Monday, November 7, 2011

The Witch's Circle - Spells - A discussion

This post is in response to The Witch's Circle discussion on the blog The Deepest Well.  Fly on over and check out the original posting and read what others have said too.




Spells.

Everyone knows of spells cast by witches and wizards from reading J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series.  Admittedly I have my favorites that I wish I could really do.  Confundus being one.  With the return of witches to prime time TV on CW's The Secret Circle, the witch's spell is back in the spotlight.  A place it hasn't been in since three sisters, who just happened to be witches, Charmed their way in to people's living rooms each week.

Movies have had a share of spellcasting witches as well.  Practical Magic had its reluctant Sally Owens and her siren sister Jillian; as well as the aunts, Jet and Francis who would be happy to cast a spell for a fee.  The Craft saw spellcasting in the darkest of forms from Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachelle True).  Three seemingly ordinary women, soon realized the art of spellcasting when they bring Daryl Van Horne into their lives in The Witches of Eastwick.  Men also get with the casting in the tale of five male witches in The Covenant.  Even Disney, yes Disney has been replete with spellcasting.  Let us not forget the wonderful Substitutiary Locomotion spell used by the magnificent Miss Price, played by Angela Lansbury.



So spells are pretty common place in today's world, albeit the spiced up Hollywood version; but in some cases those spells the actors are casting have been in some part influenced by true crafting of real spells by real witches.

In The Craft, Fairuza helped the movie makers with certain aspects to ensure they did things right.  The new TV show The Secret Circle, the producer Kevin Williamson stated that they are constantly doing research in to the craft to ensure accuracy.  Does this mean that if you see a spell done by an actor on a television program or an actor in a movie that you can do the same spell to the same conclusion.  I wouldn't think so unless there is something I have been missing since I started practicing the craft.

A spell is more then just a bunch of fancy words the might happen to rhyme.  The wonderfully written spell to hear thoughts from Charmed isn't going to let you do just that.
As flame lights shadow
And truth ends fear
Open locked thoughts
To mind's willing ear.
May the smoke from
this candle into everywhere creep.
Bring innermost voices to my mind in speech.

A spell is something that is done by a person with intent and awareness to create change.  Yes, the words can rhyme and yes, they can be in verse.  But that isn't a requirement.  The words don't even really have to make perfect sense to anyone as in the spell from Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  Substitutiary is not actually a word but it get the point across nicely.  Spells also use energies provided by the caster to do what they are intended to do.  Without the needed 'fuel' a spell will more then likely fizzle before doing what it is intended.  I again reference the spell from above.  Watch the video.  Miss Price tries the spell once but nothing happens.  The shoes just sit there.  It isn't until they add music and dancing does the spell take effect and with some quite extraordinary results.  That is the addition of energies.

Are spells important?  Well...yes.  I am with Aine on this one.  What is a witch without spells?  What is witchcraft without the occasional casting?  The two go hand in hand.

Which way is Witch.  Is there a correct way to do a spell?  If you pose this question to a room full of witches you will get a room full of usually different answers.  In my opinion there are as many right ways to do a spell as there are wrong ways. The best judge of this is you.  If you are casting a spell and something just 'feels' wrong then it probably is.  Trust in ones self and ones senses is one the most valuable asset a witch can have.  Do some more research on the spell, on the intent and on what is required.  Did you miss something in your preparation?  There are many people that will tell you that 'this is the only way to do this spell' and for them that may be correct but not all witches are created equal.  Thank the gods.  Of course it is completely alright to create a spell from scratch.

Rules.  To cast or not to cast?  I am going to defer to what Aine so wonderfully wrote in her blog.
As for the rules. Well, we have all heard some of the various versions of the Wiccan Rede. I feel that harming none is impossible. We are all touched by everything everyone does - as we are all connected. Inaction can harm as much as action. This is not to suggest that there are no rules, but every instance must be considered on it's own. It's always wise to think about your Work before you begin and to examine your motives and decide on the most ethical way you can achieve your goals. Sometimes this means doing nothing. Sometimes this means being very involved. An ethical witch knows what to do and what to stay away from, and the inbetween ways you can do your Work without disturbing things unnecessarily or unjustly. Sometimes it's a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Nothing magical should be done in haste or extreme emotion. Magical Work should be done after much thought and soul searching. These are my only rules in regards to spell casting and I feel by following these rules, a witch will not do anything he/she regrets.
I found a wonderful book on the art of crafting and casting spells.  Power Spellcraft for Life by Arin Murphy-Hiscock is filled with great information on all aspects of spells.

As with all part of being a witch, read, and by all mean ask questions.

Thanks to Aine for these wonderful topics of which I have had so much fun writing about.

Comments are always welcomed so please leave one if you are so moved do so.

Blessed Be!!!

5 comments:

  1. fantastic post!

    In Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors" I spotted some real witch words - "By right line, by running line, by the crooked and the straight, I summon, stir and call you up. By wood and stone, by wind and fire, by land and water, I bring you in." Kathleen Quinlan -the actress who played Patricia Kennealy, often met to discuss the role so I assume that some of the real stuff got in there (and some not so real.)

    I like the Power Spellcraft book as well!

    I'm glad to see we are in agreement with the importance of spells. I think this is the part of the path that is sometimes hard for those new to it, especially those who come from other very different religions or those who are uncomfortable with energies/power, but it is the way of the Witch.

    Thanks for joining in again!

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    1. The Priestess performing the handfasting in The Doors who utters the words you mentioned is the real-life Patricia Kennealy! (Kennealy-Morrison)

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  2. The blog url has changed to a .NET! Please change my links to http://www.thedomesticpagan.net/

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  3. A few quality spells now and then are a good thing - but I have never been one to do spells at the drop of a hat.

    I do wish sometimes though that spells worked the way they do on TV - but then the temptations would be even greater - my guess is there would be a lot more "toads" hopping around lol

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  4. To Aine.
    The scene you reference in The Doors film, at the Pagan wedding of Jim and Patricia are indeed real words, the witch conducting the ceremony is actually the real-life Patricia Kennealy making a cameo. She is a high preistess of a covern.

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