Spellcasting as a Job--Pt. 2: What It's Like to Work for Others

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

Now that you have your spellcasting business organized, your spells alphabetized, and a fresh altar cloth spread, it's time to start thinking about the next step--actually dealing with the public.

Cast When You Care...
Naturally, you'll only want to go this route if you're already acquainted with casting spells for other people.  I only say this because working spells for friends and family will prepare you for the feeling of desire that goes beyond the fulfillment of your own personal goals.  I remember learning this feeling through an incident that occurred way back before I really thought much about casting spells for anyone but myself.  Our daughter was a newborn and I was carrying her as my husband and I were wandering through the mall.  I went into a ladies clothing store without him and ended up chatting with the sales girl there.  She was young and cheerful with blonde hair and a sad smile. She watched Gigi eagerly and held her little hand, telling me that she wished she could be so lucky but infertility seemed to be her lot.  It was heartbreaking to hear, especially while I held our healthy firstborn and thought back to an effortless process from conception to birth.  It was something I hadn't really considered being hard for a young person.  I suppose I just hadn't been exposed to many birth stories before my own to understand how often plans go awry.

Now I'm the last person to think that everyone should be a parent and I know well that the dream of a baby is nothing in the world like the reality, but I really felt for her sorrow.  We parted ways after a few minutes but just before we said goodbye I shook her hand and let a blessing flow from me to her, watched a seed ripen inside her belly.  I walked away genuinely wishing her the best.  It was a hopeful feeling, not a smug one like some would get from the thought that they had possibly given someone their fondest wish.  No, I just hoped for her. To this day I hope for her.  It was an odd feeling to connect with a stranger over such a small moment.  Maybe she became a mother, maybe she didn't. Maybe she forgot all about our meeting, maybe it was an incredible turning point for her.  I don't know what happened to her after that day but I know what happened to me.  That feeling is something I still get sometimes when I'm asked for a spell and the problem hits me some place deep.  It's like knowing a kind of fate and I want to help it put the pieces in place, with or without pay.  The time, the place, the means...they are unimportant. There is only magic.

So that's what it's like to cast for someone when you really care about their problems.  Perhaps you've already had lots of these experiences yourself.  But, sadly, I must ruin any hopes you carry of having them happen a lot as a professional.  If you're anything like I was when I first began to cast for pay, you probably expect something quite specific from those who come to you in need of magic.  And if you're anything like I was, you will soon discover that you're imagination is far more interesting, consistent, and polite than any stranger with a request is capable of being.  You will easily have the opportunity to meet a wild cast of characters, tackle major issues with style and finesse, and be richly rewarded in cash and enthusiastic handshakes.  Or you might spend long periods of time where clients seem to only have the same one or two dry, uninteresting goals and no one is all that thrilled when they get them fulfilled.

...And Cast When You Don't
So there's our first stop along the way; what do you do when you just don't care about their problem? Things can get tricky here, and everyone has their own way of looking at this, so I'll just speak from my own experiences.  And here it is: just focus on the money.  Yeah, I know, that sounds rotten but I've been asked to do some things that I would much rather have told the person to grow the hell up instead.  The only thing that stopped me was that they offered good money.  So I was willing.  And you know what?  I cast the spell, it worked its wonders, and we each got what we wanted.  If there is one excellent reason I can give for the magical community to finally abandon its distaste for paid spells, it's that the cash gives the caster incentive to do a good job.  Having a deep desire for the outcome is a crucial element in any spell; sometimes that desire has to be augmented a little to be considered deep.  I don't have any problem with this--reciprocation is logical, polite, and it works.  So focus on what you're getting out of the deal (not just for cash but also bartered objects or services) while you cast the spell.  Let those feelings of happiness, eagerness, and pride sweep up your work and carry it forward to fulfillment.  You may be surprised.

A Few Warnings
Now that you know why your involved and feel sufficiently attached to the problem, beware!  This is the point where many casters go wrong simply because they get overly attached.  They start to worry for their client like a child.  "What will he do next?   Is he going to be okay?  That horrible Meredith (or whoever) better not bother him again or I'll teach her a lesson she'll never forget!"  Calmly tell yourself that this isn't your life and these aren't your problems to unravel.  You are guiding the individual through one bumpy patch, not driving them the whole length of the road with the air conditioner on.  So don't get caught up; know when it's time to let go.  You can certainly be happy for them and wish them well but don't allow yourself to dissolve in their storm.

Going along with this emotional detachment is emotional clarity.  Clients will come to you sometimes ecstatic, sometimes frantic, sometimes sobbing, but usually with a confused and tangled mess of a story that they need to tell someone who will understand.  It's up to you to listen patiently, dissect that tale, figure out what is important and what is not, and only cast to the core of it.  You might need to extend your talk as they sort out what they really want the end result to be.  "Fix it" just isn't enough instruction.  They are probably frazzled from the unnerving past of their situation; you'll need to make the future sound quite simple and the plan to get there a calming one.

This clarity also helps you immensely as you arrange your spellwork.  When both caster and client have an exact vision of the goal, there is very little wasted effort.  In fact, have paper and pen ready while you discuss the problem so that you can take notes and leave yourself suggestions of spells that come to mind during your conversation.  This is a good reason to read all your spellbooks cover-to-cover and flip through them occasionally just to stay fresh on what they contain.  You will save yourself a lot of time as you prepare for your clients' work.

Though it may sound counter-intuitive, being slightly detached is also very helpful to the client.  They came to you looking for someone knowledgeable and powerful.  You're not giving them that image when you're crying because they cry and clenching your fists over their awful ex-boyfriend.  Lead them with a good example of strength.  Stay focused and positive, and soon they will become focused and positive. Remember that this is a service, not a relationship.  Like that other ancient profession, make them happy and then send them on their way.

And as one final note, just like with the shop girl who may or may not have had her chance as a parent, I've cast a great many spells (if you can list that bit as being a spell) that didn't come with "closure" for me.  You'll need to be sure you are ready for that.  Some people want to alert you as soon as manifestation happens but others just take their good fortunes and enjoy them.  Both are totally acceptable ways to handle it, just don't try courting one or the other.  Let the individual make the choice to including you in their after-experiences or not.  If they do, be excited, be really and genuinely pleased for them.  And always tell them you are proud of them.  Hand the responsibility of that situation over to them.  It's theirs--it always was--you only held it a short while, examined it, reshaped it.  Now it is ready to to be handed back again.

Next time, the final installment...

Spellcasting as a Job--pt. 3: When to Say No

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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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