Timeless Spirit LogoWICCAN VOICES

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. May's Theme:"Humour"
Volume 3 Issue 4 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Wiccan Voices
My First Spell

with Anne Ellis

Let's just face facts; I'm not very funny. Writing humour doesn't come easily to me, so when the topic of this issue's magazine, "Humour" came up, I was terrified. Quite literally terrified and I've been sitting in front of my computer willing myself to be funny as a result. It's not working.

I've been trying to think up funny stories from my Wiccan practices, but when I write them down, they just don't seem very funny any more. We do laugh a lot when we practice rituals and spells. I've never made it through the Great Rite with a straight face - I'm a sucker for potty humour and the Athame into the Chalice gets me every time. But I don't want to offend those that do take their rituals seriously. So rather than attempt to force humour from my unfunny bone, I thought instead to share the story of my first spell. It's not funny, but a good story nonetheless. And I finally get to use the term nonetheless in my writing.

It was the fall of 1998 and for the past couple years or so my friend Alex and I had been reading various books on Wicca and magic. I'll paint the scene; Alex and I were in our late teens, full of excitement and naivety about Wicca. We wanted to do something big, something fun and as much as we knew intellectually, we'd never float pencils on their tips, or be able to change our eye colour, like in The Craft, we both secretly believed, maybe, just maybe we'd be the ones to actually do it!

We were planning a big Samhain ritual, our first ritual ever, we were going to light a fire in a cauldron (a rusty cast iron pot I found in the back shed) and burn papers on which we'd written our bad habits and other things we wanted to purify by flame. This was by the far the coolest spell we'd read about in the numerous - ahem, three - books we'd read and we spent days planning how it would all go, following the details outlined by our first Patron God Scott Cunningham, of course.

About a week or so before the ritual, to which we'd invited all of our friends regardless of their interest in Wicca, we were approached by our friend Nancy. She had recently broken up with her long-term boyfriend (long-term in grown up terms, not teenager - about two years) and she was still in a lot of pain. She wanted to burn an effigy, a mini wicker man of her ex. She was angry and hurting and wanted to hurt him back.

Well, both Alex and I had read, and read, and read about how bad and horrible and wrong it was to do anything so nasty in the name of Wicca, yet in our supreme wisdom of having read "Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner" twice through, and "To Ride a Silver Broom Stick" once, we knew what we had to do. Nancy needed the healing, and her ex needed protection.

We wrote a spell that would protect him from the force of Nancy's healing wraith. We followed the ritual outline we'd read to the letter, complete with a purple cord to mark out the boundary of our circle. This was our first spell after all, and we were pretty nervous about getting it right. The spell was cast on my back deck, facing east, where we could see crows in the trees, and hear my dad, snoring from the e-z-chair, in the living room. We visualized Nancy's ex surrounded by purple light which protected him and made any energies sent his way rebound and dissipate into the Ether.

After finishing the spell we made notes saying how strange we felt, how disoriented and odd the energy around us felt, but also that we felt very strongly the spell had worked. Nancy's ex was protected and anything Nancy needed to do to heal would now be for her alone.

We were satisfied that we'd done good in the eyes of the Goddess. We'd done everything right, and perfect, so the spell had to work! The following day, Samhain, we set up for the ritual and waited for our friends to arrive. Nancy arrived, late as usual, and when we asked her where the effigy was - it was now kinda exciting to be burning a wicker man - she told us she'd never gotten around to making one. She said over the past couple days she was starting to feel maybe she didn't need to do it to feel better. Something in her had changed, what it was she wasn't sure, but she didn't need to burn an effigy to get over her ex anymore.

Alex and I were shocked, and I'll admit a little disappointed our spell from the night before wasn't needed. Why had we bothered then, we wondered? What had been the point? Our spell hadn't worked, and we were crestfallen. The rest of the ritual went off without a hitch, and we had a good time. If I remember correctly we went to see a movie later, another Hollywood blockbuster where the silly spells of The Craft were quickly forgotten and we became entranced by the… er… ah… more Practical aspects of Magic.

Given time however, we came to realize in fact our spell had worked, just not as we planned. Nancy's ex was protected, because somehow Nancy reached a point in her healing so burning an effigy was no longer needed. I'd like to believe our spell helped Nancy's healing. Indirectly the fact we cared so much about Nancy's needs; the spell's energy went to Nancy rather than her ex and the energy of our support and love provided Nancy with comfort. More comfort than burning a wicker man would have.

I don't know the ways of the universe. I don't know how our spell was interpreted by the energies of the Divine. But I do know we learned valuable lessons from that spell.

Magic is everywhere and we can never know just what's going to happen when we attempt to affect it. Even though we'd done everything right, hoping exactly what we wanted would come to pass the universe knew better, and did what was needed, not what we wanted. We learned right didn't matter, but intent did. Our intent to help Nancy won out over creating some big purple wall of protection (although who knows how that wall of protection may have assisted her ex?). We could have completely screwed it up; burst in to a fit of giggles and collapsed on to the floor laughing (which has happened in other rituals) but so long as our intent remained in focus the spell worked.

I will always remember this story because it illustrated so clearly all those laws and lessons books are trying to make us learn, without clobbering it over our heads. It was an exhilarating and humbling entry into the world of magic and Wicca. In the end not very humorous but a fun story nonetheless - there's that word again! My love and understanding of Wicca has grown immensely since that October day. Alex and I continue to practice together all these years later. Nancy married a really nice guy and her ex moved to Europe. Sometimes Alex and I wonder if our spell was strong enough to send him far away, I doubt it, though anything is possible in magic.

*Names have been changed, of course.

An accomplished RuneCaster, Spiritualist/Medium, Consultant Herbalist, freelance writer, and 10-year practising Eclectic Witch, Reverend Anne Fairmoon Ellis is also a certified Reflexologist and Reiki Master/Teacher, and as an ordained First Degree Priestess/Mentor in the Correllian Tradition, is also the Shrinekeeper for The Raven's Moon Shrine in North Vancouver, B.C.

Her current delightful priority is working as a Domestic Engineer for a vivacious two-year-old. You are also invited to visit Anne's website.

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