A Brief Overview on Magic and Spells
HOW DO REAL MAGICK SPELLS ACTUALLY WORK? There are many varieties of magic, not all of which include the idea that magical spell-casting is efficacious or morally sound. Even in those types of magic where spell-work is taught, there is no general agreement on what magic is, or what it is not.
A theory that accounts for the form of magic called natural magic is that certain objects, including but not limited to natural curios such as roots, herbs, minerals, and animal parts, have within them a certain a-causal link to some realm of human endeavour, often by virtue of their shape, colour, size, or scent. In natural magic, the visible link between a curio's physical attributes and its magical symbolism is called the Doctrine of Signatures. Thus, to give two examples of the Doctrine of Signatures, violet leaves, which look like hearts, are used in love magic, and lodestones, which are natural magnetic rocks, are used to "draw" wealth, love, or luck to the holder. These operations may be carried out with or without reference to religious entities (gods, spirits, saints).
An overlapping, but actually slightly different form of magic involves human-made artifacts -- amulets, lucky charms, talismans, and the like. This form of magic is generally called talismanic magic. Talismans can be made by the magician him or herself but are often prepared for clients by a conjurer, craft-worker, or jeweller. If they are commercially purchases, they must be empowered, fixed, or consecrated for use, and once prepared, they are said to work on behalf of the mage.
A third popular form of magic is called will-based or thelemic magic. Its practitioners tend to disdain natural magic, although they may use talismanic magic as a way to focus their will-power. Magicians of this type also have been know to say that performing magical spells is unimportant to them because simply visualizing the performance of the spell is sufficient to strengthen their will-power and this bring about the magical results they desire.
Each culture (or social sub-culture) seems to have its own rules regarding the workings of magic, but many of these rules are found in more than one culture. For instance, ritual cleaning and bathing occurs in the magic of most cultures, including urban ceremonial magick (with a k) and Sicilian folk magic (without a k). But some forms of ritual or rule are not as widespread. For example, footprint or footstep magic (performing magical operations on others through use of their footprints, shoes, or by scattering material where they will step on it) is typically an African magical custom, which is found also in African-American magical practice.
For most folk-magicians, symbology is very important. Faith, technical knowledge, precognitive intent, and emotional power fuel belief and confidence in the effects of a culturally appropriate symbological working.
However, once the rules of each system of magic are internalized by the practitioner, a great deal of improvisation may be done for any given ritual or magical job of work. The mark of a good magician in his or hr own school of magic is his or her ability -- to borrow an analogy from music -- to seamlessly improvise a tune within the chord structure of the system being used.
Perhaps magic seems "too good to be true" to you because you have an inflated idea about the practice of magic from the perspective of movies or tv shows -- but in actuality, magic is not a cure-all for problems. Rather, it is a way of working with subtle energies, with the natural virtues of plants and stones, with spirits, with -- well, with as many different forms of non-ordinary reality as there are schools of magic, i suppose!
DO MAGICK SPELLS ALWAYS WORK? Sometimes spells work, sometimes they do not. Sometimes prayers produce results. Sometimes they do not. Nothing is infallible. Death is inevitable. What we do with our lives is a matter of as much choice as we can muster, given the limitations of genetics, circumstance, and happenstance.
Some of us find pleasure and fulfilment in the practice of religion, magic, occultism, and/or mysticism. Others of us do not.
You have wandered into a group of people who practice magic -- but how each of us *defines* magic is left to the individual.
Now, there is a further wrinkle with respect to the question of whether magic *always* works, and that is the matter of "belief."
You may have read in a book or heard in a movie that "magic only works if you believe it works" or "spells only have an effect on people who believe that magic can affect them." These statements and others like them are often used to rationalize away the fear that one has been magically attacked. One says, in effect, "magic can only harm me if i believe in it".
The "it only works if you believe it works" defense against magical harm is generally invoked by folks who think that the only metaphysical concept to which they need pay heed is their own consciousness.
One logical offshoot of this form of solipsism is something i call "belief in the consent of the victim" -- a mental gymnastics move whereby a solipsist can legitimize unfortunate events. Belief in the consent of the victim is sometimes expressed as, "If it happened to me, i must have allowed it to happen or subconsciously willed it to happen to me."
In New Age circles, belief in the consent of the victim gives rise to ideations such as, "The reason my house was destroyed in that landslide was because i subconsciously wished to learn a lesson from that event," or "I would not have been born a paraplegic if on some level i did not desire to experience life as a cripple."
Solipsism of this sort can be theoretically intriguing, but realistically it is untenable to me, because i see practical evidence all around me that things happen to people that are not within the control of the people to which they happen.
Thus, the invocation of "belief in the consent of the victim" as a presumed "law" of magic seems foolish and weak and unrealistic to me.
This does not mean that i believe that magic *always* works -- it merely explains why i do not explain away any failures of magical spells by invoking the illogical idea that "magic only works if you believe it works."
ARE MAGICK SPELLS GUARANTEED TO WORK? The question of whether a spell kit/charmed item, or other occult item is "guaranteed to bring in results" is one that i am often asked. As most hoodoo practitioners know, every supplier in this country sells their products as curios only, for legal reasons which i am sure everyone can appreciate.
Magic is not guaranteed. Neither is prayer to God.
If a prayer is not answered, it may be that it is not God's will.
If a magic spell does not produce the results you hoped for, despite the fact that an authentic formula was followed and you put into the work all your best efforts and strongest belief, then all i can say is that God may have different plans for you.
It is a mistake to assume that most practitioners of folk magic believe that spells invariably work, like adding water to a box of instant mashed potatoes -- and that if a spell fails, it is the rootworker's fault. This is not so.
Most people know that skill or giftedness enters into magical successes, that timing is important, that traditional natural ingredients are preferred, that personal will and an outpouring of spiritual energy are crucial -- and that even when everything is done with the strongest of intentions and best of timing and authentic ingredients by a worker of great skill or giftedness, there is still no guarantee of success.
Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers ever. He sometimes loses. He sometimes loses extensively. No one says that golf is a game of random chance or that Tiger Woods is a fraud just because he cannot win every game. It is the same with magic.
People who are members of magic-using cultures learn from an early age not to expect more from magic than an improvement of their odds -- that they will sometimes score a startling win or an almost impossible success, but not always. Most people who work with magic on a regular basis think of it as an edge, not as a certain win.
I believe that spells really do work, at least some of the time, just as physical efforts work some of the time.
In order to demonstrate the parallels between physical effort and metaphysical/spiritual effort, let me ask the magical question this way:
"Can doing spell work result in my achieving a hoped-for outcome?"
Now allow me to construct a parallel with physical effort:
"Can physical effort result in my achieving a hoped-for outcome?"
The answer in both cases is: "That depends on a lot of factors which we ought to investigate further before giving you a solid yes or no reply.
For instance, with respect to physical effort, you might ask
"Can people lift heavy rocks?"
And i might answer -- "Yes, they can -- but not every person can lift every heavy rock, and some people can lift no rocks at all, not even the light ones .. and some rocks cannot be lifted by anyone, either because they are too heavy or because they are inaccessible to human beings."
So you see, even a simple assumption -- that physical effort will result in a hoped-for outcome -- cannot be answered yes or no in general terms with any certainty.
The same holds true when discussing spell-work. You might ask:
"Can performing a love spell result in my finding a lover?"
And i would answer -- "Yes, it can -- but not every person can use spell work to make any given person love them, and some spell-using people cannot find lovers at all, not even among those who don't care who they love .. and some people cannot be ensorcelled into love by anyone, either because they are too willful and self-determined or because they are inaccessible to love-oriented spell-craft by reason of pre-existing conditions such as their being already mated, their sexual orientation, their age, their physical health, or other unknown conditions and factors."
In other words, you cannot expect more of magical work than you can of the physical world as we know it. You may find in magic a useful tool, but, like any tool, it does not do the work FOR you -- it simply allows you to leverage your way from where you are now and the condition you are now in to where you want to be and the condition you want to be in.
Think about those things before you jump into spell-casting.
IS MAGICK WORTH TRYING IF IT IS NOT GUARANTEED?I can certainly go on record stating that i have found many benefits in my own life through the working of magical spells and that here in our shop we have had many customers provide us with feedback that they have had successful results with spell=craft -- but due to the nature of magic and the differentiation of attention and power among those who employ these spells, combined with the irregularity of feedback, we cannot be absolutely certain of their success rate.
To practice magic wisely, you need to be aware that not all spells work for every person every time. Like sports contests and wars, there may be a winner and a loser ... or, as with farming, some crops may thrive while others fail. You do your best and try to get the results you want with all the knowledge, dedication, and will-power you can bring to bear on the event -- and if you win, it's a triumph, and if you lose, it is defeat.
Magic is no different than any other area of life in this regard.
What i tell my customers and clients -- and you, the reader of this web site -- is this: Even if you use magic only to concentrate upon your desires and to pray, you will at least have clarified what it is you want. If it works for you, however, as it very often does, then you will not only have clarified your desires, you will have achieved them.