Spellwork or The Road to Hel is Paved with Good Intentions
Why is writing spells so hard? Why can’t there just be some magical formula that makes it easy and idiot-proof? Oh wait, there is! This formula is ancient and can be found used in the folk magic of just about every culture around the world throughout history:
Intent + Spoken Spell + Sympathetic Act = Magic
When separated, each component isn’t very effective, but when combined your spell is released into both our world and the otherworld with significant power and energy. The formula can be applied to rituals and ceremonies as well. Too many modern magical practitioners only focus on intent and a spoken, written, or “thought” spell. It’s lazy spellwork and it’s not very effective. Magic is not just psychological, it’s not all in your head and you can’t do it all in your head! Let’s break it down and make it even more idiot-proof:
Intent – Your intent is your focus and purpose for performing a spell. The danger of intent is how easy it is as anyone can think, pray, and wish, but intending to do something and thinking about doing something ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING. I can wish and pray and meditate on taking out the garbage, but the reality is that, unless I physically pick it up and take it outside, nothing is going to happen. Intent is an important part of spellwork because, without focus and direction, the formula’s other components are meaningless. Consider intent a meditation on the purpose of the magic you’ll be performing. Clear your mind of other thoughts and focus only on what you are doing and what you wish to accomplish. Intent should come first. Know what materials you will need and why and how you will use them. If you will be using plant or animal parts or spirits, make your intent clear to them before performing any spellwork or ceremonies. Be pure of heart and pure of mind and the otherworld will respond in kind.
Spoken Spell – Spoken as in OUT LOUD and NOT IN YOUR HEAD. Spoken spells, charms, runes, phrases, chants, and songs for magic are found in all cultures, religions, and time periods. There is rarely a ceremony or action found without a corresponding phrase to repeat while performing it whether it be for healing, cursing, or blessing. Many are lost with time as they survive only via oral lore. Thanks to folklorists who painstakingly documented certain cultures’ oral lore some of these charms and runes have survived today in the works of Alexander Carmichael and Charles G. Leland. Many Greco-Roman spells are still known today thanks to the ancients’ decent literacy rate. Even though many still exist, their traditional applications are often lost so you will still need to rely upon your intuition. Don’t be afraid to make up your own! Speak your charm or sing your chant at the same time you focus on your intent and before or at the same time you perform the physical part of the spell. Speak or sing loudly and clearly. Some charms are meant to be written or inscribed, but you still need to speak them as you write them. Some charms and runes require a steady monotonous tone reminiscent of a Catholic mass in Latin. Many also require repetition anywhere from three to nine or more times even for very long charms.
Sympathetic Act – This is the oft forgotten step in magic. Sympathetic magic is simple. Ancient cultures understood that performing a physical action or creating a physical representation of their desire would cause that desire to physically manifest. This is the part where you create a poppet, a witch bottle, prick a heart with pins, scatter dusts, rub on the magical salve, craft an amulet, draw a sigil, burn an effigy, sacrifice a chicken, put to work your ritual tools, burn down that dressed candle, or eat the bread and wine that is the flesh and blood of a god. The sympathetic action is usually performed last or at the same time as the other two components of the formula.