Pagan Magic said:
Is there a time and a place when magick should be used — or shouldn't? How often do you practice — are you a kitchen witch, using magick on a daily basis — or do you save your energies for ritual or in times of great need. Is it wrong to turn to magick before exploring other options? How much is too much, if there is such a thing?
I think magick can be used any place any time — but some are better than others, e.g. I would rather do a banishing spell during a waning moon. However, if the need is urgent, that overrides such considerations and our will can ensure the success of the working.
In times past I used formal workings more than I do now. I have been solitary, then in a coven for a few years, now solitary again (as the coven members became geographically scattered and/or involved in work commitments that precluded meeting). When I was first exploring the path as a solitary, I did a lot — daily rituals and other magickal practices as needed. Also when the coven was active, as High Priestess I was very present to magick at all times, and did a lot of both solitary and group work.
Even in the past, and more so now, some practices were/are so incorporated into daily life that I almost forget they are magickal, such as quick clearings of my energy, or that of the environment I’m in, setting up protection if needed, healing people or other living things on the energy level…. Also, I have always done a lot of mental stuff, using thoughts and words as spells. In all things I tend to go for the quick and easy, lol. (I don’t cast circle for these things, but I do for the following.)
I still do something on full moon nights, even if it is only a short ritual acknowledging the Goddess, usually in company with my husband, who was in the coven with me.
I have also found that I feel better when I do a daily personal ritual involving the Qabalistic Cross and Middle Pillar Exercise —clearer, calmer, more grounded.
And I perform other rituals and active spells as occasion arises.
I don’t find that my energy is depleted by working, needing to be saved for special occasions. On the contrary, it is renewed and expanded by the work. However this may be because I am a Reiki Master, continually — often unconsciously — tapping into the regenerative Universal energy. (In fact I consider Reiki an order of magick, though I think few Reiki Masters would agree.)
I think it’s seldom if ever ‘wrong’ to turn to magick. (To try and use it for manipulative, vengeful etc. purposes would be wrong — as well as stupid, given that what you put out comes back to you.) Whether to explore other options first rather depends on the circumstances. Telephones are generally more efficient than telepathy, but if you can’t reach someone any other way and the need is urgent, a telepathic ‘yell’ will usually have them contact you. Sometimes it’s a matter of doing both at once. If I break my leg, I’ll use a surgeon and Reiki. If there were a spate of local burglaries I would lock my doors and put magickal protection over the house. If a friend was trying to get clear of an abusive partner, I’d go straight to a spell of binding — though I might also give her/him practical advice.
In principle, I don’t think there can be too much magick. It’s life force energy. Can one have too much health, too much love, too much vitality? However, the specifics of the craft are our tools, and you choose the tool that’s appropriate for the job. ‘Don’t smash a mosquito with a hammer,’ that kind of thing. Use only the amount of force that’s needed to accomplish the goal. But if you don’t know what that is? Depends on the urgency. If you can wait, maybe try a mild spell and see what happens, then something stronger if that didn’t work. If the matter’s urgent, then I guess overkill is better than ineffectiveness. Personally I would seek guidance on the matter, before acting.