Paganism in Utah: Spells part 1 | June 1992

Paganism in Utah: June 1992


Throughout history, humans have surrounded themselves with things that smell good. Aromatic herbs, wood, resins, flowers, mosses and animal scents have been prized and sought after for their many uses and powerful physiological, psychological and spiritual effects on the individual and his or her relations with others.

The first perfumes were made of sweet-smelling woods, grasses, berries and resins are thrown on the fire to release a sweet-scented smoke. Prehistoric shamans or sorcerers in charge of making fire were probably the first perfume makers. In fact, the word “perfume” originates from the old Italian for “through smoke.”

Modern science indicates that olfaction, or smell, is unique among the five senses in that olfactory information is processed through the emotional center of the brain rather than first through the cerebral cortex, which is the cognitive processing center where all other sensory information is processed first. Thus, smells often evoke powerful emotional memories much more readily than information obtained through the other four senses, making it ideal for use in magic.

This two-part series will discuss the use of smell for spellcraft. This month’s edition will look at magic in general, and Part II will examine more specifically the use of essential oils and resins for magical purposes.

Magic is the art of causing change by means commonly supposed to be supernatural. The methods of magic are varied, each catering to a certain climate or level of the intellectual development of imagination. Simple or ceremonial, all magic practices have survived because of one basic reason: they work.

Magic is, despite claims to the contrary, a very natural art. It is the use of powers that reside within us and the natural objects of our world to cause change. The following is a condensation of magic thought in simple, universal ideas:

Basic Principles of Magic

  1. Magic is a natural science, with known avenues, by-ways and borders as well as principles and laws. It is good to stay within the explored territories and observe these laws.
  2. Harm None. It is an old Wiccan tradition that whatever one does will be returned to them three-fold: “three times ill or three times good.” Thus, harmful magic extracts a very high price. This rule applies to one’s self as well. Don’t do anything (magically speaking) that will harm you.
  3. Magic requires effort. You will get out of it precisely what you put into it—in terms of time, energy and attention to ritual.
  4. Magic is not instantaneous. Some rituals produce quick results, but most work over a period of time.
  5. Magic should never be performed for pay, for money tempts the magician to use the art for evil or frivolous means.
  6. Magic should never be used to play up one’s vanity or pride. When magic becomes an ego trip, it will soon lose its effectiveness.
  7. Magic can be used for personal gain, but only if you are certain that it will not harm others.
  8. Magic deserves a sound investment. This means purchasing high-quality tools and ingredients.
  9. Magic is a divine art, and so the magician and all tools should be clean and pure.
  10. Magic is not always serious or solemn. It is a joyous celebration, merging with the life force.
  11. Magic is intent. The most important factor in magic-making is intent. You must firmly visualize in your mind’s eye the thing you wish to have to happen.
  12. Magic is faith.
  13. Magic is love.

Check out more from the SLUG Archives: 
Paganism in Utah: April 1992
Paganism in Utah: The Pagan Bookshelf