Realistic Magical Advice for the “Good” Witch
Author: The Wyld Dream
As a spell slinger I am often referred to those in “dire need.” Sometimes the problem is rather simple. I have been sent after lost keys, a missing cat, and have had many requests for the usual prosperity spells. Occasionally the difficulty is more occult in nature and there is a problem spirit, a nasty Witch, or even a demonic possession.
Often the person in need is not a Witch and has little or no familiarity with real Magic. They have heard from others that I am “the real deal” and that I can help them. They are willing to suspend their disbelief and trust their contact’s assertion that I can and will magically solve the problem for free. Such is the way of the “good Witch.” A real Magic user often puts themselves out there as a white hat, a do-gooder, a veritable magnet for trouble and we traditionally do it for free.
There is a little saying, “You get what you pay for.” In the case of magical advice this well-known axiom tends to work in the reverse. Very few truly good and helpful Witches make significant amounts of money from practicing their craft. Most won’t take a dime. All that these generous folk ask for is the acknowledgement that they are “real” Magic users, and that you fully accept that when all is said and done that you have been helped by their use of Magic.
I firmly believe that the craft of will working reality is a skill. Yes some people have natural talent, but in the end most people can learn how to consciously change reality and “make things happen.” I believe that everyone, even the most dense and ardent disbeliever already uses Magic daily. The difference between Witches, sorcerers, Wicca, and other will workers is that we do it with purpose.
Using Magic is like dreaming. All people must sleep and all must dream but some people are able to lucid dream. They can control their dream reality. Some have a natural ability to lucid dream, others have taught themselves this skill, several people can lucid dream only rarely, and a few people simply cannot seem to ever remember their dreams at all. Those who can lucid dream have different levels of skill, a number of them can change themselves, some can change their environment, and others can force various people or elements into a dream.
In our waking world there are people that are natural magi. They don’t think much about how they do Magic and find that almost any technique of ritual, focus, or magical practice will work for them. Then there are people who have to try a little bit harder. They have to seek out the magical practice that works best for them. This is an ongoing process of trial and error that can at times be exhausting.
Then there are the difficult ones, the ones that really want to believe, but simply cannot “see” Magic. Where others see providence, they can only see coincidence. And then there are the unfortunate ones. They are completely blind to all Magic and insist that those those of us who do see Magic are mistaken.
Real Magic is a balance between the two opposites of providence and coincidence. For one who is aware of the underlying structure of reality there is no such thing as coincidence, and therefore conversely there is also no true providence. Somewhere between destiny and random happenstance lies the will worker’s mutable continuum of existence. They see that there is a multiplicity of Truths to this existence, and often Witches who are actually capable of effecting change can choose the Truth or the reality that they want to accept at any given moment.
This leads us back to the simple problem of a set of missing keys. When dealing with this predicament there are certain Truths that must be established: Have the keys been stolen, or are the keys “lost?” When and where the keys last seen? Where would the keys normally be? How many other people could have affected the location of the keys?
However before I lift so much as an eyebrow in an effort to find the keys using Magic I must first establish that the client has tried every mundane way possible to find the keys. Why? Because Magic isn’t a toy. Magic is not the easy button you slam whenever you are finding that things in life are inconvenient. If they were my keys, and I was practicing my skill with Magic I would attempt to use my ability of just “knowing” to find the keys. This practice would be for my own edification, and would teach me a valuable lesson on accepting my “knowing” but when working for someone else I need to consider the fact that I may be removing an opportunity for them to learn.
There are many lessons in a lost set of keys. Just telling someone where their keys are teaches them nothing. There are lessons about responsibility, about caution, about being organized, and in the case of an unrecoverable set of keys, about replacing locks. Casting a Magic spell won’t help them in the long run because they will just lose their keys again. Do I have a right to helps someone circumvent their lessons? Do I want the client to put me in their speed dial and call me every time they lose their keys or a contact lens? I don’t think so. Though, maybe just this once they need to learn that Magic is real. So, if I decide that is indeed the lesson that they need to learn the best way to teach them is to let them do it for themselves.
If someone has tried every mundane means feasible short of renting a metal detector to find their keys and are ready to ask for magical help I would consider what would work best for them. In this case dowsing rods seem appropriate. I would take two pieces of thick wire of nearly the same length, bend the ends to make handles and give them to the client and explain that they will point toward the keys. This has in the past lead to a merry chase where in we find every set of keys except the right ones when all the while I know the keys are in their car.
Sometimes there are no keys to find. The keys have been “found” and moved and are no longer lost. A stranger picked them up off the sidewalk or a coworker absconded with them. In these instances I have no choice but to tell people, “Sorry. I don’t see them. I don’t think that they are lost.” We can try to find them, but sometimes some things don’t come back even with real magical help. At this point I recommend putting an ad in the local paper.
This same logical approach can be applied to even the worst situations such as the negative spirit, and the demonic possession. First have they tried any and every possible mundane way to deal with the problem? Have they looked into medical help and made sure they don’t have a brain tumor or a chemical imbalance? Do they live underneath major power lines? Are they exposed to hallucinogens or drugs on a regular basis? Did they do LSD in high school? Think about it, the client isn’t a doctor, nor are they a Witch, can they honestly tell the difference between a hallucination and a visitation? Probably not, so try to encourage them to seek medical advice first.
Once you have established that they are indeed sane and healthy, ask them why they haven’t gone to their church. This is an important question. I am a Polytheist and therefore I don’t casually recommend organized religion as a way to deal with these problems but historically it has been effective to use high ritual to strengthen the mind of the afflicted and allow them to use their faith to either overcome the spirit or close their mind to random spiritual minutia. If you are their clergy then it is your duty to give them as much help as you can. Do not offer help you are not qualified to give, such as medical advice. Do seek a second opinion. Sometimes when you have a very good hammer, such as Magic, all problems start looking like nails, but not every problem is magical or spiritual.
The difference between a hallucination and a visitation is generally speaking academic. Do you honestly believe that there is a presence behind the voices your client hears? Do you hear them too? Can you “feel” a presence? Do you think you can make them go away? If the answer is yes, then you have a visitation. Otherwise if only a single individual can experience the disembodied presence it is a hallucination, and if it isn’t caused by a chemical imbalance there are a myriad of other mundane explanations that can be examined, and finally there is the potential for a genuine but singular haunting or possession.
It is important to consider the possibility that the problem can also be both chemical and magical, and sometimes solving one half of the equation; the chemical, you can also solve the magical problem. Someone who has a lithium imbalance or a drinking problem is far more likely to draw dark spirits than other people. In essence their minds are often more open to negative influence. Righting their chemical imbalance through professional help of doctors, medications, or addiction programs can lead to a reduction in spiritual problems.
And then there are those that don’t fit into either category, the emotional. Occasionally you will find that a person is physically healthy, spiritually unhindered but still disturbed by an inability to cope with reality. Some people have emotional damage that you cannot help. They seek attention, are overly dramatic, and while they might truly believe that they are haunted are completely unwilling to take logical action to take care of the problem. Generally they will only take steps to make things worse because they are seeking attention. In such cases it is best for you to walk away and don’t look back.
Furthermore, it is very dangerous to try to help people who are not mentally well, and whether magical, chemical, or simply emotional someone who is fighting a dark presence is not well. Proceed with caution. Emphasize a mundane solution first. A sane healthy person has nothing to lose going to get a cursory medical examine. They won’t balk at speaking to their doctor nor will they shun getting their home checked for uncommonly strong electromagnetic fields caused by power lines, fault lines, or poor wiring. Someone who doesn’t want to deal with the mundane problem and solutions probably won’t actually be able to accept your magical help either, so don’t waste your time.
This leads me to EM fields, radiation, and other sources for visual and auditory delusions. There can be many reasons why someone suddenly experiences negative or positive “spiritual” presences that have to do not with their personal psychic or magical ability but instead are based on their environment. By spiritual I mean disembodied non-corporeal entities. These disturbances can come in a vast array of visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory “hallucinations”.
Again I must emphasize that it can be both a real tangible scientific cause, such as disruptive electromagnetic fields that cause the brain to see things that aren’t there, and it can also be a spirit using those same EM fields as fuel and “messing” with their poor human neighbors because they can. Take care of one problem, poor wiring causing a high EM field in a house, and generally the person won’t have visions, or the ghost won’t be able to bother them any more. (Or at least, not as much.)
And as frightening as the situation likely is for your client there are things they can do that will help. First they must deal with the problem rationally and explore all possible causes and cures and consider possible compromises. Not all spirits are evil. Usually they will come to a Magic user for help because this is a new and frightening experience for them. You must ask them is the really that bad, or is it something they just aren’t accustomed to? If you believe the presence is tied to a location you must ask them why they won’t move. Keep in mind that just because their house is old doesn’t mean it is a ghost bothering them, nor is the strange noise just the house settling. Sometimes the answer is both, and occasionally it is neither.
Teenagers, mostly girls, tend to draw particularly violent and aggressive spiritual disturbances known as poltergeists. This label is a misnomer. It indicates that there is a “noisy ghost” haunting the subject but I have fond that half the time it is subject herself having uncontrollable psychic energy surges unrelated to any outside manifestations. Generally these go away as the girl matures; rarely does the individual learn to control the phenomenon. Some have reoccurrences later in life under particularly stressful situations. If you interrogate a subject you might ask if they were “haunted” in their teenage years and if they are currently under stress from a source other than the visitation.
In the case of possession, there is no positive compromise. A human has exclusive and prime right to their body and under no circumstance should they be encouraged to “share” that private space. In this instance I must insist you ask for and ardently seek help in your area. Start with medical. A chemical imbalance can make a person weak, and susceptible to possession. An emotional imbalance can cause that as well. Remember that if you are not experienced at exorcism you can get hurt, the client can get hurt, and sometimes you can fail utterly. Possession is often linked with suicide, homicide and self-mutilation. It is not for the inexperienced. Do not take it lightly.
Finally sometimes there is no solution, all your best efforts mundane and magical fail, and the best advice you can give to a client is in any situation other than a possession is “Deal with it.” Sometimes a person just has to be strong and accept that their reality is not going to conform to the norm.
Before you compose an email to me you should know that I am not going to help you any more than I already am right now. I wrote this article to give you all the advice I have. It is my very best advice. I am not going to let you fly me to your city to deal with a ghost. I am not going to let you drive the possessed individual to me. This is your quest, and if it leads to them being institutionalized. I’m sorry but it is for the best. At least they won’t be able to hurt themselves as easily.
Remember, a good Magic user is a practical Magic user. Seek every solution, not just the magical solution. Try the mundane way first; it works for billions of other human beings.
Remember that real Magic comes in many forms. Sometimes the magical solution comes through apparently mundane means such as a client getting your number from a friend who happened to be ease dropping on a conversation and thereby leads to you wisely mentioning that they should the couch or the car for the keys. Use the techniques that work for you and just let Magic be.