Magick and Witchcraft

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A Wiccan altar. This is the centerpiece for rituals and spellwork. While there is a general set up, each altar is unique. This one features candles, an athame, cauldron, incense burner, chalice, and a statue representing the goddess.

Among Pagans it is common to spell magick with a k to differentiate it from acts of illusion and stage magic. Additionally, magick, is not a supernatural force as it is often depicted in fantasy and science fiction. Magick is the ritual use of words and actions to send positive energy into the universe in order to affect positive change. As such, it operates in the same way as prayer. It can be used for both thanksgiving and to request blessings. Magick is finding your connection to the Earth and all that is natural, alive and moving in the universe! It binds all that exists together. Magick is living in balance with the flow of life, and knowing that you are a vital force within that flow.

Wicca is sometimes used interchangeably with the word Witchcraft. This is a reflection that most, though certainly not all, Wiccans engage in Witchcraft as part of their overall religious practice. Furthermore, even those Wiccans who do not practice the magickal aspects of Witchcraft, most often refer to their religious practice as “the Craft.” According to Erin Drangonsong from Wicca Spirituality the word craft is significant because it “derives from a Germanic word meaning strength…A craft implies artistry. And that's what being a Witch is. It's something you practice, thus gaining skills and strength - spiritual and personal empowerment. It is an artistic expression of being human.” There are also individuals who do not identify as Pagan, but who practice Witchcraft solely as a magickal art and not as a religion.

Magick is typically practiced at an altar using specific tools. While some traditions find it preferable to perform magick outside, it can be done indoors as well. Wiccans don’t practice “black magic” because they believe the energy you send out comes back to you magnified three times. There are some Pagan groups who do use this type of magick. Some don't like the labels "light" and "dark" so they instead refer to it as "the right hand path and the left hand path."


Candles can be used for a variety of rituals and magickal workings. Different colors and scents can be symbolic. 

Schools of Magickal Thought

There are two primary schools of magical thought. Often this is confused with the idea of light and dark magick, but those are distinctions of the intent of the Witch, the two schools of thought represent different approaches to magick.

The first school is faerie magick. While the term faerie may conjure up the image Tinkerbell or other small, winged mythical beings, faerie is really just another name for a nature spirit. There are many different kinds of faeries. Faerie magick is tapping into the very fabric of nature. As we are all part of nature, faerie magick can be practiced by anyone.

Dragon magick uses the power of dragons to manipulate energy. Dragons are powerful guardian spirits and can deepen spellwork, but they are also temperamental and authoritative. Dragon magick practitioners must specifically be chosen by a dragon and their form of magick requires discipline, honor, and obedience.  

Getting Started

Regardless of the type of magick being used,  before you perform a spell or ritual the first step is to cast a circle. This involves drawing a boundary around yourself, calling the quarters or elemental powers, and inviting the deities to be present. This prevents negative energies, spirits, or other entities from messing with your work. The next step is to ground and center. Grounding is when we become one with the earth and centering is when we become one with the universe. In preparation for spellwork, it is common to raise energy. This can be achieved through singing, dancing, clapping, chanting, or through visualization. 

Spells can manipulate energies, but they can not force someone to act against their will. Magick will also not make you instantly rich and famous. It is a method of working within natural laws and sending your intentions into the universe, not forcing your will on nature.

Dragonsong, Erin. “Being A Witch.” Wicca Spirituality. Accessed November 26, 2018.

Stormcalmer, Aldous. A Beginners Guide to Witchcraft: A Reference Guide for Beginners in the Craft, The United States of America, 2018. 

Magick and Witchcraft