Magickal Methods- a practical approach

Pagan Pondering: “What type of Magick do you do, or use most frequently? What does ‘magick making’ look like??” Many of us are curious about magick & maybe have read about it, but….what is it like applied to daily life???

First let’s identify our parameters by defining magick for those unfamiliar. Magick is utilization of natural inherent energies directed purposefully toward a goal (differing from ‘magic’ which is sleight of hand trickery). It is neither negative/dark or positive/light, just like water or air can’t be perceived as dark or light. In this sense, magick is a noun…a thing. A type of living, vibrant, latent or potential energy, much like light, electricity, or magnetism.

By combining our intent (our ‘will’) we can effect a change in our energetic environment. In this sense we perceive it as a verb, we perceive that we are ‘doing/practicing magick’..all were doing is using our will & using magickal energies to do work. Some people call upon an aspect of deity to assist them, many do not. Manipulating energies is not inherently bad or good, is something everyone can do if they learn to do so effectively.  It is a very natural thing to do and most often, we do it without conscious awareness of it.  Those who practice magick are just doing it deliberately and mindfully, just as adherents of other faiths do when they pray for another or a particular situation- they’re sending energy outward for an intended effect. Sending energy does not involve Satan or devil worship or any such church-promulgated hate rhetoric or similar vilifying folklore.

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As each of us possess a life force energy, we all possess the ability to manipulate this energy inherently.  I’d propose that, largely, magick is who/what you are, is within you intrinsically like your life-force (God-Spark) animate energy & not just an act you do. That your own type of signature ‘magickal energy’ is inherently yours. It’s not something than can be ‘turned off & on’ but rather something you can deliberately amp up or ground downward.  In my experience its always there whether I perceive it to be static or active, but a type of energy neither created/destroyed and able to be combined with other things & shifted around. We shift things gently over time through magickal living in our day to day lives and we also shift things in more forceful ways deliberately through targeted spell work or ritual practice.

 

What does my daily magick look like? 

Daily magick is different from ritual or spellcrafting. It’s rather informal and unstructured, so here’s a random list of ‘daily-type’ things this particular magickal person does:

I write out intentions & have a charged manifesting box I add them to, I have a fetch doll I use that I made when the need arises, have a witch’s garden where I grow plant allies with a purpose and also as a celebration of life;  do crystal gridding; create magickal waters. I meditate in nature; talk aloud continuously with my guides/angels; have whimsical items in my home to welcome fae which share my residence with me; I bless things as I cook with them; use visualization daily; often send random blessings & healing energies to whomever/whatever I choose (always with the intent that it be applied in their highest good). I leave offerings to my perception of deity as a way of practical worship (honor life, rebirth & air by attending to the needs of the birds at my place for example; or collect items from the beach and make temporary altars of them to honor the ocean & earth; collect local seeds & spread them on sparse ground).

I say thanks aloud for beautiful clouds & serendipitous moments; & when I experience a bubble of unbound joy I purposefully send it outward….  When I shower I deliberately use essential oils and my purple-tinted shampoo, and visualize my energetic body getting a good once-over, too. I have charged color coordinated stones that are laid between my mattresses to help my energetic body clear/rejuvenate at night when I sleep, according to the chakra system and tailored to my personal needs.  I have tarot-type decks for spirit-led guidance & a pendulum I use for internal guidance when I feel compelled. I use this pendulum for also balancing my own energetic body, and have a separate one I use for balancing the energy of others and also locations which feel ‘off’ to me.

I love burning natural candles in my home & do so nearly every day, I frequently make my own as well.  I drink herbal teas as a sacred way to honor myself, often using those herbs & flowers that I have grown (sometimes I bathe in them too!) I listen to pagan music because I love it (Pandora);  I love & revere all aspects of nature;  have little mini-altars all over the place but not until recently did I realize that’s what they were….collections of things of a theme used to provoke me. I clean my home incorporating herbs, oils, waters & salts.

Separately from these, I find making music soothes me and use it as a means of informal worship to ‘all that is’; read metaphysical books; research extensively; and have constructed my own personal grimoire– a collection of my magickal learnings over the years, to use as a tailored reference book for myself. I’ve a cupboard of random things collected in as a personal apothecary (from cascarilla powder & dirt from Death Valley, to pussy willows, glitter, and a bottle of bubbles for blowing). I use these items often on a whim as inspired, or other times as part of a pragmatic approach to effect an energetic shift in spell crafting.  Sometimes I whip out a circle & scry for a while, sometimes I create sacred space & make a poppet. Sometimes I’ll write down things I’m ready to let go of, make a fire & light those up as a form of release (either in a cauldron or outside at the firepit). I have created and use talismans programmed to do certain things for me/my family, and also amulets (usually of the mineral kingdom) used for protection.  I find the Solar Sabbats holy, frequently celebrate the cross quarter Sabbats, & routinely honor monthly Esbat.

Mind you, these things aren’t cleanly labeled and obvious in my life, however to the magickal practitioner are notably present.  They are part of who I am, because I create the space for magick in my life and create things specifically for the purpose of doing magick. I participate each of these day-to-day  routine things without really thinking too much about it. I’m a bit eclectic that way. I like finding excuses to celebrate and explore things and do on both large and small scale helplessly.  I find deliberately celebrating life & honoring creation is a great way to honor that universal energy that created us, even as we all argue about who/what it truly is.

Even after all of this, this ‘daily life’ list doesn’t include any specific description of what I do when I set out to specifically, and purposefully, ‘do magick’.

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Magical Practice…

‘Doing magick’ is called ‘practicing magick’ for much the same reason as ‘practicing medicine’ is referred to as such- it is a practice, an art, a craft of the witch, a skill which is honed through deliberate application and study, observing and measuring outcomes and adjusting accordingly over time.  It’s a passion & is work.  It takes organization, effort, & focus. It is specific to a task at hand, a specific situation ‘I will’ to change and is what I’d call ‘active’ magick. It is spell casting as practiced in witchcraft, and btw is independent of any specific religion.  Pretty much everyone who practices magick keeps written track of what works for them & what doesn’t over time. This deeply personal and detailed record is called a Book of Shadows.

A BOS is not unlike a journal in which a person writes their home-brew recipes and journals trials, errors, and results of different batches and different combinations of ingredients. By recording your method (using the scientific method, actually) and your results, you hone in on what works for you. Know that what works for me may/may not work for you.  There isn’t a right or wrong, but rather a more effective/less effective- for you personally.  As ALWAYS, take which aspects of methods which jive with you and leave the rest.  Your work must be authentic if you’re seeking authentic results. You will find there are different ways of doing magick. ..cauldron magick, wind magick, time magick, plant magick, ocean magick, solstice magick, moon magick, candle magick, blood magick, sex magick, etc. .. it’s endless and the sky is the limit, really. You’ll have to see what pulls you. I suggest you keep track of it in a BOS so that you can more easily see patterns, & too recommend that you use a 3 ring binder because you’ll be adding to it & adjusting it quite a bit.

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Here’s how I go about ‘practicing magick’ deliberately..how I cast a spell (using ‘candle magick’ as an example):

1. I get a specific targeted goal (singular, not plural) in mind & plan out what is appropriate for the specific task at hand using my intuition, my guides &/or reference books.  I use herbs, oils, crystals, candles, incense & symbolism figure out who/what to invoke… according to their correspondences & my intuition. I’ll aim to incorporate the five senses & also the five elements…from stones, feathers, shells, chimes, to flowers, seeds, blood, ice, old photographs, taglocks, etc.  (NOTE: Be mindful not to include the kitchen sink- often simpler is better)

2. I cleanse & ground myself, collect items needed & charge them up/program them, then link them all together so that they work harmoniously toward my goal & then often leave them on an amethyst slab or pentacle to soak…

3. I write out my incantation on a blank sheet of paper (a script usually written in rhyme). Once satisfied I rewrite the finished draft onto a blank BOS worksheet.

4. To this sheet I add the list the tools/items to be used for my BOS. (After the working, I can edit this preliminary draft to what actually occurred & later record my results) The BOS sheet will ultimately have the name of the spell, my incantation, an ingredients list, a record of who/what is to be invoked, a date/time of the working, a timeline for expected results, current lunar cycle & will in the future contain a description of the spell results. I will commit the procedure to memory before doing the working.  I restate for emphasis- it’s important to remember to give the spell a time frame within which to work.

5.  From there I write an ‘objective’ statement of my intended outcome onto a seperate piece of charged & charmed natural paper…written in current tense in black ink & it’s a condensed version of my verbal incantation spell.  This slip of paper is separate from my BOS worksheet that I use as a log, and is something I generally burn in ritual. Sometimes it’s a statement, sometimes a crafted sigil, but it’s always short, sweet and directly to the point. It’s often a focal point in my work but is not a necessary component of candle magick, per se. It’s just my preference.

Sometimes I seek the ‘proper timing’ for a working, other times not. But when I decide to do my work, I’m always psychologically ready.  When ready, I grab something to pour into my goblet (always, often wine) & an offering (sometimes..) get to work!

6. I create my sacred space by cleansing my work space, tools, myself & the items I’ll use. Sometimes I cast a big circle, other times I’m rather informal about it.  Note: The circle separates the magickal from the mundane, is a protective barrier which prevents untoward intrusion, & creates a ‘space beyond space & time outside of time’..a void in between worlds, and is where magickal work occurs.  I always use a form of incense to aid me to clear energies (white sage, copal, lavender/sandalwood etc.), and usually anoint things I work with using sacred water or oil.

7. I call the corners & invoke spirit as warranted (think angels, guides, totems, ancestors, Goddesses, God’s, guardians… whomever I feel appropriate at the time but alway unfailingly inviting Sacred Hecate, Queen of Witches & Goddess Triformis).  I do a prayer of protection, re-center myself & make sure I have everything I need with me. I light my working candles, then ring my bell- it’s a personal preference to do it here at the beginning of my ‘work’.

8.  I use mantras/motion/drumming/ TM to deliberately put me into a state of hypnosis or altered awareness (mugwort, etc. can help here, too)

My spell candle(s) is inscribed, anointed with oil, & frequently rolled in herbs as I work with them & connect with them to get me in the zone & begin to raise power in conjunction with them. If you use invoking/banishing pentagrams you could do that too…

9. I place my prepped candle in the center of my altar & light it (I suppose the spell has officially ‘begun’ at this point). I raise energy about it and through it, linking myself to it and the elements.

10. As I raise energy I can focus on my sigil & place it’s energy into my work, can recite my spell aloud & sometimes I recite my objective outcome statement repeatedly as a mantra in my head or aloud… seriously do anything you feel is ‘right’ in the moment to add to the energy you are raising. Dance, yell, spin, rock back & forth, visualize continually the energy raised & let it pulsate between your work & your core, building & spinning deosil. Belly-breathe into it!  I often add extra herbs to my flame, or roll them up in my small paper & tie it with knots using colored string accordingly… This swirling energy that you’ll tangibly feel is called a ‘Cone of Power‘, is shaped like a cone or witch’s hat & is the vortex of your infused magical energies.  Some perceive it as a wall which grows in height as you build it…. whatever works for you.  One need not be skyclad or hop around a field on a broom to have energy, raise it, and direct it purposefully btw.

11. Once I’ve got it as high as it will go/complete as it can be, however I choose to do it, & have expended all frenetic yet focused energy that I’m able or willing to generate, I let it go. I do this by burning my objective statement that I was fixating on & it’s released as it finishes burning. I direct the built energy outward, sometimes in a specific direction…but usually trust it to go where it needs to without further input from me. As it let’s go I often feel the release as a gush of energy, not unlike wind.  Some people clap or make a loud noise, ring a bell or state ‘So mote it be!‘ as this occurs…to each their own!

12. I let the candle burn down as I regroup & ground…I tend to sit with it in gratitude. Some people release the corners & give thanks at this time, but I do that once the candle has spent itself (I prefer smaller candles😊)..feels more complete to me. I ring my bell signify to my subconscious mind that its time to return to normal time and space, to help snap myself back into my body.

Once my candle is out, I offer explicit thanks to each spirit/thing that aided me, release the corners, cut the circle & imbibe. Seriously, I take a swig of something (wine/juice/alcohol) from my goblet & have a bit of chocolate (either just a pinch of cocoa power under my tongue or a bit of cacao) always on hand in a container on my altar for that purpose. You see, it usually takes a bit to get me regrounded & this helps me. This is the time for clean up & airing out the work space…it’s closing shop.

13. Having done that- it’s time to LET IT GO. I walk away, redirect my energy elsewhere, I distract myself with something else & don’t look back. I don’t ruminate on it, overthink it, don’t doubt. I know that as I will it, so mote it be in confidence.

At a later time I return to finalize my worksheet to add to my BOS…and usually again after I’ve noticed the spell has run it’s course.

That’s it.  May sound complex but it’s not. Figure out a goal, write it down, gather things/spirit to aid the working, light a candle, throw all appropriate energies into it & build it like a bonfire, then release it.

I don’t have all the answers & I am far from expert, and like you, I am learning. I will likely feel novice even after I’ve reached some degree of competency but there is no end to learning and no end to mastery. If I happen to be a chapter or two ahead of you I’m happy to share & encourage you along. If you are a chapter or two ahead of me & have something to share with me I’d humbly receive it from you in gratitude. I do notice the coveting of hard earned knowledge is common with this path. Admittedly some things are to be left unsaid & need to be experienced first hand. But too, sharing safely is empowering to everyone & I’m happy to contribute as I’m able.

 

Hope this helps & Blessed Be!!

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