This article is part of a sporadic series on Building Competency in Witchcraft that aims to bridge the gap between beginner and intermediate information to better prepare you to do advanced witchcraft. The aim of this series is to also encourage you to consider why you do the things you do, and why you do them the way you do them, in order to develop clarity of thought and action -all of this to help you be as effective with your witchcraft as possible. The first post in this series, Creating Your Spiritual Calendar, discussed the need for consistent practice and the benefit it provides in enabling one to be able to do advanced witchcraft in the first place. The second post, Mastering the Basics of Witchcraft, focused on foundational skills of witchcraft -regardless of whether you are a religious or secular witch- because you cannot effectively do the advanced work if you haven’t mastered the basics. This, the third post, focuses on some of the basic mechanics of magick -and the science that supports this results-focused approach- so you can more effectively create lasting change within your life.
The power of intention has become a rampant buzz topic within the magickal community. In setting an intention, the idea is to formulate a word or statement, much like an affirmation, that represents a change that you want to make in your life. Perhaps you want to view yourself more positively and be less self-critical, or perhaps you want to finally conquer that spending problem and foster greater financial prosperity and wealth in your life. This intention is then held firm in the mind, activated by filling it with “positive energy”* which then causes your intention to attract that which you desire toward you because like attracts like.**
However, there is a lot about this entire process that is fundamentally at odds with the way that magick operates, as well as aspects of the world view that becomes common amongst witches regardless of religious prescription (or lack thereof.) Setting an intention, lighting a million glitter-crusted candles, and thinking happy thoughts throughout your waking hours is all well and good*** but when it comes to witchcraft and working magick, setting an intention alone just doesn’t work. It’s only part of the equation. Effective magick is a process.
Throwing the Bones