5 Bad Habits of Spellcasters

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

We all get lax; that's life and it's okay once in a while.  Newcomers are just as guilty of
falling into bad habits as are those who've been with us for several years.  You try something, you hear something; you get tired and just let it run instead of making sure it's right.  It happens.  But the plan is to prevent it wherever possible and stop it once you see it has begun.  Tell me, please, you'll do that if you notice the following bad habits in your practice.

1.  Not Casting Any Spells

This has got to be my number one pet peeve.  So you're a big powerful witch with 20 years of experience.  Well, it's more that you've read books and hung out at festivals for 20 years. Where's your magic?  

I had a lady debate with me once on the topic of exactly why magic works.  Her view was the polar opposite of mine and she defended it with the number of years she had on me. But I backed up my perspective with what I'd seen from my lesser number of years of constant spellcasting.  To this, she admitted that she'd never actually cast a spell, so perhaps I had a point.  How amazing it is to me that a person like that is still welcome to declare herself an expert on spellcasting and not be shouted down immediately.  

If you're new, start casting.  Learn what it's like and where your talents lay.  If you are experienced, don't give up casting.  Keep your abilities fresh.  You don't want to turn into an armchair philosopher.

When spells fall to the back of your mind, theory and study become all that matters.  This can lead to becoming fearful of making a mistake, especially since--as the example I gave here--a practitioner can have a great reputation without ever having to prove it with magic.

2.  Going Too Big Too Fast

You want to reroute a hurricane?  You have the perfect candidate for President?  Hold your horses!  

Don't try to wrangle huge tasks by yourself.  You could have great success or you could fail horribly.  If things go well, you'll think you can do everything.  If they go wrong, you'll think you can't do anything at all. 

Get yourself some proper training, hone your skills, and build your way up to the really big stuff.  If something looks massive, however, gather every practitioner you know and cast the spell together to give it real fuel.

3.  Thinking Small

This is actually much more common--but just as bad a habit--as going big.  

These folks try to convince everyone that magic doesn't actually make any changes in the world--it's all a mind game, a manipulation of your own thoughts and perception.  But here
we are casting carefully timed, association filled spells designed to create real-world effects like changing a person's opinions and emotions or winning at contests.  Why do that if sitting in a quiet room and thinking can do as well?

Well, that's because it can't.  We do the elaborate pieces of magic because they do make actual change in the world.  Of course, your mind and body are essential elements in a spell, but they're not the only forces at play.  You should give due credit to all the natural potency found in plants, stones, metals, words, colors, and symbols; they're working hard for you.  

Don't tell yourself that you can't make things different but only think about them differently. That's not what magic is about.  You have what it takes to create the life you want; don't play small at something that can be such a tremendous boon in your life.

4.  Becoming Cynical

Your time in the magical community should be as profitable as possible, to you and to those with whom you interact.  With the competitiveness amongst occultists, the hopes of being accepted by a inclusive society can quickly be squashed and replaced with heaps of sarcasm and irritability.

The other concern is that this attitude can lead to less work of your own.  An aggressive person will be less likely to cast their own spells for fear that others will give that same kind of harsh criticism.  In fact, this fear might be the original stimulus that caused the cynicism in the first place.  If you are forever on the offense, a defense is not necessary.

I'm here to say that cynicism doesn't help.  Spending all your time in the community with snickering at other people's rituals and spellwork is not the best use of your time.  I know that it can be a harsh world for us, but further dividing will not fix that.

5.  Acting as If You're All Alone

It doesn't matter where you live, what your practice, your age, your gender, your style--you have a community.  As magic practitioners, we have a growing society of people with whom we can connect.  It's not perfect and not evenly spread across the country (and definitely not across the world), but it exists.  You are not alone.

Reach out to anyone you can, to everyone.  Reach out for advice, ideas, support in your bad times, and companionship in your good times.  Your town certainly has other people who are interested in witchcraft and magic.  Find them wherever you can and make plans to get together often.  The Internet is full of websites, blogs (*ahem*), groups, virtual covens, and videos to connect you with the rest of the magical world.  You can find your way into and all around the many aspects of the occult by reading, watching, and talking to others.  Connect in every way that you can.  You are not alone. 

Bad habits aren't the worst possible reality, but once they're recognized, they must be eradicated.  A garden can still be beautiful if it contains "weeds," but it's best if you can identify those unintentional guests and either use them to your advantage or pull them out at the roots.  This is the way, in the garden and in your practice, to make room for further growth.

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Quick Link Monday: Krampus Papercraft

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:

Papercraft Krampus

I've shared this one a million times, but it deserves to be a million more.

Krampus is, as some call him, the Christmas devil.  He's Santa's more realistic side, doling out the punishment that the "naughty" list so richly deserves.  While Santa rewards the good, Krampus chases, whips, and devours the bad.  Sounds fair to me.

In truth, I've never really been a Santa type of gal.  He's so sacachraine that I couldn't identify with him at all.  My Dad did his best to bring the wonder of the holidays to us as kids, tromping around on the roof and leaving a string of beautiful antique bells hanging on the door as proof that Santa had indeed visited us in the night.  But, even so, while I loved it all, I also felt that Santa--if he could indeed be real--was kind of a chump.

Early in my life as a Pagan, I discovered Mother Berchta.  Here was the no-nonsense spirit I craved.  While so many others denounce her horrible side as Christian propaganda, I loved it.  She was equal measure kind and cruel, delighting and destroying like winter itself.  To this day, my family and I retell her story as a play during our Yule ritual.  Santa is given as a pleasant side-note, but that is all.

So when I learned about Krampus years ago--a cultural connector between my German family and my Pagan beliefs--I took to him instantly.  He and Mother Berchta have their tradition ties and definitely share a world view, which I adore.   Able to see into the truth of your soul without a scrap of prettiness or pretention, Krampus is a fantastic balance to the typical sugar-covered holiday themes.

So perhaps this will be the year that you invite the long-tongued devil to your home and family, risking the switch and the basket.  You won't be disappointed!

In the meantime, enjoy making this papercraft Krampus, adorable and vicious little bugger that he is!   Happy holidays to all!

About Me

My photo

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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