Mention magic to most people and they immediately start thinking about Wicked Witches, Wizards and Sorcerers conjuring up evil sounding spells and poisons from boiling bubbling cauldrons sat on blazing smoking fires. Others imagine comedians on stage with funny pointy hats and black and white wands. Still others think of Illusionists making people disappear then re-appear from boxes and other contrived stage props.
Since time immemorial magic has been used in witchcraft, and many myths and evil associations have been attributed to its use. Here I shall concentrate on magic and how it is perceived by witches of today. Not everybody agrees and there are many theories on the subject, so this is my theory, based on my opinion and my experiences. At the end of the day you shall have to form your own.
So what is magic really? (Or “magick” as those in the craft would term it). How, what, where and when should it be used? These are the questions I aim to answer here.
First let us destroy the myths of wizards throwing around lightening bolts doing battle with evil sorcerers, and all other such nonsense’s. Magick is a force utilising power, wisdom and knowledge. It is both more and less powerful than the ignorant can suppose. Magick can only be used to change the changeable, for instance - it can be used to cure a sickness but not to replace a lost limb. Magick is not a power to be used in place of our other powers, meaning those of our physical, mental or emotional abilities. Nor is it a crutch for the weak or an ego-boost for the inadequate. Magick is an art and skill unto itself. It needs to be learned then trained to develop, and that takes time and patience.
If we believe that everything and all originate from the same source, then the ability for using magick must be retained within us all. Magick then is a forgotten art passed down through aeons of reincarnations and it resides inside us all. Therefore magick is a skill that needs to be re-learned and trained if it's to be used well, effectively and wisely.
In modern days magick is used not only in ritual ceremonies, but also on a daily bases during spiritual communication with the Goddess and God. It is used daily for healing purposes and perhaps more frequently for personal purposes like reducing negativity, protection and improving the self. It can also be used for many other purposes as determined by the individual while bearing in mind “The three fold law”.
Magick in essence is the use and control of natural energies or power to produce and effect needed change. There are three basic sources of natural energy or power used: Personal Power, Earth Power and Divine Power.
Is the life force that sustains us and protects our earthly existence. It's the power that resides within our own bodies; some may call it "willpower". As we go about our daily business we are constantly absorbing energy, be it from the sun during the day or the moon during the night or the food and drink we consume. This energy we store and release during movement, exercise, sex, and even through our emotional states. This we all do quite naturally.
In magick we learn to harness and arouse this personal power, infuse it with a particular purpose, release it and direct it towards it's goal.
Is the power that resides within our planet and its natural products. Such things as: Stones, Trees, Wind, Fire, Water, Crystals, Oils and Scents. All these things and more possess unique powers and give out specific energies that can be harnessed and used during ritual and magick.
Hold a stone in the palm of your hand (receptive hand), concentrate on your hand and visualise the stone. Feel it's force tingling? A crystal can be charged and then held against the forehead to clear up migraine or headaches with it's healing properties. Like-wise herbs and oils can be charged then rubbed onto the body to effect internal changes. These are just a few examples of earth power and it's uses.
Is spiritual power, that which is charged and channelled by the Goddess and the God. Personal power and earth power are both manifestations of divine power. Divine power is the force of life, the source of everything, the power of the universe that created existence.
To use divine power the Goddess and God need to be invoked to bless the magick being prepared, this is normally done inside a properly constructed circle (see Circle Casting). For instance during ritual, personal power may be used to effect some personal change, then directed to the deities asking for a specific need to be met.
Magick is not just about the use of power; one can not just stand up, call out to the Goddess and God and demand the magick be done -" so Be It" A lot of work is involved in preparation for the use of Magick. Once a need for the use of magick has been identified, careful consideration needs to be given to other associations if a successful outcome is to be achieved.
When planning magical workings, consideration needs to be given as to when the work needs to be performed for best effect. We need to ascertain the best time or day for when to perform it. Days have their own magickal associations, which are similar to and connected with the other tables. Thus creating harmony during ritual and generating increased power when all are working together. Days in general are associated with and influenced by the Sun and six of the Planets.
As with most other religions, tools are used in Wicca to aid and enhance ritual worship. Tools have no powers within themselves save for that which we pass focus our will and concentration. Tools are used to invoke deities, banish negativity, and direct our Tools).
energies though touch and intention. Thus we through them, though they do have powerful symbolic significance’s, which help us to
need to know and understand the properties and symbolism of our tools in order to use them properly and correctly. (see Ritual