QUESTION - I am very new to witchcraft and to neo-paganism. I have only been personally referring to myself as pagan for about 4 months now. Although I do plan to be a witch, I have not yet cast any spells nor do I intend to in the near future. I have cleansed a few things in the moonlight to be placed on my altar because I like the idea of cleansing an object of any negative energies and quite frankly, it just feels right. However, I have found that many sites suggest that along with cleansing must always come charging. From what I have so far learned, I kind of hate the idea of charging anything.
I have diagnosed anxiety and it is not uncommon for me to feel as though I have all of this pent up energy coursing through me that cannot be properly released. I imagine this being how an object would feel if it was "charged". I don't really think that an object would need to be charged in order for it to be powerful. Instead, I think that just my intent and my touch would be able to give it magickal energy.
Can you try to explain what exactly charging is? I have found many articles on how to charge something and why you should but not so much on what exactly charging is.
ANSWER – I find this question very interesting because at the beginning of your question you speak very confidently about what feels right to you (the cleansing) and justify doing it on the basis that your intuition is speaking to you. Yet toward the end of your question you feel obliged to do something (the charging) that very obviously doesn’t feel right to you on any level, because you have read that other witches do it.
You got it right at the beginning. Yes there are certain practical craft guidelines that most witches follow that we have learned from passed down wisdom which generally tend to work. But intuition is still your most powerful guide. If something feels right, chances are it is and if something feels wrong then chances are it won’t work for you. Craft work is at its most potent when a witch understands why she is doing something and when she believes what she is doing is going to work. If you cannot align an action with your own understanding and intent then to be honest you might as well not bother doing it. Witches who just “go through the motions” rarely end up with any success.
Charging is best described as the transference of energy. It is basically taking energy from one source and transferring that energy into an object. It’s not actually all that different to charging up your mobile phone from the mains except the energy used in magical charging is more concerned with changing or enhancing the essential nature of the object. Magical charging will concentrate energies for a specific purpose and is most commonly used to project positive energy into an object. This could be to give an object power (think charging up crystals for healing work), a purpose (think charging up a wand or atheme) or it could be for storing different types of energy as a basis for future spell work. I’ll give you a personal example, I often tie knots in string to capture the energies of different emotions and moods which can then be burned during relevant spell work to release those energies for an intended purpose, This is essentially charging the string. I am drawing the energy from myself and storing it into the newly charged piece of string.
I rather like your comparison to a charged object being jittery with anxiety. Perhaps what you need to do is use another word rather than charge. Instead of thinking about charging with all the connotations of electricity and crackling energy think instead about gently infusing an object with a sense of purpose. That’s if you bother doing it at all. If the idea doesn’t work for you then you might be better off ditching it. You can always come back to the concept if you find a need for it later.
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