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The Many Guises of Spellwork

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Many years ago, well before I was a witch, my aunt was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. We were all devastated, and I wanted to do something to help, but didn't know quite what to do. Being an artistic person in those days (arthritis since has curtailed my artistic ambitions) I thought I'd hand-draw a get well card.

I got my materials together, and designed and then drew the card. It was an ink drawing of an original Celtic design. As I drew the card, I thought about my aunt and her cancer and about her healing and getting well. The room got very warm, and I was pretty pooped after it was done. I spent an entire evening making the card and mailed it off the next day.

Many weeks went by, and there was little news other than that she had surgery, a radical double mastectomy with many lymph nodes also removed, and she was recovering. My aunt is also a health fanatic, and so she took supplements and closely monitored her diet afterward.

Months and then years went by; soon it was five years after her surgery, and she was clean—cured of an aggressive and usually fatal type of breast cancer. Now I do not take total claim for her cure, but I do think my hand-drawn, get well card did help in the whole process.

All of this goes to show that there are many ways to do spells—especially if you don't know you are even doing them! Since then I officially became a witch, and learned a lot about magick and spellwork, but I still think of that first foray into healing magick and am pleased and proud of what I helped accomplish.

I have authored the text for a book, Color a Magick Spell, with my friend and teacher Helga Hedgewalker. Helga did the drawings, and I wrote the text that explains and illustrates the methods for turning our drawings into real, effective spells.

Helga was going through a series of life events, and wanted to do spellwork to work through her difficulties and changes. She drew a series of pictures to work on various aspects of her life: protection, health, self-esteem, friendship, loss, confidence, prosperity. As she drew the pictures, and concentrated on what she wanted to accomplish, she put her energy into those original drawings. Months passed, and she progressed from one drawing/spell to the next. By the time all the drawings were done, her life was much more calm, ordered, and happy. It didn't happen immediately, but over the months she was able to make her life a great deal better for herself and her daughter.

Helga found the technique so helpful that she decided to turn it into a book. Our first version used drawings based loosely on the first thirteen Major Arcana of a tarot deck. She drew new pictures, and we worked together with symbols and the meanings behind the symbols. This new book from Llewellyn is an expanded version, using drawings based upon all twenty-two Major Arcana, and the elemental energies of the four Aces, as well. That's twenty-six full-page drawings, and also several additional illustrations for the explanatory sections.

Not every person is an artist who can draw their own pictures, and if they can, they might not have enough understanding of symbols and lore to tie it all together—so, we have done all that for you. We tied together various Gods and Goddesses, symbols from Astrology and the runes, and other universal concepts. We designed a magickal circle you can use to help screen out the "noise" and distractions of everyday life. We also included God and Goddess invocations as suggestions for each drawing.

Coloring may not seem magickal, but anything upon which you concentrate and into which you put energy becomes a spell, if you want it to. You can just do the dishes, or you can concentrate and clean your dishes with intent and energy to thoroughly cleanse them of unwanted influences, and also get them clean. You can just sew a garment to wear, or you can design and create a garment while concentrating on how it will become your new sacred robes. Intent and energy are what make an otherwise mundane task a true spell.

Will, intent, and a good dose of personal energy are the ingredients that make a spell effective. How you manifest that will and intent can be almost anything you can think of. Many good books on spellwork have you concentrate on doing your circle and following a spell formula to manifest what you want in the world. Once your spell is finished and the circle closed down, you know you have sent your will and intent to the Universe so the spell can change the world (or you) as you have envisioned. This type of spellwork is fine and effective.

But there is another type of spellwork that works with actively creating something—consecration by fabrication. With this spellwork, you have a tangible creation at the end of your spellworking session. You could forge a ceremonial athame, create a new set of robes, braid a cord, or whatever. You are creating something, and in that act of creation, your will and energy go into the object you have made. Then, after the spell is finished and the circle closed down, you have an object that is infused with your energy. Every time you see that item, you will be reminded of your spell, and your thoughts contine to add a bit more energy to the spell.

Some of these fabrication spells create something that is meant to last a long time, like an athame or robes. And sometimes the thing that is created is meant to last only as long as it takes to manifest your spell. These drawings are the latter type. Once your spell is accomplished, or no longer necessary, you can destroy the drawing or deactivate the spell and keep the drawing as a pretty piece of art.

It does help to do your spell within a magick circle, so unwanted influences are kept out. If you use a dirty pan to make a meal, the meal will taste of what you cooked before. You should clean the pan to get rid of the "influence" of the previous meal. Putting up a circle cleanses the area where you are working and removes unwanted influences and gives you a clean slate, if you will, upon which to work your magick. This type of magick is not dangerous, so that is not why you need the circle; the circle allows you to concentrate more of your energies into whatever you are working. Without a circle you have to put that much more energy into the thing because you are working against whatever stray energies are floating around you while you work.

Color a Magick Spell provides the drawings as a framework for your spell. It's like using a spell from any other book: they provide the framework and you add your energies and intent to the spell. The drawings have many symbols in each picture. We do not expect you to resonate with all of them. But if you resonate with some, then those symbols will add their energies to your spell.

So with the drawing of your choice, you get your crayons or colored pencils or paints—whatever medium you choose—and while coloring the picture as it seems right to you, you are adding your energy and intent to the drawing, and in that way you are doing the spell. Once you are finished with your picture, you close down the circle, and have artwork infused with your energies and intent to help manifest your spell. You can add sparkles, magazine pictures, or other items to your drawing to help add those energies to your spell. This personalizes it to you. There is no special right or wrong way to do your spell—if it feels right to you, then it is right for your spell.

If you have a spell you want to do that is not in our book, you can make your own drawing, or collage pictures together and add colors and other stuff. Technically you really don't need our drawings or book at all. But like most spellbooks, it is easier to start working from a template than it is to start with a blank sheet of paper. Our drawings are the template for your spellwork.

Using our drawings, no two people will decorate their spell the same way—and that's how it should be. Magick was created to be individual. You do what you need for you, and the next time it probably will be different, for you are not the same person you were the first time. Hopefully magick has helped transform you into a happier, better, more effective, and more confident person. But, making your world a better place is a never ending process. Life brings new changes and challenges, and you can use magick to help you through whatever comes.

So hopefully you now understand there are many ways to do spells, and accomplish what you want using magick. May your magickal workings be powerful and effective. Blessed Be.

About Estelle Daniels

Estelle Daniels is a Wiccan high priestess, a practicing astrologer, and has authored many articles for Llewellyn’s annuals. She teaches and lectures at festivals and is the co-author of Pocket Guide to Wicca (Crossing ...

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