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Welcome to Ask-A-Witch. Please feel free to explore our previous answers and advice, but we are no longer answering new questions. We hope you enjoy the information provided and wish you all a very witchy day!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Francois from Washington, DC

What can you do with magic?

I check in here now and then because some of the questions are interesting, and some are amusing. A lot of people ask for pretty outlandish things like the ability to make it snow at will, control fire, or grow bat wings. "No" seems like a pretty expected reply to whether that can be done for them through magic.

Other things get a yes though... questions about how to deal with person X who may have put curse Y on me, for instance.

What I'm trying to understand is where and how someone might draw the line between realistic ideas for spellcraft and between things that are pure fantasy. I'm the furthest thing from an expert (I'm not even Wiccan, though it interests me and I've read several books on it). However, up till now my understanding of magic has been that it's almost a way to supplement things that are broadly already (at least potentially) in your control - a way to transform your will into reality, so to speak.

Academic success, for example. That's something that heavily depends on what you do (or fail to do). A spell/ritual for success on a test might have the goal of strengthening your intent, and helping you focus on those things you had to do as a result. By focusing more you do better, and it's entirely realistic (to me) for someone to say that the spell/ritual played a role in their success.

Success in job hunting is a bit less directly in your control (you're competing against other applicants, and are subject to the whims of individual interviewers, etc), but I understand magic being used for things like that as well, since your own actions, effort, and intentions are going to still be heavily responsible for the outcome.

To me though, situations where people are worried they've been cursed by someone else, etc, seem categorically different. These are situations where you're worrying almost entirely about someone else's intentions, right? I have a harder time accepting that someone could work a ritual that would have an impact on someone else's actions or desires. The same goes for questions regarding love spells (leaving aside ethical questions as to whether that kind of a spell is proper in the first place). I mean, you can focus on your own reality and intent ad nauseum, but how can you expect your own private spells/rituals to alter the intent of another person? Magic to make me focus on the desires of my partner more strongly seems real to me, because it's concerned with what I can do. Magic to make my partner become more deeply enamored with me strikes me as fantastical though, because it's focused on their will and their intent.

Also - using the above academic success example - what's the difference between someone using a spell/performing a ritual for success, and someone waking up early every day to get coffee, clear their head, figure out what needs to be done and then focus in on it? Would it be wrong to think that the second situation is almost just magic/ritual by another name?

Sorry if this is a bit long - and I really hope it doesn't come of as being critical or anything. I'm just interested in better getting my head around the the concept of exactly what magic is regarded as. Maybe my own present understanding is entirely off-base with what most practitioners think in the first place?

Thanks for your time, and thanks for this blog! It's really interesting to keep up with.

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Dear Francois,

Fantastical magick, aka movie magic, is any form of energy that simply cannot happen in reality. Fireballs shooting from the hand, freezing hands, blowing shit up, flying through the air, and teleportation... those types of magick just don't exist. They require a bend in reality that is just not possible.


Real magick is in fact real because when a person is working a spell or performing a ritual, not only are they focusing their intent to a specific outcome, but they are raising their energy and directing that energy out into the universe to create a specific outcome. The very fuel of magick, aka energy, is the intent and the will behind it.

Using your example of the spell to pass a test, the practitioner would raise a whole bunch of energy to help them comprehend the questions and respond in a coherent way. Studying in conjunction with the energy work makes passing the test more possible.

A better example is the job hunting spell. Person A and B are both going for the same job. Their resumes are similar, both asking the same salary requirement, but person A has decided to cast a spell to make them more desirable then person B, giving them a leg up in the job hunting process. Possible employers will be more attracted to A because of the added energy.

In regards to a love spell or focing a person to do your bidding, it is more complicated. Person A's need for person B to be more enamored with them might work for a short amount of time, but eventually person B's original will overcomes person A's desire. It's the same with binding spells. Person A wants to bind person B from doing drugs. This may work for a short amount of time, perhaps long enough to get person B some type of help, but sooner rather than later, B's need for the substance will outweigh person A's need for them not to have it.

Everybody wants to blame their shitty life on someone having cast a curse on them. The truth is 99.9% of people have not been cursed. People are too busy wallowing in their own self pity to be concerned with making others miserable by cursing them. Some fraudulent psychics love to tell people they've been cursed because the psychic can make a few extra thousands on the side by "removing" your curse. The two ploys we hear about most are the family curse and the curse of having a demon attached to you. Both are scams.

In answer to your ritual question, yes, your morning routine is considered a ritual, but not a spell. Your morning ritual helps you prepare for the day and stay focused on what you need to achieve that day. Spell work is focusing your energy and sending that energy out to achieve a goal.

I hope I answered all of your questions. I really enjoyed taking the time to think the answer out.

Witch