Spells & RitualsIf you are new to the Craft, you may have the urge to jump right in and start "casting spells" without the foggiest understanding of the consequences. Although experimentation and spiritual growth should be encouraged, playing with spells can have undesired, and potentially disastrous side-effects! Anyone serious about magic needs to understand the essential laws that govern how spells work to avoid starting out on the wrong foot.
So what is "magical force" and where does it come from? The universe itself provides the infinite source of energy that witchcraft draws upon. The cosmos is a swirling sea of unimaginable potential held in perfect balance by a set of laws. Human science has known the essence of these laws for millennia, and now understands that the same invisible power that holds our planet in a perpetual orbit around the sun also binds the molecules of matter together in our physical world.
The energy of the universe is like a powerful river having both purpose and direction. Modern witchcraft provides a set of rules which enable practitioners to carefully redirect a portion of this power toward a specific task or goal. Before wading blindly into such a powerful cosmic river of energy, one must prepare and understand "the way" or "Tau" of this force.
Rule 1: There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Balance is the first rule of the universe; what goes up, must come down. Newton eloquently explained this principle with the statement: "every action has an equal and opposite reaction." Magical work must be offset, or paid for by some level of labor, sacrifice or effort. Manifesting personal gain without accumulating a supply of positive energy beforehand is like bouncing a cosmic check; there will be dire consequences! Misunderstanding of this first principle is one of the biggest reasons newcomers to the Craft walk away disappointed.
Certain religions refer to the cosmic law of cause-and-effect as "karma." Imagining a giant balance scale with one side labeled "service" and the other labeled "rewards" can be helpful in comprehending how this system works. On this human plane of existence, we only have access to the service side, while the Universe maintains equilibrium on the rewards side. Like a spiritual battery, the rewards side of the cosmic scale must be charged up with positive service before we attempt to draw on this bounty of creative energy.
Rule 2: Thought Transforms Energy
This is probably the most dangerous and yet, exciting secret a human being can possess. The vast amount of energy in the universe that we discussed earlier gets converted into physical reality through the lens of our mind. We create, quite literally, what we think about.
The formula is simple enough, yet so many people are careless and unaware of their own thoughts. Free will ensures that you alone determine how to spend your creative energy. Are you squandering it with careless, negative thoughts and creating a dark, depressing reality, or are you carefully crafting an attitude to ensure every bit of energy contributes to positive growth in your life?
Seasoned practitioners have a disciplined, sharply-focused minds. Successful spells are not random happenstance, rather they are reliable, predictable and formulaic. It is one's attitude throughout a spell, which more than anything else, will bring about its success.
Rule 3: Time is an Illusion
In the universe and in our minds there is only one true time: the present. Ignorance of this fact is the second big reason that many spells fail. If sharply focused, positive thoughts are centered on making something happen "soon" or "some day," then that is where success will remain: forever locked in the future! To counteract this problem, all thoughts must be set in present tense. For example: "I want..." should be changed instead to "I have..."
Rule 4: Trust the Process
The fourth, and possibly the most crucial step in manifesting success from your spell work, is expecting a positive outcome with complete confidence. The universe gives us back exactly what we put forth, so it is absolutely vital that we continue to nurture the process with gratitude and expectation. If all of the basic rules are followed, everything will come together as expected. The universe plays no favorites and doesn't care who succeeds or who fails; it's up to us -- we're responsible.
As soon as a person invokes a spell, his or her surrounding will begin to change. The flow of energy into the transformation process is regulated, quite simply, by the practitioner's expectations and attitude. Here's how it works:
- great expectations: great results
- good expectations: good results
- average expectations: average results
- poor expectations: poor results
Is your impatience in the process causing you to unknowingly choke off the flow of energy? Casting a spell is similar to tending a garden. If you desire strawberries and you make all the proper preparations for the soil, begin the watering and care, eventually the first sprouts will appear. Do you look at the tiny plants and say "that's not a strawberry!" and cut off the watering? Of course not! You have confidence in the process and think instead "Hooray! Strawberries are on the way!" If anything, your enthusiasm for the process gets stronger.
One secret way to curb your impatience and simultaneously accelerate the process is to begin to radiate the success before it comes. Begin to think, act, talk and conduct yourself in everything you do as you would after your spell has been fulfilled.
Let's Get Started!
Take a look at some of the spells, rituals and charms available in our compendium. Be sure to follow every step and do not hurry past any aspect of preparation. We encourage you to start with some of the novice rituals and to practice often. Once you experience several successful spells, you'll be ready to move on to more advanced magic!