Not All Spells Will Do: Why The History Of Magical Practices Matters

Not All Spells Will Do: Why The History Of Magical Practices Matters May 16, 2019

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I’ve talked in the past about what goes into the careful planning and debugging of spellwork, but another important feature is considering the elements within said spell very carefully.

Some deities and daimons work better with some elements than others, and it’s similar with spell ingredients and technique. It’s vitally important to think through why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you’re including the elements within your working that you are.

For instance, if you’re doing a money spell, is adding something that has a martial context a good idea? If an ingredient has been known to have historical usage in coercive love or sex magic, do you honestly want to use that in a working as an aid to help with women’s issues or rights? If you’re using things within the ritual that tie it to you personally, does it make sense to perform the same ritual for someone else or even a group of people as a whole? Given Jupiter is seen as expansive and Saturn is restrictive–and hence often as energetic opposites–do you REALLY want to invoke the planetary forces of Jupiter for a binding spell? Jupiter as a deity would be great for justice, but the planetary force is a whole other story, and the two could readily be confused by someone not as familiar with the differences. You would want an overarching influence of either Zeus or Jupiter himself to temper that energy, or risk the spell backfiring. I have my own stories about Jupiter talismans gone wild.

Overall approach also matters: is this a single ritual or one that needs to be ongoing? How big or pressing is the issue? Is this a ritual that can stand alone as a “fire and forget”, or is this something that will require a great deal of repetition to build up both momentum and energy for a cause? I can’t begin to tell you how many effective rituals weren’t because they were done once and it was thought that was enough. Sometimes, and more often than not, this is not the case.

Your best bet if you include something that is antithetical to the working is that nothing happens and it’s completely ineffective. The worst case scenario includes not just backfiring on yourself, but the spell having the exact opposite effect you intended. Always, always research and approach with great mindfulness what you put into a spell, and before you use another spell someone else used, review it and think it through very carefully, and do not assume that the person who made it knows fully what everything in it might actually do–or don’t do.

Research, learn, and plan carefully–and understand everything that you’re putting into a spell before using it. When in doubt, ask people whom you know for feedback, particularly if they’re well versed in certain traditions and disciplines. They might think of things that you haven’t. As a software engineer, I would not blindly copy/paste code found online in order to help me to develop a software application that requires a great deal of security and scrutiny without understanding how that code actually works–and nor should you do similarly for spellwork as a magician/witch/occultist.

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