Magick Spells and Hexes

Spells and Hexes, within the context of Magick, have been a source of considerable confusion over the years. People often get confused when referring to one or the other and frequently choose to use the terms interchangeably. But are they really the same thing? And if they aren't, then what's the difference between a spell and a hex in magick?

Magick Spells

Generally speaking, a magical spell is a formula that may involve spoken, written, or chanted words, symbolic enactments, candle burning, ritual baths, burning of incense, sprinkling of powders, salts, or dusts, and/or the manufacture and deployment of charms, amulets, or talismans. The purposes and uses of spells are varied. Spells can be cast for wish-fulfillment in regard to such things as love, money, and good fortune; banishing spells for ridding oneself of unwanted influences; cursing spells to bring bad luck or harm to another; binding spells to keep someone's magic from affecting you or others, and summoning spells to call up spirits, ghosts, or even demons.

Magick Hexes

"Hex" comes from the German word for witchery or sorcery, "hexencraft." A popular word in America's Pennsylvania Dutch country, the term "hex" refers to a symbolic drawing. The drawing is customarily a six-sided figure in a circle, derived from the Greek word "hex", or "six", as in "hexagon". Hexes are fashioned and used to protect farm animals, attract love, strengthen a marriage, or break a curse. In German, the term "hexencraft" refers to magical spells in general, and may include medical herbology. One who makes hexes is a "hexmeister"(hex-master).

Common Misconceptions

It is a common misconception that the "hexes" of Pennsylvania Dutch folk-magic are evil in their intent. So too, is this also true with African-American hoodoo and European witchcraft. The words "hex" and "hoodoo" and "bewitch" are often considered synonymous with "curse" or to "magically harm", leaving love spells, prosperity spells, animal fertility spells, or home protection spells that are worked in these traditions totally unmentioned. Usually, this is done because of ignorance rather than malice. Education is the key, and fortunately, vocabulary-ignorance only affects the people who are misusing a word, it does not affect the actual culture in which the term originated. Therefore, if you were to go to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and ask for a hex, you would not be given a curse, but rather the Pennsylvania Dutch version of a sigil, talisman, or seal--a six-sided geometrical image to be used for magical purposes. "Hoodoo", "conjure", "rootwork" and "laying down tricks" are also regionally popular terms for spell casting, both benevolent and malevolent. They originate in the African-American culture and are common terms across the United States.

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