On Spells and Impulsiveness

On Spells and Impulsiveness July 22, 2010

I recently reread The Way of Four Spellbook by fellow Gardnerian Deborah Lipp. One of our coven’s Gardlings (that’s what we call our outer grove members) recently read it as part of her required reading. It’s an excellent introduction to practical spellwork. It is firmly grounded in the modern age (although she does assume that people still go to physical stores for supplies, when most of us nowadays would just Google them).

Interestingly, the Gardling was frustrated by the book. She thinks spells are best performed spur of the moment – while you are passionate and sure of yourself. For her, spell preparation and planning just dissipated her energy and her will. To me, this is a sign that the thing she wants to manifest is not her true will.

It is always difficult to decide what to do spellwork for, but that’s part of why spellwork is so effective. Sometimes the process of figuring out what you really want is the most effective part of manifesting it. If you’ve gotten to the core of your will, then your confidence and passion will only increase with time. Preparation and gathering are also important to the spell itself. Not every god, not even every part of yourself, will be convinced that this is what you really want unless you work for it. When you spend a lot of time or money on spell materials, different parts of yourself will recognize the priority you are placing on the task ahead, giving your spell more potency and power.

It may sometimes feel that unplanned spells have more power. It is tempting to go straight home and do a general blessing for a friend who helped you out, and there’s not anything wrong with doing so. However, if you spend time to get to know that person well, find out the things that make her happy, write a spell, gather materials, and prepare yourself and your space, you will find that a well-thought-out and specific spell will make a much more powerful impact.

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  • Kerry W.

    Thanks for the entry. I’ve done precious few spells in my practice. I suppose most of my work has been basic, but I’m gearing up to do a spell right now, for something I’ve been wanting for years. It always gives me pause to cast a spell. When I was first exploring religions, it was partly in the context of Al-Anon (NB: not the same as AA, but same 12 steps) and the notion of turning your will over to god. I wound up in a path that exhorts me to never turn my will and power over, but I know that I have a deep-seated longing, that feels like a need, to have control over things. It’s not a healthy longing — it grows out of a desire to never experience pain, hurt, regret, etc. And often, when I scratch at the surface of my bad feelings, there it that longing for control.

    That’s all very personal, but I don’t think I’m alone in wanting too much control. It’s always given me pause about spellwork. But then, I got into paganism because I wanted more control than my other religious experiences were giving me. I wanted to know *how* to get in touch with the divine, *how* to fill my spiritual cup. I needed something that I could make work, rather than waiting for the divine to happen upon my humble form.

    I think all kinds of “right balance” are at the crux of the issue.

    In any case, I’m glad to see an entry about spellwork in general. Thanks.