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How Magic Works

These are just some of many different theories about how spells work. For anybody who really enjoys “magical theory” like I do or is looking for validation that there’s something to all these weird spells! None of these serve to discredit magic, but rather add a deeper level of understanding to it. The success of a spell could be credited to more than one of these, or something else entirely!

  • Law of Attraction. Basically, the idea that you attract what you focus on. A popular example is focusing on the color red, and seeing how much red is around you that you didn’t notice before. This is most effective for spells involving personal matters and success, by formally opening your eyes to details and opportunities you may have missed otherwise.
  • The Placebo Effect. It’s a proven fact that our bodies can heal ourselves merely by belief that what we’re doing helps! This can extend beyond health spells to things like confidence, performance ability, and other things that aim at personal improvement. The placebo effect may be all that spell needs to be successful ( and it wouldn’t have happened without the spell!)
  • Direct cause/effect. Something about the spell and the way it was cast directly affects the outcome. Example: a sigil designed for protection, when looked at, serves as a constant visual reminder that you are protected, subconsciously strengthening your wards.
  • Science/chemistry. This is most true for kitchen witchery and herbalism. Chamomile, lavender, and other herbs aren’t corresponded with calmness and sleep for nothing… they’re made up of chemicals that have been scientifically proven to calm the nerves and aid in sleep!
  • Quantum physics. There’s a phrase called “Quantum Woo,” where people use quantum physics (often incorrectly) to explain any type of magical thinking or practice. While the ultimate theory behind quantum physics was recently disproven, the discoveries made through research still hold true. Basically, we know particles behave differently when observed, and our energies can effect this. We just don’t know why that is. This is the baseline behind a lot of energy work.
  • Divine string pulling. Ask and ye shall receive. This is where we depart from the physical to the spiritual side of magic. Many people do magic by appealing to divine forces, Mother Earth, God(s), the Universe, whatever you want to call it. This could be with an offering, a ceremony, or even just bedside prayer. The divine force hears the request, and grants it by affecting change and “pulling strings” to cause the desired outcome.
  • Spiritual string pulling. Very similar to the previous point, but with entities that are not worshipped or seen as divine. Many believe that spirits can still affect change “behind the scenes.” A spirit worker may make a deal with a spirit for luck or protection, or someone may ask their ancestors for good fortune and health.
  • Personal string pulling. Instead of asking an outside entity, this is the idea that we, as the practitioner, pull the strings. This is most seen through the “cone of energy” method of casting, where we raise a lot of concentrated energy and intent in a space, then release it all at once to do its thing. You also see it with sympathetic magic, where by doing something to a poppet, we actively affect that change on the target. No middle man included.

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