The most exciting meaning of ‘ritual’ is connected to magic. There is an underlying belief that, if we do or say the right things in the right order, we will get what we want and open the enchanted door. Popular superstitions are connected to the belief that certain actions can bring about certain results by some means other than cause and effect – such as bad luck from walking under a ladder. Often there is some sound symbology underlying this. When we are young we more readily revert to ‘magical thinking’ – ‘everything will be all right as long as I don’t step on any of the cracks in the pavement’. As we mature we leave this behind in favour of the rational approach. Indeed, ‘magical thinking’ is considered by psychotherapists as a sign of mental or emotional instability.
However, if you take the view that we are architects of our own reality in a very real sense, magical thinking brings results. Not stepping on the cracks can be a little ritual to convince ourselves that we can indeed structure our lives. However, this is rather negative. It is a way of achieving an illusion of control, when we feel fearful and powerless, and in a sense we relinquish control in such a ritual, for it often turns into ‘I must not step on the cracks, or something dreadful will happen’. True magical ritual is a set of actions to convey intent, to focus the consciousness and to bring about change.
Magic, is the art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will. The change first takes place in the mind of the practitioner and extends into the ether, cosmos, call it what you will.
Metaphysicians in ever greater numbers tell us that it is we who create our own reality. Things don’t happen to us, they happen because of us, manifesting our conscious and unconscious beliefs and expectations. The only reason that we are able to ignore this, and argue with it is because of the time lag. Things take a while to happen and some take many years. In the higher dimensions, we are told, our visualizations take on immediate reality. Here, although it is a slower process, it is equally real. Scientific thinking, of course, rules this out. Science is the current tyrant, the sanctified dogma, although at the cutting edge, scientists are realizing that mind is present within all matter. One current joke tells how the most advanced and able scientists, when hauling themselves up the last few gruelling yards of the slope of Knowledge, come exhausted to a green and fertile place – and find that theologians and spiritual leaders have already been sitting there for centuries!
Sensible magical workers do not expect scientific laws to disappear, for the apple to rise from the ground and a fix itself back to the branch. They work within our reality perception, as it is at present, concentrating for the most part on changes within their own consciousness. Magic works in the direction of belief, not intent. It is what you believe that will materialize, not what you want and, if you don’t really believe that something will come into your life, all the spells and rituals in the world are most unlikely to have any effect. However, there is an exception to this and it arises with the unconscious mind. Symbols are powerful things, and despite conscious disbelief, if the inner you, your Younger Self, is convinced, you never know ….
Spells are a way of ‘spelling out’ what you want. You can achieve little or nothing in life without knowing what you want, defining it, being exact about it. Spells focus intent. Magical ritual alters consciousness, making change possible. The shift takes place, the call goes out. The results come back, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, and often in ways we do not immediately recognize, but come back they do.
Spells and Rituals: A Beginners Guide To Spells And Rituals