The Missing Elements in Many Spells


Nowadays (and, oh, my pretties, it was different back before the internet, when we used to walk four miles uphill, both ways, to school and tied onions to our belts) you can’t wander through the internet or walk through a bookstore without finding books of spells. But what most novices don’t know is that those Books of Shadows and Secret Grimoires deliberately leave out one of the most important parts of every spell, generally so that the Goddesses and Gods can tell the newbies from the really experienced Witches.

But what the experienced Witches know, even when it isn’t printed in the spellbook that Lewellyn or some such person publishes and that your local “Esoteric” bookstore sells on its dusty shelves, is that there is an important, but secret, Second Step to every powerful spell. But that step won’t surprise any Nonna or parent who has ever said, “And what do you say, dear?

The answer, of course (and I am, it goes without saying, violating the secret oaths of many covens to tell you this), is “Thank you.”

Administrative law practitioner that I am, I often tell G/Son how important it is to leave milk and honey for the fairies because, otherwise, fairies can be, as the APA says the government may not be, arbitrary and capricious. And the Goddesses and Gods, land wights, spirits, powers, and beings of our places can be, as well, arbitrary and capricious when their work is not sufficiently acknowledged.

Ever work a spell, see it succeed, and then, a few days later, watch all your good work disappear?

That’s what I’m saying.

This week, I’ve been doing magical work to calm the situation in Ferguson. And, at least for the moment, it appears to be working. So I’m going to go out and light incense to thank Hecate and the other powers for their blessings.

I won’t be gone long. You come too.

Picture found here.


13 responses to “The Missing Elements in Many Spells

  1. Very good point. Thank the Gods! I also find that emotion is missing from many of these spells- to me, it seems one of the most important things you need to muster up out of you during the magical process.

  2. A ‘gratitude attitude’ is always a good thing 🙂

  3. Love finding another magical Ad Law practitioner in the world1

  4. Yes, being grateful and thankful is important. In an era of entitlement, I am evermore aware of my dutiful intent and the work involved. It is important for our hearts and wills to be aligned. Blessed Be your work!

  5. Yes!! Yes!! Gratitude is so important! It’s something so many forget in these days of self-entitlement. Humility too is important. Thank you for writing this. I’m going to share the link with my FB group. There are a lot of newbies out there these days too.

  6. That is something that is missing from our society in general these days. Please and thank you are nearly forgotten. Thank you for stating this for the masses

  7. I don’t remember where I read it, maybe Terrence McKenna, that one should never thank the faeries … but almost everything I have read about faeries says they should be respected as gentry, called “lords” and “ladies.” Leaving honey for them is the proper thing to do.

  8. Color of Gratitude

    Nana lay on her back on the pillows on the floor
    as Walter guided her
    through the soul journey meditation.

    Cradling her head, holding her feet,
    all around her we supported her,
    touch and intention, as she
    relaxed into her private sensations.

    Walter talked and Nana answered,
    a golden ball of energy,
    the astral traveling.
    I felt the spirit in the room
    rise and expand as Nana
    breathed and imagined.

    Towards the end, she described
    the orange light of gratitude that reached out to touch
    on the planet
    then returned to her body
    to infuse each of her cells.
    Thank you magnified
    the fundamental blessing.


    I felt it then and feel it now
    simple and profound.


    Years later
    the power of that feeling
    renews each morning
    as I do my own gratitude meditation.

    Laying in bed,
    shavasana, corpse pose,
    I breathe my prayer and settle
    to let Thanks begin.

    Out to the world, into my body,
    into my body and out to the world,
    riding the wavelength of the color of gratitude.

    Just this Spring, I looked into the heart
    of the first crocus
    and recognized the pollen on the stamen
    as that bright orange color
    color of gratitude.

    that crocus pollen color reaches without separation
    from each individual cell of my body
    to each individual person in the world
    and back again.

    Does that wavelength
    have a resonance
    that echoes as a prayer of
    without ceasing?

    No matter.

    Thank you for a taste of the crocus orange color of
    every morning anyway.

    revised 7/10/08

  9. I am encouraged to be more thankful. Blessed be!!

    neo dragon
    Tulsa, Ok.

  10. The first thing I do is to thank the Goddess and then I got to each Direction three times, thanking them. I do all of this before spell work and then give my overall thanks after.
    And thank YOU for your work for Ferguson. I bless those people and the Brown family everyday.


  11. Nikela Kollenberg

    Thank You!

  12. The practice of gratitude is one of the most important elements of witchcraft I think. The word worship literally means “to adore” and I think witches get that in a pretty instinctive way. We adore the Earth, we adore the mystery. We celebrate life and the moon and the animals and the ebb and flow of this whole crazy wondrous experience. We’ve learned to shape that experience with the power of our minds. To not use the word miraculous would be understating the grandeur of magick and mysticism. So I wrote a “Gratitude Prayer” which I say each morning and each night. I stand outside and I take a moment to take it all in and to truly FEEL gratitude for all that IS.
    I stand in awe,
    I stand in wonder,
    I stand in love with all I see
    I thank thee Lord of Heaven and Earth
    I thank thee Goddess of Death and Birth
    I humbly bow in Gratitude
    This is my Rite
    So Mote it Be!

  13. I loved that book (What Do You Say, Dear) as a child, and just purchased a copy for my grandson.

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