What is a Spell? Spells. Workings. Jobs. These are terms used in Hoodoo to describe acts of magic which are performed out of one's own needs in order to achieve a goals. They are performed for virtually any conceivable purpose including, but not limited to, the following: Prosperity Health Protection Love Controlling Another Sexual Desire Justice Banishing Evil Enhancing Fertility Employment & Steady Work Cursing Success Domination Blessing Death Cleansing Confusion Obtaining Justice Gambling Luck Reconciliation
Essentials for Successful Magic
There are certain basics to learning to practice magic that must be understood and mastered as far as possible in order to practice successful magic. While there is something to be said about choosing a mode of magic, obtaining the correct materia magica, and observing times------there are also four basic essentials that will serve your greatly in your magical endeavors. They are:
1) Knowledge is Power. It is important that you know yourself and your own limitations; however, it is equally important to continue to advance ourselves in order to continue growing and evolving as spiritual beings in a physical existence. While Hoodoo is a very practical form of folk-magic, it is continually evolving and changing and so for this reason you can study for a lifetime and never learn all there is to know about Hoodoo.
Nonetheless, knowledge in and of itself is not enough. Knowledge must work in conjunction with belief. Belief is the absence of doubt---an unwavering faith in the knowledge that you will have that which you desire. Without such belief, your spell may fail (see below ---Why Spells Fail).
2) What You Dwell on Inwardly, You Manifest Outwardly. The mind is a fountainhead of untold power which we are only beginning to understand. It has the ability to manifest anything that you desire, and it will manifest that which your thoughts dwell on. If you tell yourself that you are sick, then you will not be healed. If you believe that you are not worthy of love, then you will never find love. This is why we, as folk-magicians, speak so often of cleansing ourselves of evil in thought, word, and deed. It is so that we can learn to think and act positively so that we can manifest the positive things in life for which we yearn.
3) What Goes Around, Comes Around. This is both a spiritual axiom and a scientific law. Most folks are familiar with the basic concept of Karma from Eastern Esoteric Teachings which basically states that the law of cause and effect plays a central role in determining how one's life should be lived. Most folks interpret this as what you do (for good or ill) to another person will be done to you as well. Examples of the concept of karma can be found in the Christian Bible such as Proverbs 26:27 ; Galatians 6:7 ; Matthew 26:52. You may have heard it before in school only it went "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." As we have seen, this is not only true for our actions but our thought as well.
Therefore, before performing a spell or working it is very important that a divination be observed in order to determine the probability of success or failure, to avoid any unforeseen negative consequences, and to make any necessary changes to one's plans. This is, however, not to say that in certain circumstances that negative spells such as curses cannot be performed at all. Instead this means that you must determine if the curse in question is justified (again via divination), or else it may return to you. In any cases, most folks often perform an act of cleansing, such as a hyssop bath) after having delivered a curse via magic in order to remove their sin.
4) The Magic is Inside You. Herbs. Roots. Candles. Flannel Bags. Dirt. Silver Dimes. These are just a few of the items that can be found in a spiritual practitioner's magical collection. However, it is very important to understand that these items are simply tools. The power does not come from them, but rather it is channeled from the connection between your spirit and the Spirit of the Divine as found in all things. Without a connection to Spirit, you are simply going through the motions.
Why Spells Fail
Anyone who practices magic will tell you that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, magic works. We know it works because if it didn't work those who practice it would not continue to do so. The problem is that it doesn't always work or at least not in the way one originally intended; which begs the question why do spells fail? In my experience, spells fail for one or more of four reasons. They are:
1) Human Error. This is a common reason among beginners. It usually occurs when the wrong correspondences were utilized, there was a lack of focus and / or conviction during the spell, an inability to make a spiritual connection with the Divine, or health reasons such as physical or mental illness, or the use of alcohol or drugs which impairs the individual.
If your spell fails due to human error, then the answer is to go back and repeat your spell using the correct correspondences, maintaining better focus, etc....
2) Disregard for Tradition. While not a religion in and of itself, Hoodoo incorporates aspects of religion and has over time developed certain rules which one is expected to follow in order to practice magic successfully. Beginners often come to Hoodoo with preconceived notions, based on incorrect information or their experiences with other magical traditions, about how Hoodoo should and should not be practiced. Failure often results when folks try to change the rules to suit them rather than change their behavior to suit established practices. Examples of disregard for tradition may include failure to properly pay a spirit in exchange for its grave dirt, allowing another person to see or touch your mojo-bag, etc...
Blatant disregard for traditional rules is not only disrespectful but also intolerable and to continue to do so may have dire spiritual consequences for the offender. If you have angered a spirit by not properly paying for its goods or services then that spirit must be appeased with offerings and sincere prayers for forgiveness. If your mojo bag was seen or touch by another then it should be refreshed or re-made as need dictates.
3) Not Meant to Be. A spell may fail when we petition Spirit for something that either a) we are not meant to have b) what we ask for somehow interferes with our spiritual plan, or c) is not justified (in the case of a hex or curse thrown at an enemy).
If a spell is not meant to be then there would be definite signs along with way before you even cast the spell, that is, if you have performed a divination beforehand. If not, signs may come in the form or dreams or omens. Such signs should not be ignored because Spirit is trying to tell you that you are treading down the wrong path and divination can help steer you in the right direction. For example, you may be trying to cast a love spell on a certain person but, for whatever reasons, the signs say that your spell will fail and that you will not have him or her. Instead your signs may advise you to cast a spell to attract someone with the qualities that you admire in this person.
4) Direct Opposition. Though it is rare it does occasionally happen that another practitioner is working against you for any number of reasons. They may have a grudge against you, they may have the same goal as you (i.e. working to attract the same job or love interest, etc..) or they may be working on behalf of a client who has paid them to bind and / or cross you for these or other reasons.
As in the last example, if you are regularly performing your divination or seeking signs then direct opposition will be revealed to you in some manner. If it occurs that another practitioner is working against you then a series of cleansing and reversing work will be in order to avail yourself of their spells and bindings. If the work against you is especially powerful then you may have to fight back with even stronger spells in the form of your own curses directed at your opponent.
Spells are ritual acts of magic performed out of one's need in order to achieve a specific goal such as obtaining love, health, money, or conferring protection. In order to perform successful magic, you must foster a connection to Spirit, firmly believe in yourself and that you can have that which you desire, support this with positive thoughts, words, and deeds and hold firm to the knowledge that what you send forth will come back to you.
However, that is not to say that spells are always successful or that they manifest in the form or manner in wihc one has intended. Spells often fail for a variety of reasons which may include human error, disregard for tradition, what you ask for is not meant to be, or due to direct opposition by another spiritual force.
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