Spring Has Sprung!

I hope everyone had a terrific Ostara yesterday! I certainly enjoyed my egg custard. I am currently on my Spring Sabbatical (cleaning up the garden) but I will return soon!

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Spell Work

According to Murry Hope: Practical Magic is the transformation of the neutral Universal energies into practical frequencies that can be molded according to the practitioner’s intentions.

In most studies of spell work and practical magic, it is made clear that there are four main ingredients to any successful spell. Think of them as table legs: need, intention, visualization, and desire.

Many people who are new to spell work mistakenly think that the ritual of the words and the symbolism are the vehicles that bring the magic to our world. Nothing could be further from the truth. A person could have all the right tools and words to perform a spell on just the right day at the right time but if the four pillars mentioned above aren’t present, no magic will occur. Also, spells don’t work immediately. Often, it takes weeks or months to see a spell come to fruition.

Before you begin serious spell work, it is important to do some soul searching first. Those who have a weak emotional or mental state experience great difficulty when it comes to practicing the Craft. It is best to do some meditative therapy first to gain an understanding of your shadow side before beginning spell work otherwise you run the risk of seeing your fears and weaknesses brought into the material world.

Another important factor in spell work is correct timing. When considering the energetic atmosphere in which a spell is to be performed, you must look at the solar time of the year and the lunar time of the year. Also, the day of the week should be considered. Doing an increase spell during times of decrease is like trying to swim against a very strong current with an undertow. When you want to do a spell of attraction in times of releasing energy then take time to rethink your approach.

For example: A popular type of spell is one for prosperity.

First, you must look at your need. Are you behind on your bills and about to lose your vehicle? Or, are you just tired of scraping out a living?

Once you have pinpointed the severity of your need, then you can move on to your intention. This will be something like, “bring a new opportunity for a well paying job that is enjoyable” or “send some financial relief.” With all intention and all magic performed, the most important intention is “with harm to none.” Otherwise, if you work a spell for financial relief now, you may find that a beloved family member will pass on and leave you an inheritance. This shouldn’t be what you are intending.

The next two steps really go hand-in-hand. Visualization and desire are a lot like a covalent bond in chemistry where two atoms share electrons and form an extremely strong bond. (Yes, there goes my scientific mind.) Picturing in your mind’s eye what you want along with how it feels, smells, tastes, etc…. That creates strong magic. You will need to learn to see future events as if they are happening in the present.

Now, for the timing… If you need to do a prosperity spell immediately and you are on the back side of vernal equinox and in a waning moon (both are times of decrease and release)…try a spell which will release poverty or fear of lack instead. Often, we create our own poverty through our fear of lack. Like energies attract, so if you are sending a message to your mind’s eye and the Universe that you fear poverty, you will attract more poverty to you. Instead, if you feel you must worry about something, choose to worry about where you will keep all of the money you will soon be making. Again, make sure that all of your intentions include the affirmation: “with harm to none.”

The Magical Year

It is very important to become fully acquainted with the Magical Year or the Wheel of the Year. Just as the ocean has tides, so does the energy around us. We are all made of energy and everything in the Invisible World and the World of Form is made of energy. Energy travels in waves so doing an increase spell during times of decrease is like trying to swim against a very strong current with an undertow.

The Wheel of the Year is divided into eight events that mark the progress of birth, death and rebirth of our world. These eight divisions are called Sabbats: Yule (winter solstice), Imbolc, Ostara (vernal equinox), Beltaine, Midsummer or Litha (summer solstice), Lughnasadh, Mabon (autumnal equinox), and Samhain. These Sabbats mark changes in the invisible tide of energy.

The Magical Year really ends and begins with Samhain but for our purposes here, we will begin with Yule. This is also known as winter solstice. On this day, we have the shortest amount of daylight. It also marks the time when the daylight begins to increase; thus, marking the time of waxing energy. Our energy levels continue to increase until Midsummer or Litha when we have the longest day of the year. After summer solstice, the wave of energy begins to wane or decrease.

As we are all taught in school, vernal equinox and autumnal equinox are the two times of the year when day and night are balanced. This time is marked by a very harmonious energy.

The quarter celebrations of Imbolc and Beltaine happen during the light half of the year and Lughnasadh and Samhain are in the dark half of the year. During these celebrations there is a natural rise in the energetic field. Here is a listing of the Sabbats, their dates and descriptions:

The hidden Wheel of the Year

Yule: December 21st – winter solstice and the rebirth of the sun
Imbolc: February 1st or 2nd – changing of the Goddess energies from Crone to Maiden
Ostara: around March 20th, – vernal equinox and equilibrium; youthful Goddess and God frolicking
Beltaine: May 1st or 5th , – celebration of union between God and Goddess
Midsummer or Litha: around June 20th – summer solstice; handing off from the Oak King to the Holly King
Lughnasadh: August 1st or 2nd – a switch from growth to harvest; a time of gathering for family and friends
Mabon: around September 23rd – autumnal equinox; self-accounting of your harvest
Samhain: November 1st – honor and remember ancestors; rededicate oneself to the old ways

The Wheel of the Year brings change on three different levels:

The Invisible World – From winter solstice to summer solstice our light increases. This is when the ebb and flow of energy is conducive to increase spells. On the down side of the wheel from summer solstice to winter solstice, our light decreases. This is a time when the energy tides are leaning toward decrease and release.

The World of Form – The Wheel of the Year marks the important signals for our weather which in turn decide our planting schedules and the success of offspring in the animal world. The winter is when everything is resting; the spring brings forth the shoots and buds; the summer offers plenty of sunlight to grow things big and strong; the fall brings in the harvest.

Our Inner Being – The Wheel of the Year also directs the ebb and flow of our inner energies. Beginning with Yule, we quietly meditate on the direction we wish to take during the next turn of The Wheel. With Imbolg and Ostara, we start out on our chosen path and revel in the light. As Midsummer arrives, we stand tall in our present accomplishments and as Lughnasadh arrives, we begin to harvest our talents that we have cultivated all year. Mabon brings a time of accounting. We begin to weigh out our accomplishments of the year and our defeats. We sort out those energies that no longer serve us and look towards cultivating the good energies in the next year. And finally, Samhain is much like our New Year’s celebration. We take time to honor those who have passed and we rededicate our paths in The Craft.

You Can’t Fool Mother Nature

Greetings, from a somewhat grumpy witch! For those of you who woke up in Daylight Savings Time hell this morning, I commiserate. Whether they have me springing forward or falling back, I always end up off-step for about a week. I hate that feeling. Why does it mess with us so bad? Because it isn’t natural (or necessary)!

Cycles are a part of nature. Cycles are what the Wheel of the Year is all about. Without cycles, we are chaos. So, why do we put up with an unnatural cycle substitute like Daylight Savings?

Next week, we will be celebrating Ostara, Vernal Equinox. That is a natural cycle of growth. With Ostara, we get a brief balance of light and dark and then we will travel to longer days and shorter nights. I will be spending most of this week getting my bearings dialed back in so I can focus on Equinox. The modern world seems intent upon chaos sometimes. Like everyone is trying to sing the same song but no one can find the harmony. There are so many kids today who don’t know when seasons begin and end. They even have a hard time with pinpointing holidays. No wonder…this last year, I saw Halloween candy in the stores at the end of August!

Cycles are important. We need to tune our lives with them and we need to learn from them. Tune into the cycles before doing any magick. Don’t make the mistake of doing a prosperity spell during a waning moon. However, there are times when you find yourself in a growth cycle but you need to release negativity. There are ways to do that but you have to work with the cycles in which you find yourself. Use the cycles to your benefit; don’t try to bend the cycle to your will. That is just insanity.