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Basic Wiccan Principles

Book of Light & Shadows

Meandering Musings

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Magick Spelled Out

Article from Wiccan Info Center

 

Magick is the use of the natural forces of nature to bring about needed changes. To help attract, arouse and direct these energies the magician makes use of tools. These can be costly items such as jewel-encrusted daggers and gleaming silver censers, or natural objects such as twigs and rocks. Stones, trees, rivers, leaves and plants make up the tool roster of nature magick, as well as a few "store bought" items such as mirrors, candles and cords.

The manipulation of these tools, coupled with a driving need, is often enough to work the magick, to get some of the powers of nature rolling to bring about your needed change. Magick is deceptively simple and incredibly easy, a fact that should be kept in mind while reading these pages.

Obviously, planting a stone in the ground, holding a leaf, or drawing a picture of an automobile, in and of themselves, do nothing. It is when such actions are performed in an emotionally charged state that changes are wrought and magick is truly done. To perform effective magick three neccessities must be present: the NEED, the EMOTION, and the KNOWLEDGE.

The need is simple. You wake up one morning with a splitting headache you can't get rid of. Or you may find out you need a hundred dollars by the end of the month. A friend may be looking for a new love. In all cases, a need exists. Need should not be confused with desire. Desires are often passing; what one desires one morning may be pushed aside the next morning for something else. A desire is a whim; a need is a deeply-felt, important, all-consuming state.

The emotion, too, is clear. You may need a job, for instance, but if you are not emotionally involved in the seeking of employment, worried or anxious or fretting, all the spells in the world won't bring it to you. This is why it is sometimes fruitless to do spells for others, unless you can feel the same need that they feel - emotionally.

The knowledge constitutes the body of magickal lore. In other words, a spell or ritual, or the basic theories behind them which allow you to make your own. A spell or ritual is simply one way of doing something. There are many ways, and many possible variations on each spell. The basic principles are easy and will be discussed throughout this book.

With these three necessities, anything can be accomplished, limited only by our experience and time. The former is the key - only by performing magick will you know whether it works or not. Magick is somewhat simular to an unknown footbridge. At first you'll step lightly on it, testing, seeing if it is safe. After a while you'll stride over it confidently, knowing where to step and where to avoid.

Many people approach magick with suspicion, ready to believe but unable to do so without proof. This is healthy. Belief is one thing, but certain knowledge is quite another. With a belief there exists the possibility that it may not be true. Certain knowledge, however, is just that - the fruits of experience which allow you to accept something completely. Limitations - doubts and false beliefs - are crushed only through hard work and perseverance. Many people feel it is worth the effort, but this is purely a personal choice.

Magickal Morality

Morality? In magick? Yes. Not in the sense of values and ethics, whether societal or personal, for such are ever-changing. Rather, morality in the spiritual sense.

Magick should be worked for positive effects, never for nagative effects. The manipulation of power to cause illness, pain, death; to destroy, steal or otherwise harm another person's property; or to control other people is negative magick. The latter includes forcing someone to fall in love with you or someone else or to have sex with you; to break up a marriage or romance; to change another person's mind - to force a person to do something they don't want to do. Magick isn't an open field where egos and selfish urges can be gratified on a whim. There are dangers awaiting anyone who performs negative workings. such magick might manifest, but the heavy penalties are never worth the effects. There is a magickal principle that what you put into magick is exactly what you will receive. If you perform beneficial magick you shall receive beneficence back. The negative magician, however, shall receive only negativity, and eventually it will destroy its wielder.

In light of this principle there seems to be no reason to perform negative magick (which is often termed `Black Magick'). Indeed, there isn't. Those who remain unconvinced and do so shall receive the fruits of their actions. It is, of course, the beneficial aspect of magick that makes it, and its user, divine.. Negative magick has always had its adherents. These are those who are seduced by evil, blinded by the temporary power it offers them, who can't see the light until it is too late. Some of the magick in this book is destructive, and this may cause some confusion. Most of us connect destruction with evil. However, the destruction of negativity itself - such as bad habits, obsessions, diseases, and so on - isn't negative. Since this harms none but rather actually helps, it is safe to view it as positive magick.

Magick for the Self

Magick performed for yourself is not selfish, for it betters the world. Many people seem to think it is fine to cast a spell for a friend but could never do anything for themselves. This is a regrettable idea, and should be exorcised as soon as possible. Only if you are healthy, happy and financially sound can you help others, just as you must love yourself before you can expect others to. Part of the confusion comes from techniques used. Magick that aids you but harms another should be avoided, for it is not in keeping with magickal morality. Usually there is a way to improve yourself or your love life without harming others, and this is the magick that should be utilized. Never feel greedy when performing magick for yourself as long as it harms none.

Magick for Others

If you make your magickal activities known others will come to you and ask for spells to be performed. You will have to make a decision whether or not to do the magick for them, and this decision must be based upon a few factors.

There is only one hard and fast rule when it comes to working magick for others: if it feels good, do it. If not, don't. People can be quite cagey when asking for magick to be performed. Often they'll colour their explanations, or openly lie, to convince you to work. Even good friends fail to see the truth in some matters, or might blow one incident out of proportion. Based on such evidence you might well tackle a problem magickally that doesn't even exist, thereby wasting your time and energy. People will also want you to accomplish something by magick which they could do themselves if they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. With all these unsaid thoughts, hidden truths, lies and deception, what can you do? In magick, it is best to perform an act of divination to get some answers.

Divination

Divination is a magickal process whereby the unknown becomes known. It is performed with a host of tools - mirrors, clouds, tea leaves, coffee grounds, tarot cards, dust, wind - nearly anything that can be used as an instrument of the subconscious, or psychic, mind.

Another type of divination lets the powers of the universe themselves determine the future through moving objects or symbols. To those of us who are not consciously, willfully psychic, divination allows us to see the future if only for a few fleeting moments. Through the use of random patterns, reflections or other focal points, psychic impulses - which are always being recieved by our subconscious mind - are allowed to trickle to the conscious mind, and thereby become "known".

Divination also entails the use of several objects which are then manipulated either by the magician or by forces of nature themselves, to reveal the future. These include stones, flowers, and flames. Some forms of divination use both methods. Divination serves a very important place in magick, for it allows us to know all the circumstances surrounding a situation, especially one for which a friend wants you to work magick. Thusly, it enables us to make rational decisions whether or not to do the magick based on more complete information.

Before any magickal operation, generally speaking, divination should be done to ensure that the need is there, the emotion is sufficient, and that the knowledge is certain and correct. But divination isn't limited strictly to magickal questions. It can be used as a guide to everyday problems that crop up in life. Most of the methods are short and, with practise, should give you results. Since there are many different methods of divination, it is best to experiment with several until you find one that works for you. One word of caution: divination when used to look into the future outlines possible events. If you don't like what you see, take action to change your life before the future becomes the present.

The Power Hand

Magick speaks of the power produced by the body which is used in some spells and rituals. This is that part of the universal energy that maintains our bodies. Some of this power is released by the emotional state achieved while performing magick and is sent along with the other energies you have raised to bring your need into manifestation. The power hand is the hand through which these forces are released. This is the hand you write with. If you are ambidextrous, and can use either hand, choose one hand and stick with it. This hand is used in magick to present, hold, throw or otherwise perform in a ritualistic way a portion of a spell. It is best to use the hand you write with where called for in specific rituals, because this is a skilled hand and it is thought that energies are naturally released through it. Thus, if you drew a symbol representing your need with your power hand, the symbol itself would be infused with a bit of your energy.

These have been the basics of magick. It has been said that magick was the first religion, and that if you lovingly utilize the forces of nature to cause beneficial change, you also become one with them. It is these powers that have been personified as Gods and Goddesses. Attuning with them is a spiritual experience and is the basis of all true religion.