WhyMagic Works: The Key Component
Author: ScottA. Johnson
So here we are, Witches, Wiccans, Pagans, and the like, with one tie thatbinds us: Magick. Whether you perform rituals aimed at a particular set of Godsor practice as a “Kitchen Witch, ” Magick is one of those parts of the Craftthat seems at once to be the most wonderful, and most maligned, aspect of ourlifestyle. The most often-asked question, in many forms, is simply “does itwork?”
Don’t believe me? Join one of the thousands of online communities and lurkfor a while. You’ll find post after post from fluff-bunnies and newpractitioners alike that ask for “spells that really work” and whether or notwe really believe all this hooey is real. While some generously sendalong simple recipes for successful spells along and others scoff at thedoubters, there are two things that must, in all cases, be addressed.
First, Magick does work. Second, the primary ingredient for it to work ispretty universal.
No, I’m not going to tell you the one Magickal herb that makes everythingsuddenly have amazing powers. It doesn’t exist.
I’m talking about a single ingredient that can exist in every person, nomatter his or her religion, creed, race, sexual preference, or hairstyle:Belief, or faith, if you will.
Let’s look at the person who asks spells that really work. Typically, thesepeople are asking for something that can prove to them that Magick is real.Give this person any spell, and charm, or any ancient wisdom, and chances areit won’t work. Why? Because they initially do not believe it will work. More tothe point, they believe it won’t, therefore it doesn’t.
My personal best spells are useless in the hands of a person who doesn’tbelieve in them, or Magick, because it is my belief in them, my faith if youwill, that makes them work. When I speak the words “My will be done, so mote itbe, ” I truly believe that what I will shall come to past because it mustbe so.
There are no hard and fast rules that state that any single word is theonly way to get any given desired result. If there were, we wouldn’t have somany solitaries and covens that create their own rituals. Their rituals workfor them because they believe in them. They have faith in them.
But why does that make such a difference?
To answer that, we have to take a look at what’s going on in the process ofspell casting. At its most base level, almost all spells deal with themanipulation of energy. Whether it’s shielding, influencing, or empowering, weas Witches are dealing with energy. Every Pagan will tell you that we drawenergy, release energy, ground energy, etcetera, etcetera. We pull it from thefour elements, from the deities, from ourselves. We put ourselves into alteredtrance states to raise more energy. Many times, people don’t consider thatenergy other than from where it comes or for where it’s headed. But considerthat energy for a moment.
The human body, as well as all living things, gives off an energy field.Scientists have proven that this field expands and contracts, intensifies andwanes, in accordance to several factors, the largest one being emotion. Thereis a marked, measurable difference in the energy sphere that a person emitswhen he or she is happy as opposed to when he or she is sad.
One of the most powerful influences on that energy field is simply definedas faith or belief. The stronger the faith, the more powerful the energy thatcomes out of a person’s body. It stands to reason, then, that if a person trulybelieves in something, their energy in working with it will be high. Forexample, in medicine, there is the “placebo” test, in which half the testsubjects are given a sugar pill in place of some new experimental wonder drugwithout knowing. In every case of placebo, there are at least a few subjectsthat have the desired effects of the drug, simply because they believed theywere taking the real thing.
Take also into account the “faith healing” phenomenon. Thermal cameras andelectro-meters have recorded marked rises in the energy pouring out of thehealers (and I’m talking the real faith healers, here…Not the charlatans) whenthey use their faith.
It isn’t coincidence, nor is it superstitious mumbo-jumbo; it’s science.
Now, take this into your own rituals and spell-casting. When you cast, areyou constantly muttering, “I hope this works?” In the back of your mind, does anagging voice tell you that you’re being stupid and living in a fantasy world?If so, you’re not going to get results. If you find a spell online and begin toenact it, all the while doubting it and saying “I hope this works, ” thoughsomewhere inside you know it won’t, then guess what. It won’t.
You may have raised power, you may have all the crystals, candles, andbells in the world, but if you doubt your abilities, if you doubt your ownintent, and if you do not have faith in your Craft, you will not have thedesired effects. Just as faith projects powerful energy, doubt creates a blockinside that won’t let that energy come out. It becomes a self-fulfillingprophecy. You do not believe it will work, so it doesn’t, that sort of thing.
When you perform a ritual or cast a spell, you have to commit yourself toit, mind, body and spirit. You have to believe to your core that it will workand that your will alone can influence the world around you. You cannot go intoa ritual with half a faith. If half is all you have to offer, maybe you shouldpractice more before deciding if the Craft is really what you believe.
If it is to be your faith, embrace it, follow it, and live it in youreveryday life, but most importantly, believe in yourself and what you aredoing. It doesn’t matter whether you practice in a coven or by yourself,skyclad or clothed, or even the trappings of the ritual. Without your ownbelief and faith, none of the above matters.
Believe in the words “so mote it be.” Because you will it, so must it be,and that is true Magick.