Neon Pink Magick Madness
Article ID: 9065
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,245
Times Read: 4,387
Author: Devi Spring
Posted: March 6th. 2005
Times Viewed: 4,387
There always seems to be debate in the Pagan community as to whether there is too much emphasis on spells and practical magick. The problem is often seen as stemming from the Hollywood-fueled “flair and glamour” of spell work overshadowing the earnest, yet sweeping spirituality of Neo-Paganism. I admit to frequent eye-rolling in the Witchcraft/New Age sections of my local corporate bookstore chain, when I see the innumerable titles devoted only to spells (and pretty lame spells, too), framed with lots of neon pink and glitter. However, while I do not buy those particular books, I certainly have a large stack of commercial spell books in my home library - which I unflinchingly refer to on a regular basis. My personal collection is a bit darker in tone, as I love to collect spells from the eclectic New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo traditions, but the motivation behind buying either brand of book must be extremely similar.
Now, I know that some of you are stating the obvious: “But those shiny books with toxic plastic paper are complete unethical, non-spiritual hooey, and only a fool/dabbler/etc. would purchase one!” On some grounds, I will agree with you. Handing an electric-fuchsia book of love spells (that makes no mention of ethics) to a hormone-ridden 14 year old is a bad idea. You’ll have a hard time convincing me that even if an amazingly eloquent essay on magickal ethics was included in said book that the average 14 year old - or let’s be completely honest folks, the average human being - would heed its warnings and advice. But thankfully, there’s also truth in the saying that the vast ignorance and inadequacies of the fool acts as a fairly reliable safety net for themselves and others. (Now I know there are exceptions to every rule, so let’s not get into a tizzy if you disagree. I will make an educated guess that most of the people who purchase these insipid spell books have done little to no research – let alone practical work – and therefore will not have the knowledge to make those spells all that effective. If they succeed at all, thank the gods.) These books also do not tend to incorporate a lot of spiritual content, in part because I think the market for these books is OBVIOUSLY not card-carrying, mature, experienced and dedicated Pagans, or even Pagans at all! All this said, I do not believe that the over-abundance of said literary vapidity means that magick needs to go underground, be devalued or de-emphasized.
Paganism offers a freedom of self-expression that is hard to find in any other spirituality. It allows an individual to be EXACTLY who they are without imposing supposedly “divine” judgment on those choices. It says that we are allowed to discover Divinity for ourselves, and revel in it however we see fit as long as it is not harmful. It teaches us personal integrity; any mistakes we make along the way are our own, and we are responsible for cleaning up our own messes or dealing with any consequences that result. It affirms Life and Love in all their aspects and permutations, and it demands that we discover our own Divine Nature and take an active role in creating our life. And, yes, it openly embraces magick as one aspect of its philosophy.
I perform practical magick as a form of creative self-expression of my personal Will. I get a real rush collecting ingredients for a new working. I feel my motor really getting revved up and my excitement grows exponentially as all the pieces lock together and the ritual casting draws nigh. I feel very alive, very collected, and very empowered when I dive into spell work. I’ve always been an extremely artistic person. While I do have a knack for the visual arts, my passion is performance. Spell work allows me to indulge every aspect of my creativity – writing, drawing, sculpture, performance – to an end that I alone own. It’s no one else’s script, no one else’s artistic vision. It’s mine, and blessed be the gods, it allows me to improve me and my life! I feel closest to my own in-dwelling Divinity when I am completely absorbed in a ritual spell casting…and often I find great inspiration for the crafting of those spells from my little pile of spooky spell books!
Some may think that the fact that I feel closest to Divinity when I am working a spell is an immature standpoint. I certainly must be caught up in the movie theatre hype! Perhaps I even came to the Craft via something as insidious as watching Charmed or Buffy! (I assure you I did not, although in the long run, what does it truly matter?) I simply must be deluding myself into thinking that casting spells is the heart of “true” Paganism. Obviously, quiet and intense meditation in the deep of the woods, feeling the oneness with Nature is the only valid mystical experience for someone claiming to follow an Earth-based spirituality. (We’ve all heard arguments similar to this.)
For those who have the luxury of regular access to natural settings suitable for meditation and attunement to the Earth, this may truly be the case. Unfortunately for me I live in the middle of a large city, and the deep of the woods is at least a two-hour drive away…and I have no car. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely love the outdoors and everything Nature has to offer. I just don’t have many opportunities to revel in it. So, I have found an outlet that allows me an “in” into the world of the Divine. Besides, the ability to feel empowered as a single girl in the big city is a real plus for me.
People are individuals and different things will speak to different people. Many varying paths have brought people into the Neo-Pagan faith…I bet even some of those shiny pink books filled with fluffy love charms that call for teddy bears and chocolates. Those who find that their soul is truly thirsting for what our community has to offer will find their footing and grow into a mature and responsible Witch/Wizard/Pagan/Wiccan/Druid/etc. Those who are just toying will inevitably get bored and move on; hopefully to find something that really resonates with them.
It is very apparent today that there is a spiritual restlessness that is consuming many, sending them on a journey that very often begins with non-threatening books offered up by big corporate chains. What if the very first book flipped through by a questing soul is sparkling madly on the shelf? Perhaps this individual comes from a conservative mainstream faith and has been indoctrinated to think that all magick involves the evocation of terrifying demons with barbarous names. They will find nothing of the sort in that Pocket-Tome of Arcane Knowledge For Teens. They may even laugh, and in that laughter find the courage to pick up something a bit more meaty; perchance something by the Farrars, Gardner, Cunningham, Currot, or Valiente.
The fascination with magick may very well be the inroad that some people need in order to find their true calling. Or, as in my case, I found my connection to the Divine through spell work’s intense utilization of my entire creative Being. While casting spells, all my God/dess granted talents are drawn together in one harmonious whole…and there lies the true magick! I’m sure there are others out there who feel similarly, and maybe, just maybe, they are inspired by a more magenta aesthetic than the rest of us!
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Author's Profile: To learn more about Devi Spring - Click HERE
Bio: Devi Dionysia is 25 years old and has been a practicing Pagan Eclectic Witch for 8 years. Drawing from her years of study in the Wiccan and Ceremonial Magick traditions, she has found her spiritual home in a personal and enjoyable blend of New Orleans folk-magick, and Eastern-flavoured Paganism. She also holds a degree in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto.
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