The Upside of Being a Superstitious Witch pt.2

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,




In the last post we discussed just why witches and other occultists should embrace
superstition.  Of the excellent arguments I feel that I made on its behalf (*ahem*) I think there is one which speaks the most strongly in favor of it as a magical concept:

It works.

We discussed all that the last time around.  Now we must consider what this means for the occultist.  What use can superstition be to a witch?  The many answers may surprise you.

Superstition Uses Tried Methods

As a spellcaster, I'm always hoping to find spells that have been used before, that have proven themselves.  I know it's popular now to write a brand new spell every time (read my thoughts on this silly notion here) but what I really want is to know that the spell I'm working will do exactly what it's supposed to do--and the first time.  Wouldn't that be lovely?

Superstition has the benefit of being passed down over many generations.  Each one of the people holding these ideas as true has added a bit more power to the thought.  That power has created a well from which you may dip any time you like.  You may even discover superstitions that are unique to your family.  Not only did these beliefs persist through time, they were specifically cultivated by your bloodline, adding yet another reason for it to retain potency.  Any time an idea is shared, cherished, and followed by a mass of people, it gains power.  Like the ancient spellbook a fortunate fairytale heroine finds in a dusty trunk, we can feel the respect of ages emanating from such ideas and recognize it as potent.


Superstition Uses Universal Concepts

Maybe we no longer view black cats as bad luck (and, indeed, there are some good luck superstitions about them) but a great many folk beliefs call up items, colors, and symbols that we still associate with everyday concepts such as happiness, family unity, and wealth. For example, it's easy to see why bread and salt predict and represent our home life and its success.  Likewise, we have a shared idea that such quickly recognized misfortunes like burning food or breaking things bring bad luck.

Because these concepts are generally understood, they're a good way for newcomers to conceive of and begin to work simple spells.  Which leads to...


Superstition Can Aid Your Spells

Any pre-written spell can benefit from adding correlating folklore.  Think of it as another form of association.  There's no limit to the ways in which we can dress up even the simplest spells and yet not fundamentally change them--including colors for things like altar cloths and candles; scent in things like fresh flowers/herbs or incenses and oils; or words like spoken charms or affirmations.   Superstition can work the same way.

A love spell, for example, can be enhanced with it in many ways.  It is tradition that to accidentally drop a pan and have it come to rest upside down means that someone is thinking loving thoughts of you.  To add this to your spell, simply recreate this act intentionally--in slow motion, if need be to ensure the pan is indeed inverted--after the spell is complete.  Let it rest on the floor (or, for more connection, on your altar sitting directly over your spell items) untouched until the candles have burned to their sockets or some other sign has made itself known that the work is finished.

Superstition Can Be Used Instead of Spells


With focus, a well-placed superstition can be just as effective as a timed spell.  Think about a day that is very important, like going on a long trip.  Rather than add to your to-do list before you leave, just work in a few superstitions.  Plan your trip around unlucky days and try to leave on a Monday.  Start well by making your bed first thing in the morning to ensure luck all day long.  Before heading out the door, tuck a potato in your bag to ward off motion sickness and put a pinch of salt in your pocket so you won't pine for home.  Any combination of these--and many, many more--can substitute for more formal spellwork.


Also consider the other ways you can work superstitions into your magical goals, such as arranging it with a friend who needs fast money that you re-enact folklore which will bring new money to them--Have them drop a small amount of money, as though by accident, then pick up that money and put it back in their hand, thereby granting them money luck.


Superstition Can Be Used to Predict the Success of Spellwork

So we talked all about how superstitions and omens are so closely related that they could pass for twins.  Well, now it's time to cast The Parent Trap--trade your usual spell omens (like shapes in the candle wax) for superstitions that relate to the goal of your spell.

For example, money will soon be coming to you if you discover that a spider has built a web in the corner of your doorway.  So instead of watching incense ash or patterns on your burnt spell papers, keep an eye out for a web.  You may wish to cap off your spellwork by declaring to your familiar/spirits/deities that this is the sign you prefer they send to show you the success of your work.   Not only will this give you something definite to watch for, it will also help you to become more observant, as well as better connected to the beings with whom you work magic.


Superstition Keeps You in Touch with Magical Thinking

In our day to day life, we can easily slide away from our understanding of ourselves as magical, powerful beings who are capable of changing our own reality.  Even just saying that seems preposterous on some days.  Who hasn't woke up to a 24 hour disaster--the car has a flat, in trouble at work, burst water pipe at home, a fight with a friend--and feel nothing like the mental-muscle flexing occultist we were in the circle the night before?  At that point, we're just surviving, just getting through the emergency to-do list and hoping for a better day tomorrow.  The connecting road between the mundane and the magical is obscured with too many weeds and garbage to be something we think to use.

However, even very small things that we do every day can keep that passageway available
to us and at the forefront of our minds as we enter troubled times.  Think of the many common actions that can be enhanced by adding superstition.  Cooking is a natural choice; try to think positive, aspirational thoughts as you cook, stirring clockwise.  Likewise, after you're done sweeping the floor, stand the broom with the bristles up for luck.

The kinds of things that happen randomly can be good to remember as sources of magical

thought.  What springs to mind is how you can benefit from a momentary stumble: after you stub your toe, walk backward over that spot, turn around, and kiss your thumb and you will be visited by the one you most want to see.   This can be an opportunity to enjoy some assistance if you want it, but not to bother if you don't.  

There are specific times over the span of our lives that have a great deal of associations with which you can work as you like: birth, marriage, new home, great journeys, and death.  If any of these events is approaching for you, take stock of the many useful and positive superstitions from which you can choose the one or two which will be of the greatest benefit to you.  


An occultist who is superstitious has an even greater body of work from which to draw.  The adoption (or perhaps resurgence) of superstition is nothing more than cherishing, maintaining, and promoting of folk beliefs of an earlier time.  The same way we investigate and preserve their spells and recipes, we should preserve their lore.  They are our ancestors and their beliefs and practices are our heritage.  Superstition eases and enriches our magical lives the same way that magic does for our mundane lives.  We should not turn away from this but run to it, open armed and joyful, embracing what it means to uphold folklore while also being a part of it.

May great good fortune come to you!



Sourcebook:
"Superstitions: 10,000 You Really Need" by William Carroll      


Images from:
wikipedia.com
inyourpocket.com
nydailynews.com
(President Obama's lucky charms)    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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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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