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.