Magick with the “k” refers to ritual magick rather than illusion magic. Illusions are used to fool the eye into believing that something impossible has just occured for entertainment. Magick is a conscious effort to manipulate energy toward a specific goal. Everything has energy, even thoughts. Your thoughts can be used to change the energy of a situation (I’ll get into this in another post). However, most magick is performed by the use of spells and/or ritual.
A magick spell is generally an easy series of gestures and incantations. It may require candles, incense, herbs, crystals, photos etc…. A spell may be done alone or within a ritual.
A ritual is a ceremony that can be quite detailed. In a Pagan ritual, certain things may be done. A sacred space is cleared and prepared for the ritual. This is done physically by cleaning the space of clutter and dirt… and then spiritually by clearing out negative and residual energy. This may be done by working counterclockwise to banish unwanted energy with a ritual broom which is followed by smudging with sage or ringing a bell, sprinkling salt (a good option for those who can’t tolerate smoke). Once the space is cleared, a circle is drawn clockwise. This might be an actual circle created with a rope… or a circle of salt… or a chalk line. It might just be drawn with the point of a ritual knife (athame) that creates an invisable line. Either way is just as good. In most rituals, the 4 directions/ elements are called and honored as teachers, protectors and guides. Often, candles and a symbol of the element is used in each quarter. Lastly, the deities are called to the center of the circle which might hold an altar of some sort (or a cloth). Most Pagans honor both male and female deities. They may have a favorite.. or call upon one that has certain qualities that might be helpful in the covenor’s request. EX: If you wanted to become pregnant, you might called upon Gaia, Kwan Yin or Astarte. Candles and / or incense may be lit to honor and respresent the god/dess. Now the circle is complete so you are divinely protected and can use this protected space to work magick spells and / or do divination or to handle special needs. EX: consecrate tools, dedicate a covernor, send healing to someone etc… Most Pagans first raise energy through chanting, drumming and/ or dancing and then focus the energy raised to the activities done in circle. Ritual sex can also be done to riase energy when it’s appropriate. When you complete your work, you generally do the opening in reverse. Thank the gods and release them (extinguish candles representing them)… thank the elements and directions (extinguishing their candles and releasing them) and thank all energies that have offered their assistance. Remove the circle by working counterclockwise.
The good thing about doing ritual is that it empowers you greatly. Rather than sitting in church and observing a communion with God, you become your own priest(ess). You are in the driver’s seat. You learn and grow in ways that you would never believe. You directly commune with God.
The bad thing about ritual is that it is labor intensive and time consuming. This is especially true for those who have to work around family who doesn’t support their faith or those with small kids. So…. as far as magick is concerned, I encourage folks to do spells when they need them and to fit ritual in on important times of the year. It is better to do ritual less and be in a better frame of mind, then to do it because you feel like you are required to in order to have success. I don’t want you NOT to do magick because it seems like too much work. Keep it simple and really make those rituals count when it’s important.
What does magick do? Magick is an advanced form of prayer. By working a spell or ritual, your mind is focused for that period of time. Magick can be performed through meditation. Unfortunately, most people do not meditate because it’s a challenge to keep the mind focused. Magick… keeps us focused with words and gestures.
How does magick work? This is my own opinion. I am a Virgo and have a very logical brain. I personally cannot wrap my brain around gods and spirits fixing my life because I lit a candle or recited an incantation. What I do believe (feel free to disagree) is that since everything has energy (including thoughts), I am consciously manipulating the energies that are connected to my issue in order to change them to suit my desire. I believe that the deities are simply energies that are related to my desire. So I can do a beauty spell to make me more attractive. It probably won’t change me physically, but it might make me FEEL more attractive. AND…. there is NOTHING more sexy than confidence! In this new confidence, I might start to lose a few pounds or feel and urge to get a make-over. Basically, nothing has changed but my perspective. BUT…. in that shift, comes the desired affect. I feel more attractive and I become more attractive to others.
What a spell can’t do. A spell can’t make you an Olympic gold metalist if you are a couch potato. Magick can’t make you rich if you make bad financial habits and don’t like to work. Magick is NOT a quick fix or a cure-all. It brings awareness. But ultimately, it is all up to you. If you want change, then change your habits, choices and behaviors. Use spells to help you help yourself. And while I have your attention, PLEASE do not believe in anyone who guarantees their spells and charges large amounts of money. Don’t you think they would be on Oprah if they could work these miracles!? The best person to work magick for you is YOU!