Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Zombee

Basic Spells to Get Started

Recommended Posts

Absolutely right on the dot Llyr. I take it as "given" that experimenting until we find our own methods is the way to go, but we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time we want to turn a spell :D

 

I'd like if you'd share more about your personalized approach, and how you've developed it, if you'd want to say.

 

 

 

I couldn't agree more!!

 

I began my journey in the craft without realising what I was doing was even remotely related to witchcraft. I knew that I was different to the norm and was comfortable with that. I love the feeling of isolation.... for me that is when myself and nature connects on a different level. I was happier playing footy on my own as a kid at the bottom of the valley than playing with the other kids on the sports field. I live right on top of a valley which is sparsely populated. I would hear voices and whispers and have conversations with the nature around me. I still do!! I used to sit for hours and watch the bees enter and exit the bluebells, there were hundreds of them, and each of them would wait their turn politely avoiding each other and I remember thinking that what I was watching could only be a miracle. Even now if you get hundreds of people together and ask them to all do the same task you would end up with a riot.

 

Apologies!!! I am going off on a tangent... just nice thinking of fond memories!!

 

Anyway.. I recognised candle magic and knot magic at a young age, I had never been taught but always loved candles... had always stared through them in the dark allowing my mind to be taken by the flame, having mini adventures in my unknowing young mind.. so as far as candles go.... the colour of a candle in a text book bears no relevance to me... as I make my own and I make a candle the colour that I want it to be for my own personal reason based on my experience growing up as a child. Its a similar thing with knot magic... even now as an adult before I take on something that I want to succeed in, the last thing that I do is tie my shoe laces with my final blast of intent being timed with the final extra pull in my lace knot. So colours of rope or lace means nothing for me, unless it is for something important such as a knot spell to help somebody catch pregnant who has had difficulty in the past. Only then will I plat rope together to strengthen and die it a certain colour, or even more effective is soaking the rope in specific fluids.

 

Over years growing up spent in and around our forest and valley floors I have come to know the plant life around me. Many of them mean different things to me than what I have read on various websites and seen in books as to what they have traditionally meant. For example basil is widely thought to be the herb used for career advancement or money related spells.

 

I would like to know where that has come from?? for me... apart from cleansing and purifying areas, using any type of herb/spice is simply used for healing or harming, be it mind or body. For me personally basil is the last thing I would use as an ingredient to attract anything apart from a spirit. Again this is just from personal experience.

 

Having said that there is sooooo much shit on the internet and modern woo woo books it can be really hard to break it down and discover where the source of the information is. So I just go on how I feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 sources used by popular Wiccan author Scott Cunningham in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs were Culpepper's and Mrs. Grieves writings. They gave their sources & inspiration that they drew from in their texts in turn. People have been making lists of useful plants as far back as writing goes.

 

My personal list is short. As a kid I recall irises gave me the heebie geebie willies of too many voices all gibbering at once. Mom planted irises on one side of the house & they bothered me so much Id run past them or avoid that side of the house all together. To this day I can't tolerate the plants (brrr!). I associate iris with spirit communication & im a reluctant medium. And on the other hand I really like lily of the valley and their scent speaks of "don't tread on me" protection & yet chemically the plant is toxic as are Mayapple & nightshade that grow abundantly in my location. Also abundant locally is raspberry with its thorns protecting the fruit &' apples. Im in a fruit-belt agriculturally. Common culinary seasoning herbs are few and far between. You'd have to be around the living plant to get a feel for it. Shaker-top jars of dried kitchen herbs as they come from the grocery store baking isle just isn't the way to know a plant but is very useful for knowing what's safe to eat. I tend to think of plants as the Healer's business, stock and trade and not the Magicians'. And a Witch's use falls in between. Fortunately plants aren't used in most spells.

 

@Llyr - I related to your shoe lace knot magic :) and I can remember the day I'd (finally) learned to tie my own shoes! Sitting on the floor of my room & facing down those ominous laces in a battle of wits! They were the 1st obstacle I overcame. Woohoo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting back to those newbie, start-up basics, let me just add this as a bare minimum intro.

 

 

LAYING THE COMPASS

 

There are Tradition-by-Region or folkloric Witchcraft methods to prepare a liminal area (a place between) in which to work, and I think beginners should have an inkling of multiple ways of doing things. I believe this model comes from Peter Paddon's "Grimoire for Cunning Folk." Work out doors. There is no consecration as the Land itself is sacred. There are no words to say or altar to set up, but have a bottle of water, some bread and a fire-pot with kindling & lighter set in the middle of your space. The broom handle, long staff or Iron-shod, forked Stang is used to trace the compass (circle) onto the ground. Walk WIDDERSHINS (<- counter-clockwise) to stir &' summon the earth light. As with any circle, you are uniting the realms of above, mid-earth and below in a space between.

 

Hold the staff in the left hand which will put you outside the circle as it is drawn (left being linked to the underworld and Land). Start at North, drag the staff pressing down lightly as if to plow a furrow into the EARTH. Visualize the staff stirring and drawing up the vibrant, serpent-like land forces as you make the compass.

 

Make a serpent's hissing sound to induce a light trance as you walk, deep breathing to hiss AIR.

 

When you feel the Land forces response - or after 3 complete circuits - conclude circling where you started at North. lay the staff cross-wise as a threshold to step across & enter the compass; then retrieve the staff & stand it up in a prepared hole at the center of the compass to mark the place where the three worlds & cross roads meet. The staff stands as the axis-mundi, the center of the world.

 

Rinse your hands and face in the WATER poured from the bottle.

 

Light the FIRE in your fire pot in the center (a wind-shielded candle or lantern can substitute).

 

The compass is made. The four elements are present. Folk methods might invite a familiar spirit & the ancestor spirits as part of their observance. The Great Ones are eternally present.

 

Pay a token coin to the Land Spirits for the use of the Sacred Land. Just flip a coin of any denomination over your shoulder and leave it there (option: or pour some water as an offering). State the purpose for which you've laid down the compass, state the work to be done. Then proceed with that purpose.

 

Offer thanks giving by breaking bread. Eat half, and drink some water. Place the rest of the bread & pour water directly on the ground for the earth-spirits.

 

When you are done, state that the task for which you came is completed. If you evoked anything be sure to thank & farewell it. Dissipate or ground residual energy. Leave the offering on the ground. Gather up your few things & walk away. It's polite to not look back so the land-spirits can have their share in peace.

 

The late Peter Paddon's podcasts are freely available on You-Tube. I've found that his teaching videos are worth viewing.

 

:-:-:-:-:

 

Some common tools include the staff or Stang for the Horned God, a libation Cup for the Mother Goddess, a fire pot or hearth stone for the Ancestors & a personal Witch's Measure cord might be worn. There are many regional variations including shield & spear & differences in the four direction's of the elemental associations that would vary by region. A common set are Air-White-North, Fire-red-East, Earth-black-South, Water-gray-West. I'm deliberately keeping this brief because so many variations are beyond a post.

Edited by Zombee
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really have anything to actually contribute for the thread, but I just wanted to thank you for posting this, Zombee. This has been an interesting read so far. A chance to learn about other traditions is always a wonderful thing, and this gives me some understanding of the basics of how other people do things. I'll keep following the thread. Thanks! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Excellent as always, Zombee; thank you for the details. Something occurred to me in another thread, but it's relevant to the information provided here, so I'll elaborate a bit. One concept that gets a lot of mileage is that, magically speaking, the symbol of a thing is the thing. When you are creating a sacred space, you are creating a magical microcosm; the elements that are present, the compass that is laid, and the stang or other representative of the upper, middle, and under realms that is raised all come together to represent all that is, and the working is done within this context to make your Will as reality within this microcosm. As within, so without---the circle and all it contains is symbolic of your reality, and with the Powers applied, the symbol becomes the thing, and your Will and your reality become one and the same. Magic in a nutshell, or at least my preferred way to see it. 

 

Symbolism is everything in magic. Just like in the ancient past, votive offerings of animal likenesses such as drawings or clay figures are perfectly acceptable stand-ins for living animal sacrifices, so long as your head is in the game and you make it as if these symbols are what they represent. In this way, you never have to settle for second best, or worry that your materials for a spell aren't "good enough". If you can't have even a lit tealight at your magical working space due to resources or circumstance, you can nonetheless bring a whole bonfire if you wish to the table by utilizing your sorcerous creativity. 

Edited by Phaedra
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robin Artison is one author I've read who has given a few rituals to draw & direct energy. He simply acts out In a ritual what he wants to have happen. For example he paced out a figure eight to pass between worlds for consultation. The circle in the mundane world was paced out deosil and the reflection/opposite circle was paced widdershins in the symbolic other world. There were 2 lanterns on north facing trees as a gateway at the junction where the 2 halves of the 8 met. A beer & bread offering was laid on the ground at the junction & 1/2 was consumed by him at the ritual's end in the usual manner & the other 1/2 left as offering.

 

I set this up in my backyard facing north with 2 bamboo garden stakes/poles & 2 flameless tea lights to mark the junction of the 8; then just paced it out repeatedly for an hour, starting at the junction & pacing the mundane/deosil circle 1st and then crossing through the gate poles & pacing the other/widdershin circle, and returning through the gate to the mundane and then back to the other-world, over & over in a figure 8. The monotony induced light trance and the action drew energy. When I was ready, I spiraled widdershins in to center & sat down to meditate 1st in the "other world" circle (reverse-spiraling to get out) and then spiraling with the deosil flow into the "mundane" circle center to sit down,meditate & return to normal.

 

There's no harm in the ritual if you behave yourself & it's simple to do. As always with any circle be sure to ground yourself & disipate the circles when done. It's just one way to stage a ritual to cause a desired effect. RA wanted to "cross between" so he set up a simple stage to do that.

Edited by Zombee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zombie thankyou so much for this post. I especially like the part about inbetween places. There are some on the list there that I had never thought of before. And I love the part about the witches store cupboatd too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciated the information on "laying the compass".

 

One question when drawing the circle why walk widdershins? As opposed to clockwise. What if you drew it in context of what your doing like if it's a healing spell you are working why not draw it clockwise? Just Curious!

 

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad that you differentiate the Doc of Sigs as a magical set of parameters and not a medical one. This law originated as an old system of trying to find medicines in the natural world, and it is NOT correct for that. However, as a magical system it works just fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciated the information on "laying the compass".

 

One question when drawing the circle why walk widdershins? As opposed to clockwise. What if you drew it in context of what your doing like if it's a healing spell you are working why not draw it clockwise? Just Curious!

 

Thank you

---

 

 

The short response: I know that in some forms of WC practice (but not all) it is customary to raise energy thru the body & pace clockwise to CAST & maintain your raised energy, and to go counterclockwise to root or ground the energy.

 

So i ask why is that different from a TWC compass? I always want to know why something is done a specific way. In Wiccan circle CASTING the Crafter draws energy from the earth (& sky) & into their body to be pushed out thru their hand & gaze. Wiccans cast & pace clockwise & disperse counter-clockwise. That's generally what the books give us. I see energy & have observed that the energy spirals one direction coming in and spirals the other direction going out, so some kind of internal conversion is taking place. It's a polarity thing as far as I can tell. A lot of occult teaching is based on polarity. An athame with 2 edges maintains balanced dual polarity, in my best guess. Don't take my word for it. Try as many different ways as you want & see for yourself.

 

It's also my opinion (& with some pendulum dowsing) that earth energy beneath the surface spins counter-clockwise so when it rises, it's spinning counter-clockwise. I see blue light climb the staff like a counter-clockwise twisting snake. I interpret what i see as energy in motion constantly fluxing between (-) and (+) polarity as it spins. (The brain interprets faster than I reason it out.) Im guessing that to be in sync & go with the flow, the by-the-book counter-clockwise direction is used in TWC to connect to the Land and Underworld. We would want to connect to the Land, to it's force and its inhabitants, so will go with the spiraling direction of energy within the Earth. This is an electromagnetic current as far as I've read in non-craft books on Ley lines. There's a reason the Stang is iron-shod. It's magnetic &'therefore draws energy to it. Generally in what I've read of TWC the compass is not cast upon the surface as a Wiccan circle would be, but is drawn forth from the Earth thru the staff or Stang (not converted thru our bodies) and maintained by our counterclockwise circular treading motions.

 

There are probably good reasons for using one approach or the other & it most likely depends on what our purpose is &'how we think about union with earth-forces; more specifically how we either externally direct energy via TWC style or internally convert & channel energy via Wiccan style in synch with the healing intention. It's not one-size fits all. Both ways work so we have to find out what works best for us & work it out.

Edited by Zombee
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zombee,

 

---
It's also my opinion (& with some pendulum dowsing) that energy beneath the surface spins counter-clockwise so when it rises, it's spinning counter-clockwise. I see blue light climb the staff like a counter-clockwise twisting snake. I interpret what i see as energy in motion constantly fluxing between (-) and (+) polarity as it spins. (The brain interprets faster than I reason it out.) Im guessing that to be in sync & go with the flow, the by-the-book counter-clockwise direction is used in TWC to connect to the Land and Underworld. We would want to connect to the Land, to it's force and its inhabitants, so will go with the spiraling direction of energy within the Earth. This is an electromagnetic current as far as I've read in non-craft books on Ley lines. There's a reason the Stang is iron-shod. It's magnetic &'therefore draws energy to it. Generally in what I've read of TWC the compass is not cast upon the surface as a Wiccan circle would be, but is drawn forth from the Earth thru the staff or Stang (not converted thru our bodies) and maintained by our counterclockwise circular treading motions.
 

 

I see, that does make alot of sense i greatly appreciate you sharing that!

 

I am going to read further this technique and give it a shot next time i do a working outdoors.  I always cast my space by simply invoking my spirits and guardians, and saying a prayer and offering smoke to each direction going clockwise starting with north and invoking the power of the earth,  and I close it going the same direction....  In consideration of polarity and duality as you say though, I think i will adopt the technique of closing counter clockwise from now on.  

 

and when i lay the compass in the woods ill open it widdershins as you reccommend.

 

respect to you zombeee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just parroting what Peter Paddon taught in his video & book. It's all a work in progress. I hope you'll let us know if you find any differences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will for sure. I haven't done anything since the full moon next time I do, I will implement this technique. Thanks zombee, much respect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zombie thankyou so much for this post. I especially like the part about inbetween places. There are some on the list there that I had never thought of before. And I love the part about the witches store cupboatd too

I was going to reply exactly this, then I saw Fiona’s post. I also found inbetween places on your list, Zombee, that I had not before considered. You put a lot of time, attention, and detail into your original post and replies, and I have new ideas to consider because of that. Thank you!

 

Edit: I hit post too soon.

Edited by JessicaB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just seconding what jessicaB said, thank you for the thought and time you put into your posts zombee,  much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...