The world we live in is nearly wholly out of our control. To cope with this lack of security and command, we tend to gravitate towards sets of beliefs that let us extend our control deeper into our lives, and into the inner and outer worlds. Religion gives us the concept of a higher being, one that is benevolent and consistently aware of our needs as tiny helpless humans. This otherworldly figure allows us to cope with the chaos of life and let’s us live with a sense of protection and hope, that there is always someone there for us, even when we can’t see it with our own eyes.
But for many, the idea of an invisible guardian (who can’t seem to keep up with the world’s ill) just isn’t enough. That’s where witchcraft comes in.
For witches, the practice is focused on the self; you are the only one who’s got your back. Expecting everything you want to fall out of the sky doesn’t work for anyone, and magic isn’t about casting spells and waiting for it to pop out of the ether either. Magic let’s us do what we need to instead of waiting for something else to do it for us.
There are two main types of witchcraft:
In metaphysical witchcraft, the practice is dependant on spiritual belief, functioning off of sacred or divine sources of power such as dieties and spiritual energy. Rituals and spells hypothetically work based off of responsive energy generated from conscious and unconscious thoughts, altering the universe in response. This method of belief puts the power almost entirely in the persons hands, thus giving us more control over our lives and more confidence in what we can accomplish.
However, there is no spirituality in physical witchcraft because it is a psychological practice based on using psychological methods and effects to alter the way we think and behave. Here, I will analyze a ritual that is designed to help you get a better grade on a test, to better explain how physical witchcraft uses psychology to develop its effects:
Wax and Crystal Spell for Passing Your Test! Anoint two white candles with sage oil and light them. Take an amethyst crystal and anoint it with sage oil, and place it on a small plate before the candle so that the candle light shines on it. Let the candles burn and charge the stone while you study.
As you study, you use associative learning to build a mental relationship between the crystal and achieving a good grade on your test. The associations of the unconscious mind lead to the formation of implicit attitudes which promotes actions or judgements under control of automatically triggered evaluations.
Keep the crystal with you when you take the exam.
Now, you are sitting at your desk with the test infront of you and the crystal in your possession. The unconscious association you created is now subconsciously driving you to work harder to achieve the expectations that the crystal was intended to provide. You end up working harder with confidence in the prospect of the spells power, and end up completing the self-fulfilling prophecy you had that you would get a good grade on your test. The spell influenced your behaviour by motivating you to work harder with the subjective security and encouragement given off from the crystal and it’s association.
In physical witchcraft, the practice doesn’t use ‘spiritual energy’ or 'dieties' to acheive a successful spell. Witchcraft can be a very useful, enjoyable, legitimate method of self-improvement, accomplishing goals and attitudes, and helping you get the most out of your life. It’s a glorified use of psychological effects and associations that put us in control of our lives by effectively influencing the way we think and behave, one spell at a time.