What is a “Spell”, and how do we use one?

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Recently, the question was asked at one of our gatherings about what can be considered a “spell”. In layman’s terms, a spell is nothing more than learning to manipulate the energies within you and around you to create an alignment that brings a desired result into fruition. Spells are created when you take a desire and / or need and apply your will to it, and can affect you and the world around you. Yes, it IS possible to obtain all of the things you desire, want, and need; and yes, it IS possible to aim ill will AND healing / good intentions towards yourself or another…. (Our discussion here is not about good or evil, however.)
As all things are created of energy, a spellwork practitioner (call them what you will, metaphysical practitioner, witch, average Joe ) has the ability to manipulate those energies and create with them. As a side note, manipulation in this case is used in a specific manner – energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only change ‘shape’. People use their words and thoughts everyday to create their reality which would be considered spellwork, and yet are rarely aware of the repercussions of their actions. A ‘practiced’ spellworker can consciously create with words, intent, tools, spiritual partners, (for our purposes here, the term ‘partner’ means items with their own vibration and ‘awake’ existence such as crystals, herbs, trees, etc.) and intuition – hence creating a spell. (Practitioners are not always aware of ALL the repercussions that may come from a spell, however.)
On TV (remember, TV is not real, but there can be some truth to what you see), you may have noticed that almost all spells are spoken as poems and there is usually some sort of tool or ‘partner’ engaged. What the shows are portraying is creating intent – using a manmade item or working with a partner to ‘house’ the intention / energies to help boost the work one is doing. The ‘poems’ that people recite are not the magic-makers themselves, but are created as a ‘tool’ to easily memorize what you are doing and repeat if necessary.
To practice a spell (or setting intention, whichever terminology you prefer), one needs only a couple ingredients: belief and an understanding of how energy works. One may use tools or work with partners; however, these are not ‘necessities’. In order for a spell to come to fruition, one must believe that it will come true. The less belief you have, the less likely it is that your spell will work. It is nearly impossible to engage your will in something you don’t believe in, and the energies you are attempting to work with will respond accordingly. In understanding how energy works, one must also be aware of the world around them, how people interact, and how one’s personal energy changes in certain situations. All of these things, Universal interaction if you will, will also affect the way a spell works. One may attempt a spell that goes against the laws of nature or one that will affect what you ‘want’ instead of what you ‘need’ – in these cases, the spell may bring about undesired results, if any at all. I learned once that the Universe will never ask of you more than you know – that said, there are things that will impede a spell if it is against the natural flow.
When I was in junior high, a teacher once told us “With freedom comes responsibility” I would like to expand upon that and include “With power comes responsibility”. Spells represent both – the freedom to impose our will in whatever way we choose and the power to make things a reality. Be careful and aware of how you work spells – the butterfly effect is absolutely real and there are quite often factors in play that we are completely unaware of. It is quite possible to set off ‘negative’ repercussions with a well-intentioned spell, for you and others, and the power to do so is not to be taken lightly. Before consciously working with spells, it may be a good idea to sit down and examine your personal morals and ethics. For this, we may take an excerpt from the Wiccan Rede: “Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust. Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.” Another version is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Spellwork can be fun and empowering, as a way for us to consciously take control of our lives and change our ‘flow’ to create our highest good. With a little research and practice, one will also become more mindful and understanding of the world around them as well. Happy casting!
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