If you looked closely at the spelling, you'll note that I spelled "Magick", as oppose to spelling it "Magic". Though it may seem trivial to some, there is a good reason as to why there was a variation of the spelling. The use of the word "Magic" as spelled in this fashion, is the exercise of sleight of hand, for the purposes of entertainment as seen on the television. However, in the form that will be discussed here, Magick is the practice of using charms, spells or rituals in order to attempt to produce supernatural effects or to control events in nature.
The Nature of Magick
There are many important things to note about magick. Many people describe magick as a cross between meditation and prayer, but magick is very different from prayer in one important way. Prayer is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as:
1. The reverent petition made to deity or other object of worship.
2. The act of making such a petition.
This suggests that the person praying is asking their god(s) for something or asking the god(s) for help with something. However, Wiccan people do not consider magick to be an asking of the deities. We believe that when we perform magick, we are creating an action ourselves and not necessarily involving the deities at all. This is how non-religious magick can even exist; i.e., how some people can perform magick and not believe in any gods at all. Many people who "pray" consider the answer to their prayers to be supernatural, but Wiccans consider magick a part of the natural, scientific world.
Religious and Non-Religious Magick
A belief in magick is considered essential within Wicca because it is the primary tool used to commune with the Goddess and God. Magick is used to tap into the energy that lies within us, and therefore to become closer to the Goddess and God and all their children. However, magick can be used for many purposes besides to commune with the Goddess and God. Healing, protection, and calm are frequent goals of a Witch's magick. However, a distinction must be made: magick performed to commune with the Goddess and God is religious magick, and the reason that a belief in magick is considered necessary within Wicca. Magick performed with purposes such as healing or protection in mind is not religious magick. This is an important distinction, because it illustrates the fact that it is not the performance of magick that makes one Wiccan, but their theological beliefs and the way they use magick. Wiccans perform both religious and non-religious magick, but people who perform only non-religious magick are still called Witches.
Morality and Magick
The Wiccan Rede directs all aspects of a Wiccan's life. Therefore, we are supposed to harm none in physical action and in magick. Wiccan theology does not allow hexes or curses, love spells, or any other magick that invades a person's will. As in physical life, different Wiccans interpret the magickal meanings of the Rede in different ways.
The Effectiveness of Magick
Many doctors tell their patients that thinking positively will help them get well. However, no responsible doctor would ever tell a patient to go home, think positively, and they'll surely be well in the morning--without prescribing any medication. This doctor might surely also tell their patient that they can go skydiving without a parachute if they only think positively. Though Wiccans consider magick to be very powerful, we never suggest that it should be used as a substitute for more assured methods. A healing spell should never take the place of essential medical care, nor would a spell to find you a job work if you never leave your house and fill out applications. Magick is powerful, but not necessarily more powerful than physical efforts and certainly not a cure-all.
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