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!
Futher readings:

What’s in a Word? (Metaphysics)

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The dictionary definition of metaphysical is “of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the sense”.1 What does that mean in layman’s terms? Essentially, it relates to all of the things that cannot be touched, seen, heard, smelled, or tasted. With that thought in mind, I’d like to challenge the perceptions of the terms “witch” and “witchcraft”, “hoodoo”, “folk magic”, “magick”, and “working with intention”.

Let’s define these words: Hoodoo: “a body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among African Americans in the southern U.S.”1

Folk magic: “The term … encompasses a wide variety of diverse magical practices united only by the fact that they are the magical practices of the common folk, rather than the ceremonial magic that was worked by the learned elite. Folk magic is generally of a practical nature, meant to address the common ills of the community: healing the sick, bringing love or luck, driving away evil forces, finding lost items, bringing good harvest, granting fertility, reading omens and so on.”2

Magic: an interactive role-playing game where people go on quests, where people can use their imagination to create and work through different scenarios. 😉 (How many of you play Magic: The Gathering?) Back to the topic at hand lol – “the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces” and “an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source”.1

Working with intention: “Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought. Folk psychology explains human behavior on the basis of mental state, including beliefs, desires, and intentions.”3

Is this all sounding like ‘metaphysical’? Aristotle perceived of metaphysics (which is a word that did not exist at that time) as ‘first philosophy’ – or “being as such” and “first causes”.4 We could go on for days about metaphysics and the perception thereof, but we have one more word to define:

What is a witch, and how does he / she practice witchcraft? Witchcraft or witchery is the practice of magical skills and abilities. Witchcraft is a broad term that varies culturally and societally, and thus can be difficult to define with precision, therefore cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution.

In other words, prayers, sending love, hugs to cheer someone, well wishes to others, ‘wishing’ for something to occur, and setting an intention can all be seen as creating magic or practicing metaphysics. Any time people engage in mentally creating an image to work toward or sends good or ill intent to others by way of thought, they are practicing magic / metaphysics. So why then does society view the practice of metaphysics as something that should not be engaged in? It appears the answer is rooted in fear – that which we do not know becomes something to fear. Fear in itself is a powerful form of paralysis – living in fear prevents growth and understanding of ourselves and others.

I would encourage you to embrace all that you are, be cognizant of the things you do that affect your energy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually), do your research, and learn and grow. Don’t let words cause fear and restrictions – You are a witch, metaphysical practitioner, outcast, Soul (<–Divine being) living a human experience, and it’s okay to live ‘outside the box’!

1 Merriam Webster Dictionary online

2 https://www.learnreligions.com/folk-magic-95826

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention

4 https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

Further reading:
https://www.britannica.com/topic/witchcraft

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/witch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchcraft

https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_metaphysics.html

https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-metaphysics-definition-examples-quiz.html

 

Of Lightbeams and Elephants – by MoJo

One may safely say with absolute certainty, or at the very least, beyond anything resembling doubt, the following statement:

Stating that Quantum Mechanics justifies the Magic Bullet Theory of how one of our presidents was assasinated, is in essence, asking us to believe in a fantasy. This is the most abhorrent abuse of Quantum Mechanics as I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot.

That being said, on Lightbeams and Elephants, I will demonstrate how much fantasy is indeed behind reality.

We should come to expect that anything that upholds reality, which makes it be real…this is to say, its fundamental elements, must by definition be not real.

This in no way denies reality. Quite likewise, because if nothing was real, nothing would exist, there would essentially be no one to ask the question.

All consideration of the nature of reality which denies reality, denies that such a conversation may take place, even as an illusion. For if a thing is an illusion, then it is an illusion, and exists as such. No matter how the illusion appears, if it is a thing, it is real.

Therefore, reality cannot be considered to be the only elements which may exist within the universe. This says nothing of the nature of unreal things, which are none the less, things. Only that they do not fit the criterion for being considered “Real”.

This says nothing of existence, for if there are real things and unreal things, they must all be part of the same universe you and I see, feel, touch, sense….witness, experience. Even if they are nothing more than illusions.

This is important, because it may seem, that while the universe is still there when you aren’t looking at it, there really is no way to say WHAT it is when you aren’t looking at it.

One could say anything at all about the universe when it is not observed and not be wrong.

Not being wrong, however, is far, far worse than not being right.

As I have little fear of being wrong, much less…not even wrong…I will make the following statemtent.

When we are not looking at it, it just might be an elephant.

On Reality – by MoJo

The philosophy of Realism has been one of a handful of natural philosophies which have shaped and heavily influenced modern thought. Not just scientific, but also, common, everyday thinking. We hear people say “Is that real?” when encountering a beaufiful or large gemstone, and when one thinks about it, if one could point to a thing and question its reality, we must assume that at least something about it…is real. In this question, we are asking if a thing is as it appears. This is a very wide and general usage of the word “real”. It is, however, not what a scientist means when they say “real”.

For one, the above understanding of the word has one critical element, which causes it to be disregarded as scientific. It relies, by at least half, the subjective. For when we ask, “Is this what it seems to be, by me?”, in science this question is often considered entirely invalid. The subjective viewpoint is erased from scientific reasoning. This is a powerful statement, and so we must consider the scope of what scientific branches of reasoning this is true in. For it certainly is not true in every area of science, especially those areas which study this very thing. This “subjective view”. In this area, and areas related to it, there is either no science at all without the subjective view, or, the science is significantly changed by such an assumption to confirm a conflict between theory and observation. For this reason, we may only say such a thing about scientific reasoning in physical sciences, as opposed to say, animal husbandry.

Although, many modern people feel as if thier subjective views were less significant than their objective ones, or simply outright fictions. Illusions, lies, and deceptions. In this, many people feel as if half of their experience of life, is idle triviality. Less or more, depending on how objective or subjective a person might be. We all vary, and I also posit that we may also go to extremes. However, I might contend that it would be suspiciously strange if we ever found anything to be fully one, or the other. Either fully objective, or subjective.

Because they are both in our experience, and if they are in our experience, then certainly they are in our existence. If they are only in our existence, then they still exist. One may not claim that either a subjective experience, or an objective experience is invalid. They are both experiences, and they both exist. I would go so far as to say…if we ever encountered any experience which was fully one, or the other, objective or subjective, we should find that very suspicious.

However.

The philosophy of Realism insists that there is a state of reality which relies nothing upon the subjective state at all. This particular subjective state is what we call, “consciousness”. In this philosophy, reality has nothing to do with consciousness, but that consciousness is itself, an accident. (Well…they actually say, “a by product of”). It also goes further to say, that by definition, only the objective can be said to exist.

This is what allows a scientist to say that unicorns and faerie dust are not real. Even though both, have certainly been in most of our experiences, especially in childhood. When a scientist says a thing is “not real”, he is saying that all subjective states are invalid.

If this interests you, do some studying on the philosophy of Realism, because I’m not telling the full story. But that story goes down…other rabbit holes of reason as well, but those are off topic.

I would posit, a simpler defintion of the word “real”, one perhaps may not need so many mental gymnastics to tell if something is real or not real.

If it is in your experience, it is real.

If it is outside of your experience, it still is.

So too, it must be real.

Some may not like that this view of reality has no means to tell what is real or not. Every question put to it returns a “yes” answer. There is no understanding of anything beyond “Yes.” In short, it says, that if it is then it exists. And I can find no logical argument in a tautology. Therefore it must be. The philosophy of Realism can only, in defence, restate itself and say “because we say so”.

So when you are conscious, whatever it is that you are aware of, in any way, is your experience. So as your experience exists, it is a thing, and therefore must be real. Given discoveries made almost a century ago, incontrovertible evidence that absolutely nothing is certain in the universe. Except when it is, but these are very, very, very rare.

We may consider ourselves thankful, because the most recent theories of the universe is that we are one of many, and that ours was birthed in a moment when it’s temperature had dropped to certainty. It dropped to zero. If this happened alot, that might be just a bit chaotic. In a clockwork universe, this would be the case. However, we know, but adapt slowly away from the idea that we live in a clockwork universe.

We have known that it is not… for almost a century.

What the universe is…or at least around the 3% of it we can understand (maybe), is so bizzarre that the real question is “Well then…what of THIS universe we see?”

Some scientists will tell you that this world does not exist. When as many experiments have been run which validate the bizzarre nature of reality, the funny thing is:

When we are looking at it, it is what it is. When we are not, no one can gaurantee that it is anything more than a mathematical wave function. In short, nothing may even be real at all. Not by our classical definition. Not until we look will it be what it was.

So then, one must ask, “Who is asking the question?”

“Who is asking the question?”

This is my toe.

 

Tree Breath Meditation – by MoJo

I’ve developed this meditation over the last few years, and it is instructive to the nature of giving and receiving.

A little history in its development:

It started with energy meditations I used to do while exploring torus energies. Essentially a Torus is a shape like a donut, and I would focus on energy rising up from my feet, out through my head, then expanding out around and down my body back to the feet, up again and out. This was an extremely cleansing meditation, and one I used often in my early inquiries into Manifestation.

A friend of mine, who’s opinion is often contrary to my intuition, once mentioned that I might try imagining the flow of energy into the other direction, received from above, then sent down into the earth, instead of the way I was doing it. I found this jarring at first, and seemed unnatural, but after a time I found it came easier to me to flow the energy in this fashion. I also found it to be very grounding (which may be why she mentioned it) and brought me a sense of security and stability I did not have before.

One night, while we were out having coffee and conversation, I was holding a favorite stone of mine, a gift from a very dear friend, (rhodonite), and I was working with charging stones with energies. A curious idea came to me.

Why not let the energy flow both ways at once.

Needless to say, this was a very difficult thing to imagine. I did not imagine two fields of energy, because I wanted the sense of simultaneity of the two…I wanted the experience that these two opposing flows of energy were actually one and the same. It took me some time to get it going, but I was used to each individually, so I was able to get it down after about half an hour (although, only briefly). I decided to leave it for another time, when things were quieter and I wasn’t holding conversations and set the stone down on the table. My contrary friend asked to see the stone, very curious, and I let her. After holding it a few moments, she looked to me and said…”It seems like the stone is breathing”.

And I thought about this for a time, and realized, this was very much something like the sensation I felt while doing this meditation. It was tied to the expansion of my belly, the contraction of it, and while I found this interesting, I didn’t think so deeply on it, but this idea helped me to imagine both directions of the flow of energy.

It was a year or so later, while meditating with the tree sculptures I made, to feel the energies of them, both newly made, and then later as the energies of the stones settled into cohesion, that I started meditating as a tree. I was not only being with the sculpture, but with the living tree itself. I don’t remember exactly when the idea came to me, but it wasn’t long after I started these meditations that I remembered that Tree breathes as well.

Now, when Tree breathes, it has no muscles and cavities to fill. It has no lungs as an animal would have. Tree breathes not just air, but soil and water as well. Tree breathes Sun. In essence, Tree breathes all the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

Since it has no lungs, Tree breathes in its cells, and it breathes in and out at the same time. Tree gives and receives at once, in fact, Tree sees no difference between the two. It has no In breath and out breath. it has only breath, and each breath is both the giving of itself, and receiving of the universe.

With this understanding I had found a much simpler way to imagine the two directions of the flow of energy, and unite them in a much more organic and natural way. So, this is the Tree Breath Meditation.

You may be in any position, I have two favorites, one is the Tree pose from Yoga, the other is a simple sitting cross legged, or in a chair. I use this meditation regularly, while working or making jewelry, and as it is simple, once you have it down, you can use it anywhere, at any time.

As the space for the meditation is the Breath of the Tree, it is not necessary to imagine anything in addition to this, but if you like (and sometimes I do) you may imagine yourself as Tree.

Use normal belly breath, slowly, in through the nose, fill your belly with air until you feel the breath all the way into your groin. This will bring a sensation of pressure, and if you are not used to breathing this deeply, it may seem intense and difficult. With a little practice this intensity will become pleasant instead of uncomfortable. With this pressure, though, imagine breathing out through every part of your skin. This will not be difficult, and very quickly it will feel natural and very real.

Slowly exhale, as deeply as you inhaled. Again, if you are not used to this deep exhalation, you will feel a reverse pressure, much like the pressure of the inhalation…but sucking inward. During your exhale, imagine pulling in breath through your skin. Again, this will quickly seem natural and very real to you.

In this fashion, it is very easy to see the energy flowing both ways at all times. The universe gives and you receive at once. You give, and the universe receives at once. This is a very rewarding practice, and you may find that it alters your views and relationships.

Tree has taught me a valuable lesson. There is no difference between giving and receiving. Both are always done at once. There is no loss in giving, there is no gain in receiving. There is no reason not to do both, and there is no real choosing to do either. Both are natural, both are one. I have not learned to give and receive from Tree. Tree has revealed to me that this is how it has always been.

In this, animals remember Tree as well, even though we seem to gulp in air and expel it again, in truth, we also, like tree, breathe in our cells, not our lungs. Our cells do breathe both in and out at once, all throughout our bodies. All life breathes in this way.

A Morality of Nihilism – by MoJo

The Universe is filled at every place and moment

With silly, random vibrations. From On to Off, and every strange step between. Comprised of nothing more than possibility, energy emerges. With no more form than perhaps water, energy coalesces into matter. It is nothing more than chance coincidence that you and I are.

Of this, there is no dispute.

However,

When one realizes, that this state of existence can only have one meaning. That there is no higher purpose of existence, other than to exist. The void of possibilities yawns wide, threatening to swallow even the ego. To anilihate all beliefs. All horrors and all perceptions, all joy and all hope vanish in a puff of vapor that cannot even be described as smoke. There is not one thing in this universe that was not made from the universe, therefore no part of it more important, or any less significant than any other.

This is the enlightenment of Nihilism. This is the Transcendence of Awakening, open to all who seek it.

Nothing Matters.

When no choice has any inherent import. No specific set of significances over another, the Universe has No Meaning.

And yet, it exists. And this has meaning to us.

And the gongs of awakenings ring in gentle subtleties, like water falling upon the surface of a pond. And this has meaning. It has meaning to us. And therefore, it can be certainly considered that that which exists in the universe… brings meaning to it. As we are as well, part of that existence. And if we are Concscious, then, so certainly must the universe be.

And this has meaning to us, only because we bring meaning to the universe itself.

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