One Witch’s Perspective: How and Why Does Magick Work?

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for some time and I’m really excited to finally be sharing these thoughts with you! You might consider this something of a manifesto of my practice; if you’ve ever wondered who the Witch is at Lupine Hollow, here I am.

As witches, we talk a lot about magick and spells and casting and grounding and all these esoteric phrases that someone on the outside might roll their eyes at. “Do you really believe in that kind of stuff?” some ask. “That’s all a bunch of phooey,” others say.

How and Why Does Magick Work? | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

And I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I agree with the naysayers! I don’t believe that stones bring us inspiration, nor do I believe that rosebuds in my tea will bring a handsome lover knocking on my door. That might come as a surprise to many of you, but let me explain.

There are a hundred million perspectives in the world on this topic, most of which are worthy of respect. So don’t feel that if you practice traditional witchcraft or worship pagan gods or even the Christian god, that I’m cutting down your beliefs. But to me and in my practice, magick is just a word. It is a word we imbue with all-encompassing, boat-rocking power, but it’s just a word.

So if I don’t believe in magick, how can I call myself a witch? Why do I practice spells and light candles and do visualizations and make plans on the new moon?

Because even though I don’t think lighting a pink candle rubbed with rose oil on a Friday will make romance suddenly appear in my life, I do think that those actions help us to focus on attracting romance into our lives. A lover isn’t drawn by the roses and candle wax, he or she is drawn by the will and intention that you’ve put out into the world and the actions you’ve taken to manifest that intention.

When I carry a citrine crystal in my pocket, I don’t believe it will make every project that day successful. But each time I reach into my pocket and touch the stone, I’m reminded of my will and of my wish that projects will be successful, and of the actions and attitudes I should focus on in order to make that happen.

The accouterments of witchcraft are ways we can physically represent and connect with what we want.

This statement is pretty much the crux of my magickal practice. Magick is about setting intentions and then following through, often with aid from items and objects we associate with those intentions in order to remind us of them. I realize this is pretty contrary stuff, and look forward to hearing all of your opinions – please do share in the comments below!

The other major part of my practice that I think is somewhat less revolutionary, is mindfulness. By following the cycles of the moon and of the seasons, we become more attuned with our bodies, with our wants and needs and with the world around us. I am, by nature, a distracted person. I get caught up in one thing and abandon everything else.

Following the moon and the seasons brings me back to myself. It makes me pay attention and not lose sight of where I am and what I’m doing with my time. Even if that just means that every two weeks, I light a candle and look up at the moon through the blinds on my window.

These two key thoughts, that magick is what we make of it and that paying attention is the single most magickal act, are pretty much the sum total of my practice.

 

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For other perspectives on magick, check out these great posts:

The “W” Word: What Witchcraft Means to Me – Lavender Moon
How Magick Works – Llewellyn

10 thoughts on “One Witch’s Perspective: How and Why Does Magick Work?

  1. This is why I love your blog, this is exactly how I see magick and the practice of withcraft. The herbs, crystals, scents etc are a way of setting our hopes and dreams within us and reminding us to focus on them to work hard to make it happen. I also agree that by celebrating the moon phases and sabbats keeps us grounded and in tune with the natural cycles of the earth. Reminding us we are a small cog in the great wheel of life. Its nice to know there are others who view the craft as I do. I do not follow any deities either, it is life that connects us to each other and the world around us in my view and that in itself is wondrous.

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment! It really means a lot. I think this is the basic perspective of a lot of witches who have come to this type of spiritual path in the last couple of years. When I first started practicing as a witch, most of the information out there was for Wiccans and was all about the God and Goddess and whatnot. Which is perfectly valid but not for me. It’s so wonderful to see more eclectic viewpoints coming to the forefront!

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      1. When I first discovered and started practising many years ago all I could find were books centered on Wicca which is great for those who love the formalized ritual and calling on deities but it was never very me. Over the years my craft has become so simplified, stirring love and best wishes into my food for those who eat it, lighting a candle and meditating, enjoying a meditative herbal bath or cup of tea, just being out in nature experience the sights, smells and feelings of a forest, hedgerow or seashore, tending my herb and vegetable garden. I love celebrating the sabbats too with some seasonal decorations and good food with my loved ones.

        For the past few years its just been my husband and I but in a few weeks time we’ll be greeting our first child and I’m so excited for the adventures we’ll have and how much I can teach them about the natural world and the seasons.

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  2. I love this so much and I totally agree! This is a really well-written way of putting it and I’m glad you put it into words. (Thank you for sharing my post, by the way! <3)

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