A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend who also happens to be a Witch. Thing is, he is more of a Wiccan – he got into this thing for spiritual reasons, rather than magical reasons. So for a while now, he’s not been doing the magic(k) thing – really just working with Goddesses and Gods, and doing ritual celebrations on his own time.
He asked me what, if anything, I thought would be important things to know about spellcraft if/when one decided to go down that road. And here’s what immediately sprang to mind.
Myth #1 – The ingredients you use don’t matter; all you need is intent.
If “Intent” was all you needed, you wouldn’t have to work at anything. If “intent” was all you needed, you would have an overflowing bank account, you’d adore your job, and you wouldn’t have any relationship problems. If “intent” were all you needed, you wouldn’t have to drive to work, put in 8 hours or more, and then drive back home, and make sure your paycheck was deposited at the end of the week. You could “intend” to go to work, but stay home and still get paid. Life – and nature – just don’t work that way.
With spellwork, you still have to put in a little effort, and you still have to have the right ingredients. Granted, there are some appropriate substitutions of ingredients. But you still need the ingredients. They have a power of their own to add to the spell.
Myth #2 – You have to do spellwork in the context of a ritual.
Nope, you don’t. You can grab a pen and paper, write a petition, and burn it. That’s spellwork. You can add a little more oomph to it if you decide to do it in ritual context, but it isn’t necessary. You can hop up right now, grab a candle and a straight-pin, carve a few runes in that baby, say a few words, and light it up. That’s quick-and-dirty spellwork. Thing is, you can make it even more intense by loading the candle, dressing the candle, and then burning it over a period of several days. That’s still a sort of quick-and-dirty magic, and it’s not in a ritual setting.
Myth #3 – You can just do some spellwork when the need arises, and everything will be okay.
This one is only halfway false. You really can just jump into some spellwork when the need arises, and you may be able to change the situation in the short-term. But to long-term transform something, you need long-term spellwork. I know a few people who are like, “Well, I guess I need to pay the rent … lemme grab my green candle.” That’s okay, if you can do it … but a better way is to go with long-term, regular work to shore up your resources in the meantime. And then when an emergency situation arises, you’ve got it to help out with the situation. Life just gets easier when you do regular, ongoing work around certain things. Sadly, most folks don’t prep for what could be around the corner by doing long-term magic.
I get it. People don’t jump into magic(k) and spellcraft right away when they get into the Craft. I know a lot of people who do very little spellwork. But the truth is, it can be useful – especially when you set something up long-term that helps you achieve goals.