Hey there Occulties,
Time for a Questions You've Asked Me article. Hope it's not too repetitive for my long time readers! :)
Q: How often should I cast spells on my situation?
A: This one has come up before, but I get this a lot, so my advice is as follows...
If you're casting for yourself: Keep the pressure constant. One spell *MIGHT* fix everything, but if you're not getting the results you'd wanted, or noticing changes within a few weeks, cast another spell. I tell my students limit yourself to 1-3 spells a week, but try to do at least 2 per month until you reach your goal.
If someone is spellcasting for you: It depends on how the practitioners work. Some people will be working a situation for a few weeks at a time, others will do one large ritual (or a collection thereof,) and then have you wait for a result. I usually tell my own clients (and I'll do a large collection of rituals) that if we are not seeing movement within 60 days, then something else needs to be done, or they need to reassess if it's what they want. Many people DO have movement in their situation in the first 3-4 weeks, and can see the spellwork is working, but that doesn't always mean one round achieves the final goal (especially in messy reconciliation cases.)
If you live in a fantasy: I'm sure one candle spell you paid $6 for will work for the rest of your life, because spellcasting and life must be that easy.* :)
Q: Are some spells evil?
A: The answer there is that good and evil are subjective, and that I am not the morality police. With that said, do some people use harmful spells because they are selfish, because they are shallow, or do some people use "nice" spells to the wrong end? Of course. There are spells I do not teach others on this blog for the very reason that they have a high probability of being misused, and I don't like feeling responsible for that.
Look at it like this... is it wrong to kill another person? Just generally...is that wrong? I think most of us would agree that it is wrong to kill another person.
OK, so what if that person is trying to kill your children or your partner or your best friend? Is it OK then to kill that person - you know, in order to save your loved one? I think quite a few people would agree that there is a good chance that it is not wrong to kill that person if we are saving an innocent (or presumably innocent) life or lives.
So, what if that person is not actually holding a gun to your loved one's head, but they keep stealing all of your food and money and possessions and you're slowly starving and incapable of caring for yourselves. What about then? Is it morally sound to do something to stop them, even if it means harming them or killing them?
Are you starting to see how using something dark (which is to say something which might hurt another,) might actually not be so "wrong"? I'm not trying to say it's right, but self-defense might fall into a grey area.
And that's just one "grey area" in a sea of "grey areas." It is not up to you and me to dictate someone not use a spell or when it's "acceptable" to use that spell - rather, I should hope that most people would have some code of ethics and morality that tempers their actions. If they don't, then...the best I can offer is that many people who are megalomaniacal and narcissistic enough to just throw these sorts of workings down with little care are also often the types who can't be bothered to train and practice and train and practice to cast spells, and would, therefore, have little success with the work as is.
Therefore, while the morality police and the karma police might try to say otherwise, I do not believe a spell is evil any more than I believe a cookie is evil or a shovel is evil or bug crawling across the patio is evil. All of those things could be used maliciously (poison the cookie, hit someone in the head with a shovel, throw the bug down someone's shirt,) but that doesn't make them evil.
A: Because being able to cast spells doesn't prevent me from encountering problems any more than being a psychiatrist prevents mental illness, or being a doctor prevents having physical illness, death, disability, and disease. Carpenters have to fix parts of their homes, too. Just knowing how to do something - no matter how well, - doesn't make you immune to the problems of people who don't know how to do it. Magicians are human beings. All human beings have problems.
Q: If my spell candle keeps going out (not burning out, but going out,) what should I do?
A: Try redoing the spell with a new candle. Also check to make sure that you're not overusing ritual oil. If the candle still keeps burning out despite your using a fresh new candle, do some roadopening or blockbuster work, and use divination to see if someone is working against you, and then try again.
Q: Can I use an electric tea light instead of a candle?
A: Only if you're using it for mood lighting, but in a ritual sense, no, it in no way replaces a candle as part of a ritual working anymore than bits of plastic shaped like sugar would replace sugar, or a rubber mold of a scrambled egg could be eaten like a scrambled egg.
Q: If I write my name paper out using my menstrual blood, will that have a stronger impact on my desired target?
A: Only if you somehow took your lover's uterus and are now having their periods. Look, you're using YOUR BLOOD, which means all you are doing is casting a spell on yourself. The dead lining of your uterus (period blood) is from you, right? How is your ex or current partner connected to your uterus? Did you just abort their child? I mean, in that case, some of their DNA would be mixed with that uterine lining, otherwise, no, you're just casting a spell on yourself. Use normal ink. :)
Q: Are some people naturally witches, or have inherited powers?
A:Not exactly. No one is naturally anything other than born a human (presumably, since I've never met one of us not born as a human being.) So, let's start there. Maybe your momma is a witch, a magician, or a singer, a dancer, a gifted cook - any of these. You came from your mother and father (and maybe your dad is an artist, and also a singer, and he can also tap dance like no one else,) and maybe, just maybe these folks teach you how to draw. That doesn't make you gifted like them...you never achieve their abilities in art, but they still try and teach you. Maybe you are talented because they are, and maybe, just maybe you aren't. If they both drop dead the day you're born, you might have a proclivity towards dance, be good at it, but you might also never dance a step. See, you don't inherit knowledge without practice, and study, and practice, and study, and practice, and study. You might inherit a talent, and you might not. Just because one parent has blue eyes, that doesn't guarantee that you will have blue eyes...and it sure as heck doesn't guarantee you'll have any easier of a time learning a skill which that parent is a master at.
Anyone who tells you that they were "born a witch" was maybe born to someone who practiced spells. Maybe they learned a trick or two. They might still suck. Neither of my parents have one ounce of artistic ability. I can paint and draw. I went to college to get my bachelor's degree in it. Does that make me NOT an artist, because my parents weren't artists? Because neither has any artistic ability is mine not real? Nope, that would be stupid. In fact my brother is also in the arts. So apparently, some part of our ancestral DNA had some artistic abilities...
It's like sports, or having the ability to sing, or anything else. Some people are just going to have an easier time learning it, and some people will be graced with parents who teach them from a young age...but of those being taught at a young age, they might have no skill for the occult arts, and might never be as good as a self-taught magician, who, despite "Muggle" parents just found it easier to practice spellcraft. So anyone who tells you that they are a "natural witch" or they just have powers with no study, and practice and study and practice and study and practice (hint: most "experts" have been studying and practicing at least 15 years before they get titled "expert" - many of your favorite authors are almost 2x that many years of study and practice, if not more,) then they are probably making a horse's ass out of you. :P
There is an old saying that the seventh son of a seventh son (so out of all the kids, the seventh boy, even if he's the tenth child, has a seventh boy child of his own...so I guess he has 12 kids or something,) is supposedly naturally gifted with magic. I've never met the seventh son of a seventh son, but if people had more children these days, that would be interesting to find out.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Hope to have a new article up shortly! :D
*If you are this ignorant, please never contact me. Thanks!
Picture credit: Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, first picture
John William Waterhouse, Pandora
Charles Marion Russell, Waiting