Today, Deborah Lipp offered a brief summary of her thoughts on the differences between magic (or more specifically, spells) and prayer on her blog. It was nice to see someone whose thoughts on the subject echo my own. I’ve always had a problem with the tendency for some to equate spells to prayer, simply because of the nature and source of power that Deborah describes. One of the things that drew me to the path I’m walking is the understanding that I am an active participant in my life and in the process of determining my eventual destiny. To me, the suggestion that spells are simply a way to ask the gods to give you what you want is contrary to that very principle. I work magic because it’s a way I contribute to my life and the achievement of my goals.
Of course, as I think about the whole topic, I also realize that the suggestion that spellwork is the same as prayer bothers me because it is contrary to my own understanding of prayer and the very relationship I have with my gods. I’m not the kind of person to ask my gods to give me something, but rather the kind of person to ask them for wisdom and guidance on how to attain what I desire for myself. I would ask them to help me learn to make my own efforts as effective as possible. I would ask them to help me be aware enough to see the opportunities I’m working to create. Asking them to just give me whatever it is I want would be unfair, both to them and to myself. It’s simply not what our relationship is about.