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Patchwork Quilt

There are different way to make a quilt. I can choose the traditional method of making it totally by hand, or I can use my sewing machine. I can also do most of the patchwork myself, and have someone else do the quilting. It's all up to me - however it's done, it's still a patchwork quilt!

There has been discussion among some friends concerning the difference between High and Low Magic/k. The question was then asked, "What is the difference between magic and superstition?" With the example of lighting a candle. This is my response to these questions.

Superstition and Magick? It seems to me there is a fundamental difference in these! Superstition is something done, if at all consciously, to ward off 'evil' or bad luck - it's something done to appease the spirits, gods, whatever, that either cause the bad luck or can avert it for us. So I see superstititon, when at all conscious, as the act of someone who basically sees themselves as helpless against the forces of the unknown. Mostly it seems to be done, in our society, as a 'good luck charm' - most people who do it would probably say they don't mean anything by it, but that it can't hurt! Other cultures, and our own heritage, sees 'superstition' as a necessary way to avoid, avert, bad luck in one's life. It would usually involve fear of what could or would happen if the act weren't done - again, it's done by someone who feels helpless in the face of unknown forces.

Lighting a candle? if by this is meant a candle, as in going into a church and lighting one to Jesus or Mary for something we want - that's a very mild form of wish magic, or entreaty, prayer. Again, it's the action of someone who feels powerless to bring about the change wanted themselves, so they turn to the figure (Mary, etc) they believe can do this for them, who can intercede for them, or who can directly grant their wish.

Candles, prayers, are also a way to worship, to honor, the figure - in that case, the person isn't asking for anything, but is giving devotion to the figure (Mary, Jesus, etc.) Devotion is part of all spiritual paths and separate from asking for something. Devotion may have as its goal a sense of union with the Deity, etc, being worshipped or venerated, or being filled with Light.

Magic/k whether High (Ceremonial, complex) or Low (simple) is the direct action of a person's will and is intended to bring about change in accordance with the desire and intention of the practitioner. Up to that person whether it's a positive or negative working, BTW. Neither 'High' nor 'Low' refers to the intent or the outcome, but rather to the method used. Intent is the determiner whether magic is positive ('good') or negative ('evil', manipulative, coercive). Positive magic is working in coooperation with the natural forces of nature, and with the powers of the Deities, through projection of one's own natural energies to bring about the desired outcome.

The practitioner of magic, High (ceremonial) or Low (simple) is acting from a sense of personal power, and is not helpless in their dealings with the energies and power of nature, etc. The practitioner is not using his/her own personal power alone, but is usually invoking the powers of the deities, or nature, etc, to aid him/her. If done in a cooperative way, this is positive magic - if done in a coercive or manipulative way, this isnegative magic. (let's not confuse 'negative' with banishing rituals! that's also a form of magic, done to clear the space for one's own energy to do the magicwork).

What is the determiner in each of these? when is, for example, lighting a candle a superstition, a prayer of entreaty, an act of devotion, or part of a high or low magic action? INTENTION!!! Intention is everything in magic!!! Intention determines whether we wish to do high magic - ceremonial -if so, we';ll want to know the planetary influences - for instance, if I'm going to do something to increase prosperity, I will want to work at the hour of Jupiter, use the appropriate incense, oil, candle, etc. I may look up long prayers to use. My ritual will be more complex and detailed. If I'm going to do low (simple) magic, I may just light the candle with my intention, or put out a silver coin each night of the waxing moon up to the full moon. No great ceremony involved.

Both work - it's the intention, desire, and force of a trained will that bring about the desired result - not what's actually done. Just remember the Three-fold Law! what you send out will return to you!

(To contact Patchwork Quilt, email Donata Ahern at

Patchwork Quilt Series