How do you make magic?
Do you follow recipes, spells and ritual instructions written by others to the letter. Or do you make your own tweaks to it or do you just ‘do your own thing’ completely?
I started to think about how we put our own personal signature on our magical works, prompted really after a chat about book writing styles. My books are written the way that I speak; as if we were sitting around the kitchen table chatting and drinking tea. It is not a style that will suit everyone but it is mine and I couldn’t and wouldn’t write in any other way.
I think the same applies to magical workings and rituals. If we add our own spin to the structure borrowed from others or write our own from scratch then it will have our own very special flair to it.
In the beginning
When I first began my witchcraft journey the only real structured learning available to me was in the form of Wicca which generally has specific outlines and guides which I followed diligently. I look back now at the rituals and spells I worked I can’t see myself in them. But then my pathway veered off into the wild/kitchen/hedge witch area a long time ago.
We do all need start somewhere and having that original guidance was what I required at the time. Without specific instructions who knows what magical mayhem I could have caused. Actually with a few ‘banish all negativity’ spells that were performed I did indeed create a bit of chaos. Even with the best worded and carefully planned spell the universe often has its own ideas about how the result should play out…
There is of course no short cut to experience and I am very glad that I followed all the guidelines in the beginning. However, as time went on and my learning progressed and my experience with it I learnt to follow my intuition. Now when I write a ritual or a spell it is unique to me with my own peculiarities.
If I do use structured writings from others to work a spell or ritual then I always add in my own spin. Mostly because I am not comfortable with a lot of ceremony (and by that, I mean I am actually fairly lazy). I don’t want to take hours preparing, spend a fortune on ceremonial gowns or purchase twenty-seven rare and exotic ingredients from across the globe. That’s not to say you shouldn’t - If it works for you go for it.
But by adding my own twists or writing from the heart I make the magic my own, it has my individual energy to it.
I always encourage students to write their own spells or rituals because if you are doing so then it will be totally yours, it doesn’t matter how simple or how fancy it is. The fact that you have written and designed it from scratch will mean that is has, I think anyway, more magical oomph because YOU put the effort in and it has your style all over it.
Do it your way
If you are starting your journey then it is good to begin with the works and ideas of others. But I would still encourage you to trust your intuition and make tweaks if you feel the need. And if you don’t have all the ingredients for a spell then use what you do have. Maybe the way a circle casting or quarter call is carried doesn't suit you, then change it. Don’t do anything that feels wrong, switch it up so that it feels right for you.
Add in your own unique and individual flair to make the magic truly yours.
Sign the magic with your own name.
Originally posted on Beneath the Moon, Patheos Pagan - 28.3.17