QUESTION - Hi! I'm not very well practised in the craft so I will just establish that before I lead into my 2 questions. Firstly I will start with a story. I was reading a spell book once and went onto the love spell (or rather attraction spell) section, this was also the first time I ever considered casting a spell like that. (Now as I said I'm not very well practised in magic so I wouldn't really know where my magical talent lies but I never thought it would be spells of that nature!). Anyway I read the instructions and read what the ingredients were and thought about the type of person I wanted to attract. A day or two past (at that point I wasn't even 100% sure I was going to go through with the spell), and I met someone who had all the traits I was thinking of when I was merely thinking about the spell and the person I wanted to meet; two of these traits being that I wanted them to be from Eastern Europe and the other being for them to live in the same country but a different city to me. Now I would have thought of this being a coincidence if it wasn't for those two very specific wishes being fulfilled so I guess my first question is... Do you think it is possible I made some magic happen just by considering using it and thinking about my specific desires?
ANSWER - I think this is certainly possible. I've had some results myself on several occasions that have come from planned rather than actualised spell work and it is a bit of in joke between witches that on occasion we have reaped the rewards already from the spell scheduled to perform next week!
If you think about it, the act of working magic isn't that much different from focusing your thoughts. You are sending your desire into the world in the form of energy and spell work simply provides a structure for this to happen. But that isn't to say that such a structure is always necessary. Some spells are extremely simple - think candle magic where you are simply gathering and focusing your will - unconscious casting is just taking this a step further. I'd go so far as to say that there are many many people out there casting magic without even knowing it simply by holding a vision of the outcome they want in their mind and concentrating on it. A lot of what people actually put down to luck I see as being unconscious casting. (I'd actually go even further and invite you to consider the similarities with prayer and the many religions who consistently get similar results from praying. Not really much different to casting is it...)
So an unequivocal yes to this one. And I'd add that it is worth being aware of what you do focus your thoughts on. In a couple of cases I haven't had the heart to perform negative magic against certain individuals but I've been (enjoying) thinking about it enough to get the results anyway...
QUESTION - Do you think it is possible to cast a successful love spell on a specific person if my sex is not what their (claimed) sexual preference desires? Thank you!
ANSWER - Interesting question. My first instinct was to say no but after a bit more thought I'd say it isn't impossible - there are circumstances in which I can imagine such a spell being worked.
The crucial factor to my mind would be how deeply rooted a person's individual sexuality is. Sexuality runs on a spectrum from hard straight to hard gay incorporating all the many possibilities in between. I actually find it hard to get my head round the extremes of both ends. As a dyed in the wool bisexual I can't imagine not fancying everyone! But it is important to respect that some people simply are homo/hetero sexual with not an inkling of interest in exploring the opposite end of the spectrum. Do I think magic would work to change their preference? I suppose it might but depending on what type magic was cast. Certainly you couldn't change the intrinsic nature of a person to the extent that you switch them from straight to gay or gay to straight. You might however be able to plant the suggestion to open their mind to the possibility or at least to get them thinking about it. You may also be able to work magic to make yourself more masculine/feminine and in conjunction with a spell to open the target up to the possibility of exploring an alternative sexual path this might have some effect. I'm sceptical though, spell work to change the basic nature of a person is extremely hard to pull off and with something as personal as sexual preference I don't think you'd have much success.
With the people in the middle of the spectrum this is potentially easier magic to work. Using myself as an example I can see how I could be enticed to prefer one sex over the other. I sit right on the balance so I'd only need a light push where the absolute homo/heterosexual would need a hell of a magical shove. If your target is already open to the idea of a flexible sexuality you could work magic to encourage them to experiment. You could certainly work magic to persuade a bisexual that you were their chosen sexual ideal - this wouldn't be vastly different to the typical love spell.
In the case of your question, the way you word it suggests you believe the person may not be entirely telling the truth about their sexuality anyway. In this case you might be better going down the route of a full disclosure and honesty spell to get them to admit the truth about their nature rather than trying to employ magic to change them.
I'd add the caveat that even if it is possible to influence a person's sexuality it is a pretty immoral thing to do even more so if it is done purely for your own benefit in snaring them as a partner. Taking something as personal as sexuality and twisting it for your own needs is using that person as no more than an object of gratification. It is saying their identity matters less than your pleasure and although no doubt you will find some witches who would condone such a thing - I wouldn't. And as with any form of love spell even if you did form a relationship this way it isn't based on genuine emotion, it would be based on manipulation. I can't see that relationship having much of a future and the insecurity it would bring you of knowing how flimsy are the foundations of your love would destroy any hope you might have of happiness.
So theoretically Yes - should you do it - No.
QUESTION - Thank you for being here, I know that my life is so much more - more than being a Christian and talking in "tongues". My life is magick more than anybody can know. It is about living life and raising live stock and in return the taking of life - chickens cows pigs... but also respecting and caring for the life that is sacrificed for me. Being a rancher (or farmer) I love animals but respect what they give us.
I am more than I seem.. but I'm not sure what that is. I have felt this way since I can remember and I connect with the pagan views as though it is my soul but I lack any guidance. I MUST GROW AND LEARN or I feel my soul will burst... can you help?
ANSWER - I'd say you were well on your way to walking a Pagan path. You have a life that fits with the changes in the earth and the seasons and a thirst for development that transcends the mundane . You are not allowing yourself to become immersed in (and consequently stifled by) routine. You want more - that is very evident from your question. What you appear to be less certain of is how to get that more.
It strikes me that what you are thirsting for is knowledge. This makes you different from a lot of the people who write to Ask a Witch a Question - in most cases those starting out on their spiritual journey are almost intimidated by their access to information and knowledge. They have facts at their disposal but often lack the understanding of how to translate those facts into an innate spirituality. You seem the opposite - you have the understanding of how to embrace nature at the fundamental level but you are struggling to fit the intuitive behaviours and lifestyle you already have into a more structured framework of practise.
The first thing you can do is to develop an understanding of what you already do in a wider context. Think about the things you do that have become routine and try to understand why you do them. Use the routine tasks to stimulate a meditative train of thought. Think about how being a farmer helps you connect with the land, with the animals you work with. Consider how your ancestors might have farmed differently. Think about the technologies and techniques you are privy to in the 21st century and how things might have been different 100 years ago. By taking the nature of your life and pushing your understanding of what you do further you are entering into the philosophy of what it is that you do. This will achieve two things - it will stimulate you mentally and it will help you appreciate your role in the cycle of nature. Both will help as your progress further on your chosen path.
I also think you would benefit from sharing your journey with other people. I appreciate this isn't always easy in some parts of the world but there are forums, pages, websites - a wealth of like minded people out there who can walk the path a little way with you. I say this because I pick up a real frustration in your desire to get on with things now and you would get more of that immediacy and sense of moving forward from talking with others than you would sitting on your own with a book.
That said there are some good books that will help you get started (and quench some of that thirst for knowledge hopefully). This site is mainly Wiccan but has some good free books on it. This site has some more Pagan based literature along with some books on Druidry which might appeal given your affinity with nature.
In terms of getting to know people - This forum is very Pagan focused and very welcoming to newbies. You will find lots of different boards and blogs with a real emphasis on getting to know you. Put yourself out there and get chatting to people on the same boat. Sometimes just knowing you're not alone on your journey forward can make all the difference.
QUESTION - Can someone be 'stalked' or followed through their crystals or rocks they've bought from others?
ANSWER - What you'd be looking at would be some type of enchantment. Theoretically possible but an enchanted object is usually an item that has had something put in it - you can imbue an object with love to invoke positivity in the recipient for example or you can work more malicious magic and spell an item to hurt someone.
To actually get an item to relay information back to you would be difficult. It would be possible to set up a kind of psychic link between you that might allow the caster some sensation of your thoughts and feelings but in terms of actually "stalking" you or getting factual information back about you via the crystal - I'm iffy about the practicalities. I'm not saying it wouldn't be beyond the capabilities of a very experienced magical practitioner but anybody with that level of power would have a very definite reason for doing so and you'd know who they were and why. This is not the kind of power that would be used for random purposes. I'd also be surprised if a crystal was chosen for this purpose - if I was attempting to cast this type of magic I would want something with a much more personal connection to you - a necklace perhaps or a piece of clothing.
If you have feelings of unease about any crystals you have purchased then a much more likely explanation is that they have picked up some negative energies and just need cleansing. Depending on what kind of crystals they are (some like selenite are water soluble so best not to get them wet) you can bury them in the earth for a few hours, wash them in moon water, lay them on a bed of quartz or smudge with sage (or any other purifying incense would work fine). If you still feel that the problem exists after cleansing then I would advise you to get rid of the crystal. Casting into the sea would be ideal but any large body of water would be a good place to rid yourself of it. Don't sell it or pass it onto anybody else because in the (highly unlikely) eventuality that the crystal has been enchanted to absorb your energies you don't want it falling into anybody else's hands.
Give it a good old cleanse and then listen to your intuition - if it still doesn't feel right then treat yourself to a trip to the seaside and chuck it.
QUESTION - I live in a flat and have no garden, how can I ground myself? The excuse of a communal garden is not somewhere I would place my bare feet! How can I connect when all I have are my indoor plants. Advice please.
ANSWER - Earthing and grounding differ slightly in definition and I suspect that what you are referring to here is the process of earthing. Earthing is making contact with the earth, normally in bare feet and for the purpose of absorbing the energies of the earth into the body. Grounding is the process of channelling your excess energies into the earth. (Definitions vary between witches but this is a good basic overview).
In terms of grounding I don't think not having direct contact with the earth is a barrier. I tend to ground indoors myself (usually on the second floor) and with practise it is easy to establish a mental link between the self and the earth. The trick to grounding indoors is to focus on sinking your energies through the levels of the house and beneath into the earth. If you visualise transcending each barrier it should get more comfortable to project the tired energy and focus it draining from you. Remember that what would be a physical barrier to the body need not be a barrier to the mind.
Earthing by its very nature is going to be harder without a garden but I do have some suggestions. Instead of walking on the actual earth you could make a ground substitute. One of the best ideas I've ever seen on this subject was a witch who grew a tray of grass (just as you would a houseplant) and kept it indoors to stand on when grounding/earthing.
You could also put a stage between yourself and the earth - you could take a stone or a rock and hold it when you ground, projecting your energies into the stone. This could then be buried in the communal garden for the earth to break down the negativity in the stone naturally. You could achieve the same effect by siphoning your emotions into a bowl of water and then taking it outside and pouring it on the earth.
Nothing to stop you holding one of your houseplants, allowing it to absorb your energies and then putting it in the moonlight to bathe away any negative energy that in a more traditional method of grounding/earthing would have been absorbed into the earth.
Image http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1445310%20 pasip
QUESTION - I am not a witch or a wiccan, but i wonder, having used with varying success non magickal methods, if there is a charm or spell to help my 4 cats and my newbie (had her 2 years now) rescue cat make friends.
ANSWER - It's rare I answer a question on here with an "I don't know." Quite often I have to research an answer and sometimes I chat things over with other witches but usually I manage to offer something better than a confession that I'm truly boggled...
But this time I have to confess that I'm stumped. And the reason I am so certain that I'm stumped is because I am in exactly the same position as you are. We have four established adult cats and a very young cat who decided to come and live with us last year (no luck trying to find owners). One of our older cats hates the newcomer - hisses at her, spits and tries to assert her dominance at every opportunity. Lots of aggression and nastiness between them and to date nothing magical or mundane that I have done has made any difference.
Calming the cats via magical methods hasn't worked, nor has keeping them apart at night, water spraying them when seeing bad behaviour or making every attempt to reassure them that they are loved. The only thing I haven't tried that I have been recommended and intend to try myself is using feline pheromones to promote a more relaxed relationship between them. Link here
I'm sorry I can't be more help - I want the answer to this one as much as you do!!
What I will do is put this on the Facebook wall with a shout for advice and see if anyone in the community has any ideas that might help you...
Good luck! (And if you get there first - pass it on x)
Image http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1344085%20 iggypcat
QUESTION - I may be relatively new to following my heart as I march off down the Pagan path, but I'm not new to people. I've learned a number of things as I do my research and gather my things as I try to find MY own path. One of the unfortunate things I've seen is outright charlatanism from some who would claim to be witches, pagans, Wiccans, shamans, etc. I'm not terribly surprised, just a bit disappointed.
What triggered my question is this: I'm a fan of an online shopping site for handmade items, and sometimes I'll just type in a word like "Autumn", or "Forest" and see what comes up just for fun or to 'window shop. I typed in "Pagan" out of curiosity and found a neat assortment of goods marketed to Pagans---to include spells. When I typed in the word "Witchcraft", a disturbing number of spells for sale came up---some quite pricey and often promising things that really shouldn't be promised such as "Haunted Penis Enlargement" or spells to bring a lover back into one's life, or some similar thing. What is your take on "spells for sale"? I find them unsettling and the whole of it just irks me.
ANSWER - In the main I agree with you. Pre made spells seem more about making money than they do achieving any actual value in themselves. Part of the efficacy in casting a spell is anchoring the intent to the target to bring about the desired effect. I find it hard to understand how a witch could seal her intent into a spell and sell it to a stranger. How would she know where to direct the intent? It simply wouldn't work. I find spells that make outlandish claims to achieve x. y and z to be a waste of money particularly if they are sold to people without a basic working knowledge of magic.
Having said that there are some concepts of spells for sale that I could see working. It would make sense for a non magical person to pay a witch for her time, that way the witch would understand the target and the desired effect and could channel her energies appropriately. It might also be useful for someone who has some magical experience but who doesn't have the confidence to write their own spells to buy a spell off a more experienced witch. In this case the caster would be following a pre established format but it would be their energies used in the spell and they who would be casting the spell. I suppose this is what spell books are for, come to think of it.
I can understand a witch making a potion to sell (though I struggle to understand anybody who would buy and consume a potion from anything other than a source they know very very well) and I can understand the value of selling spell ingredients. Even base spell kits - for example an oil blend with instructions as to how it could be put to magical use - could have some value. It's more the pre packaged complete everything in a box kind of spell that I dislike the idea of. I'd question why anybody would bother as well - when I want something done I don't want to rely on anybody else, I want to make sure it is done properly. Asking others for advice, support and ideas is great but when it comes down to the intent of the person who wants the spell casting are going to be the most intense. Far more valuable for a spell than a kit form by some anonymous witch sold in a new age shop.
Some spells get people's hopes up and exploit the innocent, others are just commercialised claptrap designed to part fools and their money. Effort in magic as in anything is rewarded. If somebody wants a spell casting that much their money would be best spent on buying a good introduction book to magic work and learning the basics themselves.
As for haunted penis enlargement??! I spluttered coffee all over my laptop when I read that. Seriously?!!
QUESTION - I've had trouble with depression all my life, but this runs deeper than a simple plea for some way to magically cure depression.
A few years ago I resided in a house that had what Christians refer to as "demons" inside it. These demons physically attacked me--at least it felt physical--and ever since then I've had... issues.
At first it was unnoticeable, and as the writer that I was I continued to write. However as I continued to write I noticed that my muse was getting weaker, until it was almost completely non-existent. Then the same started happening to other areas, until now where I am a shell of the man I used to be. It's as if something constructed walls in my mind, that get stronger the more I try to push through.
I have no actual proof that these events are related, however, I have this... feeling that these may be. I have also noticed that I've been feeling a slight headache coming on ever since I started typing this (although that's probably not related).
Now, finally I come to the question I've been seeking answers for so long...
Is there a way to restore myself to my former self?
Answer - I see your question as falling quite naturally into three parts - the depression, the link with demons and the ability to define and hold on to the self. I'm going to address the first two individually and then pull together with the third for some advice at the end.
Depression to my mind falls into three distinct categories - chemical depression which isn't impacted by circumstance, post traumatic depression which relates to issues in the past which are causing emotional problems in the present and situational depression which is a reaction to problems in the here and now.
The trouble with depression is that if you diagnose the wrong type the cure won't work at all. A person may have a perfectly happy past and present and simply be depressed because that is the way their mind functions. It would be irrelevant to offer counselling or practical solutions to help their life because it isn't their life that is making them depressed, it is the chemistry of their brain. Equally if someone is suffering depression because they cannot surmount troubles in their present or is haunted from issues in their past throwing pills at them will only alleviate some of the symptoms at best. Counselling, life guidance and a way to work through the difficulties will work better.
I'm no doctor so this is an uninformed non medical opinion at best. But what I do know for certain after watching many of my close friends battle with depression is that depression needs to be taken seriously. The colloquial and common way the word is bandied around fails to convey the
very genuine suffering of those afflicted with it.
Demons divide the opinion of witches and some (particularly the new agey type) refuse to believe in their existence at all. However many witches do incorporate some element of demon working into their craft and although it isn't something I get very involved in myself I certainly wouldn't deny they exist. The term demon can be used to define anything from a sentient spirit to the "inner demons" of the human mind (Christianity incidentally has a similar ambiguity in definition).
The latter definition if not entirely akin to depression could certainly be a factor in it. If you think in terms of guilt, hate, frustration... the negative demons that plague us - these are paving the way for depression.
The more traditional idea of the demon as a separate entity could also be viewed as a catalyst for depression. Demons are generally deemed to be the more negative type of spirits, they feed on the negativity in the human mind and look to inspire dark emotions for the energies they produce. Spending time in a place where demons are present would sap your energy and send you to the darker places in your mind. I said earlier that I recognise three types of depression but possibly if we take haunting to be a type of depression we can add a fourth.
You'll notice I use the word haunting rather than demonic possession. True demonic possession is extremely rare and the symptoms rather more like those depicted in The Exorcist than most people would feel comfortable acknowledging. You quite clearly are not suffering from demonic possession so I won't go into detail here. Suffice to say that both religious figures in most religions and witches could be requested to perform a banishing ritual. But somebody with experience should always be consulted. It's one of those very rare times I find myself in agreement with the Catholic church - you don't send a newbie to perform an exorcism.
Now coming to the crux of your question - the restoration of your former self. The way I view the self is that we are all born with a basic blueprint of the person that we are. We can develop and evolve but we never stray entirely from the person we were born. So I don't think you have lost who you are, I think who you are has been masked by the depression. I think you are still there but you are struggling to relate to yourself.
I don't personally (and I could be wrong of course) think that the depression you are suffering now is linked to your experience with the demons in the house you no longer live in. I think it may have weakened you at the time sufficiently for the depression to get a grip but if you were being directly impacted by demons your symptoms would have worsened considerably over the years since you resided in the house. I think it is worth you performing a simple banishing ritual for peace of mind and cleansing if nothing else but I don't think the demons are the issue here.
The symptoms that you describe are very likely severe depression and as I always take pains to point out - you do need to seek medical help. The medical profession takes depression more seriously than they ever have. It always surprises me when people are reluctant to look to chemical help for depression. I've taken anti depressants myself and far from turning me into a different person they helped me clear the fog and feel myself again. Yes we can explore less obvious solutions but sometimes the simple answer is the one that works and especially in the case of depression sometimes (and I stress sometimes) a prescription can be all it takes to start to get back on track.
Depression aside - to find yourself again you need to take steps to distance yourself from the things that are weakening you. Unhappiness can be debilitating. Look for practical changes you can make in your life - think about what things will make a difference. Find some selfishness and put your real self first. Think about what you want rather than what you should want and reach out and take it. Situational depression seems to be most common in people who feel they are living their lives for other people and that can lead to an alienation from the true self.
Elevating the mind to a higher plane will also have an impact. Rather than struggling to produce work yourself take the pressure off and immerse yourself in the arts - listen to beautiful music, read beautiful fiction and allow your mind to remove itself from the mundane. The depths of our souls are stimulated by the emotion of art. Poetry in particular can spark that connection with your real self.
Before I detail a simple banishing spell, there are other things you can do to clear your body and mind. Take a bath in salt water to purify yourself. Learn to create a protective shield around yourself to keep negative influences at bay. Make time daily to sit for a short while with just your own thoughts for company. Spend more time alone without distractions or stimuli and learn to enjoy yourself and your own company again. And slow down - turn down the pace of how you live your life and drop the expectations of yourself.
Sandalwood has associations of connection to the self - it may well be worth mixing a dilute sandalwood oil and anointing yourself with it twice a day.
So finally - if you are concerned about the demonic element of your questions there are some elements of a banishing ritual you can perform. Most of them are detailed here in this question I answered for another reader but I would add it may be prudent to carry salt on your person.
There are several interpretations of the concept of the familiar among witches and no single definition as agreed by all. I'll detail a few of the different ideas for you and then you can decide which view works for you the most.
1. The idea that the familiar is a vessel for a part of the soul of the witch (no prizes for guessing where the inspiration for JK Rowling's horcruxes came from). The link between the witch and herself is strengthened by the bond and the familiar is used to do the bidding of the witch. I don't do it personally but I know witches who claim to use their familiars as their "eyes" and send them into the world to send back what they see via a telepathic link. This idea of storing part of the self is also used in inanimate objects and some witches will give life to a soul doll which may also be put to use to serve specific needs of the witch. I personally find this a bit far from my own personal practise to be comfortable - I don't have a strong enough link with any animal as to actually be able to see through its eyes. But this definition works for some and may work for you.
2. There is also the idea that the familiar is a guide from a past or future life that is drawn toward working with the witch and who seeks her out to offer support and guidance. A variation on this is that the familiar is a reincarnated soul mate of the witch who happens to be an animal in this life but who wishes to retain the relationship.
3. A more practical viewpoint is that a familiar is any animal employed in magical usage with his/her owner. So a cat who falls asleep on your lap is a furbaby and a cat who gets involved in ritual is a familiar.
4. The familiar is often confused with the idea of the fetch which is best described as a entity separate in spirit to the witch but linked to her (for want of a better word) soul by a connection between them. The fetch can manifest itself as an animal but this is likely to be a conscious choice to deepen the connection and not through any affinity with the chosen animal itself. A fetch does not have a corporeal body though it may borrow one if required.The spirit of a familiar will be resident in the allotted body for the length of the body's life span in much the same way a human soul is resident inside a body until the body ceases to live.
5. Some witches believe their familiar not to possess a physical body and consider an animal spirit to be their familiar. This explanation of the term blurs with the concepts of the animal guide or the totem and can cause confusion. I have to say it contradicts my own view of a familiar - to me a familiar by definition has a physical body. Some witches consider a demon to be their familiar -though this is very rare as demons do not play a large part in Trad Craft.
So that gives you an idea of different ways the term familiar can be defined. Some witches take the term even more broadly to encompass any animal loved by the witch but it is more common to believe the familiar is a spirit or a soulmate housed in the body of an animal for the duration of its relationship with the witch in this incarnation.
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