath Mints!

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So I encountered this *lovely* person during my recent travels who did not express herself clear when she was asking for “help” on reconnecting with a partner that deserted her due to a surprise pregnancy (she later miscarriages but he’s still distant).   Now many of us older witches recall times in our lives when we suffered an unworthy person that abandoned us as a time we may need them most.  As a result, older witches had this idea that helping her was imparting their wisdom, and encouragements on how to move on from a person who does something of the like.  For their sincere advice that they felt was their attempt to be helpful they were met with accusations of being “judgmental”, to ” shut the hell up” and “I don’t need bs ass opinions”.   Those are just a few of the insulting comments that got hurled, and minus all the F bombs.  Eventually she reveals that what she really wanted was work as in spell work done to get this man back.  When I pointed out that this was not made clear in her opening post I was told ” Y’all are dumber than I thought” and to “stop being stupid.” along with her asking why she would come to a witchcraft based forum for opinions and advice when she  could get that from her friends.  Apparently, she does not seem to realize that witchcraft/pagan forums are least of all, spell dispensers, in fact, more often than not, they are a place for people to network. learn, and offer advice, opinions, tips, etc. of various sorts.  But even worse is the sense of entitlement to a witches spell without question or discussion.  I found her a prime example because this behavior and attitude is very common among those that show up in communities looking for a spell; albeit she may be a bit more severe in her belligerence. 

Why not just hand over a spell?

Now at the risk of stating the obvious, anyone who would simply hand any  person a spell without inquiry is, lack of a better phrase, not the smartest witch in the circle; yet some apparently did.  There many reasons why any witch worth their weight in salt will dialogue with the person that stem from the possibly that a mundane solution might be better or faster for the situation to the spell the person thinks they needs is not the best spell for the situation.  Example, I recall a woman looking for a banishing spell.  After talk with her, it turns how that she really didn’t want to banish her mother in law from her life, she just wanted something done to curve the mother in law’s unannounced visits.  Had no discussion been done and she was merely served up a bunch of banishing spells, and wound up successful with one, she would have sorely regretted the results.   Remember, these people are not the experts, but you, as a witch are, so it is your responsibility to, as the expert in your field, to talk with these people to help them find the best solution for their problem.  This may or may not involve spell work, and it might involve an entirely different kind of working than the person thought.

Also, ever hear the phrase “A witch with bad aim”?  This is typically found with newer witches due to their lack of experience with spell work in general.  This is why the ones starting out are advised normally to work smaller scale spells that will have less impact or problems if the aim is bad, and gradually work their way up.  If a new witch who does know about how witchcraft works can have problems with spells, just imagine what might be the result with some one who does not know a thing about it should come along looking for a spell to be handed to them, and then tries it out.

Either way, to hand over a spell just because someone demands/asks for one, is unbelievably irresponsible and unprofessional.

What you can do if you really think you need a spell

First of all, do not get angry, or behave like the person I make an example of.  That’s about the dumbest thing you can do and should go on a list of how NOT to get a witches spell, as well as a list on HOW to piss off some witches.  Some pissed off witches out there might be the type to hex others simply for pissing them off, albeit not usual.  Since you believe in spells or you wouldn’t be looking for one in the first place, is it worth this kind of risk?  I doubt it.

So what you can do is present your situation along with your spell suggestion. Try to be as thorough as possible to help the withes gather the best understanding of your situation.  When witches ask questions, be  honest about your answers, as well as your proficiency level especially if it’s none at all.  No matter what, be polite.  These witches are taking time out of their day to address YOUR issue, so they deserve some common courtesy for that. Do not be disappointed if most who respond feel that some certain mundane solution is best for your situation.  Remember above, I said that sometimes it’s mundane work that will be the better and faster way to go about things, instead of spell work.  But if they do recommend spell work, and are offering a spell, but you’ve never done a spell in your life, now would be the best time to speak up.  In this case, you would be better off seeing if a witch will do one for you.  In some cases, some might charge a fee, in other cases, some might offer for free, but don’t be quick to do the free thing if the one with the fee might work better, and vise versa.  Pick the best one for you, as the important thing is, you need this done, and successfully so.  If you do have some experience and wish to do it yourself, I would recommend doing something with the spell offered to make it more your own, having your own imprint in it, even if it’s adjusting the words, or tweaking in another ingredient that you know to also have the magical properties in favor of your expected outcome.

In the end, remember, spells are not breath mints, nor should you, or any witch be treating them as such.   They are not the cure all, fix all, give all.  They are not play things to be toyed with, or something that should be expected to be handed over every time some one shows up on a witchcraft based social network insisting on one.

Shocker: There Is No Universal Threefold Law in Wicca

I wanted to share this, as I see so many questions about this. Although this is a Wicca matter and not Traditonal Witch, it’s still an issue that effects both Wiccans, traditional witches, and all types of witches world wide. What, with all the misunderstandings about this, which is often peddled in popular occult books. This getting treated practically like like a bible verse for everyone to adhere to. Although this lineaged Gardnerian Wicca is crass at times, he is blunt and to the point, and his article is an excellent read, which seeks to dispel the long standing misappropriation of “three fold”.

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The popular misconception that there is a Wiccan Rule or Law of Three or Threefold Return comes from a misinterpretation of a passage in a work of fiction written by Gerald Gardner, the grandfather of modern Wicca. The book was called High Magic’s Aid, and he wrote it with the permission of his High Priestess. It had to be fiction because at that point, witchcraft was still illegal in Britain. In that book and its fictional story, the protagonist undergoes a sort of initiation rite in which he is taught “mark well when thou receivest good, so equally art bound to return good threefold.”

This means that when someone does good by a witch, according to the witchcraft teaching in this *very* fictional novel, the witch is bound to return that good threefold. This is a far cry from “anything at all that you send out into the world will return…

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Taking the Magic and Mystery Out of Witchcraft

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Have you ever met a self identified witch whom after some dialogue with them, you wonder if they believe in any magic at all?  I’m not talking about a witch who has a healthy dose of skepticism, especially in the face of grandiose claims made by others,  but rather one who acts to such an extreme, you wonder if they even actually believe in the magic and mystery behind their own magical working.  I have encountered such witches, and often find myself pondering over it.

One question that keeps popping up in my mind is the question of “why”.  Why would a witch come across to such an extreme that they give off an impression that they are a staunch enough skeptic that it makes me wonder if they disbelieve their own work? This doesn’t necessarily mean that they factually disbelieve their own work, it merely means that they are acting and expressing them self in such a extreme way that this is an impression they are giving off.  It also makes me think that even if they do sincerely believe in the magic of their own work, they may be lacking in the wonders and excitement of the mysteries behind it all.  In my opinion, I can see how this might be something that can effect their craft.  But back to”why”.  Based on observations and reflecting, I think the reason why can be summed up to this being an over reaction/over-compensating to fluffy bunnyism.

I think some time in the 1980s there emerged a new type of seeker interested in the occult, and while many advanced, many others kept with a book or two that they bought at their local metaphysical store, and suddenly were experts; misunderstanding how diverse, mysterious, and exciting the world of witchcraft can be, and that knowing everything, before actually knowing enough is quite a stunt in growth.   Prior to the 1980s, even though there were some books out, being a seeker that becomes a full fledged witch required quite a bit more leg work, as well as the perseverance to hurdle many obstacles in the way of their endeavors.  These type had the stamina to endure the frustrations of following a new lead in their pursuit of knowledge and learning to find that this lead to a dead end.  They did not give up, they were persistent in both their learning and training.  They learned that even the dead ends can add to the mystery in a positive way, and had lessons of their own that were worthy.  It is no wonder that those that had the long walk and in doing so, explored, and realized the mystery and magic might be annoyed when some one who had some books handed to them tries to dictate to them any dos and don’ts on witchcraft or act as an authority figure. So as this new type of seeker increased, so did the annoyance level, and so came terms like “fluffy bunny” as a way to describe them.  Now we have the internet where a seeker may not even need go any further than their own bedroom desk in order to have access to material, or find forums, chat rooms, etc. to network with other witches.  While I think the internet is a great tool and resource, it has it’s pros can cons; one of the cons being that the truly dedicated witches who worked very hard to perfect their craft has a heightened frequency of encounters with those steeped in fluffy bunnyism.  End result is  wanting to distant themselves as far away from anything associated with fluffy bunnyism as much as possible.

But how far, might be so far removed that one starts to remove magic and mystery from their own path, and thus a bit too far?  I’ll give one example of this fellow I knew who was, more often than not, complaining  about anything anyone said a about anything  magical or may have a mysterious feel to it.  It was to the point that sometimes I had wondered if he was really a witch at all, or just some one who thinly disguises them self as a witch in order to rain on everyone else’s parade.  He more than likely is a witch, but he still gave off an impression that can fairly make one wonder if he is not.   Then came that beautiful blood moon eclipse.    Of course, there is going to be some excited chatter about it from those who witnessed it, as well as shared photos of it.  This gentleman then took the liberties of  responding in any post like this to say how there is nothing special about it, the moon is just a rock, nothing magical about it, he doesn’t know why everyone is making a big deal about it, and he did so quite aggressively and combative to boot.  Perhaps to him, the moon bears little or no use for his brand of witchcraft, but this doesn’t, in my opinion, give him the right to get angry towards others who may not only marvel at the moon, but taps into it’s magic and use its phases regularly in their path.  Using the moon phases, for magic and/or ritual is NOT fluffy bunnyism in the least.  But some people, like this gentleman take their reaction so far, that they start going after things that many witches do that aren’t even within a fluffy bunny category.  I’m sorry but if someone fails to even see, or appreciate the experience of a rarity such as a blood moon eclipse and refuses to allow themselves even the simple pleasure of enjoying it, or moving  them spiritually, then maybe such a person might want to reconsider the stagnant direction they are taking in their path.  You don’t even need to think the moon is any more than a rock floating around the planet in order to feel or experience anything about it. Here is a link that helps explain the rarity of this phenomena.. http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/facts-lunar-eclipse.html  However, this all isn’t suppose to be just about this gentleman, I have seen very similar types of incidents elsewhere.  I just felt that this example might give a good visual of what I am talking about here.  So there are some that I feel have taken their position so far, that they aren’t even able to find the slightest appreciation for even things they might think are non magical and allow themselves to experience, or feel anything spiritual or mystical about it.   I remember for me, a few years back, just encountering a bear in the wild about 100 feet away was awe striking and spiritual for me.   In my opinion,  the world is full of mysteries and opportunities for spiritual and magical experiences, both great and small, if you let it be. It is sad to see others getting so stuffy about magic and mystery that they deny themselves of this.     Many witches pride themselves in being the types of people that rarely let these occasions pass by which I think is a good thing.

I think in order to prevent falling into such a trap where you react to the point of over reacting in the plight of not being seen as a fluffy bunny, is to remember that balance may be in order; in fact, many witches seek to maintain a sense of balance not only on their path but in the work that they do.   Overly leaning in one direction or another can upset balance and throw a witch’s equilibrium  off quite a bit.  While you don’t need to be so open minded that your brains fall out, likewise you don’t need to be so narrow that your brains are stuffed into a tight unwavering box either.  Open yourself up to experience, and daring to try and experiment with things regardless of who thinks what is fluffy.  Feel the mystery and magic of your surroundings even if the experience involves just you, alone, watching a beautiful sun or moon rise.  Let yourself go, feeling the sensations of the experience.  Magic and mystery is not found in your books, or what you study, as most books tend to take away the magic and mystery of it all; its all about your experiencing it in many settings under many conditions. Never let over compensating for any reason (even if it’s not due to why I think this might be happening) take this away from you.

 

Witch Bottles

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The above is an xray of a 17th century witch bottle that was discovered in England.

Traditionally witch bottles were made to protect against baneful magic from a witch, sorcerer, etc.  They also protected against evil spirits that might be conjured up against another person.  (Sometimes it was shoes used, but I am focusing on witch bottles and will share how to make one.)  Witch bottles were not something that just cunning folks would do, these were widely made by folks of all walks of life, and very common.   In those days, the standard was to bury them some where within the building, typically walls, ceilings, hearths, etc.  Some were plane, others a little more fancy.   My boyfriend told me that back when he use to work in demolition, he use to find these, and shoes in many walls of old buildings right here in Massachusetts, but he had no idea what they were, or what they were about.

While the popularity may have died out among common crowds, many modern day witches, especially those that work more with folk magic,(which witch bottles are within the scope of) still make this and find them to be quite successful wards against the same kind of stuff they were designed to protect against in older times. One thing that has changed a bit from old times, is that usually modern witches bury them near an entrance way, instead if in the structure of the home.  However, if you don’t have a yard, within the building structure or even hidden in the back of a closet will work fine too.  In my travels, I have experienced quite a few witches who express having concerns about other witches desiring magical attacks against them, or sending nasty spirits after them.  This is when I typically recommend something like this, and give them a quick crash course on making one.  In my opinion, witches and pagans should always consider at least setting up wards to protect them and their home, as the more you mingle within communities the more of a chance you might wind up in a situation where some nasty person takes up an issue with you, and want to send some bane your way; not all witches and pagans are sweethearts and angels; also, many do not follow any rules forbidding any kind of harm and some that do follow these rules could always break them anyways.   On a forum I work at, there alone, I have had two  past run ins, where someone was removed for causing flame wars and breaking rules, and I received some kind of threat to curse me in my PM box.

Moving onto the theory in how they work to protect you.  Witch bottles are to be filled with sharp objects, as well as urine and other personal affects (if you choose to add more, but at least add the urine).  The personal affects like urine, are said to confuse the magic or spirit into mistaking the bottle for being you.   Once coming after the fake you, the sharp objects serve to be like a snare, and entangling the magic or spirit, in that sense trapping it and rendering it unable to get to you.

Now if you want to make one for yourself, here is how

Items you need:  A.) A simple jar will do like a pickle or spaghetti jar, but you might also want a more decorative bottle, and plenty are even sold in dollar stores if you rather be thrifty about it.   As long as it’s a jar, or bottle, and you can easily place your items in it, it will do.  B.)  Your urine, and if you wish, other things from you like hair or nail clippings, blood, spit, etc.  If you can remove it from yourself and get it into the jar, it’s fine to use.  C.)  A collection of sharp things.  Nails, broken glass, thorns/thorn branches, barbed wire, razors, old little knives you won’t use anymore, etc.  It’s sharp and nasty?  It will do the trick!   It doesn’t have to be all on this list, some will do, and you might even find something sharp and nasty that isn’t on this list to put into the bottle.

Now that you have your collection, you can place it all inside the bottle or jar.  Shake it up good after you have put all the contents in.  Some witches do this methodically, where as they place each item in, speak about the protection it is to do, like commanding it. This is usually done like a worded spell casting for the jar.   Others might create a sigil for it, as an extra, and paint that onto the outside of the bottle.  The sigil would be designed to be pertinent for the purpose of the bottle as if to seal it with a spell for extra oomph.   However, neither of these are absolutely necessary, after all, back when they were extremely popular in society, most would not have done that, just made the bottle alone and they worked as fine then as they do today, so it’s up to you, and personal to you, if you want to speak a spell into it or make a sigil.  Maybe you have an artistic flair, and want to do some creative paintings on it.  That’s cool!  This would be fine as well.

Now that your bottle is completed, you have many options where to put it.  Bury it in your yard, near your front steps, in your walls, some where in your cellar, ceiling, crawl space, under stairs, hid in the closet, it’s all for you and completely up to you where.

Well that is pretty much all there is to it.  If you have any questions, or want to offer additional suggestions you think others could benefit from, please do not hesitate to do so!

 

 

Spell crafting, writing your own

Now that you have worked on learning how to work with energy, spirits, and even may have done some spell casting with other people’s spells, you are eager to learn how to craft and then cast the spells you create from scratch.  One of the reasons I strongly recommend learning how to do this is that in doing so, you not only infuse your own energy into the actual crafting of the spell, but you can make it tailored to your own personal situation and far more specific than many of the vague, ready made spells already out there.  This is both exciting and empowering, it is also a time you can really get personal and creative. Hopefully, you will find this to be very helpful in guiding you through the process.

1.)  Intent

Before you begin, figure out exactly what your goal/intent actually is. This is very important because often, what people think they want is murky and they find their intent is not as clear and obvious as they thought.  Once you realize it, clearly see it in your mind’s eye, note it on paper so you see it in black and white.

2.)  Rough draft

Yes, I know it’s not an English class, but like with book reports, a rough draft is also an excellent tool for when you are creating a spell.  It is on these papers that you will put down all your ideas, what you will do, want to use, any words you might want to utter, motions, techniques and basic design for your spell.

3.)  Ingredients

The possible ingredients are endless.  On your rough draft you will note any possible herbs, stones, candles, color themes, music themes, incense, or any ingredient (snake skin, shells, etc.)  that you have found have magical correspondences compatible for your particular goal.  You might even include some ingredients that are known to be helpful catalysts for spell work.  Because you will not remember ALL the magical properties of everything, having a reference book for them, or even an online search about the magical properties of varies stuff will really come in handy during this process.  Another thing you might consider is a bit of wild crafting, where you look at what is available at hand in your immediate surroundings, and check up on magical properties of stuff naturally available around you to see if anything can be used for this spell.    Eventually, you will do a process of elimination from this list.  Many you will cross out, but others you will keep.

4.) Other elements 

Like with ingredients, you may want to write down anything else you might want to incorporate like earthly elements, planetary signs, symbols, sigils, runes,bells, drums, feathers, etc.  Do you want to use the moon phase with your work? It’s not a requirement but if you do, then you jot down which phase of the moon is best for your spell.  If you don’t remember, you can quickly look it up to cross reference.  Like the ingredients list, you will do the process of elimination.  In the end, you made even decide not to use any of these, which is fine too, but note them on the rough draft and think about it first.

5.)  Words

Might you want to utter some words?  Words, especially spoken strongly can have a lot of power backing them.   You need not make them rhyme, nor even long and complicated.  In fact, the simpler the easier to remember the word verbatim.   What I strongly advise you to do is make the words as specific as possible, as magic can work in mysterious ways!  For instance, you do not want to do a weight loss spell and because you didn’t specify fat burning, you lose a leg which is technically a spell that worked but with disastrous results.  Likewise, you don’t want to do a money spell that winds up working in a way you gain an inheritance because some one you love dearly has died.   So write out a sentence that is specific then examine your sentence and see if there are multiple ways it can be interpreted.  If there are, rewrite that sentence until it is so specific that there is really only one way it can be interpreted.  Now that you have your sentence, you can decide if this is a sentence you want to repeat over and over during the spell, working it as a mantra, or if you would rather are more wordy version of it, that may be a little like a poem even without rhyming but is catchy to you,  but without jeopardizing the specifics of it.

Another tip about words, DO NOT use negatives.  It has not only been my experience, but other witches I have met during my travels that the use of negatives either may render the spell to not work at all, or have the opposite effect in doing the thing you said the ‘not’ about.  By negatives I mean words like “don’t, no, not…” anything like that.  Example: Instead of saying “I will loose weight via body fat and not by losing a limb” say something like “The only way I will loose weight is by burning body fat, while I remain in great health with all my limbs intact.”  Or Instead of “I will gain money but not because of the death of a loved one.”  “I will gain money while all I and all my loved ones remains alive, well and safe.”  You get the point. This can be trick to write like this about some goals, however, tactfully and creatively it can be done for any intent,but might require some brain storming on how.

You can also decide if you just want to think these words, speak them loudly, or with whispers, it’s up to you.

6.)  Assisting deities

Because I don’t personally believe in them, I don’t work with deities in my spells.  They are not a requirement.  However, just because I don’t does not mean that you don’t. What others who do work with them have told me, and they themselves recommend is, they find that the deities you have established a personal relationship with are the ones most likely to assist on your behalf than if you just looked up a deity and randomly request assistance from.  Knowing these witches personally, and that some of them have 30 or more years of experience behind them, I recommend strongly taking their advice into consideration on this.  If you don’t have a personal relation with a deity, but want to, no biggy, you can do your spell without one.  At a later time when you have developed the relationship, you can then ask for their assistance for another spell.

8.)  Ritual

If you are the more ceremonial type that calls quarters, cast circle or what have you, you may include these into your spell as well.  While I don’t do this, you might be one that does.

8.) The blue print

You have your ingredients, elements, other miscellaneous items, and words, but now you want to figure out how you are going to work it all into a spell cast.  This is where you decide where and when you are going to introduce the items.  You will put into it any ritualistic way you are going to do things, including if you are going to be doing some trance visuals, hand gestures, etc.

Your blue print of the spell might look something like this…

A.)  turn on background music

*If you are a circle caster or call quarters this is probably the time you will be doing this or maybe immediately after lighting incense and candles.  Maybe this is also when you decide to call on a deity if you work with one.*

B.) light candles and incense.

C.)  Arrange the stones on altar, sprinkle herbal ingredients into small dish of earth.

D.)  Visualize intent goal while gazing into flame, til a very clear vivid picture of your goal occurring emerges in mind eye.

E.)  Stir ingredients in dish while uttering chant/words

F.) Walk circle creating a magical vortex of energy while holding the dish continuing to utter your words into your dish.

G.) Bring contents of dish outside, wrapped in a cloth, placed in a bottle, what ever to bury in your yard completing your spell.

*Now I am not saying you do all these things, this is just something off the top of my head to show you how you might write your own step by step process on where, how and what time you will introduce everything into your spell.  Of course your steps in your spell blue print will bear very little resemblance to this.*

To conclude this, you may start out finding it a bit challenging spell crafting even with this step by step process or even the help of similar ones you find.  However, don’t give up, in time it will become easier and like second nature, and you will likely find you prefer crafting your own personalized spells the most.  Practice makes masters, right?

 

Sorry pagans and witches, the Salem witch trial victims are not YOUR poster children

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Proctor’s Ledge, the real site where the witch trial hangings took place

On the eve of March 1, 2016 I noticed a number of online memes posted in social media regarding the Salem witch craft trials, and remembering the victims.  This of itself is not bothersome.  However, what I find disturbing is that in context of the memes, they are typically portrayed as if they are witches, died for the plight of defending witchcraft, or sayings about them being in some kind of witchcraft type of afterlife like “summerland”. Equally disturbing is the amount of people who tout and parade them around, lack even basic education or research about these victims, the events or the actual trials.   Many even think they were burnt at the stake!   Come on people, if you sincerely care about these victims, want to honor their memory beyond using them and their memory to buttress a persecution claim, don’t you think even a little bit of research about them, and what happened is in order?  Seriously, you really don’t have to do a lot of leg work just to find out exactly who they were, what they were, why this happened, and how they all died.  If you do your homework and give an honest assessment it is easy to see why they are not your poster children.  But I shall help you out here…

No one in Salem was burnt at the stake! 

For those of you who think they were, or share any photos depicting them being burnt at the sake, you can stop right there!  NO one, and I mean absolutely NO ONE was burnt at any stakes in Salem for witchcraft.   England declared such a method of execution to be illegal in the colonies, and the colonists were under English rule.   19 people were hanged at proctor’s ledge (Not gallows hill like typically believed and espoused), and one man, Giles Corey was slowly crushed to death by stones for refusing to enter a plea at his arraignment.  Four others died in prison.

There were no witches (confessed or otherwise) executed!

If you do any kind of research on these people and the issues that happened, it becomes increasingly obvious and apparent that if you confessed to witchcraft, your life was spared, you did prison time.   Those going through this knew this, that’s why one of the victims first confessed, but then made the fatal mistake of recanting knowing that taking back his confession was a death sentence.  Many others confessed and in doing so successfully saved their lives from dying by the noose, including the very first accused, Tituba.  Thus, logic and common sense should dictate to the researcher that if any of the executed were actually witches, they would have simply said they were as it would be deadlier for them to deny it.  Yet, these victims were actually so Christian and so faithful and true to the Christian God that they would rather pay with their lives remaining true and strong for him, than to ever claim anything they see as against him.  In doing so, they believed that they’d have their rewards in “Heaven”.  As Professor Emerson Baker who is a scholar and historian involved put it…

 “The ultimate sadness of the story is that they executed the most Christian of them all. Nobody who confessed to being a witch was executed. Only those so devoted that they wouldn’t lie to save their lives paid with their lives.” (1)

So as to any claims that they died defending, or for the cause of witches and pagans, it’s an emphatic NO!   They actually and obviously died in defense of THEIR own Christian religion and God and would be absolutely horrified in how they are paraded around any differently than this.

Why this happened

The simple answer starts out with several spoiled little brats, (From the Goodwin, Parris and Putnam family) who really deserved such a spanking they would need a cushion to sit down for a week, started behaving in bizarre ways claiming that witches caused it.   After this, the villagers saw this as a good opportunity to vet out the undesirables which included the out spoken/unpleasant, those who speak out against it, those  thought of as nuisances to their neighbors, or those who may have jealous neighbors or people wanting their land.

A very sad thing too is often the poor that suffered unfortunate experiences were very vulnerable to such an accusation. For instance, Margaret Scott, due to the loss of her husband, not only endured the heart ache a widow deals with, but also was left in poverty as a result of losing her husband.  As a result this forced this poor unfortunate lady to go begging for food and money for help from neighbors.  It hurts me personally to think of how here she is in a situation not of her control, already kicked down in life, getting further kicked down by the village that should have been kind and compassionate enough to protect and help her.  How cruel were these people?  Apparently, pretty cruel and calculated indeed.  Never the less she was among the few who were accused because their poverty level and begging caused a cruel society to see them more as nuisances and social outcasts to dispose of, rather than humans in need of help.  (2)

Then you have Samuel Wardwell, who was a victim of jealousy and perhaps, being in a wrong Christian religion.  He was a devoted Quaker and the Puritans frowned upon Quakers.  Moreover, he was a rags to riches story, marrying into a family that many felt was out of his league.   This angered his jealous neighbors and it wasn’t long before he was accused.  One thing that may seem to go against him is that he did fortune telling for sport.  Even though it was actually a common practice for people of these times to do things like fortune telling or other wives tales tricks, a bit of other vague types of folk magic, unless you were being accused of being a witch, it was perfectly socially acceptable to do these things. (The requirement back then for being a witch was doing magic AND in pact with the devil, or by authority of the devil.)   However, since he was accused, they would use this against him. He initially wrote up this elaborate confession about his use of witchcraft, pact with the devil, etc. realizing that this is how to save his own life.  But soon after, his conscious got the better of him, and being a devote Quaker, he recanted his confession even when he knew what would ultimately happen if he did.  Of course he was taken to trial, convicted and hanged.   Now some may say “aha” he was an executed witch because he dabbled in fortune telling for sport and may have had an interest in the occult.  Nope, sorry but he wasn’t.  There are tons of non witches the world over that do fortune telling, may be interested in reading about the occult, etc. who are not witches today. (3)

And then there is John Proctor who is a great example of one that was too out spoken against the witchcraft trials to go unnoticed.  (4)

Now this might come as a shock to some, but a Reverend was also charged, refused to confess and ultimately executed, apparently due to some prior issues he had with the Putnam family.  His name is Rev. George Burroughs (5)

These are just some of many examples that clearly show things that answer the question of “why”.  If you are someone that actually cares to read and learn about who all the vicims were, I recommend this following site…http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=&mbio.num=mb1

Now that you understand who they were, why they died, what issues made them targets, why not honor them in a way that is pleasing to them?

Most pagans and witches I know have a great appreciation for ancestors and respect for the deceased and sincerely wish to honor in a respectful manner.  These people were so dead set against being called witches and wanted so badly to be known as the pious Christians that they were, that they paid dearly with their lives.   Knowing that, don’t you think that continuing to parade them around as if to imply they were witches, or for the cause of witches and pagans might be quite disrespectful to their memory?  That’s like continuing to do to them, what their accusers did to them long ago, minus the execution or prison factor, it’s still the same claims about them that they desperately did not want and died as a stand against it.  Consider this, lets say you are an initiated devoted Wiccan, everyone is aware of this fact, but when you pass, people constantly show up with Baptist Pastors at your grave, placing crosses and Christian statues all over it, while reading from the Bible over your remains or memorial site.  How is this an honor and respect to you?   Maybe you are the type that might claim not to mind this, it’s the thought that count, but you are not the spokes person for everyone.  There are plenty of people out there who would feel bothered, dishonored and disrespected by such an opposition of their personal beliefs that were dear and true to them being peddled at their site.  Among the salem victim population, and because they were hurt so badly over the utterance of “witches” and “witchcraft” I can imagine just how many of them are rolling in their graves or in absolute horror at the sight of Pagans or Witches who refuse to recognize them for who they were, and speak at their memorial as if they are in league with them, and leave artifacts behind that a witch or pagan might appreciate more.  Maybe leaving them a cross, reading from the Bible for them, talking about them being in heaven might be a better way of honoring strong Christians who died for their faith in Jesus Christ.  Remember, the whole purpose of honor and respecting some one is not for yourself but for them, so there is no reason why if a Pagan or Witch wants to honor them in a way that pleases them, they can’t do so in context of their Christian religion, anything otherwise is a self centered, selfish purpose.  Another way to honor them is stand up for them when you see someone touting them as a witch or to further buttress a Pagan Witch agenda. Speak up for them and out for them.  Educate the ignorant that peddles them as if they are poster children.

(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pat-lamarche/salem-witch-trials-_b_1905804.html

(2) http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=&mbio.num=mb43

(3) http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=&mbio.num=mb26

(4) http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=&mbio.num=mb31

(5) http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=&mbio.num=mb3

Further reading and resources:

The Salem Witch Trials Victims: Who Were They?

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASAL_CH.HTM

http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/home.html

I figured I might as well add two in particular that I saw.

First one with the roses is not so bad.  It’s simply a notice of remembrance, of which I whole-heartily agree with remembering and memorializing.  

Its what I have seen people add to this via captains coloring the victims witches that I had the issue with.  The Second picture, the problem with it is obvious.  Every year people come out with stuff like this, and carry on with their own fantasies about Salem and the victims, every year Historians and others who have researched this for many years have the frustrating task of trying to correct all this. 

Spell Casting Vs. Prayers

Very often I see people try to explain that spell casting is the same as praying for something, where they do not feel there are differences.  I disagree with this, in fact, there are more dissimilarities than there are similarities that make spell cast quite different than some one just going into a church  praying, or making wishes upon stars.

1.)  Spell casting requires specific training in how to actually work with the properties and energies of ingredients, manipulate, manifest and execute energy in order to make an intent manifest in the world.  Prayer requires nothing more than someone wishing  or strongly desiring that something would happen.   Anyone can go pray and make a wish and hope for the best, but not everyone is able to spell cast, or even knows enough about the basics of it, to even cast a successful spell.

2.)  Prayer is more consistent with what I might consider “beg crafting”.  In this case, a deity that is being prayed to is essentially being begged to help out or intervene, whereas spell casting is the witch them self taking the initiative to perform tasks by their own proficiency in casting a successful spell.

3.)  Like mentioned above, prayer depends solely on the whims and will of deities, or a wish being on some higher power to be.  In the end, it would be solely up to the deity or higher power to decide of the prayer or wish gets answered.   All that the person can do is hope that said deity or power to be decides in their favor, other than the person nor their own power or practice has anything to do with the outcome.   Successful spell casting, on the other hand, depends marginally on the witch them self, and how skilled their spell casting ability is   While some witches might petition, or even work with deities in their practice, this is merely more of a deity assisting, rather than being the ultimate authority or deciding factor on the spell working.  This leads me to the next point.

4.)  In all cases of prayer or wishes, it is always to some kind of deity or some higher power, whereas not ALL spell castings involve deities or higher powers, in fact, many successful witches never involve a deity or “higher power” at all in any of their spells.

The only thing that might be even slightly similar when you look at it is, in both cases, people wanting something to happen in their favor, that’s it.  But the one praying or wishing is not doing any magical work at all for it, and relies solely on some power to be, whereas the witch casting the spell is the one actually powering their spell, being able to use items, and such in a way to confidently manifest their desired results occur.

Teaching Witchcraft To Minors (Why it is not a great idea)

Most will quickly point out that a good reason to have  a policy against teaching minors is due to laws in the USA or possibly other countries in regards to interfering with parental rights.  Apparently, establishing a mentoring relation with a minor without parental consent can get one in quite a legal bind, of which isn’t worth it.  However, I think there are other concerns just as great, perhaps greater than this, that I notice often get overlooked.

1.)  Maturity  While there are always cases of minors more mature than their age, this is not the norm. In most cases, a minor can be considered (unless proven otherwise) not quite mature enough to really handle the nitty gritty parts of witchcraft.   Many are not mature enough to handle much of anything with witchcraft at all.

2.)  Tendency to impulsive thinking/behavior  Starting from the preteens onward, is the battle of the hormones.  With this, comes spiraling mood swings, dramatics, tantrums, irrationality, and heat of the moment decisions that are not well thought out.

3.)  Responsibility  Let’s face it, the teen years are not famous for being the time that people are the most responsible.  These young people are still growing, learning and eventually and hopefully, by the time they reach adulthood, will be equipped with the tools needed to become adults that behave responsibly.   In the meantime, it’s not always the most responsible decision to teach people who are still working on their own sense of responsibility, witchcraft.

Now there are cases where witchcraft is in the family, and members are passing it on.  In these cases, it is done by adults who grew up with, and know this child better than anyone and is more able to assess at what points in the minor’s life are they able to handle certain teachings.   This is a different story all together!  There are also witches who have minor children that allow others to also help teach their children, but under their direct supervision.   Again the witch knows their child best of all, and because of direct supervision, is able to approach anyone else helping to mentor the child to let them know if they find something inappropriate or that they don’t feel their child is ready for, to make it stop.   Again, a different story.

If you are someone being approached by a minor for mentoring, the wise thing to do is to let them know you do not teach minors, and instead, in the meantime, just tell them to spend their teen years researching, and perhaps forming groups with other like minded teens to work with.   If the teen insists that they have parental permission, even introduces you to the parent, this still doesn’t mean you should just dive right into teaching this child.  It would be a much wiser idea to vet this a bit, ask the parent questions about their child to even determine if they are teachable at all at this point.   If they fit the bill with any of the concerns I listed above, then you let the parent know that this is a concern you have, and that the child may need a little more work, growing up to do, or be past the impulsive ways before they start really learning.  At this point, it might be okay to teach them basic meditation, grounding, shielding, and above all, learning responsibility, but I wouldn’t go much beyond this point, until the child seems ready and has passed a litmus test you have decided on that shows they are mature, not so impulsive and responsible enough to start learning more.   Make sure if the parent gave consent they are fully involved and able to oversee what the child learns.  Never just teach something to a child without first getting parental approval for the next items you wish to teach as there may be things the parent is okay with the child learning, but other things, not so much.   Don’t just assume that the first signing of consent means you can teach their child anything and everything under the moon as that is where you can run into some real legal binds and make yourself and other witches look bad.  Nothing worse than an angry parent claiming “Had I known they would be teaching this to my son/daughter, I never would have agreed to it…” sort of thing.

So that’s basically the gist of it, and if you get approached often by children trying to get you to mentor them, feel free to share this link as to why you won’t. 🙂

 

Whatever works/all those items are just crutches. Is that so??

The above claims are rampant in magical communities, much to my chagrin.   I consider the above claims to not only be lazy thinking, but a way of which has greatly watered down the actual art of spell casting. These pet phrases encourage a breed of lazy witches that can’t be bothered with looking things up, experimenting, and researching why, and how items that have been long standing in witchcraft are used.   After all, why would someone who’s being taught that ‘ALL’ the items are just crutches, or whatever works even feel they need to?

Before I begin, I will emphasize that the mind alone is a wonderful tool, especially if the mind has a way of working with energy.  Some of the strongest spells can be done with words and the mind, and even then, you are using utterance and the wind as tools which are more than just crutches.   I also agree with “whatever works” to the extent that whatever path you find, or practices that you can borrow from a path and successfully incorporate into your own.  This does not mean that I think that you just take anything without any rhyme or reason to throw into your spells with a “whatever works” attitude.  While I also agree that some things can be used as crutches for aesthetic purposes, this does not mean I agree that all these items used in witchcraft are nothing more than crutches which imply them to be useless in value to a witch.

On the contrary, if all the items used were just nothing but crutches, then the whole long history of witches/wise woman/practitioners figuring out the magical properties behind the items like herbs, stones, wood, etc. all become pointless.  Obviously, with all the time proven history of items with their magical properties and which  are used best for which type of spell clearly should suggest to anyone worth their weight in salt that there is more to the items than just a crutch.   This is why you can’t just take any old herb in your herb rack, throw it together, and call this “hot food powder”.  There are obviously specific ingredients to make hot foot powder.  In fact, hot foot powder tends to be non negotiable for substitutes from what I hear from those who’s traditional practices that hot foot powder comes from.  Same with other spell recipes.  If there is recipes to use, there are reasons beyond crutches why certain herbs, stones, moon phases, colors, ritual, method, etc. are used for the results.  This doesn’t mean there can’t be substitutes, nor does it mean you can’t rewrite a spell that includes whatever limited supplies you have available at home.  It just means that they are not just uselessly included in a recipe, and actually serve a useful purpose because of the combination of their magical properties (the energy they posses)under certain conditions to bring about success of the spell.  Witches use the items with purpose, use their energy for which ever energy and properties they are known for, as evidence by successful witches of the past, and do so with strong meaning or intent.   If they were just crutches, like some modern type of witches like to insist then this makes for an awful lot of waste of time sorting out the specific magical properties from witches of the past, and I don’t believe that is so.   No thanks, I will stick with the wisdom of the witches/cunning folk of the past who understood, experimented and recorded the purpose for each item, and enjoy the way the energy of specific items work well for my spells.

Now back to the “whatever works” pet phrase.  When ever I see this, it makes me wonder if the person saying this has even given thought to the phrase itself.  Do they even know what they mean by “whatever works”? With this in mind, do they think you can just decide to pick up hoodoo practices, and just do your own hogwash that doesn’t even resemble hoodoo and as a defense for doing so, throw up your shoulders and say “whatever works”?   How about instead of “whatever works” focus goes more to “why it works…because……” Explain why it works, or worked for you in such a way. Did you experiment with something and found sustained success rates per your experiments that can may you honestly say such and such a thing seems to work?  “Whatever works” sounds far more thoughtless and lazy, and is typically used when someone’s claim is challenged.  If you find that you can’t explain beyond “whatever works” (even just explaining that you have observed the success such and such as had for you when you worked for it for such and such purpose) then maybe you should rethinking why you are even doing whatever it is you are doing in the first place.