The questions I sometimes get asked by those outside of the magickal community often put me in a position to pause and think about my personal path and practices. Sometimes these questions can have me wondering “Am I ‘good Witch'”? Often it’s questions related to spells that give me the most pause. Questions like “Do you do spells”, “How often do you do spells”, and “Can’t you just make everything go the way you want with a spell?” Sometimes I wish it was all that easy but as anyone who works seriously with magick knows, that just isn’t true. And I have to admit I’m not a huge spellcaster in that I cast spells constantly. There are reasons for that, which I’ll explain, but these questions along with all the questions about spells from both practitioners and non-practitioners makes me wonder if we haven’t become somewhat dependent on them.
First, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with casting spells. Obviously, I’m a Witch after all! I do work magick casting spells, working rituals, etc. But I don’t do them on a daily basis (daily meditations and altar devotions aside) for every little thing. For instance I’m not going to cast a full on healing spell if I wake up with the sniffles but I would definitely send healing light to the areas of my body that feel “off” during my meditations and I would naturally follow things up in the mundane by slowing down, taking herbs or medicine, and taking care of myself. The thing though, to me, is that this is magick. Why? Because I’m working to create change with intention.
You may define magick as casting spells but for me I go with the more traditional idea of magick as creating change through intention and will. I don’t have to cast a circle, light candles, chant incantations, and burn petitions to work magick, per se. But then the process I described with the sniffles is what I see as living a magickal life as a Witch with your Craft and your daily life blended and in harmony.
But many people, I have found, are spell crazy (or at least that’s what I call it). They want to cast spells for everything all the time. They become dependent on spells; if they don’t cast a spell they wont get a job, they wont lose weight, they wont find love, etc. Then it gets down to the daily nitty gritty like casting spells to get a phone call that day from a friend, even casting spells to get the house clean! Really! I hear crazy things sometimes.
But here are some of the reasons that I don’t think we should become so attached to spell casting.
- Too many spells means too little focus. I’ve talked about this before but think about how well you complete something when you’re doing five things at once. Something always gets less attention than it should and either gets a little messed up or just doesn’t work out at all. The same is true for spells; when you cast five spells either at the same time or in the same period of time (i.e. same moon cycle) you have a lot of stuff out there that you have to focus on and pay attention to and something isn’t going to get the energy and attention that it deserves.
- Spells don’t replace mundane work. Just because you cast a spell you aren’t being handed a “get out of jail free card” when it comes to do the mundane steps. Casting a spell for love doesn’t mean Brad Pitt is going to breakdown outside your house and come knocking on your down for help and fall madly in love with you. You have to get out there and mix it up with some people to meet someone new. If you just sit and home waiting for Prince (or Princess) Charming to fall in your lap you’re going to get frustrated with everything real fast.
- Relying on spells means less reliance on yourself. Personally I think that when you get too dependent on something you lose a bit of the dependence on yourself. With spells, if we become so dependent on them, feeling that every thing you do needs the boost of a spell, you start to loose faith in your own personal abilities to live your life. You begin to place all your power in the spells and the magickal process of spellwork rather than in yourself.
Spells are great and they can be a lot of fun to write and to cast, but work with spells when you really need the extra boost, not just because you need or want something and feel you have to cast a spell. Remember you are the true source of magick in your life, not the spells you cast.