E is for Eclectic Witchcraft

I was actually going to do this post next week, but due to lack of inspiration for anything else, I thought I’d do this topic instead, since it’s half-written anyway. In some ways, calling this part of my path Eclectic Witchcraft is a bit redundant. Witchcraft could arguably be eclectic by default, no matter which type you practice. But because Wicca and witchcraft are conflated so often in Pagan circles, it becomes necessary to specify that I practice non-Wiccan witchcraft. Because I can’t always know that when I call myself a witch, everyone else will just hear ‘practitioner of witchcraft’ and not ‘Wiccan’.

I’d also describe my form of witchcraft as secular/non-religious, even though I sometimes invoke Gods in my spells. I say it’s non-religious because, for all intents and purposes, my witchcraft is just that. It’s just witchcraft. It comes with no Gods, no holidays or rituals, or any religious framework. It’s just spells and magic. It’s just witchcraft. It is separate from my religious practices.

At the same time, though, it is a path that belongs to Aset, Isis, Hekate, and this new Horned Goddess who has come into my life (long story; requires a blog post all of its own). It is a Goddess path, in that sense, but it is still non-religious witchcraft because the way I cast spells is not really religious. I don’t cast circles. I don’t invokve elementals or Guardians or Gods. I just do the spell to come to fruition.

My basic spellcasting goes like this, to give you an example of how I cast magic:
– Write spell/mod existing spell to my needs.
– Gather what I need.
– Cast spell (dress candle, raise energy, speak intent, stick pins in things, whatever’s needed)
– Leave it in the hands of any gods that might have been invoked in the process.

That’s it, pretty much. My spells are generally pretty simple. I don’t go for complicated magic. Simple spells, charms, and chants work the best. Candle and ribbon magic are my mainstays as they’re relatively inexpensive forms of magic with regards to supplies. As long as I have candles and ribbon, I can cast. White is my mainstay if I can’t find the right colours. I have my own system of colour correspondences, too, which isn’t quite the same as the traditional lot. Mostly because I don’t hang onto things that don’t work. Which is why I mainly only use pirple for bigendered/gender unknown/etc things, because I honestly don’t associate it with anything else.

My witchcraft is also eclectic in the sense that I pretty much just use what I need, or what works. I’m a practical witch, and I use what’s at hand and cast when I need to. I don’t cast circle, I don’t always invoke Gods or spirits first, and I don’t check that it’s the right day/hour/week/moon phase for what I need. I usually write spells on the fly, making up what I need with what I’ve got. I don’t really follow any sort of formula. I just cast the spell and know it’ll work.

But maybe I have a different approach to some witches, because magic is not really a major part of my path. I am not casting spells all the time, for any and every reason. I cast when I need to, and that’s it. I operate with a ‘Mundane Before Magic’ rule, so I only cast magic if I can find no other (mundane) way. I also work with a ‘Mundane With Magic’ rule as well, because magic, if it is for mundane concerns (job, money, love, finding a house, etc), it should be backed up with mundane action. That is part of the magic.

So magic in and of itself is not a daily practice for me. I do it when I need to, and I use what I need to use. The type of magic I do mainly utilised candle and ribbon magic, if only because they are very easy and relatively cheap for me to get access to, whereas crystals and herbs and oils are not. For someone with a limited budget, candles and ribbons are ideal to stock up on. I can spend $10 and get 10 3m rolls of 10 different coloured ribbons. Your basic white pillar candles, always a good stand-in, I can get for $3 down at the supermarket. $20 can stock me up for a long, long time. I can do a lot of magic with those supplies. Why change what works?

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2 comments on “E is for Eclectic Witchcraft

  1. Ila says:

    This really struck a cord for me. I have only recently, 4 months, renounced Christianity and embraced Wicca. And yet, I shy away from goddesses and gods, so maybe I am really just studying to be a witch. I find casting a circle and calling the quarters odd. I too am not only on a budget, but am still in the broom closet, so having a lot of herbs, oils, crystals, etc. would not be feasible for me.

  2. Alex Vanguard says:

    @Ila, there’s nothing wrong with practicing non-Wiccan witchcraft. There are resources around online if books aren’t feasible right now that might be of help with your studies. Candle magic is a good place to start if you’re looking for ways to cast magic that isn’t obvious and doesn’t cost a lot. A spell can be as simple as charging the candle with your energy, filling it with your intent, and lighting it to make it come to pass. Calling on your own Will instead of that of Gods and spirits. If you can only get white candles, coloured ribbons can be useful to incorporate those energies as well. If you haven’t seen them already, there are a number of PBP posts about candle magic that may be of interest to you to get you started.

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