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Author Topic: deities and spells  (Read 5458 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #15: November 24, 2008, 10:38:47 pm »

So can you have a spell without calling on a deity?

Definitely. Magic is not prayer, you do not need a deity to do anything (although such aid seldom hurts).
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« Reply #16: November 25, 2008, 03:15:00 am »

Magic is not prayer
I'm still confused about this. I see how casting a circle is magic and thanking/asking a deity for something is prayer. But wouldn't a spell including deity be both - magic and prayer?  Huh
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« Reply #17: November 25, 2008, 01:09:10 pm »

I'm still confused about this. I see how casting a circle is magic and thanking/asking a deity for something is prayer. But wouldn't a spell including deity be both - magic and prayer?  Huh

The definitions of "magic" vs. "prayer" are context-dependent; that is, they depend on how that religious culture defines each, and to a certain extent how the individual practitioner does (i.e., a pious type who sees magic power as coming from the gods will use prayer differently than one who sees magic as "natural").  "Prayer" is more consistent though, and refers to a petition to a deity.  It's better to say that prayer can be a component of a magic spell, although it doesn't have to be.  And then there are the weird spells where a deity/spirit/saint is being ritually "compelled" to do something, which, while they're petitions to deity, don't follow the usual prayer-patterns. 
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« Reply #18: November 25, 2008, 01:17:45 pm »

Can you do both folk and ceremonial magic?

Sure.  In the UK, plenty of "cunning folk" were somewhat more educated than the villagers around them, and would refer to published ceremonial magic grimoires like the Key of Solomon, in addition to their repertoire of folk spells (see Owen Davies's book Cunning Folk).  Wiccan magic, ritual and otherwise, has both ceremonial and folk magic elements. 
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« Reply #19: November 25, 2008, 01:50:52 pm »

I completely agree with this. My grandmother was a Catholic, but she definitely utilized much folk magic. She never called it that, and clearly the power of what she was doing came from the ingredients and her intent. I can remember countless "rules" for when she made things: there were certain things she cooked up during thunderstorms, certain things for foggy mornings, certain things for if the figs fell off the tree early. She really had quite a system. And if you would have ever suggested to her she was practicing "witchcraft" she would have crossed herself and said some Hail Mary's for you. I like the purity and simplicity of folk magic, even though I'm sure it can be much more complex than what my grandmother did.

Did we have the same grandmother?   Wink

I was "doing" folk magic learned from Mamaw long long before I even considered becoming a pagan.  She was a very devout Catholic who prayed the rosary everyday, went to mass and confession weekly, and lived by the catechism.  Yet she would come home and smudge her house with sage, and I clearly remember her making me a "brew" after I'd poured my heart out to her about my cheating boyfriend. 

She was a lot of fun.  I miss her and I wish she were still here so I could write down some of those recipes!

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But I also like the structure of ceremonial magic. But I'm still learning. Can you do both folk and ceremonial magic?

Of course.  Your grandmother got her "ceremonial magic" at mass, or while saying her novenas.  You can get it through praying to your specific deity or through ritual.  Wink
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« Reply #20: November 28, 2008, 07:35:49 am »

So can you have a spell without calling on a deity?

Yes, I think so. I don't think we need to always call upon a god/goddess in our spell work. We can call upon the directions, the elements, Mother Earth, whatever and get results. I prefer folk magick because I was always doing it from childhood. When I found out what it really was I was surprised and a bit ashamed (I was still living in my Catholic envronment). It was much later that I realized that there was nothing wrong with this kind of magick; it just needed developing. I use ceremonial magick to call upon gods/goddesses when I have a real problem and I need special help.
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« Reply #21: December 13, 2008, 10:06:03 pm »

Yes, I think so. I don't think we need to always call upon a god/goddess in our spell work. We can call upon the directions, the elements, Mother Earth, whatever and get results. I prefer folk magick because I was always doing it from childhood. When I found out what it really was I was surprised and a bit ashamed (I was still living in my Catholic envronment). It was much later that I realized that there was nothing wrong with this kind of magick; it just needed developing. I use ceremonial magick to call upon gods/goddesses when I have a real problem and I need special help.

So when the time comes to call on gods and goddesses, how do you decide which ones?  And if you get results when you call on a god/goddess, how do you properly make an offering to thank them later? I asked the Goddess (I just said "Great Mother" because I didn't know which particular goddess to call on or how) to heal my friend's mother, and the next day she woke up from her coma, and I'd like to thank her somehow.  I didn't do a spell, I just sort of prayed to her one night. I prayed the next day and said thank you. I'd like to do something more, though.
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« Reply #22: December 14, 2008, 08:28:51 am »

So when the time comes to call on gods and goddesses, how do you decide which ones?  And if you get results when you call on a god/goddess, how do you properly make an offering to thank them later? I asked the Goddess (I just said "Great Mother" because I didn't know which particular goddess to call on or how) to heal my friend's mother, and the next day she woke up from her coma, and I'd like to thank her somehow.  I didn't do a spell, I just sort of prayed to her one night. I prayed the next day and said thank you. I'd like to do something more, though.

You don't need to do an elaborate ritual to make a request, and get an answer. The simple fact that you raised your thoughts to a higher level and made a sincere request to the Great Mother is enough. Intent and will are very important in placing a request. To some, these requests are in the form of spells with the rhymes and so on, to others, as in your case, they are sincerely made requests. Some depend upon deities, others don't. I refer mostly to the elements and directions. If I know the direction and/or element a god or goddess represents (I use ancient Egyptian god/goddesses: Isis is water and earth; Nephthys is air and earth;Thoth is air; Ptah is air and fire, and so on) then I call upon them, or place them on my alsar, light candle and incense and state my request; I can do this anytime, because everyone in my family knows I respect AE deity and use candles and incence all over the house. Most of the time, however, I prefer to use spontaneous magick, performinng it wherever I happen to be at the moment. The best place is outdoors, where I turn North and call upon Mother Earth (sometimes I call her Gaia). There is a tremendous feeling doing this on a clear night looking up at the North Star. The answers to my requests do come, many times in an interesting way, but I never know how they will manifest. When the manifestation happens, it takes me a moment to realize that it is the answer to my request. 

You can thank deity in many different ways. You can leave flowers in the children's ward of a hospital, or offer books or games. I say children, because very often they are the ones that many think the least about when passing a hospital or small clinic. Except for maternity, hospitals represent sickeness and sometimes death. When it comes to hospitals, it's the saddest place to find children in. Brightening their lives with a little present, a plant or other living thing, and seeing their happy smiles, is more than enough, at least for me, to say thank you.   
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« Reply #23: February 05, 2009, 01:38:47 pm »

Okay, that's good to know. I don't really know which deities I want to worship yet, so I don't really feel comfortable calling on any of them yet. And I definitely don't want to insult any of them. But I've been interested in learning about spells for a long time.

Another question: is it absolutely necessary to cast a circle first? I haven't quite mastered that yet.

No, casting a circle is not necessary - for some that depends on what you are trying to accomplish, for others they never cast circles at all.

It seems like you need to do a little introspection and find out who and what you are naturally connected to. I wouldn't personally recommend just picking a diety without some research about him/her and their particular origins. On that note however, neither is working with dieties a requirement in magic.
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« Reply #24: February 16, 2009, 01:15:19 pm »

No, casting a circle is not necessary - for some that depends on what you are trying to accomplish, for others they never cast circles at all.

It seems like you need to do a little introspection and find out who and what you are naturally connected to. I wouldn't personally recommend just picking a diety without some research about him/her and their particular origins. On that note however, neither is working with dieties a requirement in magic.

Actually, that is what I have been doing: figuring out what parts of nature I am attracted to. For me, that is water (particularly lakes and oceans), the moon, mountains, thunder storms...I also feel an attraction to ancient Celtic culture, because that is part of my heritage. I don't really know much about Celtic gods, though.
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« Reply #25: February 16, 2009, 01:25:36 pm »

Actually, that is what I have been doing: figuring out what parts of nature I am attracted to. For me, that is water (particularly lakes and oceans), the moon, mountains, thunder storms...I also feel an attraction to ancient Celtic culture, because that is part of my heritage. I don't really know much about Celtic gods, though.

You sound a lot like me. My element (astrologically speaking) is earth. I am drawn to water, any water. I love nothing better than to sit on my porch during a massive thunderstorm, hail included. My heritage is also Celtic - note the Irish signature - lol.

If you would like a small bit of advice...... start studying Celtic Mythology, and Celtic history for that matter. You would be surprised what you will learn about yourself when you study your history.
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