Magical Prayers-The relationship between Prayers and spells
In many different books on witchcraft often times the reason prayers are not actively discussed as a unique magical practice is that the idea of spell casting and prayers are united. For many witches the act of casting a spell is the same thing as a prayer. The difference is that they perform actions to create the change rather than just directing the change through words said to a God or spirit. Many people when they think of prayers think of petitions or prayers where you are asking deities and spirits for something. When you take this into consideration its easy to see why some witches would associate spells and prayers as being basically the same thing.
Now prayers can be spells, but not all spells are prayers. Most of the spells in books on witchcraft that deal heavily with the Gods being invoked in the spell are spells I would consider actually magical prayers. They are prayers because when you pray you are essentially giving the energy you channel through prayer to the being that the prayer is directed to. The forces behind the prayers manifesting is mostly external meaning not coming from you while spells are from you or internally forced and focused. They are spells because they are workings where energy is raised and manipulated or directed towards a specific end.
This is the primary distinction between prayer spells and other spell work. In prayer you are giving the power to manifest the desire over to the Gods and spirits. They are the channels for the energetic forces to work. In a spell that is not a prayer its our own energetic forces that are at work. That is the difference. Spells are based on our own energetic forces primarily with the assistance of spirit forces being secondary. Prayer spells use deity and spirit forces primarily for work with our own energetic forces being secondary.
In essence with prayers you are giving the power over to the universe. You have no real control over how it manifests and works. The words of your prayer give the intent form and purpose. The beings prayed to are the ones that in the end do the work on the energetic planes to create the changes. You are not the channel for the energy, the spirits are. This is the difference here.
This is why spells that are written that call upon the aids of Gods and spirits to channel and focus the energy are to me prayers. Instead of focusing and channeling the energy yourself and directing all of the energy into the universe yourself through your spell, you are directing and channeling the energy of that spell to a specific God or spirit. The God or spirit then directs and manipulates the universal energy to create your change. They are still spells and magic as you are still manipulating and directing energy to create a change. The difference is the intervention of divine and spirit forces on your behalf.
Now that the difference between a spell prayer and a spell has been made, its important to understand how to turn a prayer into a spell or how to make a spell a prayer. As mentioned in the earlier post, all prayers contain the same essential three core components-the invocation, the consecration and workings, the offering and the closing. Magical prayers follow that same basic outline but also contain other steps.
Formula and base for crafting magical prayers
So a magical prayer is a prayer that is both said and enacted through actions. An example could be a women sewing a blanket for her young child. As she sews the women prays to the Gods that the blanket provide warmth and protection for child and that they have a peaceful nights sleep. By saying the prayer a few times over the blanket as she sews the women is both enacting a spell and praying effectively acting out a magical prayer.
This section will identify the components of magical spells and the steps involved in writing them. We will then look at each step and why its needed through the process of writing a spell prayer for a specific need as an example. This will provide an outline and a howto for magical prayers.
So here are the components and steps involved in the writing of a magical prayer:
1-The intent or need
2-Identify the spirit or beings you want to work with for this need
3-Identify which realm is best suited for the spell (Upper world, middle earth, or underworld)
4-Identify the proper magical practice and style for the spell at hand
5-Recite prayer while performing magical actions
So the first part is the intent or need behind the prayer and spell. Magical prayers are essentially petitions for a specific need. So when you are writing a magical prayer its important to have a specific desire or goal in mind. That way you can work the rest of the spell actions around that need, and can have emotional power behind the goal.
So an example of a need could be money and employment. Thats a good basic and starting line. However for the prayer to be the most effective it can be it is important to be a little more specific. So perhaps a better need would be a job that pays well enough to cover the bills and have funds to enjoy life. Now you know exactly what you need and why you need it.
The next part of knowing your intent and need is to craft a statement of intent. Here you would write something about the job you need and the bills you have to pay. So for our spell prayer the statement of intent will go:
"I ask for a job which provides for all my needs allowing me to take care of all my needs and enjoy life"
The next step would be to identify which type of being you want to work with for this spell. Not all gods or spirits are appropriate for all situations. In order for a spell or ritual to be as effective as it can and as powerful as possible it is important to ensure that the proper associations are in place. Like with your intent the more specific you are the better.
So in our example of employment and money there are many different Gods and spirits that could be worked with. You could work with beings that are associated with specific fields of employment (like healing Gods for doctors or medical fields, justice and law related spirits for police work or lawyers, etc) or you could choose to work with an animal spirit or other form of being that is associated with industry (employment) and wealth (money).
For our example we are going to work with Dwarves. Dwarves are an excellent spirit force to call on for this particular need because they are associated with industry and work (employment) but also with wealth (money). Now that we know what type of spirit we are working with its important to craft a call to them specifically.
Dwarves are associated with the element of earth and with strength. A call to them would include things that attract them. The calls to the spirit are there to create an image of the spirit, let the universe know who you are calling on, and what aspects of them you are calling on.
For our prayer our call may look something like:
"Oh Dwarves who live deep in the earth, who are masters of industry, crafting, and hard work. Who are masters of prosperity, wealth, and succsess I call upon you. May your blessing of industriousness be upon me and may your assistance bring me the wealth that I need"
The next step would be to identify which of the realms would best suit the needs of this spell first and then the order of the other realms. This is determined by the specific needs of the spell and the overall goal of the spell. This is also often determined by the spirit or God that is being worked with in the spell as they may have a specific realm or world that they are associated with.
For the example in this thread the spell is going to be directed to the underworld first and the middle world second. This is for a few reasons. One of them is that the spirits that we have chosen to call on for this work are underworld spirits. They live within the earth and are apart of the underworld for this reason. The underworld also holds valuable minerals and gems, so the riches and wealth portion of this spell would be met here. The second part would be the middle earth which is where the job will actually be the and is where our physical needs are. The last area addressed would be the heavens or upper world where we focus on success and enjoyment rather than the physical need of money and employment.
So now you have the spirits, the intent, and the realm. You can now write a better statement of intent and call to the Spirits for this spell. Our example spell will say something like:
"Hail to thee great dwavrves of the underworld. You who are the masters of wealth and industry. You who are the craftsmen of the Gods I bid thee welcome. I ask of your assistance. May you provide me with a job where I may provide for all my needs. Bring to me a job which will provide me with industry and prosperity. Let my skills bring me succsess and pleasure. Let my job fulfill my financial needs and entrainment needs so that I may be a balanced and happy person"
The last step in the preparation of this magical prayer is to decide what sort of spell action is best for this need. Some types of spells are better for different situations. Jar spells are good for spells that are going to take place and work over an extended period of time while candle spells would be better for an instant sudden type of need. Some spells like our sample spell can fit into many different actions. So its a personal choice.
For our example we will decide to work with a charm bag (gris-gris, mojo, etc depending on your tradition). The reason for this is that a charm bag is something that we can carry on us through the process of sending out and filling out applications as well as being something that we can carry with us to interviews. The next step of course would be choosing appropriate herbs and crystals to include in the bag as part of our charm for this spell.
So now that we have the type of magic we want to perform, our calls to the spirit, realms decided and overall intent its time to work the spell. This is entirely personal so I can't say how or what to do here. In our example spell the choice to use a charm bag means now that the spell is the process of crafting the bag. This is where the prayer would be actually said and the work finally done.
In the actual performance of the spell you can do this many ways. You can say the invocation to the spirits and the asking of their blessing over the items at the beginning and then have a chant you repeat that is part of the prayer through the casting of the spell (in this case the gathering of the charm items) and then the full prayer again when its completed, followed by daily reciting of the prayer over the bag to charge it and empower it. The other thing you could do is say the whole prayer over and over through out the process. The idea is that the prayer charges the charm bag in this case and gives it power.
So there you have the formula and set up of magical prayers.