Monday, February 21, 2005


As a Wiccan I am sometimes asked what magickal tradition I follow. I usually have to stop and think about this and my final answer is usually: uh, mine?

This is a blatant cop out, what I am essentially admitting is two things: first that I do not have a tradition I follow and second, I generally do not even attempt to do magick at all. Insofar as the first, much of my reluctance to name a tradition is simply ignorance. I may have been a Wiccan for four years but really, that is not very long. There are a lot of different traditions out there. I could not even tell you the difference between Alexandrian Witches and Gardernerian Witches.

I am most familiar with Starhawk's Reclaiming tradition and Phyllis Currot's Ara tradition, but that is simply because I really like their overall philosophies about faith and magick in general. But I have not even read a great many books on Wicca/Witchcraft. So there are probably dozens of cool traditions I know zero about because I have not even encountered them.

I have encountered one coven practicing "Celtic" traditions. They seem like very nice, sincere people, I like their rituals even if I do find them a little chaotic because they are unscripted. But insofar as I can tell, the only Celtic thing about their traditions is that they call them Celtic. I don't see a single thing there that distinctively comes from the Celts at all. So I have no idea what the name is about, other than it being a cool name. Again, nothing against the group or their practice, both of which seem okay to me. Just I don't see a single connection to anything Celtic.

Magick is a more complex and confusing topic for me. Generally speaking, outside of prayer, I don't do magick. The reasoning behind this is simple; the twleve step program I practice teaches humility and acceptance. I am supposed to seek out the knowledge of the will of my Higher Power for me and to do my best to carry that out. I believe there is a danger in trying to use magick to usurp the will of my Higher Power. I have been in circles where the intent of some present was to change the will of the Goddess. That is folly.

On the other hand, if magick is used to discern Her will and conform to it, I don't see that there is a problem. Often the simplest way to avoid supplanting Her will with one's own is to leave the outcome in Her hands. Use magick to invoke Her aid and leave the outcome to Her-to me that is an appropriate form of magick.

I do believe in the power of magick. Often it is as simple as simply using invocation. I have read that the first rule of magick is invoke often and that alone is a powerful mantra. The more you invite something into your life, the more it will manifest itself. Invite love into your life and watch as family and friends fill your life with love. Invite fear into your life and experience how fear will begin to color everything you do.

Banish often is the other big one. Many practicioners don't understand this. If they want to banish, say junk food, and they chant and pray that junk food leave their lives, they are not banishing junk food, they are invoking it. The more they mention and focus on junk food, the more power they give it. Instead, invoke healthy food and remove from your life the things that bring contact with and thoughts of junk food. The less you think about it the less it will bother you. It really is that simple.

Now you understand why I am not a big believer in Weight Watchers! You invoke food and weight all the time; in fact you are invited to obsess about them. I do not understand how this works and I suspect those who succeed are those who fill their lives with healthy foods and exercise rather than simply counting points.

One final note, magickal tools are becoming more of a hindrance than a help to me. I find my altar being simplified time and again. Tools are helpful to create a mood, but magickal tools are not the key. Sprirituality and contact with a Higher Power is the key.

I'll be quiet now, I have rambled on enough on a subject I know little about.