Before we begin, I want to disclaim that I wrote these 7 Magick Spell Casting Myths for witches. That being said, I will not be going into the myths/beliefs that spell casting is evil or that it is not real. This is not an article explaining the difference between real spell casting and that of movies like Harry Potter and Worst Witch. Now that we’ve covered that, lets get into the 7 myths that not only hinder witches from casting spells, but can hinder those that do cast from seeing results.
#1 Casting Spells is Bad Karma
Lets get the big myth out of the way first. This particular myth could have been written in a number of ways. Casting Spells and the 3-Fold Law is another great title. The idea for either is that casting any spells, or spells that could harm or effect the will of another will cause bad things to happen to the witch who cast it.
Here is a very quick lesson on how Karma and the Universe works. You might have learned in High School physics class that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same goes for spell casting. Whatever you do, good or bad or nothing at all, has consequences. There is no set amount, set time frame, or rules around these consequences except that they happen as a reaction equal to what was done. This rule does not mean eye-for-an-eye either. In fact, I’ve seen people blessed after casting a hex and others fall into bad luck after healing another.
This myth is also related to the naive idea that casting a spell has no karmic effect at all. The idea among those that I’ve seen state this is that we as witches are above such ideas. This would be like saying we’re above the laws of gravity. We live and work our magick in a physical realm and work in its laws.
We can, of course, do divination work that shows what effects our spells might have. We can cleanse and protect ourselves from after effects as well (don’t just leave it to saying “An it harm none” at the end of your spell and expect that to protect you). This myth is mostly about misunderstanding of how magick works and a mix of fear-mongering and wishful thinking.
#2 Spell Casting is Always Safe
Witches are humans and can just as easily get hurt as anyone else. Just because you’re intention is to cast a spell or perform a ritual doesn’t mean you should not take precautions.
Learn fire safety before doing candle magick. Use protection when doing sex magick. Learn self defense and have a safety plan in place if you are casting spells at night out in a public space like a park or cemetery. Follow the rule of law as the fact you are casting a spell will not keep you from getting arrested for trespassing.
This sounds like common sense to many of us but in reality, I’ve seen so many witches (new and adept) get into major trouble because they relied on spiritual forces to protect them and left out basic safety precautions.
#3 You Need In-depth Training to Cast a Spell
In a witch chat last week a young witch explained that a family member is very sick. She wondered if she should try a healing spell even though she’s never done a spell, healing or otherwise, before. I quickly explained to her that not having done something before is no reason not to do something – if this were the case, nothing would ever get done. We all have to start somewhere.
Magick and Witchcraft are skills. We all start as novices and we all learn where and what we can. The best teacher in most cases is the experience gained for getting your hands dirty and trying spells. While it is good to know the basics – meditation, visualization, your cultural or traditional correspondences – these are merely aids. People I know who don’t even consider themselves witches do spell work with great results. Imagine what a novice witch with intention can do!
#4 You Must Use Only Certain Methods and Ingredients/Correspondences
This myth, more than any other, really irritates me. It often comes along with the attitude of there being only “One True Way” to be a witch. As I explain in my book, Spell Check, the best and most difficult thing about casting spells is that it ALL works! The whole point is getting what you want by working with your subconscious/higher self/Universe through symbols and out-of-the-norm ritual. Everyone’s subconscious and Higher Self will be different.
We cannot tell someone that they must use one prescribed method just because it worked for one group. What works for a man from Haiti will be very different from what works for a woman from China, and both will be different from what works for a non-binary person from Scotland. Culture, family, religion, experiences, and personal beliefs all shape our world and our magick. Certain methods and correspondences will not work in all situation so each witch must figure out what works best for them. Just facts.
That being said, you can’t just throw anything and everything into a spell every time and expect the ingredients to the work. Each step and correspondence should be purposefully chosen and used. You get out of the work what you put into it.
#5 Spells Must Be Elaborate and Ritualistic
This myth goes hand-in-hand with #4. The idea is bigger is better – the more detailed, elaborate, dramatic the spell the higher chance it will work. In my experience and talking with others, this mostly just means the spell never gets cast.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the drama of candles, robes, chants, and ritual. It gets me off in a way. However, some of my most successful spells cast were done without much preparation and with minimal tools (we’re talking notebook paper, a broken pencil, a BIC lighter, and stale dried herbs from the kitchen). Never let the idea that spell work “should” be done a certain way keep you from doing the work to reach your goal. If you are overwhelmed by a spell or ritual, step back and get down to the basics.
#6 Spells are the Same as Prayer/Manifestation/Intention
This myth has a whole lot of truth in it so I can see why it is believed by so many. The thing is, spells are related to prayers, setting intentions, and manifestation work like Law of Attraction methods.
Spells don’t work without intentions but they aren’t the same. The idea is that spells are actions taken to bring you closer to your goal while setting intentions are merely stating what the goal is and that you want it.
Law of Attraction works very well with Spell work but the difference is that LOA and Manifestation techniques are mostly tool-free while spells are practical methods.
Spells and prayer differ in that not every witch believes in or works with Deities. Prayer is more closely related to intention setting then asking for a higher being to take care of the work or inspire you in how to do so. Again, this works well with spells for those that believe in it, but is not the same.
#7 Never Cast a Spell on Someone Without Their Permission
Discussing morals and ethics with witches is just asking for a fight in most cases. The easiest way to address this myth is not every witch or magickal practitioner adheres to the same rules. While Wiccans stick to “Do No Harm” and 3-Fold Law, this does not apply to every witch.
My biggest issue with this myth came up when I was discussing magick, reiki, prayer and people who are in the hospital. There was a debate forming in the discussion as to whether it was “right” to send energy or pray for or cast a healing spell/ritual for someone without first getting their consent. I was surprised at how many said no and that to do so was morally wrong.
Hell, if that’s the case then there are millions of near-evil people in the world praying for world peace, protection against natural disasters for fellow human beings, and an end to suffering.
It would be like saying we cannot help someone who is unconscious – we should just leave them as they are until they come around and permit us to get them out of the situation they are in even if its in a ditch filling with water.
The idea many people put forth in this situation is that the sick person has subconsciously asked for their illness. This is a belief common in the New Age movement that I won’t dispute but I will say that it goes along with telling all witches to adhere to the same beliefs and code of ethics – which isn’t particularly tasteful.
Spell Casting is What You Make of It
Your personal beliefs will greatly flavor your spell casting. If you truly believe in certain codes of conduct, rules, and methods then these will be the borders of the path you walk in the magickal and mundane world. The point of this list of myths is to encourage you to look at the beliefs you hold and decide if these are ones you want to keep or ones that you’ve picked up along the way and no longer want or need for your journey. Making conscious decisions about your beliefs and actions makes you a very powerful Witch.
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