Back to Basics of Magick – Lesson 1
Class Basics & Etiquette:
First, I wanted to take a minute and thank each of you for embarking on this journey. As you know this is a year long series of classes that will have us revisiting and exploring in depth topics on magick that we at times take for granted. The hope is that if you are a seasoned practitioner that you will take something new away from each lesson that will deepen your practice. If you are new it is meant to give you a good foundation on which to begin your practice.
As you can see from the syllabus there are a total of 12 lessons, beginning with the one here. Each month a different aspect of magick will be touched on. Some topics that we’ll discuss are ritual, laws, witches pyramids and more. The lessons are designed to make you think and discuss.
Each lesson will also contain an assignment. There will be instructions on how to complete these and if you will be asked to email it to me directly or if it will be strictly in the forum. I highly encourage discussion in the forums. The more you discuss with one another the more you will get out of the class. I certainly don’t have all the answers and differing perspectives encourage growth. I do ask that you be respectful of one another. If debate becomes too heated I will step in to moderate the discussion.
Lesson 1: Ethics of the Witch/Wiccan Practitioner
If there is one thing that I have found out over my years as a practitioner of magick is that it requires a great deal of personal responsibility and ethics. This certainly isn’t a light topic for a first lesson but I think it’s a terribly important one. A pagan author, and a good friend, often says being a witch is a lot of work. She’s right!
For me, personally, I have seen a lot of people looking for the easy way out and they think that magick is the answer. Certainly rituals and spells amplify and enhance our lives, but we must do so responsibly. So, what exactly does that mean?
First, I am never hasty in casting spells or performing ritual. You want to make sure that you are in the right frame of mind. If you cast in anger or without fully thinking everything through it affects your magick and its outcome. A perfect example of why this is important comes from a personal experience. When I was a much younger and more impulsive individual I just decided that I needed a change. So I did magick to help effect that change. I did a spell and it worked, but not the way I thought it would. My life for months was in a constant state of change, I moved and changed jobs. Twice! I also ended one relationship and started another almost instantly. It was crazy, and until I finally connected the dots on what I had done my life was in chaos! Obviously, I did work to negate what I had set in motion and things finally began to settle down. It was a very important lesson that I had to learn the hard way.
If you are angry, don’t do magick. This is a rule of thumb that I live by. Why? Well it’s easier to take the time and cool off. Rather than cast a spell that would be rash and impulsive and that ultimately you’d regret take a time out. Give yourself at least a day to sit on the situation and think it out. Someone started a personal attack on a friend of mine and her first reaction was to bind them. Well, there is a time and a place for this, but since she acted and did the spell in anger all it did was bind that person to her. It was a mess and took a lot of time to rectify. In retrospect she agreed she should have taken a moment to reflect. The ethics involved here also should deter you. Performing a spell on someone is in and of itself something that should not be done lightly. Add to that the fact you’re emotionally charged and it’s just not a good combination.
An important aspect of magick is that it follows the path of least resistance. So, make sure that your intent is precise and clear. The more thought you put into your spells the better the results and the more predictable they become. I like to think of spells like recipes. Once you’ve made a recipe a few times you know the basic routine. You know what works and what doesn’t. You know that to get the right results you put in specific ingredients and leave out others. It’s the same way with spells. You have to know what the right correspondences are and those things that work in harmony together. Taking the time to properly prepare your ritual/spell is the sensible thing to do. You don’t want to do a prosperity spell just to come into a large sum of money because some distant relative passed away.
As a magickal practitioner, even if you aren’t Wiccan, you’ve probably heard of the Wiccan Rede; ‘An it harm none, do what ye will.’ We’ll discuss this in depth in another lesson. However, make sure that anything you do is for your highest good. If it involves anyone else at all that you have their permission and it is for their highest good as well. I personally do not do work for anyone that I do not have permission from. I find that my magick work best and encounters the least amount of resistance when it is invited and expected. You also need to learn to be specific. If you don’t specify what it is you are working for deities, elementals, fae, or the forces at work must guess. That can have unexpected results.
Do everything possible, mundanely, to achieve your goals. Magick should always enhance and support your practical work. For example, what good would it do to perform a ritual or cast a spell for a new job if you never put in an application anywhere? However, if you do the leg work and put out a few applications and resumes you can then use magick to make them more appealing to potential employers. It is a much more effective way to use magick and it’s more productive. What does this have to do with ethics? It makes you a responsible practitioner because you don’t always run to magick first. It means you know that sometimes you have to do the knitty gritty work to help things manifest into your life.
Magick, spells, and rituals are meant to help us achieve and maintain balance. A little common sense goes a long way and shows those you know that you are a dependable and responsible individual. This is important for a couple of different reasons. You’ll encounter those that will come to you for advice and wanting to learn. You want to be a good example for those people. You’ll also come into contact with those individuals that are mundane. They will not be knowledgeable about magick. You will be the person that they associate with Wicca, Witchcraft, or Paganism. If you come across as a responsible and knowledgeable practitioner that carefully weighs the consequences of your actions that goes a tremendous way. You will be, for better or worse, the person that they see as the spokesperson for your religious path. How do you want to be perceived?
1) Forum: Add to the discussion on the forum a little about who you are, what brought you to the class, and what you hope to get out of it.
2) Start a journal to track your spells and their outcomes. What was your emotional state when you performed it? When did you cast it? What was your intent?
3) Email: What does being a witch/wiccan/pagan mean to you? How does personal responsibility play into that? Email me your responses. A minimum of 3 paragraphs are required and discussion on the forum is encouraged.