I have been meaning to write something on the subject of magic and spellcraft for a while, and recently it keep cropping up on blogs and in discussions I am having. Sometimes the prodding becomes insistent enough to force action.
I come from a background in what you would call witchcraft; that is, I came into paganism and soon after found spellcraft et al early on. It seemed entirely natural and worked well when employed. With a bit of newbie zeal I never really questioned it's use or even mechanics – I simply did it when needed and found that certain things worked well and with good results e.g. weather magic to stop rain for a shirt time was always a winner. Roll along a decade and whilst I was still involved in the craft I found I wasn’t really doing much spellcraft, I did the odd ting now and then for those who needed it but not a lot really. I certainly never really did much for myself.
These past two years I think it is I have been focussing on the devotional side of my practice – I think I have said this before, at least twice – so have been giving thought to revisiting the notions of and practice of spellcraft again.
I guess my main problem has been the notion that a bit of plant has some innate power to cause something to happen on a magical level (pharmacological effects aside here), likewise a rock or bit of animal. I haven’t had problems with the notion of seeking intercession of the gods.
The conclusion of this little ramble is that I am coming around to the idea that the spellcraft works by employing the service of the spirit (animistic sense) or ungod of the animal, plant or whatever into working on your behalf, a kind of low level intercession. As such the idea of utilising talismans or fetishes as spirit houses to convey and act as a resource for various ungods seems to be valid to me.
This has all come to a head with a recent request to do 'something' for a friend who wants help with a certain situation – naming no names and no details here – where I found that this is a fairly simple process; identify the appropriate kind of ungod for the job, craft a suitable fetish to convey it and ensure appropriate care, attention and feeding of it. This also appeals to the side of me which really bloody enjoys getting down and dirty and crafting something with one hell of a kick.
This all ties in nicely with my exploration into the witchcraft and mystic side of my devotional practice, again kick-started by others; I recently rediscovered a blog I used to read and have been re-inspired by the work and style of others which kind of fits my own personal style too in many ways. So, thanks to the Witch of Forest Grove and the one walking the Ivy Path.