Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wiccan Magick Explained: The Nature of Magick

It is common knowledge, even amongst those unfamiliar with the true practice of Wicca, that some Wiccans practice magick. Though some of what this entails ideas may be a little misguided, the idea that a Witch practices magick is ingrained in most minds today. Wicca actively embraces the idea and use of magick, and does this openly, though it is often difficult to determine where religion ends and magick begins.

What is Magick?

In Wicca, magick has a very specific role: to improve our lives, develop a relationship with the Goddess and the God, and to return energy to the earth which sustains all life. The ways in which this can be accomplished are many and varied, and each practitioner interprets these purposes for themselves.

Actually defining magick can be surprisingly difficult. The way in which it has been defined has changed drastically over the years. Today, one favorite definition is: “Magick is the focusing of will to use natural energies to achieve a desired goal.”

It’s believed that this natural energy has three main sources – personal power, earth power, and divine power. There are many variations on these three, but essentially, all power comes from the practitioner, the earth, or the divine.

Types of Power

Personal power can be defined by the energy that resides within the body of the practitioner. This energy comes from many sources, and most don’t notice it. This energy is absorbed from the sun, moon, and stars, and we get it from the food we eat and the water we drink. A small amount even comes from the air when it is inhaled, though this is lost during exhale. This energy, whatever its source, is released during movement and exercise. In general, the energy we naturally absorb is much more than the energy we naturally expend, and so is available for use in magick.

Earth power is that energy which resides within the earth and all its products, such as trees, herbs, stones, and water. All these things have their own specific, unique energies which can be accessed. Items may be dipped into water to cleanse them, or herbs can be burned to produce a certain affect, or a simple crystal can be used to effect healing. All of these are examples of earth power, and are common practice within the practice of Wicca.

Divine power is just what it sounds like – power that comes from the divine. Though both personal and earth power are manifestations of divine power, they are not directly divine power. Divine power is, however, quite common in Wiccan magick. Whenever a Wiccan invokes the presences of the God or Goddess during any type of rite, usually asking that a specific need be met, that is divine power at work. It is this type of magick that is considered to be religious magick. Magick that uses personal or earth power, without the direct presence of divine power, is not considered religious in nature.

Magick isn’t ‘supernatural’ in nature. Though it might be an occult practice, meaning that it has been, in the past, a hidden practice, it utilizes energies that are naturally occurring. It is simply that these energies have not been fully explained by science. Some of the energies that Wiccans work with have been explained, to an extent. Hypnotism, for example, is now an accepted practiced, used legitimately throughout the world by many professionals. This was not always the case, and indeed, hypnotism used to be thought of as dark magick, and a form of mind control. Society now accepts this as untrue. This type of misunderstanding has happened many times throughout the history of magick.

Other ‘magickal’ practices may soon also have a scientific explanation. Extra-sensory perception is one of these things, as science comes ever closer to explaining exactly how this may work. Just because magick isn’t fully understood doesn’t mean that it doesn’t operate according to existing universal laws. Correctly performed magick does indeed work, much the way a properly performed science experiment does.

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