QUESTION - I am told I am a natural witch, this actually feels accurate though the abilities I have I have yet to control intentionally. My question is in your opinion is there such a thing as a natural witch? I could go into more detail but I want an opinion that is not from what I say about myself.
Answer – There are four different schools of thought on this. I’ll clarify all of them and then explain which one fits closest to my own viewpoint and how I believe this relates specifically to your question.
Firstly there is the belief that a witch is born not made. There are traditions who will only accept somebody into their ranks who can prove witchcraft in their family tree. This is the thought that the practise of witchcraft is a hereditary ability and that people who do not have witches in their bloodline are not considered to be witches themselves.
Secondly there is the thought that anybody can become a witch if they commit themselves to studying the craft. This is the idea that a witch is simply somebody who practises (and obtains results from) the study and implementation of witchcraft. People who subscribe to this belief suppose no pre-requisite ability necessary before a person can begin practising. Anybody can become a witch if it is a path they wish to follow.
Similarly to the second point there is the belief that not everybody has the ability to practise witchcraft but those that do are not dependent on it being present in their bloodline. This is the closest interpretation to that of the “natural witch” and simply put is the belief that a person cannot learn to be a witch but they can actualise the inherent power in them to become a witch. This belief is that a witch is somebody who uses the natural power within her to practise her craft.
Finally there is the belief that a person becomes a witch when they undergo a rite of passage and make an irrevocable commitment to witchcraft. Many believe it necessary for this formal commitment to be undertaken in conjunction with others following a craft path. The often quoted “It takes a witch to make a witch for example.”
My own view is that “witch” is a descriptor of what a person does rather than what a person is. To my mind a witch is simply a person who practises witchcraft. A person can certainly be disposed to practise witchcraft due to discovering they have talents they can utilise on a craft path but I believe natural magic is present to everyone to some degree or other. The difference between the witch and the non witch is not that she has the ability to use magic it is the fact that she chooses to use magic.
This does not mean however that I would dispute the idea of the natural witch. Some people do possess a far greater ability to work magic than others and there are many gifts (clairvoyance, spirit communication and healing to name a few) that a “natural” witch may possess to a far greater degree than is usual among those not following a craft path. Witchcraft isn’t really that different to anything else – some people will be predisposed to being better at it than others. Some witches have an innate feel for magic and how to use it and I’d be happy to use the term “natural witch” to apply to these individuals.
I would make the distinction between someone who has a natural talent for magic and somebody who actually chooses to practise witchcraft. I don’t use the term “witch” to apply to even the most gifted of individuals. I dislike the idea of formal dedication or initiation being a necessary requirement but I do think there is a moment in the mind of the individual when they make that decision to cross over. I'd say that moment of choice even if involves nobody but the witch herself is an integral first step toward taking her path.
I firmly believe that a witch makes the conscious choice to practise witchcraft. I think you can be predisposed toward being a witch but until you make that conscious choice to start practising you are not fulfilling the definition of what it is to be a witch.
So in answer to your question I believe you may have a natural aptitude for magic and undoubtedly if you chose to follow the practise of witchcraft to progress these talents you may well be very good at it. You do however point out that you are not using your abilities intentionally - you are not deliberately focusing intent to bring about result so t this moment in time you have not made the choice to begin practising witchcraft.
Do I think that your innate abilities make you a witch today? No - you need to make the choice to use your gifts in the practise of witchcraft. Do I think if you choose to do this you could call yourself a witch when and if you choose to start practising? Absolutely.
There are several things which contribute to the execution of a successful spell. The first is a focus on the intended outcome. A spell which is vague as to what it is trying to achieve is unlikely to be successful. A witch who succeeds at a working is a witch who know exactly what she wants to achieve from it.
It is important to be confident, not just in the intention of the spell but in yourself when casting it. Magic doesn't work on a hope for the best basis, it works by the caster taking control of the process that will force the desired outcome. There is no room for curiosity or "fingers crossed" when performing a spell, you need an absolute belief in the fact that what you are doing will work. This can be hard to come by as it is a bit of a chicken and egg situation - it is hard to get the confidence in the outcome without having experienced successful casting but then successful casting is dependent on the certainty of knowing that what you are doing will work.
If I was writing a "how to" guide on casting a spell - these are the steps that I would suggest you follow:
1. Know precisely what it is you are trying to achieve and hold a visual image of your intended outcome in your mind throughout your casting.
2. Ensure you are aware not just of what you want your results to be but also the process by which your results will come about (You might want to increase your income for example, so you would work this back to establishing the fact that you need a promotion at work, identify the person who is likely to make the decision about promoting you and target the efforts of your work in this direction. This will have a much greater level of success than just sitting in front of a candle hoping for some money to turn up on your doorstep.)
3. (Slightly contradictory to point 2 but nobody ever said magic was simple) Be open to the fact that magic can manifest itself in different ways and expand your mind to allow for different paths and routes to actualising your outcome.
4. Understand what established traditions or correspondences you are bringing to a working and understand why you are using them. Don't just look things up in books, think why orange might be associated with luck.
5. Bring your own creativity to your work and again understand why you have chosen to cast in the way you have. Think about the types of magic and which will suit your purpose the best. Don't use fire for the sake or it for example, consider if a candle is necessary for your spell and what value it is adding for the working you want to perform. Try and bring a relevance to your outcome in every part of the spell you construct.
Success in magic is very much linked to a full understanding of what it is you are doing and why it is you are doing it.
I found a spell to halt the storm. When doing a spell like this should one be specific as to if it is a life storm or a weather storm?
I'm always very dubious when I hear the phrase "I've found a spell..." And your question illustrates why that is perfectly. Magic at the most fundamental level is the changing of intent to effect and I'm sceptical that this can be achieved without a full understanding of how the spell is designed to work.
To me the only way to understand a spell inside out is to write it yourself, from scratch, relating every element back to the goal you are trying to achieve.
The spell you have found here sounds very interesting but if the author of the spell hasn't even managed to make clear what general area of magic his/her working falls into then it probably isn't a very good spell to be honest. Specifics are not "nice to haves" or useful in a spell they are the intrinsic nature of the magic itself. If a spell doesn't even manage to be specific enough as to name the desired outcome then it is fair to say it is going to be a flop.
Picking up the idea of weather magic - this is a difficult area of magic for even the most experienced of magical practitioners to perform. Any witch with the ability to pull off this level of magic will almost certainly not be a witch who looks for spells in books.
I don't like to leave answers on a downer so to look for a positive way forward for you - the only thing I can suggest is that you study the spell and you own it. Decide in your own mind which kind of storm you wish to use it for and then ensure you understand all the wording and how it relates to the purpose you have selected for the spell. It doesn't really matter if your intent differs from that of the person who wrote it, the important thing is that there is a clear link in your mind between the steps of the spell and the outcome that you personally want to achieve.
But my primary advice is to write your own spells. The work of others will only get any witch so far and no further.
I tend to find the prosperity spells that work best are the ones involved with a linear tangible idea as to how the increase in funds will come into being.
Casting into the air so to speak - to bring money into your life - always feel a bit woolly in my experience. It is hard to direct intent with precision if the spell is something along the lines of: "I'd like some more money please!"
To successfully draw money toward you, the first step is to think rationally about the likely ways this money will come about. Casting to increase your chances of gaining a better job or promotion at work is something you can work toward both magically and with mundane skills to bring it about. You can also bring the understanding of how the money will come into your life into the spell and this will help you to direct your intention with more clarity. If employment isn't relevant to your situation you could cast in relation to tax being credited back or influencing people who owe you money to pay it back. Providing you have a firm grasp of the practicality behind the spell this type of magic has a good chance of success.
Money of course works two ways - you can influence it toward you and you can prevent yourself from losing it. You could look at utilising your utility and household bills to prevent increases in your monthly outgoings with the emphasis being retaining the money you do have (try binding your bills to prevent them from growing). You could also look at casting to reduce the temptation of spending the money you do have, altering your own perception as to what your money should be invested in. Again this type of magic will be more successful than classic "come to me money" spells.
If you are keen on getting into the basic attraction magics then green is often associated with being the colour of wealth. You could do something as simple as lighting a green candle and expressing your desire for improved finance into the flame. I think this is a touch vague though. I prefer attraction magic to be more firmly anchored in a chosen direction. Working with magnets - one representing yourself and one representing wealth and gently drawing the magnets toward each other in the smoke of a green candle may add more direction to your spell. Better still if you employ this idea in line with the suggestion of using a tangible source of expected wealth.
Money and luck tend to go hand in hand within magic so doing spells to improve your luck may well have an effect on your prosperity. Luck magic is an area where I do personally like to use common correspondences and I have to say the old orange and basil oil combination works for me every time. Try anointing your bank statements with a mixture of the orange and basil oil and then tying them firmly in a bundle with a green ribbon while visualising the statements looking healthier and reflecting better financial circumstances.
As I don’t have a policy of doing sex polls with my fellow witches I’m not sure I have enough data on the intimate lives of magical practitioners to give you a very thorough answer to this question. If you pressed me to guess I’d be inclined to suppose that witches, who by the very nature of their craft tend to be open minded and receptive to all the possibilities the world has to offer, may extend that experimental nature to the bedroom. (Seeing as you’re so interested - my own sex life incidentally is as imaginative and flamboyant as they come).
Once again it is impossible to make this level of generalisation about witches. A witch is an individual who practises witchcraft. Note the emphasis on individual. She isn’t the sum of her witchy parts, she is a person with her own identity and will therefore differ in many respects to other individuals who happen to follow the same path. To suggest “all” witches think/do anything is to reduce their identity to a stereotype which is both dangerous and unbelievably naive.
Your question implies a very simplistic way of looking at things and usually this level of generalisation doesn’t work well when trying to draw conclusions about any group of people (perhaps this is even more true in the case of witches…)
The mistake a lot of people make is to assume that the good/bad is inherent in the magic itself whereas of course magic is actually a neutral force which works to serve the intent of the witch.
The intent of a witch is dependent on the nature of the individual, the circumstances the individual may find his/herself in and the changing nature of his/her moods. Very few people are absolute in the sense that they always act with total bad or total good. Most of us make bad decisions sometimes, lash out in temper, hurt people or act in our own self interest at the expense of others. Witches are no different – practising witchcraft doesn’t change the intrinsic blueprint that makes a person what they are – the vast vast majority of witches as with anybody else have a blend of both good and evil in their hearts.
There are witches who choose to exclude their practise to either good or evil. Well I say that but what I really mean is that there are witches who choose to use their magic for positive purposes. You’ll hear a witch term herself a “white” witch by which she means she focuses exclusively on non harmful magic but you’re much less likely to hear a witch dedicate herself to “evil” as it is human nature for a person to believe they are acting for the best of reasons. So even if a witch is happy to use her craft for harmful and “darker” purposes that might be considered “evil” by others it is more than likely that she can justify what she is doing to herself as being the right thing to do.
So to sum up my answer – witches can be good, bad, either, neither or both.
Ok, this one comes up time and time again and to be honest I find it very frustrating because the most rudimentary search on the internet will easily eliminate any confusion about this book/
So before we look at what the Necronomicon actually is – let’s look at what it isn’t:
It isn’t a secret spell book book used by modern witches
It isn’t the first grimoire in existence
It isn’t a old esoteric occult text
It isn’t even a real book at all…
The Necronomicon is a fictional book referenced in the writing of H.P.Lovecraft (of Cthullu fame). The book has never existed in real life and has no significance to witches beyond an enjoyment of the author’s writing. You can find all you need to know about the Necronomicon on the Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necronomicon and I strongly suggest if you hear anybody claiming to own/use this book for real you have a good laugh at them and tell them to do their research before spouting and making themselves look a pillock.
Image - http://www.deviantart.com/art/Necronomicon-73693115
QUESTION - I’m getting really confused on what is a tincture, a tisane, an infusion, a potion, etc? What’s the difference to a witch?
ANSWER - This used to really confuse me too! I remember once telling a far more experienced witch that I was going to make a tincture from boiling water and herbs and she sent me quite a pitying email with the polite suggestion I do some research first… Lol!
Simply put, a tincture is a solution where the main ingredient (usually herbs) is steeped in alcohol to produce a concentrated liquid solution of the herb. The alcohol absorbs the flavour/scent/property of the herbs and is a useful way of preserving the herbs for future use - alcohol is a very effective preserving agent. Alcohol is an excellent choice for a base dilute if the tincture is intended to be consumed. For a non consumable tincture (perhaps one intended for spell work rather than for drinking) other substances (most popularly and far more cheaply) like vinegar can be used.
A tisane is very similar to a tincture but instead of herbs being infused in alcohol they are infused in heated water. The simplest example of a tisane is a plain old cup of tea.
An infusion is a generic term for both the definitions above but tends to be most commonly used in witchcraft to refer to an infusion of herbs in oil. Oil infusions are rarely for consumption (though they can be – think chillis in olive oil) but they can be used for anointing, dressing candles or even for body massage. Infusing herbs in oil will make them go further as the oil brings out the potency of the her.
Just to confuse things further there is also decoction which is the method of boiling a substance to extract a substance from it. This tends to be used for harder substances like tree bark or roots (substances that wouldn’t yield much if just steeped in fluid). Decoction involves breaking up the substance and then boiling the broken pieces up into a concentrated liquid.
The term potion is less easily defined as different witches will use it in different ways and the term can be quite subjective. The dictionary defines it as “A drink or draft, especially one having or reputed to have medicinal, poisonous or magical powers.” So with this definition a tincture, a tisane or an infusion could all be considered to be a potion. I’d personally widen the definition of potion to also include liquid solutions not intended for consumption. I’d include in my own definition of a potion a liquid I made up to pour across a boundary, a liquid I created to anoint a person or poppet or a liquid I made for the purpose of immersing a taglock.
QUESTION - I’m thinking of getting a pet to use in circle work. Not necessarily as a familiar but as another creature who can lend energy to my workings. I’m a solitary and don’t want to work with other people. Have you any suggestions as to what pet might work well for this purpose?
ANSWER - I like the idea of working with an animal in principle but although I can see the value of including an animal in your circle work I do wonder if the practicalities might make things a bit awkward for you.
The trouble with animals is that they don’t necessarily recognise circle boundaries, they are easily distracted by outside influences and they always pick exactly the wrong moment to do a foul smelling trump. And nothing kills the concentration at a serious moment more than a stench from your beloved pet’s back end…
So I think you need to consider the pet you use less from a magical perspective and more from a practical perspective. Magically each animal will have different attributes so unless you plan on focusing almost exclusively on one type of magic there will be times with any pet where they will add more value to your casting than others. A frog for example might bring a strong association with power and strength but would lack the intelligence of a cat or the adaptability of a snake.
The first thing I would think of if I were you is a pet that isn’t likely to wander off in the middle of what you are doing. I’d dismiss cats and dogs because of this factor. I know some witches who have managed to cultivate a cat for magical purposes but all five of mine have proven themselves to be utterly devoid of any ability to even sit still, let alone assist in my casting. Unless you are exceptionally lucky cats and dogs are tricky pets to work with.
Amphibians move very quickly so I think a frog or a toad would disturb your concentration because you’d be waiting all the time for it to hop off. Same with reptiles – though I’ve had pet snakes that seem happy enough to sit in one place so possibly you’d have some luck with a corn snake.
Rabbits – well they might work but I’m actually quite scared of bunnies so I don’t want to think too much about them (I watched Watership Down too often as a child!). Rodents – especially rats would work well because they are clever creatures who bond well with humans and who could be persuaded to curl up in a warm pocket and stay still. Again though it would depend on the rodent. And whatever you do, do not under any circumstances use a degu… Goddess alone knows what kind of forces would be released into the universe if those little madams were ever trusted with spell work!
I think my regular readers might know which animal I would personally recommend for circle work. As a keen tarantula enthusiast I don’t think you could go far wrong with including an eight legged friend in your magic. Granted you need to ensure you have a docile, slow moving terrestrial new world tarantula (something like the Chilian Rose) that won’t be tempted to either run off or give you a venomous bite. But the advantage of the tarantula is they stay still, they don’t make sudden movements, noises or smells and they have a menacing energy which can be very useful in hex work. If your primary consideration is a pet for spell work then you really can’t go wrong with a tarantula and you have the benefit that they are low maintenance, cheap to keep and really rather friendly as well.
Image – I’ve gone for a rabbit as a picture of a tarantula might make my readers jump whereas the bunny is only going to frighten me!) http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1195681donzeladef
This is a common issue which comes up a lot and it seems to stem from the misconception that if a witch isn’t spending all her time 24/7 immersed elbow deep in her cauldron she somehow isn’t doing witchcraft properly. I think it’s a shame that some witches feel such guilt about the time they spend actively practising the craft but I also think there is an element of not really understanding how witchcraft can be fused with the mundane world.
Very few witches have either the inclination or the personal circumstances to dedicate themselves to being a witch and nothing but a witch. We all have lives to lead and depending on the nature of those lives and what is going on at any one time different things will naturally take turns to take precedence. A witch with a full time job or children, a witch who is married or a witch who (like myself) owns a lot of animals will find her attention is pulled in a lot of different directions. To push the demands of everyday life to one side with the determination to “be more witchy” would be silly.
Witches, like everybody else, do not live in a vacumn. We have to interrelate with the real world and if sometimes that means we are not able to spend hours in ritual or dedicate full evenings to circle work then so be it. However, as any witch will tell you, witchcraft is not something you switch on and off. A witch doesn’t stop practising because her time is limited, she adapts the way she practises to suit the time she has. She doesn’t say – I’ll be a witch again next week when I’ve got more time! When time permits she may favour elaborate ritual but when time is tight she will adjust her crafting to suit the time she does have.
I’ll give you a personal example – when I’ve got the time I like to set the scene with candles and incense, meditate before casting, get myself into the right headspace by clearing out the worries from my mind - that sort of thing. This isn’t necessary to effective casting but it is my preferred default position when time isn’t a premium. When I’m busy with work (and husband and pets and novels…) my casting might simply become a drop of oil spilled here, a symbol drawn there, a stir in the dinner with some words of intent... It will be quick, reactive and spontaneous and none the less effective for the lack of ceremony. Little everyday actions support the blending of my mundane and magical lives and enable me to keep my focus as a witch even when I’m occupied in other areas.
The fact that witchcraft doesn’t have to be something you specifically set time aside to “do” seems to be hard for new practitioners to get their heads around. Being a witch isn’t a huge time commitment that you have to struggle to fit into your already overflowing diary. Being a witch is a state of mind that is with you at all times, regardless of what you need to do in the mundane world. In point of fact some witches never indulge in ritual and never set time aside for anything elaborate. The more confident you become in your abilities the less you need the security of the tools, the props and the formality of circle/ritual and the more adept you become at doing magic on the fly. You learn the art of gently manipulating the world as you go.
Also if you think about it, a lot of crafting is borne from necessity. I don’t cast spells just for the sake of it, I cast when I need to. If I’m on track with what I expect from my life I can go days or weeks without needing to cast. I’d go so far as to say an experienced witch who has her life in order probably casts less frequently than somebody starting on the journey of making the changes. So don’t worry – there’s no set hours you need to practise each week to justify your craft in your own mind. Just keep an eye out for the chances and the opportunities to bring your craft into your life and you’ll find you strike a balance that works the best for you.
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