Good Evening Witchlings!
As a new witchling or magickal practitioner steps upon the path, and starts working the craft, there are some mistakes commonly made which can make your beginning practice challenging. When practicing magick in the beginning, it's understandable to be nervous and uncertain. But having a sincere heart is key, and do not spend time worrying about upsetting the Gods or Goddesses or the Watchtowers or Elementals or any such thing. You cannot upset or disrespect them unless you deliberately go out of your way to do so.
But some mistakes made can make your magickal experience less than wonderful and can in some cases be dangerous. So here are some of the mistakes that either I have made in my over 30 years of practice or coven members have made while in ritual.
- When casting a circle, many choose to burn powdered incense on charcoal briquettes. DO NOT use charcoal meant for your BBQ grill. Those charcoal briquettes are treated with petroleum solvents and are very toxic and can make you very sick if burned indoors. Always use charcoal tabs that come in a foil wrapped packet. These are sold to be burned indoors in hookas and for incense burning. This is what they look like:
- I started attending rituals and then conducting coven rituals in the 80's. For those who remember the 80's, Big hair was a 'thing". And Witches and Wiccans had the biggest hair going. Big hair along with lots of hair care products and hair sprays can make for a dangerous combination with burning candles, hot charcoals, and flash paper petitions. Once during a coven ritual about a dozen of us were dancing around the altar, singing, chanting and doing what witches do I saw the hair of the girl in front of me starting to smoke and then a tiny flame appeared. Without missing a step I started to pat out the fire and it quickly went out and no one was injured. We had a good laugh about 'burning witches' and how passe' it was. Hahaha Since that incident I have cautioned women, especially, against using heavy, alcohol based hair care products when attending rituals.
- The next mistake I see new witchlings make is wanting to ingest, drink or eat magickal potions. Actually the term for a magickal liquid that you drink is called a brew. Potions are never to be taken internally. If you want to drink something, stick with teas sold as edible teas from the market or health food store. I had a student, in the very early days that told me she was burning magckal herbs as incense,every night next to her bed before she went to sleep. I questioned her and she was going from A-Z. Thankfully, I found this out before she got to Mandrake or other very poisonous herbs. Be aware of the basic properties of any herb or natural ingredient you use. Look up to see if it is poisonous, toxic or if it could cause allergies or other sensitivities. And do not burn every thing just because you can. Some herbs work better by burning, others by carrying them on your person, some by boiling in water and allowing them to diffuse in the steam, whereas some work best by surrounding a candle with them and burning the candle.
- Learn the specific associations and magickal properties for the ingredients, herbs, stones, crystals, flowers, colors, etc. that you are working with. A big mistake is trying to fit everything into the same boxes, so to speak. Learn the individual magicks of each thing you are working with and then see if they compare with anything else. For instance do not try to find an astrological connection to every spell you cast. Do not try to force an elemental correlation with every magickal thing you study. Some will mesh nicely and some will not fit at all. This does not invalidate any of the magickal potential of what you are working with. It will only make it more difficult for you if you can't be open minded enough to accept the magick as it is in each thing.
- And probably the biggest mistake I have known new magickal practitioners to make, and the most damaging, is when they read one magickal master, like what they read and they then compare and discount everyone else that does things a bit differently. Truthfully, in over 30 years of practicing magick I have never seen two witches or magickal practitioners do things the same way. And after having practiced for this long, I have developed my own magickal ways of doing things. And after a year of study my students will in turn begin doing things in their fashion. That is the very nature of magick, it can't be stamped out cookie cutter like, but it melds, flows and bends. Becoming unique and special, like the person wielding the magick.
- In conclusion, when practicing magick, don't be shy when it comes to asking questions. I had a student once that lit an incense stick and didn't blow it out and it burnt down very quickly and didn't smell. She said she didn't really see what was so special about incense, until I explained the proper way of burning incense. If you are working for the first time with a tool, supply or ingredient, ask someone on how to use the item. Realizing you don't know it all and having a willingness to learn will make your first few years of practice much more satisfying and magickal.
- Practice, practice, practice!!!
© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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