A collection of short, but informative articles and magic spells from old editions of the Spelwerx News, a free, monthly newsletter that was published and distributed when Spelwerx first began. These articles are maintained for the convenience of our visitors and as a valuable resource for those interested in furthering their knowledge of the Craft.
The position of the Moon determines and helps you choose the best time to perform certain rituals.
What follows are some of the most current and useful correspondences. Use them to guide you in your endeavors.
All rituals for cures.
A good period for increasing love, prosperity, luck, growth, sexual desire, wealth.
To increase psychic gifts, extrasensory faculties and spirituality.
All invocations involving the lunar deities, spirits, fertility, transformation and prophetic dreams are favored.
Best for exorcising negative influences, breaking bad habits, losing weight and getting rid of people whose influence is not beneficial in your life.
It is better to abstain from calling upon energies during the New Moon.
Good for increasing your authority and leadership. Traditionally, it was at this period that one called upon the gods of war.
Good for practicing rituals pertaining to the purchase of a house, the acquisition of goods, an increase in your wealth and prosperity.
Good for magic spells dealing with communication, public relations and writing.
Excellent for rituals and spells that affect an increase in your social role, courage and male fertility.
Excellent for obtaining employment, increasing intellectual faculties and improving health.
A good time for spells dealing with creativity, justice, legal problems and acquiring a spiritual, karmic or emotive balance.
This is an excellent period for spells and rituals involving the regulation of sexual problems, accelerating psychic growth and for success in major transformations.
Good time for voyages, displacements, sports activities and spells and rituals used to increase one's capacity to recognize the truth.
A good time for spells and rituals used for increasing ambition, recognition and career advancement; a favorable time for politics.
A time for increasing creative faculties, artistic direction, supporting freedom, friendship and ending harmful practices.
Excellent time for spells and rituals dealing with dreams, discernment, all extrasensory faculties and musical and artistic continuations in general.
In magick, a talisman or amulet is any object that was designed with determined intention, for a designated person or oneself. Talismans and amulets are most usually employed for various achievements of desires. The talisman is a condenser of the human power aura, in fluid, sidereal time. The talismans of protection act by themselves, but in action must be supported and directed by the will of the worker. Certain talismans and amulets are sometimes sufficient to modify a destiny in the direction for which they were conceived. The realization of the strength of a talisman or amulet always rests on the formation of ideas; favorable forms allowing the thought forces which will carry in them all the chances of success. A talisman must be charged under optimum conditions and in agreement with astrology to become a magic object and to carry out the wishes while carrying within all the chances of success. Talismans and amulets have always been used for various reasons, from the most primitive to the most civilized. Their origin can be of vegetable, animal or mineral, and can be carried or kept at home. Excellent time for spells and rituals dealing with dreams, discernment, all extrasensory faculties and musical and artistic continuations in general.
The following terms are often interchanged, sometimes correctly, sometimes not so correctly. We thought this might help clear things up a bit-or are we just confusing you more?
What is a...?
Spell - A word or formula believed to have magickal power. To place (someone) under a spell, to bewitch them or place them in a bewitched state, such as a trance. A compelling attraction; a charm or fascination.
Incantation - A formula, ritual recitation of verbal charms or spells I order to produce a magickal effect. The using of formulas, either sung or spoken, in occult ceremonies, to raise spirits or produce an enchantment.
Enchantment - Wonderful effects produced with the aid of spirits; the use of the magick arts, spells, or charms or incantations. To chant or utter a magick formula over or against another person, animal, place or thing. To bewitch or charm by sorcery or gain control of another by magickal words and rites.
Charmed - Words sung or spoken in the practice of magick, such as a magickal combination of words or characters. An incantation used to subdue or overcome by some secret power.
Ritual - A system of rites, as in an established form or procedure for a ceremony. The order of words or individual acts prescribed for a religious ceremony or ritual observance.
Invocation - The process or act of petitioning for help or support, as in a prayer of entreaty. A calling upon of a higher authority for remedy or justification. A formula used for conjuring or summoning, as in an incantation. An act of legal or moral implementation.
Evocation - The act or fact of evoking to call forth or up, as in a conjuration, invocation, or the summoning of a spirit. To bring to mind or recollect.
Conjuration - The act or process of conjuring in order to affect or effect by, or as if by, magick. To practice the magickal arts. To summon a devil or spirit by invocation or incantation.
More Magickal Definitions:
We found this information to be interesting and useful. We thought we would share it with you in the hope that you might find it likewise...
"... as the symbolic background of magickal techniques as well as their deployment in official ceremonies shows, the transition between magick and religion is very fluid. Since religious symbols are always a synthesis between the visible and the invisible, they may be looked upon as signposts in the search for religious meaning, or misinterpreted as ends in themselves. In this sense each ritual may be either religious or magickal, conditional upon the intention of the participants.
Distinctions can be made, as precise as the symbols and principles employed allow, among various types of magick.
Substitute Magick is based upon the idea that a part substitutes for the whole, thereby reversing the transcendental principle that the part may represent the whole. Man seizes power over someone else by possessing parts of him, e.g. bones, hair, nails, etc.
Contagious magick obtains when the substitution of the part for the whole is only partially realized and integrated into a scheme of causal connection. By touching or wearing power-laden objects such as relics, fetishes, sacred stones, amulets, etc. or even by assimilating them as in the case of cannibalism, man integrates him-self and his deeds into the efficacy of an invisible power structure.
Sympathetic magick deals with symbols and their supposed unity or sympathy with that which is sympathized. It differs from substitute magick by the ideational character of the substitution. Examples are the anticipation of a successful hunt by striking a picture of the animal; the manipulation of pictures and figures in general; the use of curse figurines or dolls; the deployment of arcane formulas, both in connection with pictures and statues or independently from them. In this latter instance, the practice of subjecting the godhead, a ghost, or an individual to one's will by means of a name or proper formula should also be mentioned.
Gnoseological magick appears as a more or less autonomous type when the instrumental function of knowledge and reason becomes an end in itself. The knowledge of the right time, the right setting, the godhead proper in a given situation, is in itself sufficient reason to achieve the desired goal. The world of the sacred as a means of orientation for the growth and meaning of the person turns into a state of impersonal and mechanically effective anonymity.
Ascetic technique becomes its own end, effective by its very deployment.
As a technique of reaching goals by means different from those required by these goals, magick is of particular significance for the social life of a community. In this regard we have to distinguish between official and private magick. Official magick obtains when public affairs are treated by help of magickal techniques, e.g., when a drought is counteracted by the imitative act of sprinkling water, or when the office of a shaman is a generally recognized institution. Private magick on the other hand is a matter of individuals and/or exclusive groups who, often in deep secrecy, use their knowledge and techniques in order to pursue their particular goals....."
Every witch has occasions when the magic just doesn't seem to work; when the desired result seems all but unattainable. It's important when this is occurring to resist the naturally ensuing disappointment and discouragement. For, while these feelings may be natural, they can also be destructive to our higher psyches. It is far better, if instead of counting these times as failures, that we should learn to view them as opportunities for learning, development and experience. This is true, not only regarding magick, but with our lives in general. Usually, when we encounter fear, failure or resistance, it is our determination to overcome, survive, endure or win under these less than favorable conditions which brings us increased self-knowledge and realization. In witchcraft, self-knowledge and realization are the keystones upon which rest the building blocks of the art of magick and, in turn, the quality of our lives. To believe in magick, is to believe that magick is a constant; to believe that magick exists always and everywhere; to believe in ourselves and the world around us; and to understand that as magick remains, it is we who are passing through. It is our personal development which enables us to, for a brief moment in the span of time, grasp hold of and harness something far larger than we had ever imagined possible. To realize for that fleeting instant that magick exists and always works. And, to be humbled when we come face to face with our own mortality and acquire an understanding of our relatively small role in the cosmos. It is upon this self-realization that the greatest witches established their own roles in the history and development of magick and The Craft. It is to believe that magick always works. It is to understand that our journey is a long one and a skill not readily or easily attained.
It is during those times when the magick doesn't seem to work that we need to reflect on the fact that we as humans, when practicing the magickal arts, are utilizing our minds and bodies as tools to harness the powers of the cosmos in an effort to manipulate reality. And as with any tool, the effectiveness our minds and bodies in our endeavors are limited to the operator's skill and knowledge. Wait one minute, you may ask, if our minds and bodies are the tools-who is the operator? It is our higher psyche. It is that part of us that operates on a higher plane, separately, yet in unison with the whole. It is our life-directing force which drives the mind and body; and, while so powerful-is fragile and easily affected. It is our higher psyche that we seek to protect, feed and nurture-but it is our bodies and minds that act upon its will and often neglect. Let's use the bow and arrow for an illustration. In our normal everyday lives, your higher psyche is the archer, your mind is the bow and your body is the arrow. But in the practice of magick, we alter this arrangement. Your higher psyche remains as the archer but your mind and body merge to act as one in the purpose of the bow. The arrow becomes the result of the total manipulation of the cosmos. It becomes the messenger of your will and intent and the catalyst for change. Your body and mind now is the catapult for the catalyst and your higher psyche remains as the operator, the archer.
In the above scenario, when all works together, in harmony and unison, great things can be achieved. But let's suppose that they do not. The whole may not function properly for many reasons. Perhaps the archer's skills need honing. Perhaps the bow is weak, broken, warped or just needs adjustment. Perhaps the arrow is not true. Any one or combination of these things can severely deter our practice and development, and each must be honestly considered when our magick runs afoul or not at all. We must learn to accept self-realization as our aid and guide in our journey to strength and skill. We must first learn to be honest with ourselves. We must look within and accurately evaluate our condition. And upon this evaluation, we must strive to build or rebuild so that our archer and bow can operate effectively and with honor.
Let us all remember to take some time for meditation; some time to relax, to heal, to grow, not only as regards our practice of The Craft, but in our everyday lives also. Take time to nourish our higher psyches, to nurture, strengthen and fine tune our bodies and minds. And, most importantly, make sure our arrows are true-make sure our will and intent is in harmony with the cosmos and we are operating with a clear conscience.
By taking a little time to pay attention to what's going-on within us, and to assess for and make the needed adjustments, we can greatly increase our levels of skill and success.
The leaves, when used externally, are quite harmless and cooling, and have been used for ointments and other external application. Boiled in milk and used as a poultice, they were employed as an application to indolent ulcers.
Mandrake was used by the Ancients, who considered it an antiseptic and sleep-inducer. In large doses it is said to cause delirium and madness. They used it for procuring rest and sleep in continued pain, also in melancholy, convulsions, rheumatic pains and scrofulous tumors. They mostly employed the bark of the root, either expressing the juice or infusing it in wine or water. The root finely scraped into a pulp and mixed with brandy was said to be efficacious in chronic rheumatism.
Mandrake was used in Pliny's days as an anesthetic for operations, a piece of the root being given to the patient to chew before undergoing the operation.
A tincture of Mandrake, made from the fresh plant, is used in modern-day homeopathy.
There is an ancient practice of carving the roots into amulets of protection. The plant was cut into fancy shapes and forced to grow in molds till it assumed the desired forms. Then the magician inserted grains of millet into the face as eyes. These artifacts were very popular. Italian ladies were known to pay as much as thirty golden ducats for similar artificial mandrakes. Their owners took great care of their little mandrakes bathing them, dressing them and tucking them in at night in order to consult them on important questions. In France, they were considered a kind of elf, and associated with the main-de-gloire, another evil artifact of witchcraft. As an amulet, it was often placed on mantel pieces to avert misfortune and to bring prosperity and happiness to a home.
Among the old Anglo-Saxon herbals both Mandrake and periwinkle are endowed with mysterious powers against demoniacal possession. Its human-like forked root was thought to be in the power of dark earth spirits.
Symbolism is a language of the unconscious in which one image, or a single symbol, can conjure up archetypical impressions, complex or complete concepts or meanings. This is in contrast to a structured, spoken language in which many words or several sentences are assembled to create an equivalent concept or meaning.
Symbolism has several forms by which it is perceived. Symbolism can be verbal or audible, with each word or sound itself being a symbol, or it can be visual, with visible signs being recognized and associated. Music and the various feelings and responses it evokes, is an excellent example of audible symbolism. Symbolism can be a smell. The smell of incense or a flower, or even a foul odor. Audible symbols, along with those symbols associated with the sense of smell, affect us on a deeper level, going beyond our mental processes and intellectual reactions. This is the reason that both music and incense are frequently used in magickal rituals. They allow us to make a deeper connection by activating our senses on a more complex level.
When, if, and how symbols affect someone varies from person to person. A primarily visually-oriented person may respond dramatically to visual symbols, while other types of symbols go unnoticed, such as the smell of a light wind, or the singing of a bird; likewise with persons whose senses are otherwise oriented. Symbolism may have personal or experiential meaning, or symbolism may be abstract, such as that learned and used in writing. This is the difference between the visceral response, which may be innate and may also be a learned response, modified through experience or training, and the mental response which must be learned or developed. But regardless of which symbols affect which senses, it is the effect of symbols that is of importance to our individual psyches.
The first obvious use of symbolism is in the communication of ideas, whether written, spoken, or communicated through one or more other senses.
Bearing in mind the fact that a single symbol can have a wide array of meanings, it is important to use symbols in the proper context to effectively and accurately convey the desired message. This concept and practice applies not only to magickal symbols, but to symbols of many different kinds, in many different uses.
Symbolism is frequently used in Lesser Black Magic, as a means of influencing certain people in certain ways. The magician (or politician or religious leader or other manipulator) will use lighting, music, fragrance, and other symbols in ways peculiar to their audience's response mechanisms.
Symbolism can be used upon ourselves in a similar manner, to bring out responses from us that we want to bring out. Words which have become symbols to us can be used as a means of increased concentration, as a visual mantra or as a sensual mantra. Such mantras can be used in ritual, in non-ritual meditation, or whenever we choose to remind ourselves of the principles carried within that symbol.
Over time, some symbols can become richer and can carry more and more meaning to those people who work with the symbol. These symbols can become "magnetic", in that each use of the symbol brings forth yet another repetition of the symbol. Each reference brings forth a constellation of meaning, with one meaning and use leading to another. Each use of the symbol sparks, or attracts, another use of the symbol. In these cases the symbols will often be repeated over and over throughout a conversation or other communication, each time exercising one or more of those meanings, and through the course of the communication this symbol can almost hold or reflect an entire world view. This is the way the people influenced by the symbol see their world.
At a political rally the symbol might be "America", the "UK", or "Mother Russia" and their association with "Democracy", or "the Party". At an Earth Day festival, the symbol might be "the Environment". Symbols may vary from place to place and culture to culture, but their use, acceptance and influence is universal.
Elizabeth S. Helfman, in her book "Signs and Symbols around the World", defines a symbol as being: "anything that stands for something else."
Symbolism is an art, a practice, something which is done. It is used to communicate meaning. It is a language beyond the spoken tongue.
Visualization is the process of forming positive thoughts as a means of creating wellness.
Initial uses of visualization in healing were investigated, developed and pervaded the thought of the ancient mystery schools. The earliest records go as far back as the ancient Babylonians and Sumerians. A common thread intertwined in the developing thought was a belief in the power of spirit over matter and mind over body and the intrinsic healing capabilities possible. Records of ancient Egypt and Babylonia, through the middle ages and right up to modern times, include accounts of healing, that utilize visualization in one form or another.
Among the forty-two books of Hermes, considered to be the earliest-known founder of the art of healing, there are six which are medical, classified as the Pastophorus or "image-bearers." In the Middle-Ages, Paracelsus (14931541) devoted his entire life to the study of Hermetic healing. Many remarkable cures are ascribed to him. Although the medical fraternity of the times maligned him, he was adored by the masses and extolled on his tombstone: "Here lies buried Philip Theophastus the famous Doctor of Medicine who cured Wounds, Leprosy, Gout, Dropsy and other Incurable Maladies of the Body, with wonderful Knowledge and gave his goods to be divided and distributed to the Poor."
The Essenes, early Christian mystics who are considered the progenitors of modern Freemasonry, were also healers of this order. According to Manly Palmer Hall, the name "Essene" is derived from an ancient Syrian word meaning "physician." The Essenes are believed to have held as their purposes of existence the healing of mind, soul, and body.
Visualization is the mental creation of a visual image of the desired goal. Though we call it visualization, if done in vivid detail there may also be sounds, smells, and tactile sensations developed in the picture. It is only done well if we are already accomplished in the art of concentration. Doing visualization regularly can assist in developing strong concentration. That is, the practice of visualization brings benefits no matter what your level of accomplishment.
Visualization is literally the enlistment of the aid of the Cosmos in achieving our life change. It is not just a motivator, though it will do that. It is not just a way of getting in touch with the subconscious, though it does that too. It is a tool, which the user soon finds verges on the miraculous in accomplishing tasks thought impossible before. It enlists powers which conventional science and psychology do not at the current time admit exist.
The successful practitioner of visualization will soon find doors opening for no clear reason. Apparently unconnected events will become manifest and make realizing the dream possible. The unconvinced will become suddenly enamored of an idea, and the unavailable will become receptive. Visualization is a powerful tool and one well worth mastering.
The beliefs of humans regarding religion, the powers of the universe, the existence of supernatural beings and their influence on our material world form a large and ever-expanding circle. Witchcraft, as it has come to be known and called, can easily be placed at the center and easily identified at any point on the circumference. In tracing the roots of modern-day beliefs, we find diverse contributions that have been seamlessly absorbed.
The early Pagan religions had many gods and customarily worshipped the earth, sea, sun, sky and various other elements of nature. The Romans were polytheistic and spent much of their lives trying to please their gods. This was because ancient Romans believed that their gods had great influence over their daily lives and fates. In order to placate the gods, the Romans believed that certain rituals and rites must be performed in appreciation. As the religion progressed, so too did the rituals, making it necessary to form priesthoods with specific rituals and traditions. In keeping with Pagan tradition, the Romans developed a deep respect for the earth and her cycles. The ancient Roman religion is one of the better known pagan religions.
Early Roman religion was spirit-based. The Romans did not build great mythologies like the Greeks, but rather believed everything had a spirit. These spirits were believed to have great effect on a Roman's daily life. Good or bad. Therefore, the Romans had to keep the spirits happy through worship and sacrifice. If the rituals and sacrifices were performed properly, the Romans believed the gods would be happy and help them.
The Romans believed each God had a specific "field" of expertise. There was a god of the sun, called Apollo, a god of the sea, a god of the sky and many others. As Roman life had many different aspects there were many different Gods. If a Roman wanted a good crop he would pray to Ceres, the goddess of agriculture. The most important of all the spirits was Vesta the goddess of the hearth and home and the center of Roman family life. Each household had a small shrine dedicated to the household spirits. The Romans were great copiers. They borrowed many of their gods from the Greeks, but unlike Greek gods, theirs did not have the same definitely conceived personality, they were more cold and formal. The Romans lived under the gods and constantly tried to please them. The Romans had a well-defined, state pantheon of gods. These consisted of the official gods led by Jupiter, the father of the gods and others including:
The Roman religion was based on rituals and sacred rites. These rituals had become very complex over the years and needed special people to perform them. This is where the priests came in. The chief priesthoods were usually filled by distinguished statesmen or generals. Roman religion and politics were intermeshed. There were two types of priests:
As the Roman Empire expanded it came into contact with new and different religions. Many were absorbed into the state religion. Religious tolerance was a policy among the emperors. They introduced a policy of syncretism designed to encourage the merging of pagan religions to unite people and effect greater political stability. This united the empire and allowed Romans to worship whoever they liked as long as it didn't interfere with the welfare of others.
The ancient Roman religion is one of the most well-known pagan religions. It was worshipped not only by the Romans, but by the various communities which were absorbed into the Roman Empire. These communities added to the state religion with their own specific beliefs until it became a truly diverse and all-encompassing religion. Throughout the modern world, the ancient Roman religion is known as one of the world's first and most famous pagan religions. It is from the Roman and the Greek religions that modern Pagans and Christians take many of their beliefs, but it is only a section of the circle, for it must be remembered that it was from the Pagan roots that the Roman religion was built.
Book of Shadows
Spells and Magic Categories
Symbols - Symbolism - Sigils