Stars and Spells?

Posed on 12 July 2015

A recent email about whether I knew how to cast spells got me thinking about the blurring of lines about various areas of Mind, Body & Spirit topics. I suppose it’s sort of like doctors. While within the profession there’s enormous clarity about various specialities, to the public a doctor is a doctor. This is even more so when it comes to matters of a spiritual nature because over the past several hundred years such matters have been sidelined. It wasn’t always thus, as is made clear in Shakespeare’s plays, which are brimming with references to both magical symbolism and the practitioners thereof, from the three witches in Macbeth to the wise X in Julius Caesar. So while those who were well-informed during Shakespeare’s time knew when they needed an astrological chart done, a simple spell or something more complex today it’s all been relegated to gothic novels and horror movies. The irony is, when it comes to spells, many of us conjure the forces involved without realising it. A spell does little more than ask the forces of nature to do a task. It can be a small convenience – that a friend discover they can’t actually make an appointment you’d like to avoid but don’t want to cancel. Or big, as in the American Indian Medicine Man, or shaman, doing a rain dance to change the weather. Each involves intention, that is, defining the desired goal. These are more challenging than you’d think. There’s a difference between simply wishing something was – or wasn’t – true and actually declaring an intention. And attention, that is enough focus on that objective to contact and address the energy necessary to achieve that objective. Often this involves a “gift” or a “sacrifice.” It’s a sort of payment to the forces that have been engaged for the job done. Ignore this part of the deal and they’ll exact their payment in their own, sometimes inconvenient manner. Once it’s defined, next comes the ritual of asking. The simplest and most familiar is tossing a coin in a fountain and making a wish.