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Copyright 2001-2011

[K. L. Dugery, and EbonDragon  Productions]

All rights reserved. Revised: September 14, 2011


None of the  material here may be reproduced in any format without express permission of K.L. Dugery, the Clan of the Dragon, and EbonDragon Productions.




Prayer vs. Spell Work

by J'Karrah, 2010

You hear a lot about this in Pagan circles, especially when dealing with a potentially fearful public wondering exactly what it is Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches are up to. Even as people try to put a skeptical face on the whole notion of magic, there remains a little nugget of doubt. "What if they are right? Can they really hurt me or my family?" A couple of the more innocuous questions. More dangerous ones delve into worries over Hollywood style devil worship, human sacrifice, etc. So to sooth the trouble brow of the general public and to convince people that modern Witches are basically harmless there came the claim that "all spell work and magic is just like a prayer." People understand prayer. It's familiar. Safe.

Well, guess what? It's also not entirely.... accurate.

Yes, there is a segment of magical practice that is tied to prayer. Religious magic is universal across all faiths regardless of whether they acknowledge it as "magic" or not. The Catholic Mass is a classic example of ceremonial high magic that calls on the divine power of deity to intervene and shape the course pr perceptions of reality... the classic definition of magic... in order to transform wafers and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Another example is a consecration ritual where a Witch calls down the power of the gods to bless themselves and their tools, transforming a regular goblet into a Chalice, a fancy stick into a Wand.. What makes these forms of spell work "the same thing as prayer" is that they call on the direct assistance and/or intervention of deity, or they involve communing with deity on some level.

But I would venture to guess that the form of prayer most commonly practiced is non-religious in nature. It does not directly involved the action or intervention of deity. When you use your own energies to influence and shape your own reality. THAT is magic. That is power. And that is what non-practitioners don't understand and hence what they fear.

If deity is involved, and that deity is kind, loving and benevolent, the caring Father God, the nurturing Mother Goddess, like most modern Pagans claim then like any other good parent they will give their children what they need if not necessarily what they want. Plus, judging by popular experience, most people agree that the majority of prayers asking for changes in the fabric of reality go unanswered. So if Jesus rarely answers *their* prayers, they can rest comforted that the Moon Goddess will rarely answer mine, making witchcraft and magic no more reliable than Sunday morning prayer. It's a natural assurance that we are all in the same boat when it comes to being powerless to actually direct the course of our own lives, that all we can do is muddle through with whatever life throws at us because "God" is actually in charge of our lives, not us. Prayer, even in the form of religious magic, is asking deity to intervene on our behalf. It implies that only people who believe in deity can work magic. If there is no deity to pray to, then prayer and religious magic are nothing more than mental masturbation.

"Secular" or non-religious spell work does not involve asking for the intervention of deity on our behalf. Spell work is deliberately and precisely gathering the ambient energies around us, raising and concentrating our own personal energies, maybe combining those energies together with the energies of crystals, herbs, candles and directing it into the universe in order to achieve a specific change in reality... ours or someone else's. Spell work is taking charge of our lives directly and personally. It is the ultimate expression of personal responsibility. It is not necessarily discounting the existence of the divine. It's saying to the universe that "I am the captain of my own life. My successes and failures are my own."

The difference between religious magic/prayer and spell work is asking "Lord help me do well on this interview so I can get this job" versus charging a quartz crystal for strength, confidence and eloquence and wearing a blue tie (blue enhances communication skills) or yellow shirt (yellow for stimulating the intellect, and to draw in success). In this case you are using your own energies and combined with the energy of the crystal and the vibrational energies of specific colors to help influence the outcome of the interview without relying on the external intervention of God/dess.

Now before anyone gets upset that I am somehow implying that one is somehow superior to the other, I'm not. There is nothing wrong with preferring religious magic over "secular" spell work. I use both depending on the circumstances. All I am trying to do is get people to think about the inaccuracy of automatically telling people that prayer and spell work are exactly the same. They may both have the potential to change reality, but the methods are actually quite different.