Expanding Your Magickal
by Melanie Marquis
When we do the same sorts of magickal spells again and again, in the
same style and with the same techniques we always use, it's easy to
fall into a comfortable groove and stay there, no longer progressing,
no longer moving forward along the magickal path. If you want to avoid
this trap and guarantee that your magickal journey stays fresh and
exciting, seeking out new ideas and new challenges is imperative.
Luckily, there's a whole world of magick out there with which to fuel
People around the globe practice magick, and it's been that way for
thousands of years. By incorporating into your own practice some of the
time-honored magickal techniques and traditions from the world's
diverse cultures, you're able to tap in to a wealth of built-up power
and potential that can be used to expand your practice while enriching
your rituals and making your spellwork more effective. Knowing how to
mesh the old with the new can be tricky, though, and mixing elements
from different cultures can be contradictory and a bit diluted if
you're not sure what you're doing or why you're doing it. Melanie
Marquis, author of A Witch's World of Magick and The Witch's Bag of Tricks, discusses why
understanding and incorporating folk magic from around the world can
have a profound effect on your spellcasting.
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1. Your new book, A Witch's
World of Magick, covers Pagan and magical traditions
the world over.
What inspired such a diverse collection?
I love researching folklore and magickal
traditions, and I find it fascinating that there are so many
commonalities in magickal practices and techniques from around the
world, from different cultures and in different time periods. I wanted
to highlight the fact that even in our great diversity lies principles
of magick that could arguably be called universal, so I made a point of
including a broad selection of magickal practices from each of the
world's populated continents to help illustrate that and to inspire
further thought and research on the part of the reader.
2. You are quite active in
the Pagan community, from the United Witches global coven (of which you
are founder) and Denver Pagans to writing for Llewellyn’s almanacs and
other Pagan and metaphysical publications. How did your magical journey
I was blessed with a magical mother, and
from my early childhood onward she taught me how to do things (like
affect the weather using visualization and concentration) and played
little games with me to help nurture my psychic skills. As I got older,
when I was around ten, she started teaching me how to read tarot cards
and also how to communicate with the dead using a spirit board. But, I
didn't discover witchcraft per sť until I was fifteen years old. I
found a copy of Scott Cunningham's The Truth about
Witchcraft Today in the very hidden, very limited
"Paranormal" section of a local bookstore in the small town in Georgia
where I lived at the time, and after that, it was on! I finally had
words to describe what I did and what I felt, and my eyes were opened
to the fact that I wasn't alone, that there were other people that did
this stuff, too!
3. Your previous
book, A Witch's Bag
of Tricks, also presented ways to enhance a magical
practice. How do
you cultivate your ideas to enhance your magical practice?
It usually starts with a need, or a
curiosity. I'll get an idea of something I want to do, or I'll have a
question about how something works, then from there I have to figure
out how to best go about it, how to work the magick or test the magick
or whatever it is I have in mind. And that's the fun part! I like to
base my practices off tried-and-true methods, but I also like to adapt
techniques to make them more personal and better suited to my own
beliefs, needs, and environment. It's challenging, and I never quite
manage to figure things out to my satisfaction, but the challenge is
what helps us grow and learn in the magickal arts, so I love it!
4. How can
readers integrate new ideas from other customs into their own magical
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