"A spell is a symbolic act done in an altered state of consciousness in order to cause a desired change." To cast a spell is to project energy through symbolism, but it is the mind that works the majick!
Correspondences between colors, planets, metals, numbers, plants and minerals, and musical notes make up a great deal of majickal lore! Particular objects, shapes, colors, scents, and images do work better than others to embody certain ideas, yet the most powerful spells are often improvised from materials that just feel right or simply happen to come to hand.
Spells are an important aspect of majickal training, requiring the use of the combined faculties of relaxation, visualization, concentration, and projection. The casting of spells involves practice in coordinating and developing of these skills! Spells are extremely sophisticated psychological tools that have subtle, but important, effects on a person's persona (spells may highlight otherwise hidden complexes of the person casting the spell)! A person who has conflicts about success will find great difficulty in concentrating on a money spell, many times the practical results of a spell are far less important than the psychological insights that arise during the majickal work. Discovering inner blocks and fears is the first step in overcoming them, the term inner and outer relates to this in that what is projected from within is manifested outward through the spell.
Spells also go one step further than most forms of psychotherapy. They allow us not only to listen to and interpret the unconscious, but also to speak to it in the language it understands! Symbols, images, and objects used in spells communicate directly with the inner child, who is the subconscious guardian of our emotions and who is barely affected by the intellect. We often understand our feelings and behavior but find ourselves unable to change them. Through spells, we can attain the most important power -- the power to change our lives.
Spellcasting also forces us to come to terms with the material world, many people attracted to the Spiritual Path of the Craft find themselves uneasy with using majick for practical or material goals. Somehow it seems wrong to work majick for oneself, to want things, and to get things, but this is an attitude which is a holdover of the Judeo-Christian world view that sees spirit and matter as separate and that identifies matter with evil and corruption. In the Craft - flesh, the material world, none of what is commonly thought of as matter, is separate from spirit. The universe is made up of the Goddess who is manifest in all things! Union with the Goddess comes through embracing the material world and all the gifts that She has placed in it for us. Our major task on this plane of existence is to master ourselves within this realm of manifestation. We do not fight self-interest, we follow it, but with an awareness that transmutes it into something sacred.
Spellcasting is the lesser not the greater majick, but the greater majick builds on the lesser. The paradox is that in Spellcasting we may start out working with the personal self, but in order to work the majick we are forced to expand and recognize the Self that moves through all things. Majick involves the deliberate self- identification with other objects and people! To do a healing, we must become the healer, the one who is healed, and the energy that is to do the healing. To attract love, we must be able to love ourselves and to become love its self.
Spells work in two basic ways-The first is through suggestion [symbols and images recognized and defined by the inner child] to the subconscious mind which sets into motion the actualization of those ideas - thus influencing the external world! The theoretical model that witches use to explain the workings of majick is clear and works at healing the higher levels of the person so that the body heals itself or allows the person to let go if it cannot be repaired! In either case the choice rests with the person who is being healed and not the healer.
Visualization used in creating a spell should focus on the desired result not the individual steps leading up to the result, give the spell free rein in how it goes about achieving the results with the understanding that it is not to bring harm to anyone or any being. Yet because of this, spells have a habit of working in very unexpected ways. We must bind the spell in order to assure that the power we unleash does not inadvertently cause harm to us or anyone else.
This is because we have set in motion a change in the very fabric of time and space by having generated, directed and sustained energy - no matter where it goes the feedback or reflected energy returns threefold! If healing energy is sent out, then the health of the person casting the spell is enhanced! But, any hex or curse that is sent out affects the person who sends it no matter whether it affected the person it was sent at or not.
Magic is not to be Used to Gain Power over People
Majick is a technique used in developing the 'power from within.' Spells that are directed at gaining power over others weakens the 'power from within', it is also important for another reason. Many people do not understand the laws of majick and are afraid of being attacked majickally!
Over the years, systems of Correspondences were developed which assigned certain attributes and aspects to the seven ancient planets of Astrology. Each planet was assigned a God or Goddess, who embodied attributes the ancients wished to invoke. Each of the Gods and Goddesses were assigned an hour of the day, color, incense, metal, number, signature, plant, mineral, musical note, and animal or bird!
Set aside a room for your majickal work and decorate it with things that put you in a majickal mood, remember to use things that stimulate all five of your physical senses. Some obvious things would be the use of appropriate colors for sight, incense for scent, music for hearing, wines for taste, and textures for feel. If you do not have a room you can set aside exclusively for your majickal work then choose a room that can be locked while you do your work. This will allow you to work undisturbed. In any case you should clean your work area periodically to prevent contamination and keep away negative vibrations.
Your circle and altar is your workspace. Ritual and ritual tools provide the symbolism! The Creating of Sacred Space through ritual of casting the circle, cleansing and consecrating your space and tools, physically annointing with oils, placing and burning of candles and incense, using and applying your will through thought, words, and actions - attunes one the majickal source of power from within as well as the energies already manifest in our realm!
Never cast a spell until you have a clear and concise picture of what it is you wish to accomplish. This goes with the saying "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it," and always ground any extra energy you raised for the spell. Bind the spell so that it expires within the predetermined amount of time.
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