Magick – Why, how, what for??

Loki has told me on more than one occasion that He wants me to start practising magick, as in spellwork.
He wants me to “just do it”, to “experiment” and to “have fun”.
Last push I got was Him telling me to “stop studying and start practising”.
This causes me a hell of a lot of frustration.

The major source of my frustration is: I’m completely unable to sense or see energy.
How can I manipulate energy when, to me, there’s absolutely nothing there to manipulate?

It’s like being told to experiment with mixing colours from a handful of bottles, and to experiment with different painting techniques.
Problem is, the paint is invisible. When you pour some on your paper, you can’t even feel with your fingers that there’s anything there.
How can you experiment with something you can’t see?
How can you manage to find out what types of spellworkings you like and are good at when you have no idea if you’ve actually done anything at all, and you certainly can see any results?
I feel terribly lost and frustrated.

It’s like being told to jump right into the advanced class of writing, instead of starting in the beginners class and learn the absolute basics.
How can you write poems if you can’t write and don’t even know the letters?

It would have made sense to me if I began with lessons that would actually help me sense and see energy, so it wouldn’t seem completely and utterly pointless.

The other issue I have is: what on Earth am I supposed to use magick for?
I’m still a solitary n00b, fledgling witch. I just don’t feel any need to use spells in my private life.
I can see it would be practical doing energywork on oneself. Checking my own body and see if my energy channels and centres were clear or needed working on.
But what am I supposed to use spells for or on or whatever? Not to mention, why do I need to cast any spells in the first place??

When googling spells and spellwork, it’s all about getting love or sex or money.
I just get the impression that people do spellwork for mundane, material, unnecessary things. Instead of actually making a real effort to get what they want, they try a “quick fix”; do a spell and expect to have the gods or the universe or whatever to just hand it to them.
It’s like, if you really want to loose weight, don’t pop “slim” pills and think it will work miracles. Get up off your fat ass and engage in some physical activity and have a healthy, moderate diet!

I only know about two types of spell-workings:
Verbal – The traditional write a spell and say it out loud.
Visual – Draw a sigil or symbol that represents the desired goal.
In both cases – from what I’ve learned – you’re supposed to raise energy which you use to power the spell by using your will.

I have tried about half a dozen such spells, and none of it has worked.

The types of magick that at least sounds like something I would like to do, is Thelemia, Visual magick and Chaos magick (or freestyle magick).
Written spells isn’t really my thing, especially not if they are written in some kind of elaborate, flourishy, old grimoir type style. That just sounds daft and incredibly pompous when saying it out loud. It might sound good in a ritual, ceremonial magick setting with a group, but not when you’re alone, IMO. Ceremonial magick also seems rather pointless when you’re solitary, IMO.
It’s been suggested to me that I could try to use items, like a wand or an athame and such like. Those are just props, and would make it feel even more like I’m trying to re-enact a scene from a fantasy movie. IMO, there’s no need for a fancy dagger or a goblet or a wand with semi-precious stones and mystical symbols on it; a butter knife and a glass from the kitchen and a stick from a tree would work just as fine…

When it comes to protecting, cleansing and warding my home and myself, I use herbs and stones and runes, not spells.
Does it work? I have absolutely no idea; I can’t sense any difference. I do it because I’ve been told it’s a smart thing to do…

The frustration has reached a point where just seeing “spell” or “spellwork” mentioned makes me feel trapped and strangled.

I keep getting this feeling that there is a basic piece of information that I just don’t have. Something that would make me really understand this magick thing.

Just to make it clear, I’m ranting to vent, not fishing for sympathy…

Sometimes I have a sneaking suspicion that making me frustrated about this is exactly what Loki intends…


About Amber Drake

AKA Darkamber.
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15 Responses to Magick – Why, how, what for??

  1. Goat-Willow says:

    I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe what he’s wanting you to learn about isn’t energy at all, but belief, faith, or trust? That idea struck me when you were writing about protecting, cleansing, and warding your home. You have no idea if any of the techniques that you’re using actually work, but you go through the motions anyway, because you were told that it’s the smart thing to do. Forgive my crudity, but the advice didn’t make your bullshit meter go off. That’s because it most likely seemed “right,” either making sense on some level you can’t quite explain to yourself or because you hold the person who explained it to you in some regard. To me, that’s less about proof and more about belief, faith, or trust–all of which can act as a strong component in magic. Not all magic-practioners can sense energy for whatever reason, but many have some thing or some being that they strongly believe in. Maybe singing “Loki protect this house!” in every doorway would be more effective for you–it would certainly be magical, with all the oomph you could put in it. That drive and passion is a sort of energy too, and can turn even a prayer into a powerful spell.

    • Darkamber says:

      “but maybe what he’s wanting you to learn about isn’t energy at all, but belief, faith, or trust?”

      Well, on a basic level, spellworking is about using your will to manipulate and shape energy. To make a spell potent, you’re supposed to raise energy, and then use your will to direct it.
      To me, it isn’t about belief/faith/trust at all. I *know* I have the ability to do magick, because I have done other types of magick, like very simple rune spells, divination, astral work (meeting Loki on demi-planes in meditation visualisations).
      To me, it’s about *action* and *practising* – about Loki wanting me to do something I can’t do, yet.

      No, of course the advice about protection, etc. didn’t make my bullshit metre go off, because it isn’t something that sounds far out.
      And, no, what I did, didn’t in any way give me any sense of it being “right”, or “making sense” on any level.
      Also, it’s something that I’ve read a lot of people do, and which they claim works. It’s not so much about belief/faith/trust as logic; If dozens of people say it works, well, then I guess there’s something to it, then.

      On the other hand, I followed the advice of people who know about the metaphysical properties of stones, and made a shield bracelet to protect myself from being bothered by spirits trying to interfere with my communication with Loki. I even asked Loki if He could bless it.
      Did it work? Hell, no…

      Verbal spells is so not my thing. Saying some words out loud just seems too
      much like play pretend to me, too much like “fantasy movie” stuff.
      Singing “Loki protect this house” wouldn’t be magickal in any way. It’d just be daft (to me), and the only result as far as I could tell, would be funny looks from my cat…

      Also, to me spellworking and praying is to very different things.
      Spellworking is using your own will to manipulate energy, and is something you can do yourself.
      Praying is asking the gods for help with something you can’t do yourself.

      • Goat-Willow says:

        Sorry I couldn’t offer you another perspective. Good luck! I think we look at magic in two very different ways.

        • Darkamber says:

          I relate to Thelema, visual magick and chaos magick (or freestyle magick as some call it).
          To me it’s about will, visualisation and manipulating energy.

          How do you look at magick, then?
          How do you use it?

          • Goat-Willow says:

            I’m quite familiar with chaos magic myself, which is why I mentioned belief–though that might not have been the right word for me to use. To me, magic of any sort involves using whatever works at that moment–or whatever I *believe* works at that moment–no matter how ridiculous it might seem, or whether or not it will ever work again. If someone tells me to call on such and such a god to help me with a logic problem but I can’t picture him… well, I may just call up Spock instead. It’s all about my belief in myself and the “oomph” I can throw behind it at the time. That’s why I said a prayer can become a powerful spell, if enough mental energy is thrown into it.

            To me, magic isn’t an easy way of getting something. It’s just *another* way of getting something. Sometimes it’s my last avenue, and that puts a certain extra desperation into the spell. I did do some runic spellwork of that sort to find the money for car repairs earlier in the year, though luckily I don’t have to do that sort of thing very often. More often my magic involves faring forth either for my own healing or the healing of others. Some people don’t call that magic, but I do. It’s work, anyway, any definitely has a lot to do in belief in myself and in my allies.

            Did that make any sense?

            • Darkamber says:

              Yes, this definitely makes sense.
              I get now what you mean with “belief” when it comes to magick.

              “To me, magic of any sort involves using whatever works at that moment–or whatever I *believe* works at that moment–no matter how ridiculous it might seem, or whether or not it will ever work again.”

              Yes! *bounces excitedly* 😀
              This is how I feel about magick, except, I haven’t been able to put it into thought/words myself. It makes so much sense!
              You’ve given me a big chunk or the puzzle piece I’ve felt was missing in my understanding of magick. Thank you!

  2. Glang Darma says:

    I’m not sure what kind of “energy” we are talking about here, at least not from any direct experience. I seem to be blind to it as well but that has never impeded me. I have heard what this kind of raised magical energy is supposed to do but I have never had occasion to work with it. I have worked almost exclusively with bind runes and sigils, dealing with ideas rather than energy. What energy there was came from the creativity in the design of the symbols I was using, whatever angst was motivating me to work, and usually whatever energy was inherent to the bodily fluids I charged my symbols with. The finished symbols that seemed to have power also had an aesthetic appeal, again manifesting creative force,

    As to the possible intents you can turn your spellwork towards, it just sounds like you are being required to learn how to push the buttons. The results don’t seem to be as important at this point so trying to figure just what you want to do with it isn’t a pressing need. You might want to try your skills against chance based videogames for instance, or upon situations which you do not have a personal stake in. For instance, that awful mess in Syria, somebody ought to put a stop to that.

    BTW this is the first time I used facebook for anything, I’m not sure buttons I’m pushing here

    —modified lizard

    • Darkamber says:

      To me, energy is what makes everything in the universe work. It’s all about energy/power/forces. Deities and spirits are non-corporeal energy entities (at least, on our material plane).
      When you cast a spell, you use your own energy (+ any energy you raise, if you do that), which you shape and direct using your will. When you charge an item, you infuse it with your energy. If you ask a deity to bless an item, S/He charges it with energy.

      If you’re energy-blind, then how can you sense that a symbol has power? How do you know that what you’re doing actually works?

      I don’t understand what you mean with “pushing buttons”.
      Trying to use my innate powers/magick to influence, say, the outcome of dice throws, isn’t spellworking as I understand it.
      Thinking I can influence hundreds of people in a country seems like unrealistic megalomania, to me.

  3. Jack says:

    You can try looking at it like particle physics – we know what a particle is based on what it does. Follow the “steps” and see if anything happens. No? Try something different. Eventually you’ll either find something that works or sheer repetition will teach you what energy feels like.

    I have to admit, I’m pretty much energy-blind, I rarely feel anything when I do spellwork, but if it gets results, then it must be working, right?

    • Darkamber says:

      Part of my problem is that I just don’t know what to use spells on or for.

      I only know of two ways to do spells.
      Verbal – Write a spell and say it out loud while focusing your will on the wanted result. I’ve tried half a dozen, but it didn’t seem to bring any result at all.
      Visual – Draw a sigil or symbol representing what you want to achieve.
      In both cases, though, you’re supposed to raise energy, and use the energy to power the spell.

      I just don’t know about any kind of spell-workings that doesn’t use energy in some way.

  4. sierralie says:

    The ‘energy model’ of magic isn’t the only option – I’ve forgotten the links, but there was a bit of a debate a while back amongst some of the (non-pagan) magical bloggers about just what makes it all work, and the idea that ‘energy’ is a rather vague and unhelpful term in many cases. If the energy model doesn’t work for you, there’s nothing wrong with that. The definition of magic doesn’t have to include energy at all – Crowley’s old definition was ‘causing change in conformity with Will’, not anything to do with energy, and there have been other modern definitions along similar lines as well. As a fairly concrete thinker, the energy model only irregularly works for me. When you think about magic, when you think about what it is or what it means – is there something else that stands out for you, some point of access or concept that feels right to you, that matches how you conceptualize how the world works?

    • Darkamber says:

      “Crowley’s old definition was ‘causing change in conformity with Will’, not anything to do with energy,”

      To me, this is about energy.
      Will is power (or energy) is magick. What causes change, is the power/energy that you shape and direct with your will.

      “When you think about magic, when you think about what it is or what it means”

      Using one’s will to focus one’s power and thus do magick.

      “is there something else that stands out for you, some point of access or concept that feels right to you, that matches how you conceptualize how the world works?”

      I have no idea. I don’t think I even understand what you’re asking, to be honest.

  5. Hello – I’m the same individual as Amberite on LJ.

    Here is a simple spell which I have found to be extremely effective, especially for people who enjoy writing and exact language, and people of skeptical inclinations. It requires no experience with energy work, which is a plus for me too, as, while I can do energy work, energy work and Willworking to me are different procedures. They can be involved in the same process, but they don’t have to be.

    I only use this one for large things, as its results have changed the trajectory of my life several times.

    The directions are as follows.
    Write a statement of your intent on a slip of paper. Write it in the form of, “I will…”

    Be exact in the specifications of what you would have come to pass. Don’t be specific about anything you DON’T care about; just write what you’re sure of. Example: one of the first times I did this working, I wrote, “I will travel to Europe in the month of March this year.” I didn’t care which country I would go to; I was just stir-crazy to leave the United States and had a deadline for starting school and no money. I successfully made the money and the trip.

    Place the paper somewhere where you will be near it frequently in your everyday life, and know where it is, but not see it except occasionally by accident. (Face down under your computer keyboard is a good one, if you use a desktop. Between books on a bookcase is another.) Don’t look at it on purpose after that. It’s OK if you happen to think of it but don’t get preoccupied with it.

    Then, in the course of your daily life, simply open your mind to subconscious direction when making everyday decisions. If you’re not getting an intuition and genuinely don’t seem to have a preference on something (“Should I buy this gewgaw or not?”) try a coin flip or other simple randomness-based divination.

    The reason I say this is a very effective working for skeptics is because you don’t have to spend the entire time believing in anything “supernatural” – the results are equally explicable by believing you are simply instructing your subconscious mind to work on a problem. So if you switch around a lot between skeptical and mystical “lenses”, or if your mystical lens is a bit skeptical to start out with, it won’t interfere.

    Hope this helps!

    • Darkamber says:

      Well, I’m not really skeptical about magick, as such. I have been able to do some magick stuff, like divination, simple rune magick and astral work, so I know I have talent for magick.
      It’s the spell-workings part I’m having trouble with.

      One of the problems is that I can’t really think of anything to do a spell on.
      I’m rather content with life as it is, and the bits I’m not happy with is stuff that I need to work on myself on (like mild anxieties and self esteem issues):

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