This is a warning: Please use judgment and sense when you approach someone or are approached by someone who is willing to cast a spell for you and asks for an outrageous amount of money to do so. Yes, spell casting does require work, focus, and energy of the caster to do the spell. Yes, it may include purchasing various tools, supplies, or objects. Yes, it is fair that the spell caster be reimbursed for these things. But if the caster claims to need $300 to buy candles, offer instead to take them to Odd Lots, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, or any small discount store for the purchase. As long as it lights, burns, and isn’t damaged, a candle is just a candle. People that charge outrageous amounts of money for spells probably don’t know what they’re doing and probably aren’t going to give you the results you want. Also, because you can’t prove that they didn’t do the spell or buy the supplies with the money you gave them, they aren’t responsible for paying you back. They’ll often say that if the spell wasn’t effective, it’s because of something you did. So, they’ll offer to clear your aura… for another $100.
With that idea in mind, it is also not necessary to spend a great deal of money on certain items, especially the more ‘disposable’ items. A candle is going to burn. Either it is going to burn away completely, or it’s going to burn enough to where you will ritually dispose of it. I was taught and I teach that one should not double-use spell candles. They are a once-and-done thing. If the candle is effectively charged and consecrated to the first use, then using it again for something else is a muddling of magical energy and focus. This does not mean it can’t be used more than once for the same thing. Just don’t use a white candle for a clarity meditation and then use the remnant of that candle for a conception spell.
Magic, sometimes spelled magick to differentiate it from stage performance, is the movement of energy through the focus of the magician’s will to achieve a desired effect. Witches perform magic because we understand and believe that we are capable of shaping and controlling energy to achieve a purpose. What is really amusing to me is the ‘new discoveries’ being made in the relationship of integration between our minds and our bodies, as well as the ‘discovery’ that it is possible to think things into being through the use of focused thought. This is not new. Witches and mystics have been doing these ‘secret teachings’ for ages. We just understand and recognize them and call them ‘spells’. Now, modern quantum physics has finally caught up to what Witches have been saying for generations: we are all made of energy. Everything is connected via energy. Energy can be collected and focused according to our thoughts and actions, sending out waves of desire into the universal web and bringing what we want to others or ourselves.
Magic is natural and it works in accordance to natural laws. Magic does not violate nature. You cannot use magic to do something that is not possible in the natural world. It is not possible to change your wardrobe with the snap of your fingers. You cannot perform magic with the thought that it is all point-and-zap fantasy such as what is seen in television and movies. Real magic does not work that way. That is the difference between fiction and reality.
Real magic is bringing abundance into your life or bringing success to yourself by way of a new or better job. It is getting the car or home you want, bringing love or happiness into your life by finding the right person to share it with. It is healing illness or injury or pain. It is helping to heal the planet or animals. It is surrounding yourself with protective energy. It is seeing that justice is done for a wrong committed. It is seeking balance through the efforts of yourself, others, and the universe.
Magic comes from energy, focus, and will. The energy is either the energy of the witch or magician, the energy of the earth or natural elements, or the energy of the divine. Depending on what the objective of the magic’s focus is determines what energy is needed. It is the Witch who directs and focuses the energy, adding his or her will to it, and sending it to the desired goal or target that completes the process of spell casting.
Magic begins in the mind and spirit of the Witch. If that is not trained and focused, no amount of tools or incense will achieve the goal. Obtaining a certain candle, wand, athame, herb, stone, crystal, piece of jewelry, or the like DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME OF YOUR SPELL. Tools are tools. A tool is something that is used by someone to do a job. It does not do the job itself. You cannot buy a hammer, wood, and box of nails and expect them to build a house for you alone. Unless you know what to do with them, they are useless. Why would you believe that by purchasing a ritual item or spell kit or whatever that you will suddenly be granted the power and ability to work effective magic? It doesn’t make any sense. If you don’t know how to raise, focus, and send the energy (that is the key and only necessary ingredient) in spell work, why would any pretty crystal work for you?
Now, what I have described is different than coming by a magical item that has been ritually crafted, consecrated, or charged by a knowledgeable Witch or magical practitioner. But, you must realize that a large part of this item’s power or ability is because it was created/consecrated/charged by one who understood how to do so. If the Witch working with the item didn’t know what they were doing, then the item still only holds its own energy, which may or may not be enough to do what you want it to do. Or, in the worst case scenario, it holds ‘flubbed’ energy and could work to the detriment of its bearer.
Natural items possess most of their own raw energy. Herbs, stones, crystals, plants, flowers, trees, sticks, dirt, salt, water, metals, essential oils, and other such natural items have their own qualities and energy. Part of a witch’s skill and understanding is knowing how to attune and draw out or draw upon those energies, blending them and directing them towards a focused magical goal. These items are powerful additions, and on their own, possess great natural energy. If you have been emotionally hurt recently, hold or carry a piece of rose quartz. If you feel the need to add some protection to your home, plant rue or thorny bushes around the house. These are examples of using the natural energy of stones or plants for what they are aligned for. Doing so will grant you some effectiveness, but there is much more to be found if you know how to specifically draw out and channel those energies, adding them with your own, and focusing them towards your goal.
Magic begins in the mind. It is our mind, our thoughts, our emotions, and our focus that brings the spell’s energy into being and that sends it. Tools and ritual items aid in doing this in two ways. First: the use of candles and incense transports our consciousness from the mundane into the magical realm of thought. Playing certain music, lighting a few candles, and burning pleasant incense can change the atmosphere of a common living room or bedroom into a serene and holy temple. Our environment affects our mood and our mood affects our thoughts and feelings. These items tell our subconscious that we are in another place, another mindset. This mindset is the environment where magic is about to happen. Second: items have energy, especially natural items like herbs, stones, colors, and crystals. If you are attuned to these energies, and if you can draw these energies out and blend them with your own, they will aid you in your working. The use of ritual clothing, wands, athames, altars, censors, oils, herbs, candles, cups, bowls, cauldrons, thuribles, etc. all join to change our mindset from the mundane to the spiritual/magical. When our minds and thoughts are in this frame, we can focus and send the energy much more easily and much more effectively. This is the purpose tools and such serve. They have less effect on their own. Their strongest power comes from our recognition of their use.
Incidentally — anyone who is familiar with the popular book or DVD called The Secret may find some striking similarities with the stuff described below. Witches have known for generations how to work with the universal energies to bring things and goals to us. The rest of the world is just starting to catch up and realize how this is done and that it is effective. I haven’t personally read or seen The Secret. I don’t need to. I already know how to do what it describes. I just call it “Witchcraft” or “Magic”.
The Witch’s Pyramid
To really understand how and why magic works, and thus to become effective users of it, it is important and necessary to understand the laws that govern it. I teach the Laws of Magic with two main principles in mind. The first is The Witch’s Pyramid. The Witch’s Pyramid is the basis for understanding how and why magic works and how to use it. It is both simple and complex. Simply put, the Pyramid is four statements combined into a single phrase:
To know, to will, to dare, and to be silent
This phrase tells us how to focus and use the energy raised to work magic, what to do with it, and how to behave with it.
You must know yourself, know what you wish to accomplish, and know how to work in moderation. Magic needs to have a focused point or reason to be most effective. Know what this single reason is and focus your magic on that. Know what you are doing. Know how to cast the circle. Know how to cleanse the area. Know how to send the energy. Knowledge is the basis for power.
Will is belief. It is belief in yourself, belief in divinity, belief in your skill level, and belief in the abundance of the universe. It is the will to practice again and again. It is knowing why you want to perform this magical operation and your readiness to put your emotion, belief, and desire into the spell.
Do you really have the determination to go through with this? Are you ready to accept the outcome and handle the responsibility? Have you put in the time and effort to make sure you’ve done everything properly and aren’t acting out of selfish motivations? Dare to do it then. Change the circumstances and take control of your environment.
To Be Silent:
Keep your mouth shut about what you are going to do. Keep your mouth shut about it while you’re waiting for the results and keep it to yourself after you’ve done the working. This is especially important for beginners who are just starting to develop their skills and confidence. Spells don’t always work. Sometimes the energies just aren’t right and other times, the gods step in and say, “I don’t think so… Not right now.” Sometimes we just didn’t do something right… It happens. Keeping your work to yourself protects you from slander, harassment, and negativity. Also, we don’t do magic to boost our ego. We do magic because we know what it is and how to do it. We do magic because it can affect people and the world in a positive way. If you start to grow too big for your britches, believe me, the gods can pull the rug out from under you to keep you humble.