The word philanthropy derives from the Greek word philanthropia, and it’s meaning is most frequently translated as a love of mankind. Our world can always use a bit more love in it, and so I want to spend time focusing on the spirit of giving. Along with charity, in forms large and small, these are important acts of magick that make a difference in both the giver, and the receiver. Witches can make this a magickal act through the empowering and charging the giving with energy appropriate to the charitable act. As we near the Yule, and the various holidays surrounding the Winter Solstice, this is a great opportunity to work with the energy of the time.
While they both address different aims (philanthropy at the root cause, charity at easing the pain of a social problem), witchcraft can be applied with the work of both. Both charity and philanthropy are humanitarian concepts, and see the value of human life, and therefore practice intentional benevolence towards fellow humans. As core concepts in my own ethics, the overall goal of doing good through action and words, I’ll share some suggestions on how you can incorporate magick into giving below. You won’t find me making suggestions on what groups to donate to in here, but rather how to make your giving acts as beneficial as possible.
Charge your financial donations with sigils.
If you’re donating money, draw money or sigils to empower the use of the funds. For example, you could create a sigil to intend that the money is stretched for the most gain and provides it’s benefit to those most in need. When creating sigils for this, ensure you have your intention short, concise, and as measurable as possible. I wrote about writing intentions while I was still with the Agora, here.
Empower food and home good donations as offerings.
In times long since past, offerings were left for Hekate at the crossroads, and it was usually speculated that these would be eaten by those who had no food. We can use this same principle in a modern witchcraft context, offering meals to the houseless and hungry in Hekate’s name.
If you work with a hearth deity, make offerings in their name and charge the donation with blessings of abundance and removal of obstacles for those receiving the donation. In doing so we can expand the blessings upon our own home.
Not sure of what to include for a food donation? Partner with a local food bank and ask if there is a family you can support. If you have a well organized pagan community or pagan organization in your area, you can also ask them if they have families in need that you can prepare a donation for. Our Yule hamper is including items such as a frozen turkey, fresh root vegetables, bread, canned vegetables, non-perishables like crackers, stuffing, instant potatoes, cranberries, desert mixes, shelf stable almond milk, etc. You can really make this your own.
Work with the spirit of giving as a spiritual entity.
Egregores and spirits are created within the modern world, and working with the spirit of giving can be done with this entity. You might see it as a new spirit created, or perhaps as a part of the collective unconscious. This can happen in many ways, and you might be inspired by my article on the top ten advances in witchcraft.
In meditation, attempt to connect to the spirit of giving within the collective unconscious and ask how you might empower your giving. When I have done this I am usually guided to work on a local level – giving to a displaced or houseless person, a community fundraiser . Put the intent and magickal energy into the work.
Blessings of Love, Will, and Wisdom,
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