Different Kinds Of Magick
What is certain is that whether folk customs or more formal ceremonies are used, the underlying principles of all types of white magick are the same throughout the world, and can be categorised
under the following headings.
This involves performing a ritual that imitates what you would desire in the outer world, so bringing on to the material plane a desire or need or wish from the inner or thought plane. This is done using appropriate tools and symbols. So in a spell for the gradual increase of money, for example, you might grow a pot of basil seedlings (a herb of prosperity) and light a green candle.
This involves transferring and absorbing power directly from a creature or an object, such as an animal, a bird, a crystal, a metal, the wax of an empowered candle or even the Earth itself. This principle is central to the potency of talismans and amulets; for example, traditionally, hunters might wear the pelt of a lion to bring them the beast’s courage and ferocity. So, by the same token, if you wished to become pregnant, you might make love in a newly ripening cornfield (near the edge so as not to damage the crops); alternatively, you might try one of the ancient power sites of Earth, close to the phallus of the chalk Cerne Abbas fertility giant that is carved in the hillside at Cerne in Dorset.
This type of magick embraces both sympathetic and contagious magick to bring you something you desire. For example, you could scatter pins across a map between the places you and a lover live and with a magnet collect them, while reciting:
Come love, come to me, love to me come, if it is right to be.
You would then place your pins in a silk, heart-shaped pincushion or a piece of pink silk, also in the shape of a heart, and leave it on the window ledge on the night of the full moon, surrounded by a circle of rose petals.
Banishing And Protective Magick
This involves driving away negative feelings, fears and influences by casting away or burying a focus of the negativity. For example, you might scratch on a stone a word or symbol representing some bad memories you wished to shed, and cast the stone into fast-flowing water. Alternatively, you could bury it, together with quick-growing seeds or seedlings to transform the redundant into new life.
Binding magick has two functions, one to bind a person in love or fidelity and the other to bind another from doing harm. This may be done in various ways, using knots in a symbolic thread, or by creating an image of the object or person and wrapping it tightly. But all binding can be problematic in terms of white magick, for whatever method you use, you are very definitely interfering with the person’s karma, or path of fate.
However, it is tempting to think that if someone is hurting animals, children, the sick or elderly, you may be justified in binding them. And what if your partner has deserted you on the whim of passion, taking all the money and leaving you and your children penniless? These are very real dilemmas; in dealing with them, I have always performed such rituals adding the proviso”… if it is right to do so.’ I believe that it is essential to include that phrase in all binding magic rituals.
My friend Lilian, a white witch and healer, used to wrap the perpetrators of crimes in a mantle of pink and visualise them in a sea of tranquillity so that they might be diverted from a destructive course of action. However, I usually cast a protective barrier around the victims and I think this is the best answer to a very difficult problem. We must harm none, not even the evil, hard though it is, and we should leave the punishment to natural justice.
In my own experience, few who find happiness at the expense of others achieve more than temporary, superficial pleasure, and in time they do seem to end badly. We should never use magick in order to act as judge and jury. After all, some who do act badly do so only out of unhappiness or ignorance.
Folk Magick And Ritual Magick
Magick for healing, it must be said, is not so far removed from the prayers of conventional religions, whose positive influence is well documented. The same effect can be created whatever the focus or faith, and I know from personal experience that positive results can be achieved when a Wiccan coven sends healing light to a sick member or a friend.
For hundreds of years, angels have been invoked in magick, just as in religion, both for protection and to act as vehicles for healing or positive energies. Practitioners of white magick may focus on particular aspects of a god or goddess figure, or benign power, personified through different deities from many age and cultures.
When I began practising magick ten years ago, I found it very artificial to invoke a goddess who belonged to another time and culture. However, I have since found that such symbols do hold a great deal of power and therefore can concentrate specific energies. I have listed in Chapter 4 a number of deities that seem to be especially potent in ritual or as a focus for meditation. But if you do not find them helpful, there is no need to use them.
Most rituals are related to the basic human needs for health, love, fertility and prosperity.
In past time, the well-being of the planet was considered to be the responsibility of peasant as well as king through paying tributes and enacting age-old ceremonies to invoke the necessary energies for the Wheel of the Year to turn. So individual prosperity or fertility was attained both through private spells and charms and by sending positive energies to the Earth and the cosmos and, in a sense, receiving bounty as those beams were amplified and returned to the sender.
Folk or domestic magick was an important part of people’s everyday lives right up until the nineteenth century. In rural areas, the implements used in and around the home and garden could be easily adapted for use in magick; and for town-dwellers, flowers and herbs could be gathered on a day in the country or grown on allotments or in urban back gardens. In the days before central heating systems, the focus of the home was the family hearth. Focus is Latin for ‘hearth’ and from Ancient Rome to China, the household deities have always had their place, being offered morsels of food, nectar and flowers and consulted on family happenings.
It was believed that the ancestors as well as the living gathered around the family hearth, and so it became a natural focus for magick. The witches’ cauldron started off as the iron cooking pot that hung over the fire (such pots are still used in country regions of Europe – I saw one for sale quite recently in the market in Rouen in France).
Herbal brews were not only created to cure coughs and colds but also, with magical words spoken over them, transformed into potions to bring a desired lover, employment or an unexpected helping hand in times of sorrow. A grandmother would put any small coins she could spare into a money pot and warm it near the fire to ‘incubate’ the money into sufficient to mend the roof or buy new coats for the winter.
A young wife eager to be pregnant would secretly prick a fertilised hen’s egg with a needle on the night of the full moon immediately before making love. Such actions were quite a normal part of life, a way of tapping into the same energies that made the cattle fertile and the corn set seed.
Farmers would leave milk for the faeries that they might bring good fortune, young girls recited love charms while planting herbs in soil embedded with a would-be lover’s footprint. On Hallowe’en, housewives opened their windows and placed garlic on the window ledge so that only the good family dead might enter and take shelter from the cold.
This simple folk magick, rather than ceremonial magick, forms the basis for the majority of spells. As above, so below’, the words of the semi-divine father of magick, Hermes Trismegistos, may originally have evolved from popular magick that is practised in many different cultures around the world to this day. They are certainly as applicable today as they ever were.
Whatever the aim of your magick may be, if you look around your home, garden, workshop or even office, you have the necessary tools for the spells you require. What is more, rooted as they are in
domesticity and the daily world, these implements could not be safer: fruit, vegetables, salt, sand, seeds, flowers, coins, pots and jars, together with your crystals, candles, incense and oils, and perhaps a few coloured scarves or ribbons to tie knots. Whether your spell is small and personal, or vast and universal, whether you are working to attract love, harmony in the home, prosperity or fertility for yourself or loved ones, for people in the wider environment or the planet, these are all you need.
Witchcraft Within Covens
Gardenerian covens generally number 13. Some covens are affiliated formally or informally to specific traditions, but they increasingly unite for organisational as well as legal and political strength, particularly in Australia and parts of the USA. On-line covens are also springing up and they are an excellent way for solitary practitioners to gain support and information. Reliable, bona fide covens will offer the same safeguards as any ordinary coven, but of course the normal restraints you should show on contacting any Internet site will apply.
The beginning of the path to learning about Wicca within a formal coven is usually marked by a dedication. Initiation, after a year and a day, or a similar recognised magical period, will confer formal entry. Further different levels of knowledge and responsibility may also be involved, for example elevation to a second or third degree, so that eventually initiates can begin their own covens if they wish.
There are many reasons for performing witchcraft alone: your personal circumstances or the location of your home may mean that you cannot travel to a group, or you may live in an area where there are few others who share your interests. Many witches like myself choose to practise alone, drawing in my family and close friends to celebrate with me on the festival days. Most solitary witches initiate themselves, though some traditions, such as the Saxon Seat Wicca founded by Raymond Buckland in the USA, do admit solitary witches.
Indeed, solitary practitioners are said by some to have been witches in seven previous lifetimes and to possess within them all they need to know about the Craft. Truth or myth, no one should underestimate the number of private practitioners who do work alone, some coming together occasionally in small, informal groups.
Solitary witches can use ceremonial magick very successfully, but many do follow the less formal folk magick, linked to the land and the seasons, that was practised by our ancestors in their homes. For this reason, some call themselves hedge-witches, from the times when a hedge, often of hawthorn, bounded the witch’s home, and it is sometimes said that they are walking on the hedge between two worlds. Such a witch may be in the tradition of the village wise women who knew about herbs and about the cycles of nature and used the implements of their kitchens rather than ceremonial tools.
She may also be gifted in divination, in spell-casting and in astral projection. Usually a woman, but occasionally a man, the solitary witch practises eclectic magick drawn from a variety of traditions.
Those expert in brews and potions are also called kitchen witches. Indeed, many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers who possessed a remarkable intuition, read the tea leaves and made herbal concoctions, were jokingly called witches by their own families – and were just that!
You have your choice of groves, stone circles, the ocean shore, your garden or balcony, where you can connect with the powers of nature and work unobtrusively. Whether you are working alone, or in a group, or coven, you will share the same aims and will need much the same equipment.
The Rules Of Magick
According to the rules of magick, as I said earlier, you cannot be angry, mean or cruel and then expect to say sorry to a deity and have the slate wiped clean. Magick is about taking responsibility for your own actions all the time and that is incredibly onerous. But, on the positive side, the results are equally potent, and if you can learn to tap into the source of light and life and joy, you will amaze yourself and others by what is possible. Thus will your psychic powers also spontaneously unfold and guide you in your everyday world, increasing your spiritual power and wisdom.
Effort And Will-Power
Magick is not like the magic a conjuror uses to bring a rabbit out of a hat: that kind of magic is just a trick, which relies merely on the art of illusion. White magick is much more than that. It is intensely exciting because it means that we can extend the boundaries of possibility, recalling the psychic powers of childhood when we could span dimensions as easily as jumping across a puddle. We can increase our personal magnetism to attract love and luck and regenerate the innate healing abilities both of the human body and the planet.
Magick And Responsibility
Located on the Isle of Arran, it could be accessed by magical means or through spiritual quests, and many scholars believe it was the inspiration for the Holy Grail. But when using magick, you should take only as much as you need and perhaps a little more; you should not demand riches, perfect love, eternal beauty, youth, a fabulous job and a lottery win or two.
Magick And Knowledge
White witchcraft is essentially the process of drawing on ancient wisdom and powers via the collective mind that we as individuals can spontaneously but unconsciously access in our dreams and visions. In magick, we can use rituals and altered states of consciousness to access this cosmic memory bank at will and in doing so, some believe, draw on the accumulated powers of many generations, especially in healing magick.
This cosmic consciousness – or Great Mind or akashic record, as theosophists call it – is perhaps what made it possible for pyramids to be built at almost the same time in lands as far apart as Egypt and South America, and for shamanism to follow similar patterns in unconnected continents. By accessing this source of power, we may create a ritual or use certain crystals without consciously knowing their significance, only to find out that our invented spell closely resembles one from another time or culture; we know how to heal without being taught.
Gaining such knowledge has been described as ‘inner-plane’ teaching and if you can trust your own deep intuitions, you need very little formal teaching about magick. If you scry at the full moon or during one of the ancient festivals, by looking into water and letting images form, this deep wisdom will offer solutions to seemingly impossible dilemmas.
The practice of witchcraft demands great responsibility, for you are handling very potent material when you deal with magick. The benefit is that by focusing and directing your own inner powers and natural energies you can give form to your thoughts and needs and desires and bring them into actuality. The more positive and altruistic these focuses are, the more abundance, joy and harmony will be reflected in your own world.
Jupiter in Virgo
Are you ready for a shift in cosmic luck? Well get ready because Jupiter, the planet of growth, opulence and potential, will shift gears and move into detail oriented Virgo on August 11, 2015. He will remain in this discerning sign until September 9, 2016. While the thought of expansive and optimistic Jupiter moving through a sign known for critical focus may not initially appear exciting — don’t be so quick to judge. So what can you expect from Jupiter in Virgo? For starters, Jupiter is in a weakened state during her tour of Virgo. Astrologically speaking, Jupiter in Virgo is in her “detriment.” This is a fancy way of saying that Jupiter might have a more difficult time doing his thing while in Virgo. But it certainly doesn’t mean you should stop celebrating. I mean come on — this IS Jupiter we’re talking about, not Saturn! The function of Jupiter is to expand what it touches and over the next year he will focus on expanding the Virgo qualities of craftsmanship, analytical thinking and self-improvement. The tendency towards self-improvement will likely center around health matters and/or intellectual pursuits.
Jupiter likes to make a lot of noise while Virgo prefers being humble. Because of this, you can expect Jupiter in Virgo to be a time where we all pay extra attention to doing our jobs, and doing what’s right without worrying so much about gaining anyone else’s approval. Faith is a Jupiterian quality, but now faith will focus on what is most practical to believe in rather than any pie in the sky notions. Also, you’re likely to believe in your ability to do a job better than ever before. Productivity and organization will be areas you can certainly expand on as well.
Opportunities will arise for you when you’re willing to go the extra mile for others — without an agenda. Remember that!
Over the next thirteen months as Jupiter moves through Virgo, he’ll be making a couple of fascinating links to other planets — an elusive opposition to Neptune, a difficult square to Saturn and a brilliant trine to Pluto. This will shift Jupiter in Virgo’s ability to move from expressing the shadow energy to the most highly evolved potential of Jupiter.
Jupiter in Virgo Opposite Neptune in Pisces: September 17, 2015
This will be a time of high idealism for everyone and will be best suited to imaginative and spiritual pursuits. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try it appears that the rubber won’t meet the road. With Neptune’s cloudy energy on Jupiter’s tail there won’t be much room for practical growth. If you play your cards right however, this might be a perfect time for a little practical magic!
Jupiter in Virgo Square Saturn in Sagittarius: March 23, 2016 and May 26, 2016
Here we have a strong potential to see the shadow side of Jupiter in Virgo rear its ugly head. What might that be, you ask? Well, it’s possible that you’ll be your harshest critic during these dates and will tear your work to shreds. Or, it’s possible that your boss will go ahead and do that for you. Ouch! This might also be a time you discover a few major holes in something you believed wholeheartedly in. Alternatively, you might experience a conflict at work if you’re asked to do something that goes against what you know is right. In matters of health, you might be sorely disappointed in a doctor’s treatment plan. If so, you’ll be sure to let him or her know.
Jupiter in Virgo Trine Pluto in Capricorn: October 11, 2015; March 16, 2016; June 26, 2016
This will be a time for everyone to rejoice! The most influential and positive side of Jupiter in Virgo will come alive during these dates — and you will not want to waste such precious energy! Most likely, these will be exceptional times to see major strides in your profession due to your work on certain projects. You might reach a powerful new level in your career as a result. In fact, these dates have the ability to catapult you new heights. In some cases, you might even reach a pinnacle in your career. At the very least, you’ll feel highly regarded by someone important for a job well done.
This might also be a time when a powerful figure approaches you with a “once in a lifetime” opportunity that can change your life forever. Don’t waste it!
So, are you still worried that Jupiter in Virgo will be boring? I didn’t think so.