Not all Pagans practice magic* similarly. There are many interpretations as to what magic is. Some have very strict codes about what is and isn’t acceptable. Some are very formal and others less so in their practice.
In my personal practice, my main magical workings tend to be theurgical, meaning that I do rituals with the intent of working with my spirit allies towards a goal. Often this is done through an exchange of sorts. In some cases, I meditate and trance with the purpose of communicating with a spirit about an issue I am having. That spirit may ask for something in exchange. I will then ritually present that desire along with prayers and chants of thanks and hope. Usually, there’s an understanding that more will come if my wish is granted. Sometimes my spirit allies laugh at me and explain that we can’t always get what we want.
I’ve found that one has to be very careful what one wishes for and how our hopes and dreams are put into words. In my experience, spirits, including the Gods, aren’t always able to bring about desired change. This is reflected in my limited work as, sometimes, a spirit ally expresses that he/she/it can merely try to put some extra power towards a goal while not guaranteeing the future. Sometimes we have to remember that not all things can be and the whole universe doesn’t revolve around us.
I usually stick to asking for general healing, inspiration, good harvests, safety, and protection. I try not to be very greedy. I try to accept limits and mortality. I always work hard at saying “thank you” for the blessings I have. I strive to make and maintain relationships with my spirit allies as they are in the Otherworld and more powerful at shaping what is yet to be. I do direct energy and intent, but I believe my allies are stronger and, with them, my work can be strengthened. I evoke them, thank them, toast them, dine them, and we work together. Some beings, like my caring ancestors or animal guides, are very interested in my well-being. Some Gods are very loving to their followers. I’ve found that Brighid, as a Goddess of the hearth, artisans, and women, is very sensitive to her followers and their tribes. She is very linked to human society and has a real kindness to her spirit. Other deities are not as concerned. They can be very aloof or have other interests – a desire for offerings, energy, attention… They don’t always listen or act which is why I think it’s best to meditate on a goal and/or divine whether or not the spirit is willing to even lend you support. It’s been important for me to get to know my allies and it’s an ever-evolving thing.
Sometimes I do kitchen and folk magic which is very informal. I put my love into the food I make to nourish my family and friends. I light candles and pray. I look to the sky and ask for rain. I use herbs for very practical things such as energizing teas, relaxing baths, soothing bed pillows, and calming balms. Candle magic is a favorite of mine. It’s very easy for me to put my intent into a candle that I imbue with symbols and oils then visualize my intentions going where they need to.
Occasionally, I use herbal tisanes, wine, or ointments for meditation or trance.
Art is part of my magical workings. Sachets to hold herbs, dolls to house spirits or represent desires, twine to hold drying herbs, or cloaks to envelop you while you meditate. I say prayers and chant when I create such items. Tools are ritually consecrated in the name of Fire, Well, and Tree. I put my love into them.
Although a majority of the magic I do is for personal gains (inspiration, protection of the home, banishing obnoxious people from my life) or general (rain during drought, healing for a disaster-struck area), I occasionally do magic for a friend or family member. I always insist that it not be a crutch – work must be done in the physical realm as well. You know… the classic example of filling out a job application and updating one’s resume in addition to a spell to find work.
Some argue that magic is all in the head. Some of it definitely is – I don’t know how much. Sometimes it’s meant to be in the head! I do know that I’ve had things happen after doing spells that seem more than coincidence. Sometimes it takes time or repetition… Other times you have to know when to accept what is. I don’t over rely on magic – I’m more content to be thankful for what comes naturally and learn how to deal with what I cannot control. But in a world where I’m mostly powerless, as are most people, there’s nothing wrong with trying to exert a little force in a certain direction. I don’t pretend to do things I cannot do. I respect the laws of Nature as a good Nature worshiper must, but I’m also open-minded about what is unknown.
Magic is part of Druidism. Some of us may do it or think about it differently, but it’s there. It’s not 100% what Druidism is about – but it’s there and is part of its beauty.
10 thoughts on “My Druidism and Magic”
I was an English major too, but I had a focus on the growth and development of the English language…so I rejoice when I see those spellings, because I see it as a little bit of history come back to life. 😉 I’m still waiting to see the more creative spellings like “magyque” though…ahh Middle English…
That’s what I mean by being a descriptivist… but for some reason “majik,” “magik” and the like make me cringe. I think it has something to do with it seeming like the person is just trying too hard to be different, you know?
Thanks for responding, by the way! I appreciate your point of view. 🙂
Aww, thanks! You made my day! ^_^
Lovely as always, Grey. I enjoy reading those more intimate details of how others relate to deity as well as performing magic. I also agree, the k is unnecessary, as it always seems to be used most by the people who try to prove that magic exists to those who wouldn’t believe it, regardless of the spelling. At that point, it’s fairly useless!
Also, letter coming soon. I got piled under paperwork to finally try and get tested for adult ADHD, so much paperwork :(:(:(
Oh no worries! Trust me, I understand how complicated life can get at times. Thanks for your comments and so glad I’m not alone in my spelling annoyance. 😉
Very nice. I once heard Jen E. describe magic as ‘energy with intent’. I call what I do, petitionary magic. I ask the Kindreds (specific ones if I have a relationship with the appropriate power) to do X, which is usually healing or help for someone else, rarely for myself; and offer them Y in exchange. I ‘petition’ them for their aid. I’ll also do some warding, mainly of my house and property… but again, that’s petitioning the local spirits to protect my home, in exchange I provide a save haven for those spirits.
The last time the creek was really high and threatening, I was going out twice a day to make offerings to the local water spirits to please not invade my home. It worked. ^__^
Petitionary magic makes a ton of sense to me, and it’s pretty much what I do.
Reciprocity plays a huge part in my magic. I have a relationship with spirits and, just as with friends, there’s a lot of give and take. Thanks for your comment!
I just go for “magic”. I see magic on two levels: the first is the effects of life, a rainbow, a bird singing, the sound of a child’s laughter. The second is shamanic (Ancient Druids come from shamanic backgrounds) where spirits are worked with, the magic is via the spirit.
Yes, ancient Druidism could very well be described as that culture’s form of shamanism. I think what you are saying is exactly what I practice, just worded slightly different. Since we are from the spirit world and work with spirits, it only makes sense to me that the magic is done in communion with them.
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