Monday, November 30, 2009

Simple Candle Magick

The word “candle” comes from the Latin candere meaning torch. Candles play roles in many of our favorite religious and secular rituals, as well as magickal ones. Blowing out candles on a birthday cake, for instance, is a popular tradition –– but it’s also a simple magick spell, intended to make a wish come true and bring good luck in the coming year.

Candle magick may be the most common and widespread form of magick, spanning many if not all magickal traditions. In the practice of magick, candles represent the element of fire and the spirit or life force. This tool can be used as a focusing aid or for scrying. Candles may also represent people or higher powers, and serve many other purposes in spells and rituals.

Often magicians inscribe candles with words or symbols that relate to their intentions. If you were doing a love spell, for example, you might carve a heart or the word “love” into the candle wax. As the candle burns, your intention is dispersed into the Universe and set into motion. You can even get creative and form candle wax into a symbolic shape, which is often done in the practice of sympathetic magick.

The candle’s color can contribute to your spell, as each color contains certain properties and characteristics. Many candles today are also available scented with essential oils, which combine magickal qualities with sensory and psychological benefits. If you prefer, you can “dress” candles yourself by anointing them with essential oils appropriate to your spell or ritual. When you incorporate color and scent into your spells, you involve several senses in your work and enhance the power of your magick.

(Excerpted from 10-Minute Magic Spells, by Skye Alexander, published by Fair Winds Press, copyrighted material.)


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sex Magick

Mystical rites, rituals, and ceremonies involving sex have been practiced in numerous cultures, East and West, for longer than anyone can document. Early Celts engaged in sexual activity, particularly during the spring planting season and on Beltane, as a form of sympathetic magick to encourage the land’s fertility. Temple priestesses in ancient Greece combined sex and mysticism. Tantric yoga channels sexual energy toward spiritual goals and also promotes health and longevity. Early Jewish mysticism contained sexual components in its rituals and spirituality. In Wicca’s Great Rite, a couple invites the God and Goddess to enter their bodies during sex, and the act is considered sacred.

Western sex magick has links to the teachings of the Sufis, who supposedly shared their knowledge with the Knights Templar during the Crusades in the Middle East. The Templars brought these practices back to Europe, where they were incorporated into other mystical and occult philosophies.

Magick’s notorious bad boy, Aleister Crowley, did much to promote and influence the course sex magick has taken in the West. Crowley learned sex magick while traveling in India and Africa, and he emphasized its practice through the organization he headed, the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO).

Like other types of magickal work, sex magick’s objectives are varied, ranging from healing to spell-working to spiritual enlightenment. Franz Mesmer used sexually induced trances to facilitate various types of healing. The British poet William Blake, a Freemason, wrote about a facet of sex magick that involves sexual activity between humans and spiritual beings. In kundalini yoga, sexual energy is raised and directed throughout the body to nourish the charkas and encourage healing on every level. Because sex magick’s power comes from blending male and female energies with divine forces to produce wholeness, it can also be an effective way to consciously create virtually any circumstance you desire.

Tapping Creative Energy

Sex magick taps the powerful creative force inherent in sexual activity for specific purposes other than human reproduction. According to sex magick’s tenets, this creative force, which is responsible for all human and animal life, can be directed to create abundance, success, healing, and so on.

Sexual energy can provide the fuel to propel all forms of manifestation. The result of magickal coupling is known as a “magickkal childe.” This means an effect is imprinted on the spiritual plane that will eventually materialize in the physical world. As in other types of magick, the participants mentally create an image of the intention they wish to bring into being. Then they engage in sex while holding this image in their minds. At the moment of orgasm, the image is released into the cosmos to be acted upon by divine forces and finally “birthed” on the material plane.

This is only one of many sex magick practices, but it’s a relatively easy and effective method. Other forms, such as tantric yoga and astral traveling during sexual trance, require more extensive mental, physical, and spiritual expertise.

Charging Charms

The creative energy raised during sex magick can be used to empower charms and other magick tools. The easiest way to do this is to fashion a talisman or amulet in the usual manner. Then keep the charm near you (or wear it) while engaging in sexual activity. Remember to hold your intention clearly in your mind throughout the act.

You can also charge charms with a mixture of male and female fluids (called elixir) generated during magickal sexual activity. Anoint a talisman or amulet with these fluids, just as you might anoint a charm with essential oils. The creative force permeates the charm and imbues it with additional power. Magicians sometimes use sexual fluids to charge magickal tools, too.

(Excerpted from The Everything Spells & Charms Book, by Skye Alexander, published by Adams Media. Copyrighted material.) 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Timing Money Spells

Jupiter, the planet astrologers connect with growth and expansion, rules on Thursday. If you’d like to increase your income or business opportunities, do prosperity magick on a Thursday. However, if you want to stabilize your finances, limit spending, or manage your money better, Saturday is a better choice because Saturn supports discipline and responsibility.

Partnerships fall into Venus’ domain, and Venus reigns on Friday––work spells to improve a business partnership or attract financial backing on a Friday. People who earn their livings in creative fields can also benefit from doing magick on Friday, as Venus rules the arts, or on Sunday, for the Sun is linked with self-expression.

Pay attention to the moon’s phase, too. Perform spells to attract money, enhance investments, improve your public image, or help you get a job or promotion while the moon is waxing. Plant “seeds” for a new venture on the new moon. As the moon’s light increases, so will whatever you started during this auspicious period. The full moon helps bring projects to fruition. Examine your progress during the full moon and, if necessary, make any adjustments.

Don’t overlook Mercury’s retrograde periods, which occur every four months and last for three weeks at a time. (You’ll have to consult an ephemeris or astrological calendar for this information.) From our vantage point here on earth, Mercury appears to be moving backward in its orbit when retrograde.

Investments or ventures begun during this planetary cycle can be problematic. You may not understand all the details, a situation may not turn out the way you’d planned, or an undertaking may take longer than expected. Because we don’t think as clearly while Mercury is retrograde, it’s not usually a good time to work magick––you may miss something important or get your signals crossed.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shades of Gray

Let’s get one thing straight––there’s nothing wrong with doing magick to get what you want. In fact, that’s the reason most of us perform spells. You can use magick just as you use your abilities to improve your lot in life. But if you injure someone else in order to achieve your own objectives, you’re crossing the line from gray to black magick.

Wicca, the spiritual path many modern-day Western witches follow, puts it concisely: “Do what you will, but harm none.” Now that seems plain enough, doesn’t it? A spell designed to kill your business partner so you get total control of the company and your joint assets obviously falls into the black category. A spell to steal your sister’s husband? Black again.

But what about doing magick to get a job that your best friend also wants? Or to win the heart of that really cute guy you met at a party Saturday night (the one who didn’t ask for your phone number)? Now we’re talking shades of gray.

Some spells fall at the “silver” end of the spectrum, others at the “charcoal” end. But sometimes it’s kind of hard to tell. Even well-intended spells may infringe on another person’s free will. Here’s an example. Let’s say your brother is sick and you decide to do a spell to heal him. Sounds like a positive use of magick, right? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Perhaps your brother has been pushing himself too hard and needs a rest big-time, but the only way his body can get him to slow down is to send him 

to bed with the flu. His illness is actually serving a good purpose; therefore, doing a get-well spell could be interfering with his body’s natural protective processes. See what I mean about gray areas?

Many spells are considered “bad” because they’re manipulative. Let’s talk some more about that cute guy from the party. And let’s say you know for a fact he’s not involved with anyone else. Isn’t it okay to go for it? Again, the answer is maybe. In situations like this, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. One, if he isn’t interested in you, are you manipulating him (i.e., interfering with his own free will) by doing a spell to snag him? Two, do you really want someone who’s not that into you or would you be better off with someone else? 

Okay, I admit, this is a toughy. Love spells are the ones people most often misuse. The best way to handle this dilemma is to add a “disclaimer” at the end of your spell, something like “if this is for our highest good.” This allows the Universe to make the final decision and take responsibility for the outcome. You’re off the hook––if the relationship isn’t right, it won’t happen. An even better approach is to do a spell to attract a partner who is right for you in every way. Don’t specify who that might be, let the Universe send you the perfect lover. 

How can you decide if the spell you’re doing is naughty or nice? Consider the possible consequences––are you willing to accept what happens? Would you advise your best friend to do it? Trust your feelings––if you don’t feel right about it, don’t do it.

Often, your intention is the only difference between one category and the next. Before you do a dark spell, consider whether you can produce the same result using a slightly lighter touch. Remember, the choice is always yours.

(Excerpted from Skye's book Nice Spells/Naughty Spells, published by Adams Media; copyrighted material.)