SPELLS & RITUALS
Spells are magical formulae designed to bring about specific results. Many of the discoveries of science are attributable to magical activities like alchemy, astrology and herbalism. The word 'spell' comes from Old English spell, meaning a saying, or fable, which is in turn derived from prehistoric Germanic. Thus these 'sayings,' the incantations of sorcerers, came to mean magical formulae exclusively.
Generally, Spells are temporary measures adopted to bring about a desired result or turn an event around for the better using magical powers.
To some, spells may be considered a demonic form of prayer originally used in witchcraft. Some religions believe that spells are evil and said to false gods, and are in no way related to hymns or prayers.
In certain forms of paganism, spells are forms of prayer asking the divine for guidance and help. Below you will find one pagan's perspectives on spells and how they are meant to be used in worship:
It is believed that spells should rhyme to make them stronger. People should make up their own spells because when it comes from your heart to your Gods it means so much more.
True Witches don't just do spells for the fun of it. If your car tire goes flat - does a Christian sit down in the grass and pray for God to come down and fix it for them? I hope not. Neither would a Witch. Bothering your deities over ever little thing is annoying and proves you can't take care of yourself. It's a sure way to annoy them.
So again, spells are beautiful, coordinated prayers to our Gods. Think of Church, with the incense floating, the music in the background, the candles everywhere, the chalice o the altar, the bowl of water on the side...sounds familiar to a Witch's altar to pray doesn't it? They are both prayer, both meaningful and both beautiful.
Are Spells dangerous?
Some people are frightened of spells and those who cast them. But spells are a normal and natural part of our culture. You've probably already cast one or two without even knowing it. Ever thrown a coin in a wishing well, or prayed to a saint? Then you've been working magic!
Spells are a form of prayers and are some what the same and it takes some amount of time for spells and rituals to work but spells are a little different from normal praying. in magic you have to study to gain knowledge of what true magic is and how it works. studying goes for most things in life because knowledge is power and also in the arts/magic you must do the mathematics(math)and add in the probability(chance) and add in the right items to get the best effects of the craft. just like every thing in life, you don't get what you want all the time. magic craft is like a food recipe. you must add in the right ingredients to get the best taste you like or want and that is how the craft works. you must study the craft, do the math, add in the probability(chance) and add in the right items that represent what your goals/mission is. once you have done all these correctly and in the right way, you will get the desired effect.
A ritual on the other hand is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including by a religious community. The term usually refers to actions which are stylised, excluding actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers.
The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis (2007) is that Ritual is an outsider's or "etic" category for a set activity (or set of actions) which to the outsider seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical. The term can be used also by the insider or "emic" performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker.
A ritual may be performed on specific occasions, or at the discretion of individuals or communities. It may be performed by a single individual, by a group, or by the entire community; in arbitrary places, or in places especially reserved for it; either in public, in private, or before specific people. A ritual may be restricted to a certain subset of the community, and may enable or underscore the passage between religious or social states.
The purposes of rituals are varied; with religious obligations or ideals, satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs of the practitioners, strengthening of social bonds, social and moral education, demonstration of respect or submission, stating one's affiliation, obtaining social acceptance or approval for some event—or, sometimes, just for the pleasure of the ritual itself.
Rituals of various kinds are a feature of almost all known human societies, past or present. They include not only the various worship rites and sacraments of organised religions and cults, but also the rites of passage of certain societies, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sports events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, and scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello may be termed rituals.
In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behaviour systematically used by a person to neutralise or prevent anxiety and other vagaries of life and living.
is there a difference between Spell and a Ritual? There is a clear difference between spells and rituals. as noted in the preceding pages, a ritual is much more profound and the results far reaching than a spell. a spell, is in all likely hood intended to achieve a temporary relief from sufferings or to bring a temporary solution to a lingering problem. whereas, on the other hand, a ritual is a procedure designed to bring a lasting solution to a nagging problem or situation
'Spell' tends to be the term used for the less formal folk magic that, unlike ceremonial magic, is not so rigid about such things as circle casting and the use of specific tools, though it may be based in forms and use words that date back hundreds of years.
Our kitchen witch ancestors swept clean their magical areas and danced in circles under the Moon or round sacred fires on one of the old festivals to bring fertility to land and people, but most of their magic was done by firelight or the light of smoking tallow candles in a cramped living room or in muddy fields.
It is a serious mistake to regard informal spells as inferior to the kind of magic in which the appropriate planetary hour is carefully chosen, incense is burned, the tools laid out in the correct position and the names of all the archangels recited without a mistake. Both have a place and even if there were an actual deity watching the minutiae of the ritual, he or she would be less interested in whether a correct elemental pentagram was drawn than if the intent and the heart were pure and the need was genuine.