Friday, April 6, 2012

What is Magick?

Again, I didn't write this. Yes I did read all these first and agree with them or I wouldn't post them. And there are facts too. Enjoy :)

(Yes it is spelled correctly)
I suppose I could ramble on for quite some time about what Magick of Wicca, Witches and Witchcraft is or is not. Instead, I will offer this brief writing I found somewhere. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I came across it or who the author was, but I thought it was clear, concise and to the point. It very simply dispels everything that some religions, old superstitions and of course Hollywood have tried to make people believe magick is.

Magick is finding your connection to the Earth and all that is natural, alive and moving in the universe! It binds all that exists together.

Magick is living in balance with the flow of life, and knowing that you are a vital force within that flow. Magick is everywhere! In the trees, rain, stars, and in the sea. It is the spark that quickens a seed to rise up from the soil.

Magick is laughter, joy, wonder and truth of the world around us!

It is the subtle enchantment that reminds us not to waste a single moment of this gift that we call life! Magick is not greed, or power, or pretense...It is real. It exists. And it works.

Magick is the mystery that lies in the secret soul of the world. It is the essence of creation. What we imagine, we have the power to create!


With it you can create your dreams, heal your world, love your life and find the peace that lives in every human heart.
The Concept of Magick
Magick is the use of unnatural or superhuman power by a person to try to control actions or natural events. People throughout the world have practiced magick from the dawn of history. But beginning in the 1600's, science has provided an increasingly greater understanding of the true causes of natural events. This increased scientific knowledge has reduced people's dependence on magick. But many people in non-industrial societies still believe in magick. Even in industrial societies, many people still trust in such forms of magick as astrology and fortunetelling.

The word magick also refers to entertainment in which the performer does tricks of so-called magick. In such entertainment, neither the magician nor the audience believes that the performer has supernatural powers.
Elements of Magick
The practice of magick includes special words, actions, and objects. Most magic involves a person, who claims to have supernatural powers.

Magick words: To work most magick, the person sings or speaks special words in a certain order. These words are called incantations or spells. Some spells form prayers to demons, spirits, or other supernatural forces. Many societies believe the magick will not work unless the person recites the spells perfectly. Other magick words have no meaning, though they supposedly possess power when spoken by a witch or Wicca practitioner.

Magick actions accompany the words spoken in performing much magick. Many of these movements act out the desired effect of the magick. For example, a person trying to make rain fall may sprinkle water on the ground. The person’s combined words and actions form a ceremony called a rite or ritual.

Magick objects include certain plants, stones, and other things with supernatural powers. Any such object may be called a fetish. But this term often refers to an object--for example, a carving or a dried snake--honored by a tribe for its magick powers. Many tribes believe fetishes have magick power because spirits live in these objects.

Many people carry magick objects called amulets, charms, or talismans to protect themselves from harm. Many amulets and talismans are stones or rings engraved with magick symbols.

In some societies, nearly everyone knows how to work some magick. In other societies, only experts practice magick. Some may be called medicine men, medicine women, shamans, sorcerers, or witch doctors. In many societies, shamans must inherit their powers. In others, any person may use magick by studying the magical arts.

Many societies believe magick must observe certain rules and taboos (forbidden actions) for their spells to work. For example, they may be required not to eat various foods or to avoid sexual activity for a certain period before the ceremony.

Kinds of Magick

Many anthropologists classify magick as homeopathic or contagious, according to its basic principle. The Scottish anthropologist Sir James G. Frazer first described these types in his book The Golden Bough (1890).

Some people divide magick into black magick and white magick. Black magick harms people, but white magick helps them. Warlocks usually practice black magick. But a saint may cure a sick person using white magick.

Homeopathic magick is based on the belief that like produces like. In this type of magick, also called imitative magick, persons act out or imitate what they want to happen. They often use a model or miniature of whatever they want to influence. For example, a fisherman may make a model of a fish and pretend he is netting it. He believes this ritual will assure him a good catch. In some European folk dances, the dancers leap high into the air to make their crops grow tall. People once believed that yellow flowers would cure jaundice, a yellowish discoloration of the body.

Many taboos come from homeopathic magick. People avoid certain harmless things because they resemble various harmful things. Among the Inuit (Eskimos), for example, parents have traditionally warned their sons against playing a string game, such as cat's cradle, in which children loop string around their fingers. They feared that playing such games might cause the children's fingers to become tangled in the harpoon lines they will use as adults.

Contagious magick comes from the belief that after a person has had contact with certain things; they will continue to influence that person. The most common examples of contagious magick involve parts of the body that have been removed, such as fingernails, hair, and teeth. A person's nails and hair can affect the rest of that person's body long after they have been cut off. A person can injure an enemy by damaging a lock of hair or a piece of clothing from the victim. Magick can even be used to cripple an enemy by placing a sharp object in that person's footprint.

People who believe in contagious magick fear that an enemy can gain power over them by obtaining parts of their body. Therefore, they carefully dispose of their nails, hair, teeth, and even their body wastes.

Witches and voodoo magicians often practice a type of homeopathic magic called envoutement. The practitioner makes a doll or some other likeness of an enemy. Then harms the enemy by sticking pins into the doll or injuring it in some other way. In some societies, the doll includes a lock of hair or a piece of clothing from the enemy. This type of envoutement is a combination of homeopathic and contagious magic.

Why People Believe in Magick

People turn to magick chiefly as a form of insurance--that is, they use it along with actions that actually bring results. For example, hunters may use a hunting charm. But they also use their hunting skills and knowledge of animals. The charm may give hunters the extra power they need to hunt even more successfully than they would without it. If they shoot a lot of game, they credit the charm for their success. Crops grow without it, and sick people get well without it, but the belief in magic can bring about many wonderful things.

Many anthropologists believe that people have faith in magick because they feel a need to believe in it. People may turn to magick to reduce their fear and uncertainty if they feel they have no control over the outcome of a situation. For example, farmers use knowledge and skill when they plant their fields. But they know that weather, insects, or diseases might ruin the crops. So farmers in some societies may also plant a charm or perform a magick rite to ensure a good harvest.

Ancient times. The use of magick goes back at least as far as 50,000 B.C. About that time, prehistoric people buried cave bears, probably as a magick rite. Scientists believe that much prehistoric art had magical purposes. Hunters, for example, probably used cave paintings of animals in rites intended to help them hunt the animals.

Magick was important to the ancient Egyptians, who used amulets, magick figures, and rites. The ancient Greeks and Romans tried to tell the future from dreams. They also consulted priests called oracles, who interpreted advice from the gods.

According to one legend, the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus were astrologers who located Him by magick use of the stars. The Bible has many references to magick, sorcery, and witchcraft.

During the Middle Ages, nearly all Europeans believed in magick. The clergy considered magick sinful but believed in its power. The so-called science of alchemy included much magick. Alchemists hoped to discover the philosopher's stone, a magick substance that could change iron, lead, and other metals into gold. They also sought the elixir of life, a miraculous substance that could cure disease and lengthen life.

Many men joined a secret brotherhood called the Rosicrucians, an early version of the present-day Rosicrucian Order. The Rosicrucians studied magick lore and devoted themselves to curing the sick and helping people in other ways. The Masons, another secret group, also had elements of magick in their rituals.

From the 1500's to the 1700's, belief in magick continued widespread. Even highly educated people believed in its power. The Swiss physician Philippus Paracelsus, for example, experimented with alchemy and believed in the power of talismans. Sir Isaac Newton, the famous English astronomer and mathematician, studied alchemy. Thousands of persons were tried and executed as witches during this period.

Many forms of magick tried to predict the future. People believed a person's character could be described or the future foretold in various ways. These methods included studying the palm of a person's hand, facial features, or even the moles on a person's skin. Some people used tarot cards, a set of playing cards with special pictures, for fortunetelling.

After about 1600, advances in science gradually weakened people's belief in magick. But as late as the 1700's, the Italian magician Count Allesandro di Cagliostro won fame for his powers. Cagliostro traveled through Europe selling love potions and elixirs of life.

Magic today still plays an important role in the life of many ethnic groups. Even among modern peoples, magic has many followers with an interest in such subjects as astrology, fortunetelling, and witchcraft. For example, many people who have faith in astrology read their daily horoscope in a newspaper.

Countless people believe in superstitions that involve forms of magick. Some persons carry a fetish, such as a rabbit's foot or a lucky penny. They believe these articles have magic power to bring good luck. Homeopathic magic appears in the superstition that a newborn baby must be carried upstairs before it is carried down. This act guarantees that the child will rise in the world and have a successful life.

Magick also survives in much of today's advertising. The manufacturers of such products as gasoline and headache remedies boast of new, secret ingredients. Advertisements may indirectly suggest that a mouthwash or a tooth paste will magically transform an unpopular person into a popular one. Many people buy these and other products for the magick qualities suggested by such advertising.
Whatever the reason or how it is done, the existence of magick cannot be denied. The following chapters look into many different ways Wiccans practice magick. The areas range from herbology, gems, crystals, stones, tarot, spell casting and even the development and creation of spells and a personal book of shadows.

Some other GREAT Wiccan/pagan blogs are linked to on the side in the "Blogs I creep" section :)

What witchcraft is not

I am just posting a few basic things to start off is all, for those who don't know what Wicca is or very little, or have misunderstandings about it. Again, I didn't write this myself.

• Witchcraft or Wicca is not a cult. We do not proclaim ourselves to be spokespersons for the divine or try to get others to follow as their leaders.
• We do not worship Satan or consort with Demons. Satan is a Christian creation. We do not need a paranoid creation of supreme evil and eternal damnation to scare us into doing the right thing and helping others.
• We do not sacrifice animals or humans because that would violate the basic tenant of "Harm None." One who does and claims to be a Wiccan or a Witch is lying.
• Wiccans have no need to steal or control the life force of another to achieve mystical or supernatural powers. They draw energy from within, and from personal relationships with the divine and nature.
• We do not use the forces of nature or the universe to hex or cast spells on others. Again, "Harm None" is the whole of the law.

Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Three which states that whatever you send out into the world shall return three fold either good or bad. With this in mind, a "True Witch" would hesitate in doing magick to harm or manipulate another because that boomerang that is thrown will eventually come back much larger and harder than thrown.

This is not to say that Wiccans are perfect, we are human too just like everyone else and make mistakes and errors in judgment. Just as there are parents who love and nurture their children, there are parents who abuse their children. As there are many who devote their lives to giving and helping mankind, likewise there are those who devote their lives to taking advantage of and using people for their own gain. Unfortunately the same flaws in human nature apply to witches too.

Most Wiccans continually strive to consider all potential outcomes of their thoughts and actions pausing to seriously consider the consequences before undertaking a ritual, spell or rite that could go astray. It is when the path is followed with the love of the Goddess in heart, and it adheres to the basic tenant of the Reed that these works are beneficial and achieve harmony and balance with all things.

The heart of Wicca is not something summed up into a few short words and can often take on different meaning to each since the Lord and Lady touch everyone in different ways. Through the wisdom and words set down through the ages, you will find that you are able to understand the basis of these beliefs and how they may apply to you. Your inner voice will also quickly let you know if the intent of what you are reading is for superficial purposes to benefit self instead of working to benefit the whole. Remember to read with your heart, for it is when you see life and the world with your heart and spirit that you truly gain an understanding of what Wicca is.

What witchcraft is

Again I did not write this

Witchcraft is a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and will of the individual, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature thereby affirming the divinity in all living things. Most importantly however, it teaches responsibility.

We accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we make. We do not blame an exterior entity or being for our shortcomings, weaknesses or mistakes. If we mess up or do something that brings harm to another, we have no one but ourselves to blame and must face the consequences resulting from those actions.

Wicca acknowledges the cycles of nature, the lunar phases and the seasons to celebrate their spirituality and to worship the divine. It is a belief system that allows the Witch to work with, not in supplication to deities with the intent of living in harmony and achieving balance with all things.

The spells that are involved are based in healing, love, harmony, wisdom and creativity. The potions that are stirred might be a headache remedy, a cold tonic, or an herbal flea bath for pets. Wiccans strive to gain knowledge of and use the natural remedies placed on this earth by the divine for their benefit instead of using synthetic drugs unless absolutely necessary.

We learn from and revere the gift of nature from divine creation by celebrating the cycles of the sun, moon and seasons. We search within ourselves for the cycles that correspond to those of the natural world and try to live in harmony with the movement of this universal energy. Our teachers are the trees, rivers, lakes, meadows, mountains and animals as well as others who have walked this path before us. This belief creates a reverence and respect for the environment, and all life upon the Earth.

Wicca also reveres the spirits of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water which combine to manifest all creation. From these four elements we obtain insight to the rhythms of nature and understand they are also the rhythms of our own lives.

Because Witches have been persecuted for so many centuries, Wiccans believe in religious freedom first! We do not look at this path as the only way to achieve spirituality, but as one path among many to the same end. We are willing to share experience and knowledge with those who seek wisdom and perspective. Wiccans practice tolerance and acceptance toward all other religions as long as those faiths do not persecute others or violate the tenant of "Harm None."

Introduction to Wicca

I did NOT write any of this, and you can find it all over the place.

Contrary to what many people believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of thinking and life, which promotes wholeness with the divine and all which exists.

Wicca is a deep appreciation in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is put simply, light and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earth’s nature and being humbled in reverence. To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. If this is your path, may you walk it with honor, light and integrity.

Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. While much of the information of how these ancestors lived, worshiped and believed has been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe Wicca existence from history, we try to reconstruct those beliefs to the best of our ability with the information that is available.

Thanks to archaeological discoveries, there now is a basis to believe that the origins of Wicca’s belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess. With the discovery of these cave paintings, estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world today. These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wicca as a view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it.

Witchcraft in ancient history was known as "The Craft of the Wise" because most that followed the path were in tune with the forces of nature, had knowledge of herbs and medicines, gave council and were valuable parts of the village and community as Shamanic healers and leaders. They understood that mankind is not superior to nature, the earth and its creatures. Instead we are simply one of the many parts, both seen and unseen that combine to make the whole. These wise people understood that what we take or use, we must return in kind to maintain balance and equilibrium. Clearly, modern man with all his applied learning and technology has forgotten this. Subsequently, we currently face ecological disaster and eventual extinction because of our hunger for power and a few pieces of gold.

For the past several hundred years, the image of the Witch has been mistakenly associated with evil, heathenism, and unrighteousness. These opinions have origin in a couple of different places.

To begin, the medieval church of the 15th through 18th centuries created these myths to convert the followers of the old nature based religions to the churches way of thinking. By making the Witch into a diabolical character and turning the old religious deities into devils and demons, the missionaries were able to attach fear to these beliefs which aided in the conversion process. Secondly, as medical science began to surface, the men who were engaged in these initial studies had a very poor understanding of female physiology, especially in the area of a woman's monthly cycle. The unknowns in this area played very well with the early churches agenda lending credence to the Witch Hunters claims and authority. The fledgling medical professions also stood to benefit greatly from this because it took the power of the women healers away giving it to the male physicians transferring the respect and power to them.

Unfortunately these misinformed fears and superstitions have carried forward through the centuries and remain to this day. This is why many who follow these nature oriented beliefs have adopted the name of Wicca over its true name of Witchcraft to escape the persecution, harassment and misinformation associated with the name of Witchcraft and Witch not to mention the bad publicity the press and Hollywood has given simply to generate a profit.