"O'r folded bloom, on swirls of musk, the beetle booms adown the glooms and bumps along the dusk tt
(James Whitcomb Riley)
How can you use the powers of witchcraft for yourself? Does it mean a dangerous involvement with covens, warlocks, psychics, familiars, fortune tellers and the spirit world? Most of these questions stem from popular misconceptions of witchcraft. Real witchcraft can be as sensible as a blue-chip stock investment, and often a lot less complicated. Witches aren't creatures of a dark, shadowy world. A modern witch is more likely to be a swinger in mini or mink.
To practise witchcraft, you don't have to join your local sex orgy club. There are witches who argue that total abstinence from, sex is better for casting spells. Others who practise witchcraft believe an orgy is necessary. They argue that right before the sex act there is special energy in the atmosphere. That may be true, but how long can you sustain that high state of energy? Not long. You can concentrate on witchcraft, or painting, medicine or book-keeping better when you're not distracted by sexual tension.
The only connection between witchcraft and sex is that both thrive on high-voltage energy. The mystics in India attempt to sustain that particular state over a long period of time for various aesthetic reasons, but even then it reaches a peak without the sex act and dissipates itself naturally. By freeing yourself, you control yourself. You can only control what is out and around, not what is hidden. Freedom goes along with control. People who are not free are unable to control themselves. They are slaves to the inner mind.
That may sound like a contradiction, but I have never believed that suppression indicates control. You don't control a wild horse by merely keeping him chained; you control him by teaching him how to use his freedom. Freeing your suppressed, untapped inner power is what witchcraft is all about. What most people fail to understand is that witchcraft is the conditioning and strengthening of your subconscious so that this brain potential can be realized.
The first thing you must do to succeed in witchcraft is to learn to love yourself. You must become selfish to the nth degree. People really are selfish, but they are taught to disguise it. Self-interest is a strong trait in anyone who gets ahead. A painter, for example, could not succeed in his work if he stopped painting every time a friend dropped by or his wife nagged about being lonesome. He has to be selfish with his time or else he cannot paint. There's no time to waste worrying about somebody else's interpretations.
If you want something, you first have to recognize what it is that you want. You have to become completely involved with what you want, or else you're not going to get it. You've got to be obsessed by it and work at it all of the time. You can't be witchy part of the time and hope to achieve full success.
Are there dangers involved in practising witchcraft if you're a novice? A novice is one who's not a real witch, but one who's using the powers. The only danger is that you'll probably improve your character and increase your emotional strength. I don't think there's any "danger" attached to that idea. There is a real danger, however, if you believe that witchcraft means consulting evil forces and having conversations with the devil. But if you understand witchcraft as a way of disciplining your mental and emotional attitudes, then it can only lead to successful conclusions.
There are some clubs practising storybook witchcraft; their real bag seems to be perversion. The members are just a group of frustrated people looking for kicks. Has anyone ever come across any of these orgy fans who ever expressed any intelligent attitude about their witchcraft? All this mystery and hiding is simply because there is nothing there. When there's really something going on, you should be able to express it and bring it out in the open.
Then there's the old lady from England who gives lectures at $2.50 per admission and pulls in crowds of forty, fifty and sixty people at a time. She promptly tells the audience that she's psychic, but then she doesn't give any psychic readings. She tells the people she's a witch, but doesn't explain what witchcraft does. If you sign up for a $75 course, she will tell you a bit more about how great she is, but she never will tell you what to do. I think there's nothing much that she knows except how to take advantage of people's misinformation.
There is a big gap between popular conceptions of witchcraft and what it really is. Take the very successful book and film Rosemary's Baby, which was a lot of fun, but was based on a false premise. In the story, the devil was behind it all. Rosemary, the main character, was fed a mixture that created a strange effect on her mind (which can happen in witchcraft, of course). The story conveys other truths about witchcraft, but the mixture of truth and error, fact and fantasy, confuses people.
Objects play an important part in the practice of witchcraft in Rosemary's Baby. For instance, I make lucky rocks for people who are my friends, and these objects can give the receiver the emotion of confidence, because, naturally, when you receive a gift from someone who has put something of himself into it, it has an effect on you. However, unlike the witches in Rosemary's Baby, real witches aren't anticipating the birth of an Anti-Christ. You must believe in Christ before you seek his opposite, and most witches have no leanings towards any orthodox religion.
Despite the growing popularity of witchcraft, there has been little accurate information available describing it as it really is today. The mass conception of witchcraft has been exploited and fed by those profit-seekers who have captured the people's imagination, using the half-truths everyone is familiar with. Rosemary's Baby is a good example of what witchcraft is supposed to be, but at no point does the movie pull the true picture into view. The mental aspects weren't touched upon at all, and that is the heart of it: to bring an individual under control through your own emotional energies.
Other aspects of witchcraft you must learn about are the psychics, real and phony, the familiars, and spirits that witches supposedly rub shoulders with regularly. An eighteen-year-old black cat named Othello is my familiar. A familiar is usually an animal that a witch uses to get energy. I used to have a beautiful female German Shepherd and would receive energy from petting her, because she was so full of life. You're bound to feel turned-on when you're near someone who vibrates with energy. But I
can't go for people using a toad as a familiar, because how can you get turned on with a toad? It just doesn't have the same warm, vibrant personality as a dog or cat.
Many people claim that dogs and cats can see the spirit world. They can feel and react readily to energy, even your primitive, subconscious force. Witches are supposedly able to take an animal shape, or send an animal on a mission, but that isn't true. Witches assume no form other than their own natural human one.
As far as ghosts or images are concerned, I believe that you can project your personality with enough force so that someone will accept this projection of your personality as you. And it is you, it is the essence of you, minus the physical body.
Are you psychic? If you are, you know it: You're already doing psychic things. There are many schools that attempt to increase a person's psychic awareness, which reminds me a little of dancing schools. That is, you might be able to take a person with an awkward walk, give him dancing lessons to enable him to walk more gracefully, but he'll never be able to rip around the stage in a ballet. Anything can be improved with training, but whether or not you're going to practice witchcraft, you can't be psychic unless you're born that way.
Unlike some people, I never claim to be tapping any supernatural power, or trying to save the world. The pseudopsychics have a gift of sensitivity, but nothing more. Any psychic could pretend to give inside information on the stock market or medicine, but what competent psychic would sell these services, unless he has specialized training as well as sensitivity? That's why I don't like being grouped with the community of psychics.
The true psychic isn't about to play the five-dollar-a-session game. Some genuine psychics are so afraid of being lumped with that group, they never mention their powers. A friend of mine is a doctor, a good one, and he is also a psychic. He uses his power in the field of medicine, but only discreetly. Many politicians are psychics, as are many actors and actresses. Most of them aren't aware of their power, but their success is due to the "magical" mass rapport they can instantly establish.
More and more scientific people are coming to believe in a kind of witchcraft. We know animals are aware of certain things instinctively; they are born, generation after generation, with the ability to understand a particular situation that they have not learned from their own experience; there's a kind of instinctive, collective mind between all animals. Researchers have discovered that information lived through the experiences of one rat may be physically induced in an alternate generation by genetic transplants.
If this is possible, then the same thing could be possible with humans and would account for many of the situations in which we seem to know the same thing at the same time - or feel it. We've all heard stories about a man inventing some strange new thing, and when he goes to apply for a patent, he discovers somebody else has just been at the patent office with the same fantastic invention.
It has happened time and again in medicine, and scientists argue that, naturally, at the conclusion of years of experimentation with processes, a discovery is inevitable. But actually, couldn't it also be true that the thought is there at that time, and many people are tuned-in to it. If that's the case, it could mean that there exists some extension of the conscious mind. And if there is a connection like this, then how could it be unless there were a connection between all our minds? A universal mind.
Perhaps witches are more able to tap this basic power, this universal subconscious, than are ordinary people. This also might explain why there's such an emotional drain on witches, who become horribly depleted at times. I get charged up again, usually by going on radio, as the object of concentration of thousands of people. If I go on one good show, this live audience contact can keep me keyed up for a month, until I begin to feel drained again and need a new transfusion. When "I've got thousands and thousands of people tuned in, all concentrating on me, it does something to me, charges my batteries. Energy attracts me. I enjoy being around people who are successful.
Mental energy in the raw state can be a tremendous vital source. I don't mean people who have made a fortune, necessarily, but people who are in the process of becoming what they want to be, so that they are active, have a goal in mind and are getting there. When I'm near this kind of person, I get very charged up, and it gives me a lift that lasts much longer than just the instant it takes to communicate with the person. There is energy around people, and I like to be near energy. I'm addicted to it, not just attracted.
There is an ancient belief that there is power in words; this belief is based on the concept that words are symbols of your ideas and thus have a magical quality. We use words to place what is happening in our minds with another person's mind. Some of the older religions still believe that the symbolism of letters is powerful, too. During World War II the Jews in Syria had every reason to believe they were about to be invaded by the Germans. They called up their Cabalists (a body of religious scholars) who spent an evening in meditation.
The Cabalists discovered they could manipulate the letters in "Syria" and by reversing them, spell "Russia". After chanting this reversal over and over, they appeared in the plaza and told the assembled crowd to have no fear, the Germans were going to invade Russia, not Syria. The Germans did indeed turn to Russia, but whether or not the Cabala caused this is debatable.
The witches' coven still does exist, even though witchcraft is primarily concerned with the control of ,your own individual emotions so you can change your own and others' destiny. Witches do at times group together to strengthen their projections. But these gatherings do not have to involve a lot of drinking, steaming cauldrons, stripping and sex. Generally, those of us who are really involved with witchcraft are independent people who do not care about meeting with other witches, except in connection with using each other's energy. All witches need outside help sometimes and will arrange for a group of friends who practise the same type of witchcraft to put all their energy into a single thought at a given time.
Sometimes we get cases in which somebody is cheating - using YOUR energy in a way that was not agreed upon. We try to make it fair. You don't split up the energy so that it is going in all different directions; you take turns. For instance, there were times when we were all concentrating on a particular thing we wanted to happen for me; then I got the feeling that a certain witch in Studio City was not using her power to cast a spell for me, but rather, was working for something to come back to her. Witches do tend to cheat, so you always have to be on the watch. Usually we are not physically together; it's just a mental thing. We are together only in that we synchronize a thought to the same moment. An interesting fact is that you can tell who isn't with it, and you can even tell if someone is late, unsynchronized.
That's the closest I ever get involved with a real witches' circle. When we are together physically, everyone is so distracted with the ordinary, everyday things in their minds that the kind of concentration required for a spell is just better done in solitude and at a distance. We work together best if we just state the facts and synchronize. One witch I know takes pep pills around the clock. Because she is quite familiar with the feelings and the high that are produced by pep pills, I call her when I'm going on a radio show and ask her to transfer her sensation of being high to me. By synchronizing we are able to give me the same lift that she gets from the pills.
Sometimes we witches join forces when we want money to come in. People, however, limit themselves without thinking. When you say you want to win money at the races, you have to be able to control the horses, the jockeys, the trainers, the whole thing - and witchcraft isn't a dead-aim shot. So never put a frame around what you want: Play it very loose.
When we decide we want money, we never say: "I want money to come in through my husband's job." No, that's too narrow, too limited, and probably not enough anyway.
None of the witches I know are poor, but most are very extravagant. All of us would probably be much better off financially, if we weren't so wild and impractical when it comes to money matters. People often say, "You should be extremely well-off because you do magic." Yes, a witch can be rich, and many are, if that is the way they are concentrating.
The coven in our area is just a loosely associated group. Judging from the mail I receive, I'd say there is at least one person in every community who practises witchcraft. People in every walk of life are witches and wizards. There is a difference, by the way, between wizards and warlocks. A warlock is generally an effeminate male who has a great interest in witchcraft. He never has much success with his spells, which usually backfire or turn out in a way quite different from what he intended. Warlocks lack control of their subconscious.
A wizard is the actual male counterpart of a witch. He does have the power of control and knows how to handle it. There is one warlock who calls me all the time, haunts me, is always telling me the results of his experiments with witchcraft and is always coming up with some manifestation of a spirit, which I think is a manifestation of his own goofiness.
Just as you'll find witches everywhere, you'll also have no difficulty finding various types of witchcraft. In Haiti, for instance, the Haitians practise the kind of witchcraft that involves sticking pins into little dolls. These people continually practise voodoo, and the interesting thing is that it works - whether or not you believe in it, or even whether or not you know it's going on. You don't have to be in the know: You can be completely innocent of it, and it still works. It's an example of one subconscious reaching out to another. If your conscious mind is aware of what's taking place, then it's certainly incidental.
Caribbean voodoo traffics in fright. It's famous for its use of animal intestines to make special little pouches, or to burn in the same way that we use parchment paper in spells. The whole philosophy is one of death, blood and guts. But witchdoctors do use candles and herbs, too.
Southern European witches used to use locks of hair, nail clippings and occasionally blood from the object of the spell. They believed it was the object itself that had a magical effect. I believe the mental power exerted against the individual cast a conscious spell into his subconscious. Objects are generally used for the confidence they give the person using them.
There have been cases in Haiti, for example, where a person was hexed and actually weakened and died as a result. This happens because the person who casts the spell has the power to project destructive thought into the victim's subconscious, through the force created by hatred. And although props are generally used, they aren't indispensable. They have no intrinsic magic, but they can reinforce your faith in yourself.
In selecting the tools of witchcraft, the tasteful, modern-day witch tends to steer away from the gory old items of grandmother's day and backward nations. Candles, bells, flowers, lotions and potions are so much nicer to work with.
Many people carry lucky coins, put horseshoes over their doors or place a rabbit's foot in their pocket. Governor Ronald Reagan wore the same tie throughout his entire campaign because he felt it was lucky for him. I'm not saying he practises witchcraft, but he practises one facet of it: superstitious belief. The first year I was on television, I wore the same green dress on every programme.
After I built up a little more confidence, I got rid of the dress, but I kept the same earrings all through the next year. For two years I wore the same earrings. I rationalized that I did this because they looked good on me, but I could have found another pair that looked as good at the time. I think that people do this all the time and accept it very casually. Many actors do. They have lucky numbers; they will not associate this with being witchy, just being human. And maybe that's what it is, a human trait.
When Jack Lemmon is about to shoot a take on the film stage, he shuts his eyes and repeats, "Magic time, magic time, magic time." Why does he do that? I'm sure he'd be just as effective without it, but he believes this gives him a boost. Bette Davis had a little gold beetle that she carried with her for luck. Carole Lombard had a little, smooth, white stone that Clark Gable had given her, and she carried it with her everywhere. And Gloria Swanson had her rose. Liberace would be just as much fun without his candelabra. You can say that that's his trademark, but why does he need his trademark? It's as if to say, "This is me; without the candelabra I'm not me." And nobody thinks twice about this. The practice of this level of witchcraft is very common.
I'm not calling it real witchcraft, but there's a parallel. People say there's power in prayer. Prayer reestablishes your confidence, gives you courage and makes concrete your abstract, vague thoughts and feelings - and it works. Chants work this way too. Don't think of witchcraft as involving the devil; it's not a matter of good and evil forces. There's energy to tap, so tap it for whatever you will. It's not bad OR good.
You might not have enough psychic energy to influence other people in a subtle way, but you certainly have enough energy to influence yourself. Witchcraft is a way of disciplining your subconscious, so you can achieve success. Apart from the objects and chants, it is basically an exercise of the mind. Can anyone teach himself to do it? Being a witch is a genetic thing, but anyone can work at the arts and powers of witchcraft for their own personal gain.
There is a psychic energy that not everybody shares. Everyone is NOT born equal, and not everybody develops this. You can learn the trade, the tools of witchcraft, just as you can learn how to paint; that won't immediately make you a great painter. It can be fun to belong to a choral group like the Sweet Adelines, but that doesn't make you a great operatic singer.
Witchcraft is not a paint-by-the-numbers game that any child can do, although most children start out with the wild mental energy that witchcraft thrives on. We all have little secret feelings about what's going to take place, and once we free the cloudy mind and learn how to use it, we can not only see the future - which is very easy for a witch to do - but we can grasp it, control it, change it. The power is there, we know. All you have to do is pull it to the surface. And even if you never learn to change your enemy into a frog, witchcraft, like sex, is a pleasant way to pass the time.
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