One of the statements I hear a lot from other witches is the idea that “intention is everything” when it comes to magick. But is it really? As occultists one of our aims is to always better our craft with precision and become better occultists. While intention is an important ingredient in a spell, it shouldn’t be confused with the idea of will, which I feel is more important. Semantics? Totally. As witches we learn to work with the subtle, looking at subtle energies as well as slight differences of concepts to help us fine-tune our workings. As witches we understand the power of words, particularly the power of using the right words. If intention were everything, there would be little point to studying and learning to properly employ magick. We could simply buy a copy of The Secret and have a life full of everything we dreamed of.
The problem with intention is that it is vague. Intention is a ambiguously desired outcome. Intention says “I want you to be happy”, “I want a new job”, “I want a new relationship”. But as the old proverb says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Intention is good because it arouses desire within us and gets our gears in motion. Intention is more of a wish. However, intention can stop right there without will. We may even manifest our desire in a way that makes us more miserable. You could get a new job you hate, an abusive relationship or someone else may find the happiness you intend them to by losing all contact with you. You can intend to bake a cake, that doesn’t mean you’re ever going to bake a cake. It means you mean to, not that you will.
Contrary to intention, will is not a wish but rather a command. While I believe that will is birthed from intention, to will something is to tolerate nothing less than success of the desired goal. Will is a contract with the self. It sets a laser-like focus on what we wish to accomplish and how we are to achieve it. It creates a plan regarding which spirits we will petition, which actions we will take and has an undying persistence about it. Unlike intention, will does not tolerate disbelief of others, self-doubt or other energetic factors which can derail it’s outcome.
Many witches end their workings with the phrase “So mote it be” which I have observed has come to replace the idea of saying “Amen” to a prayer among many witches, but it definitely is not. While “amen” has a similar meaning, it’s often said as just a response without focus on what the word means. “So mote it be” is an anachronistic phrase meaning “so must it be” or “so it is required”. It is a command of will. We don’t end our spellwork with saying “I hope this happens” or “I wish this will come about”. It is through will that we are utilizing the sovereignty of the witch and demanding the universe to bend and shift to our command to fulfill the desire that intention aroused.