Does magick work if I’m not pagan?
One of my friends asked me this question the other day, and I thought it would make a great blog post! She has been interested in her own spirituality, and there are a few rituals she’d like to try to bring herself some peace. However, she isn’t sure if it works unless she calls herself a witch or pagan!
I totally get this. I feel like a lot of people want to participate in spiritual practices that are usually considered to be witchcraft, pagan, or even the occult, but worry about labeling themselves. And I want to tell those people to not be afraid!
However, if that magick is not apart of your culture, and no one from that culture is inviting you to participate, be warned. Not only is this socially unacceptable to perform sacred ceremonies from another’s culture, but it can also anger any associated spirits or deities. Example: if you don’t prescribe to the Voodoo religion and practice it regularly, don’t perform an “authentic” Voodoo Spell for Love that you read in a Cosmo magazine. It won’t work, you’ll anger the spirits, and you’ll anger real Voodoo practitioners.*
There are rituals you already do every day.
But despite this pretty serious warning, you can still participate in a more magickal spirituality. There are broad ways to connect with the universe, spirit, and yourself that you can use in your own practices, including some rituals you already have in place.
If you paid attention to my daily routines, then you know that something as mundane as brushing your hair every night can be magickal. Or maybe you practice tidying as a spiritual experience. Or maybe you have an elaborate ritual at your place of worship that calls for a lot of tools, blessings, and focus.
All of these things can be considered working magick without explicitly being witchcraft!
Honestly, magick is open to anyone. It is a way to connect with nature, spirit, and your inner-self to create an outcome you desire. It is not password-protected knowledge only available for people who declare themselves a witch.
But as I said above, be sure that you are not stealing sacred rituals from a culture that you, yourself, are not initiated in or invited to. General magick and specific cultural rituals sometimes have a thin line between them, especially for the inexperienced, so tread lightly. The best advice is to focus on your inner spirit and to use widely available tools like incense, natural elements (water, rocks, etc.), and candles.
Here is a quick ritual for you:
Think about something in your life that is troubling you. Is it your love life, your financial situation, or that you never seem to put the laundry away even after a week of it being cleaned? (*raises hand*)
Well, grab a candle, preferably white or cream (neutral color symbolism), and light it. Think about that problem, and stare into the flame of the candle. Watch the flame flicker and dance, and really focus on it. At this point, allow the vision of your problem to fizzle away into the flame. Have your mind be entirely clear of the issue–it no longer exists in your visualization.
Now, once your mind is clear, image the ideal. Feel free to image an absolute perfect solution to your issue. Continue to stare into the flame, imagining the solution. Let the feeling of relief and warmth of the solution, as if it has already happened, wash over you. Using the power in your mind, allow the flame to grow and get larger (at least figuratively). Once you have that feeling of a solution radiating around you, blow the candle out, and watch the smoke spiral to the air.
This ritual is a great visualization ritual to change your attitude and energy about a situation. Of course, you will need to take action, and you might even need to write out a step-by-step process to truly overcome the problem. But at least you know where the end goal it. You have felt it. You have seen it. And you are on the way to create it.
And done! You did magick!
I suggest focusing on more general, nature-based or inner-self rituals and spells. This will not only keep you within the boundaries of your own spirituality and religion (especially if that religion is very against magick), but it will also keep you from intruding on sacred ceremonies you probably shouldn’t be messing with.
So go out and perform rituals and spells!
After giving this advice to my friend, she instantly went out and started to develop and understand magick that would work for her. I don’t think she would ever consider herself a witch, let alone a pagan, but to help her get more in touch with her spirituality was amazing! My only additional advice is to do a lot of research, understand the ethics of rituals, and be respectful.
What would your advice be to my friend? Do you agree with mine? Remember, your visualizations, personal rituals, prayers, and inner magick are not invalid just because of some label you don’t feel comfortable identifying with.
*Hoodoo and Voodoo are not the same, but I thought the article on modern witches appropriating the Hoodoo tradition to be relevant.