Spellwork: Cunningly Causing Coincidence
One of my favorite quotes is: "Magic is the art of causing coincidence" - Chris McIntosh quoted in Freya Aswynn's "Northern Mysteries and Magick”
Last night I had a fascinating conversation with a dear friend and student, which covered many topics including spell work. We discussed things like: where did my knowledge of spells come from, what spells are, and how do we create them. The discussion was rich and definitely a topic, which we will come back to.
I headed upstairs afterwards to hunt for something unrelated - and opened a little wooden box filled with twists and knots and plaits of grass, bark and even seaweed. And the above quote came floating into my head. For this is a box of spells, created over the last 24 years (since I was a pre-teenager) and carried with me through life.
The seaweed plait was the first example of what I now would call a spell. But it was created with no knowledge of spells, pagans, witches or anything similar. On a glorious sunny day on a family holiday I picked up a piece of seaweed and began to braid into it the glory and joy of that day to carry home with me - back to school and back to everyday life.
The practice continued. The next spell to be placed in that box is a braid of grass made while standing in a field on the Isle of Skye a year or so later. And there are many more - and I could name and place each one, even though the box is rarely opened - the last added back in August after a particularly wonderful trip.
So, what are spells?
The insignificant and apparently clumsy items in my little box are spells.
So too, is the glorious altar box that I created to honor my Gods many years ago; the little bag of blackthorns that hang on the back of the front door; so too can be the more formal rituals we create, in which we raise energy to charge an intention that may be personal, or that may help bring about changes in the greater world.
Spells can be a long, complex recipe of ingredients gathered on particular days under a particular phase of the moon, charged in ritual with poetic words. Or they can be as simple as a twist of grass.
I don't believe that increased complexity adds (or detracts) from the efficiency of the spell - what matters is the intention behind the spell, and the energy that we can give the spell to charge it and send it out to the universe to do its work.
I have noticed a tendency among some of my communities to shy away from Spell-work; the opinion seems to be that spells are for teen-witches and beginners in the Craft, and not for "Proper witches who are doing their work".
And yet we continue to do the work of manifesting that which we need or want in our lives, and calling it something other than spell work. I've sometimes mumbled to people that there is more to witchcraft than just doing spells…however I am a spell worker, and work frequently with spells, both formal and impromptu, from spells to find my keys to prosperity spells through to larger spell work to create positive change in my worlds.
The skeptic in me struggles with the concept of spell work and manifestation magic - telling me "that was going to happen anyway" or "it's just a coincidence that you got X when you did that spell."
And yes, perhaps it is ‘just coincidence’ – fine. Because the non-skeptic part of me really does believe that my magic is the art of encouraging coincidences to occur at a higher rate than they normal do… and that therefore, these results are actually not just coincidence.
"Some of the best advice for embracing the magic of coincidence came from Victor Anderson: He said 'First perceive, then believe.'
This article was re-produced by permission from the author.