Yesterday I read in a book the advice that “like most magic tools, fancier ones may hold more energy or may otherwise deliver better results.” Am I alone in thinking the reverse may actually be true?
First maybe a spell should be defined. ‘The intent to influence the state of events by the application of willpower’ might suffice. A spell is only an intent, there is no guarantee of success. To influence the state of events may mean to bring about a transformation of a physical form or condition or it may mean to deviate future events from a predestined path. A spell could also be termed a charm, glamour, enchantment, hex, working, bewitchment or jinx, to list but a few.
There was a time when pointing a finger at someone was widely interpreted as placing a spell on them. ‘It’s rude to point’, people say it but do they know why? It was that simple and can still be that simple, all that is required is that the spell caster forms a clear vision of the current state of events and how they want to change that and uses their pointed finger to direct their will to that task.
Pointing fingers may be seen as counterproductive as it is a clear signal to all. Charm and flattery may achieve a greater transformation in the actions of other people than outward signals of force. And what is a spell other than a means to divert the predestined course of events? think of the way in which the word ‘charm’ is used in English as a verb or noun and you will see that it is usually applied to a change in the expected course of events. ‘She/He charmed the pants off him/her’, is often a saying used when a person has been influenced and you can read as much as you like into the exact wording.
The idea that ‘charm’ and ‘spell’ are one and the same also raises the question, are we all witches? ‘Oh isn’t he charming’, you might hear a mother or grandmother say of a child. But perhaps the more aware of us would think ‘Crafty! What are you after?’.
If you focus on your baking and envisage a fine cake or plant seeds in your garden and envisage a fine row of vegetables it is simple spell casting without realizing it.
Of course no-one gets it right all the time and we cannot be jacks of all trades, some people have ‘green fingers’ but couldn’t bake a cake if their lives depended on it and there is always the possibility that a higher power is at work against which we strive in vain. Nevertheless ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ or alternatively ‘if you imagine it will fail it will surely fail’ are more often true than not.
A wand or, the Gods preserve us, a sword are only fancy pointed fingers. You could argue that a sword may be more effective than a pointed finger, but only in the physical medium, when it comes to willpower alone then the pen is mightier than the sword. And with a pen in your hand it becomes quite natural to write down your spell so that you or others can repeat it again in future. More importantly though with a pen in your hand you may be able to write down exactly what you wish for, without ambiguity, for the Spirits have a sense of humour too.
After the act however, is time spent drawing mystic signs with a finger, pen or tip of a wand enhancing the spell or diverting energy away from the core purpose? There is though a strong case to be made that spells often need reinforcement and a sign that you can see and only you can interpret provides a reminder to reinforce the spell whilst not alerting others so they can work against it should they choose.
Generally then is it true for tools that ‘fancier is better’? I suspect not if taken at face value. A simple stick taken haphazardly from a pile may have the same face value as a wand as the finest, gold inlayed, crystal studded shop bought item. At face value both have little value.
But, the purpose of a spell is to focus energy, will, intent, call it what you choose and time spent carefully selecting the tools you are going to use is time spent balling up the energy and willpower you are going to put into the spell. In that respect a stick carefully selected from a pile of ordinary sticks because it is the one that speaks to you may serve you far better than a fancy wand selected on the basis of only an on-line picture. Similarly in some instances carefully casting a circle, making the working fancier, may be integral to the outcome. Proper pre-planning prevents poor performance, as the saying goes.
Another argument against ‘fancy’ is that of dilution. The colour red, for example, has a clear correspondence and in a pure form it has a clear purpose. When however I see spells that require that a spell be written on a yellow parchment, in black ink, in front of 2 blue candles, then bound with red ribbon, then I cannot see the clear correspondence, the clear purpose. It is not necessary to consider every aspect of the world around you when working, that is what the sacred space is for, only the influences you bring into it have relevance and purpose. But if you bring in a clutter of fancy items you had best be sure they do not conflict for at best nothing will happen, at worst the outcome will be exactly the reverse of your intention.
Items fit for purpose is a theme to which I frequently return. A wand of apple wood (love and abundance) is not fit for a spell of banishment. A wand of holly adorned with acorns may appear priapic, but the holly and the oak are each others life and death and therefore not a great combination to bring into a sacred space if your intention is to ask for a fertility blessing.
Fancier is NOT therefore necessarily better. Fancier does NOT necessarily mean you get the sum of the parts. Fancier may mean that each part detracts from the others until nothing but chaos remains.
Keep it simple and you’ll not go far wrong.