What is Magick?
Do Wiccans practice magic? This is the burning question posed by those unfamiliar with the religion. As always, it depends on who you ask. Some Wiccans practice magic but some don’t. Those that don’t most likely prefer to focus on the spirituality of the religion as opposed to the magic part. Sometimes magic is referred to as “magick”, in order to separate it from the stage magic that magicians like David Blaine performs. Most covens that practice magic do so from a “Book of Shadows”, a book filled with Wicca lore and spells. If you’ve seen the television show “Charmed”, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what exactly a Book of Shadows contains in its pages.
When it comes to magic and spells, the famous ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley defined magic as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will”. However, another well-known magician named MacGregor Mathers called magic “the science of the control of the secret forces of nature”. However you define it, it is clear that the thought of doing magic can be exhilarating. After all, who wouldn’t want to cast spells that could make life a little easier? (Such as Mrs. Weasley using magic to clean her house in the Harry Potter series). This particular view of magic though, as I just described, is sometimes met with scorn and derision by some Wiccans and/or witches. Most of the magic and spell work that is conducted are filled with good intentions like healing or peace.
Indeed, Wiccans and witches are not always the same thing. You can be a Wiccan but not be a witch or vice versa. Though witchcraft is part of Wicca, it’s not inherent in every single part of the religion. To practice witchcraft is simply a personal preference for the Wiccan.
Typical magic and spellwork are done with tools like an athame (knife), chalice, tarot cards, scrying with a crystal ball, rolling dice, throwing bones or casting runestones. Though spells are done to get a Wiccan what he/she wants, Wiccans are careful to avoid inadvertently hurting anyone else. As I mentioned earlier, spells are done with good intentions in mind such as helping a sick friend or relative, hoping for good things for another person, or attempting to better their own lives such as a successful job interview.
Wiccans and/or witches are not the evil spell-casters that Hollywood and history have made them out to be. Indeed, they are just like you and me, with maybe a couple of extra skills.