What’s a Spell?
Written and compiled by George Knowles.
A spell is a
spoken or written formula that when used in an act of magick is intended to
cause or influence a particular course of events. Belief in and the use of spells are universal and have been
an integral part of religious practices since ancient times.
Methods vary according to culture but all spell work is based on ritual.
Spells are closely related to Prayers, which are rituals consisting of a petition to the Gods or deities (whatever the religion or faith) for a desired outcome. It involves the visualization of a goal, a statement of desire for the goal, and ritualized movements of body positions (e.g., the bowing of the head, the clasping of the hands, the closing of the eyes etc). In magick, spells are closely related to various methods of mind power such as: creative visualization, positive thinking, and positive imaging (see “What is Magick”). All of which emphasize our mental images of the goal and our identification with it, repetition of our intent to achieve this goal, projection of our will, and a petition to the spirits, deities, or the divine force for their aid.
These types of spells are commonly used on a daily bases, the simple lighting of a candle starting the ritual process. Such daily spells constitute minor magick's such as: blessings, self-help, positive thoughts and the sending of helpful healing energies to others. Used on a daily bases it is not therefore necessary to undertake the cumbersome task of a full circle casting ritual
be beneficial or harmful and can be worked on people, animals, and nature.
Their purposes are limitless and include:
healing, love, money, success, fertility, longevity, and protection from
disaster, ill fortune, and evil. They
can also be used to exorcise ghosts and spirits, for victory in battle, truth in
divination, weather control, and the accomplishment of supernatural feats.
When directed against enemies, spells can be used to cause illness,
destruction, loss of love, impotence, barrenness, failure and even death.
Spells can be cast to affect the self, or directed to affect another
spell is often called a blessing, although such archaic terms as bewitchment and
enchantment are still sometimes used. Negative
spells are generally known as hexes or curses.
A binding spell is one intended to prevent harm, avoid danger, or to stop
someone from performing particular acts (e.g., halting a murder, preventing a
rape, or even stopping the spread of gossip).
cultures, Witches, Sorcerers, Witch doctors, Magicians, and other magically
empowered peoples, cast both beneficial and harmful spells as the need dictates.
However in contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft, a set of ethics exists
that prohibits the use of curses and negative spells against another (see the
“Wiccan Rede” and the “Three
Fold Law”). The acceptability
of binding spells is divided, and is widely debated throughout the community.
How it works
A major act of
magick requires a ritual and a spell performed inside a properly constructed
spell consists of words or incantations (sometimes called a charm or rune); the
ritual is a set of actions performed while the words are being spoken.
The ancient Egyptians believed words were so powerful that speaking them
would bring about the desired goal. Words
and names of power were vital to Egyptian magick and had to be pronounced
correctly and with the proper intonation. In
Western magick the ultimate name of power is the Tetragrammaton, YHWH (Yah-weh),
the sacred name of God.
spell-casting ritual raises power and energy through a combination of
visualization, meditation, identification, body movement and projection of will.
The success of a spell rests on the energy and will power raised,
together with the skill in which they are focused and projected.
Words, chants, songs, and movements, objects such as ritual tools,
effigies, poppets, cords, and candles, as well as materials such as parchment,
herbs, oils and others, all facilitate spell casting.
contemporary Witchcraft spell casting is performed within a magick circle (see Circle
Casting). Many covens work
spells as part of their regular meetings, though each coven may use differing
techniques. To start, the goal of a
spell is stated and some Witches write it down.
The act of writing down the goal emphasizes the positive thinking
techniques and helps to bolster the will power to achieve the goal.
Any preparations for the ritual are made such as lighting coloured
candles or mixing herbs and oils. Each
action generating energy and increasing will power concentration toward the
or love spell rituals, an herb filled poppet or cloth doll might be used to
identify the likeness of the object of the spell. To aid the likeness, the doll may be marked with the persons
name or astrological sign, or even stuffed with personal hair or nail clipping
taken from the object of the spell. A photograph
of the person might also be used. If
a doll or poppet is not being used, then a mental image or thought form is
created. If the spell is being work
by a group, all must agree on the image and hold it firmly in their minds.
Power and energy is then raised by various means, including:
chanting, dancing, tying knots in cords or clapping hands.
Drums, rattles, and the playing of music may also be used to raise power.
invite higher forces to work with them in implementing a spell.
This is usually some aspect of the Goddess or God together with the
forces of the elements. Other deities may be called upon whose aspects best suit the
nature of the spell. For instance,
a money making spell might be addressed to “Math” the God of wealth and
increase, similarly for a love binding spell “Aphrodite” might be called
(see Gods and Deities).
While performing the ritual the Witch focuses intense concentration and will power into achieving the goal, and when the psychic power and energy being raised is at its peak, it is then released and directed towards the goal while visualizing and seeing the results being accomplished. Once the spell has been completed the ritual ends with a psychic cleanup to banish and ground any remnants of psychic energy. This is normally done with the “cakes and wine” ritual, after which the deities and elements are thanked and the circle banished.
Much of the above writing was sourced from:
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek
Mythology) / Esbats &
Full Moons / Links
to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft
Resources / What's a spell? /
Circle Casting and
Sacred Space / Pentagram
- Pentacle / Marks
of a Witch / The Witches
Power / The Witches Hat
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin: / Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders and Elders)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A. Kelly / Albertus Magnus “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata / Monique Wilson the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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