Soul Bites Spellcraft: Painting Magic

img_0133A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed my bestie and went to a painting class at Purple Easel. They teach you how to paint a specific picture in a fun environment. They supply the canvas, paint, brushes, and instruction, and you BYOB (and/or snacks or whatever). My bestie and I each brought a bottle of Arbor Mist and a can of almonds to share. (We’re classy like that.) Over the course of the night, we each finished our own bottle of sugar wine, powered through the almonds, laughed so hard our jaws hurt, and painted a wonderful “Starry Night in L.A.”

Not that I’m so single-minded as to relate everything to witching, but what I learned about myself while painting has bearing on spellcraft.

I noticed that the only time I made a mistake was when I stopped to think or started to worry too much about getting it right. Whenever I would tense up, inevitably a boo-boo occurred. On the other hand, whenever I said, “Aw, screw this. I’m going to paint however my hand wants to,” good things happened. Creativity flowed and, here and there, a little art was made.

In casting spells, the same thing is true. When you get all balled up in doing it the way the book says, exactly as the book says, or everything being serious and solemn, or the ambiance being the perfectly witching pitch, or focussing on how the outcome must happen in this specific way, that’s when you make mistakes. That’s when, as I mentioned in my last post, backfires happen.

And it makes sense, when you think about it. If, during your spell, you are squelching your energy like the cork in a bottle of champagne, once you shake it all up and let the energy loose, there is no telling where the energy will go. There is also not assurance the cork won’t fly back at you and put out your eye.

When you let your woo and creativity flow, however, it is easier for it to flow in the right direction. Put your hands around it, but don’t hold on. Guide it, don’t strangle it. Also, freed creativity begets freed creativity, which means more energy, which means more woo, which means more power in your spells.

At the end of the night, comparing our paintings, a little disappointed I noted that mine didn’t look exactly like the sample. My wise bestie said, “But it looks like YOU painted it. It looks like YOU.” She’s right. My painting is close to the original, but there are a lot of things in there that indicate my hand was definitely on it. It should be this way with spells too. The more the spell looks like YOU painted it, the more powerful it will be.



About M. Ashley

Essayist and poet, my work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman among others.. In 2002, I was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University. For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once received $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors. When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: Commercial writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, telephone psychic.
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