I must admit that I have had a bit of an epiphany regarding TheWitchDiaries.com website.
I recently made the mistake of forwarding an email to my father with my TWD e-mail address as the reply to. I'm not sure if he noticed, but it got me to thinking. My father is considerably more conservative than I am. In a conversation a few years ago, my father described Magick as a tool of Satanic interests. (Ok, that may not have been his exact words, but the sentiment is close.) At that point, I dropped the topic, as I knew I did not wish to face that argument.
Since realizing the e-mail snafu (he has not mentioned it, yet, so I do not know if he noticed). I started thinking how I could 'defend' the ideals I have learned and accepted since I started reading about Magick. That is when the epiphany hit me, like a 2x4 across the forehead. Arguments I have received about the posted intent of TWD fell into crystal clarity.
TWD should NOT be a source of spells but, instead should be a resource to identify the components of a good spell, based upon the experiences of others. The spells that work best and most assuredly are the ones that come from the heart. The spellcraft or ritual is a means of focusing the practitioners intent to achieve a desired effect. For example, I lay a dollar bill on the surface, and set a green candle atop it. From there, I light the candle, focus and state my intent or desire. This simple spell/ritual helps keep me focused and open to opportunities to receive or earn more money. It also helps keep me focused on NOT spending money of frivolous items. The statement of my intent/desire is often a small rhyme or limerick. The rhythm and the rhyme helps to keep the spell in the mind all the day long.
To me that is Magick. A tool with which I focus my mind and my heart to achieve a desired goal. This is, in my opinion, not very different at all from the idea of a Christian prayer. The prayer is a request to a higher power to grant a boon or to assist with a desire or need. Other times it is a means of 'giving up' the troubling or stressful events of life. Either way, the process of a Christian prayer and the process of spells are very much the same. To create an environment to succeed, one must clear their mind (meditate), state their desire (pray or cast), and remain receptive of the opportunities (believe).
I thank my father for the way he raised me. At times I was less than stellar as a son, and there have been many times I have failed to meet his expectations. But still, my father taught me to be ME, and to live MY life. To do as I wish, so long as I think it through. And there is no wrong decision, if one considers all the available information and makes a choice from there. Later it may prove to be a less than optimal choice, but that is usually when an additional information enters into the equation. As a teen (and for several years after) I did not know who I was. I had a name and I had a history but I did not know me. And at 40, I'm starting to know who I am, and to actually like myself. This would not be possible without my father's teachings or my research into Magick, on a whim. I am no high priest, nor do I wish to be one. For me, Magick is and always will be a solitary path with a destination for me alone.
For the solitary practitioner, the path is one best walked alone. That need not mean one should be lonely in the journey. Our path is one of the heart, and the heart must go as it is in the body. Solitary, but in working with others. I am hoping (praying and casting) that TWD will make it possible for the solitary to find others on a path similar to or parallel with theirs in this skein of string of paths. To find support and information that otherwise may not be found.
I do not wish the previous statements to deter others who follow specific traditions to turn away. Please, stay, contribute and share. There will always be people who desire a more structured belief system, one that has boundaries and rules. Or a system that supports a specific need in their life, at that time. Please help those find their way, share your ideals and beliefs. It is only through the sharing can we have understanding.
So, in closing of this first, of (hopefully) many articles of my personal journey, I thank you for reading it. And I thank my father for being him and for teaching me to be me.
The beginning was there, the here is now and the end is yet to be.