Witch on Fire: Witchcraft without Superstition

Lots of folks enter into Witchcraft through the door marked “spell work.” Need is both a universally human thing and a highly motivational thing. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and when you hold a dire need that seems impossible, average folks become willing to venture into the unknown for what they think of as supernatural assistance.

Just about anyone can “do a spell” and follow the directions in a technical manual to relative success. That tends to be the hook; you do the thing, it works crazy fast, JUST LIKE MAGIC, and suddenly you don’t think this Witchcraft thing sounds so farfetched anymore. Hello line, hello sinker.

Newcomers to the Craft may be approaching spell workings from a superstitious perspective; unfortunately, some folks never grow beyond that phase. They don’t yet know WHY these things are done, just “that’s just how granny always did it,” or “that’s what the spell book told me to do.” If they stop there and never pursue the academic understanding part, the occult lore behind the spell can be lost, and it is reduced to dogma.

Everyone works magick on some level when they make a wish and blow out the birthday candles, or pray for some change in their lives and it comes to pass. However, a magus knows WHY these techniques work; they have both the knowledge of what to do and a relationship with the ingredients. Magi can back up their magick to write their OWN technical manual, improve it, engineer an even more kick-ass Spell 2.0. They are artists who climb out of the traditional box, and enhance both their life and the Craft effectively.

Fantasmic Evil Queen Casting a spell

By HarshLight [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Superstition versus Empowerment

You should know, dear reader, I make no room in my witchcraft for superstition and I hope you won’t either. Either know why it works, what quality the ingredient can and should bring to the work, or don’t do it. Much of spell work is a kind of theater of poetry, but if you don’t know what the metaphors mean, you cannot enact them accurately. Not that we can’t hold some “faith” in what is currently ineffable, but the difference between “magick” and “superstition” is fear and ignorance, both binding of our power.  Consider this definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Superstition: noun
•    a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck.
•    a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.
•    an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition.
•    a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary.

I know full well that there are whole systems of magick designed to draw on fear and utilize coercion of the “supernatural,” but this definition doesn’t describe my practice at all. I understand the causation at play, I am not afraid, I know things, and I hold no concept of  the Supernatural, because nothing can be outside of nature when you are a panentheist. Moreover, I have a lifetime of evidence in my support.

My magick might involve the unseen dimensions and a non-incarnate being or two, but these are places I’ve been, beings I know, and I have a damned good idea why it works.  If the spell I’m doing isn’t empowering me, and freeing me from fear, ignorance and an “irrational abject attitude,” why would I bother to do it? Mama Heron don’t mess about.

To continue reading this article at its home on Witch on Fire, click here!

 

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Witch on Fire: “Money Pot” Spell for the Harvest Season

[Originally posted at my patheos.com blog, Witch on Fire]
During this harvest season, I would like to share with you a “Money Pot” spell, that brings wealth and abundance into our lives.

While Southern Conjure is a form of folk magick that I have the most yet to discover, I’ve found over the years that these traditional spells are some of the most creative, and yet down-to-earth spells, you can enact. I appreciate this form of folk magick that is so inherently tied to this “neck of the woods” where I’m from. For me, they work like a charm!

The idea of a “Money Pot” was first introduced to me by Orion Foxwood (1), when he taught workshops here at our local Samhain festival in 2012. Later, I was privileged to work with him further at an intensive training weekend, where he took us into deeper detail about the culture of Appalachian Conjure and Root Work techniques. Now, I make good use of these techniques in just about every magickal working I do.

Heron's "Money Pot" spell--a work in progress over 4 years. Photo by Heron Michelle

Heron’s “Money Pot” spell–a work in progress over 4 years. Photo by Heron Michelle

My money pot has now been a part of my altar for 4 years, and through meandering trial, error, and research it has grown to become a reflection of my unique path and relationship with the Powers. A money pot, like a mojo hand, or any other talisman one nurtures over time, becomes radically personal, and should not be touched or tampered with by anyone other than it’s owner.

I encourage you to “field test” this experiment for yourselves. Start with the basic recipe, but get to know each player for yourself. Feel it, develop a relationship with each spark of consciousness within, and know exactly which powers you are awakening and calling to your aid. Then trust your guts as you evolve the working over time for your own needs. I’m an eclectic, so I have no problem blending what I know from across traditions, so long as I approach both the Spirit within, and the culture, with knowledge and respect. You do what feels right for you.

Click here to continue over to Witch on Fire for the complete directions.