The One Thing Every Witch Needs To Know and Master....Intention
Im really excited to talk about this subject as its been on my mind a lot lately and its something that I have really wanted to address this for a very long time as it plays such a huge part in not only my craft but in my daily life. If you are a beginner or someone who has been in the craft for awhile, you will have heard this word "intention" thown around a lot lately. It's mentioned whenever you come across a spell or somebody talking about working in practices, it's a core concept that I see people talking about all the time but very rarely does anyone take a moment to kind of explain it. There are a few reasons for that, it can be a little difficut to put into words and the way everyone expresses their intent or feels it is going to be unique and different. Just as eveything in the craft is. So I'm going to do my best to try to explain it and in as many diffrent scenarios I can so that hopefully it will connect to all or most of you.
Intention is the core of magical practice, in essence it's the purpose put behind a spell or the aim of the energy that you worked into it. Or in simple terms, a focused conscious direction of energy. I know that may seem a little bit complicated or difficult to achieve, but in all honesty we all engage in it in our daily lives. Everyday we practice intent subconsciously often performing spells without even realizing it. All those coincidences or moments where you've put energy into something, a lot of thought and hope and it's come to be, that's spell work. So to actively practice magic all a witch must do is consciously project their intent, focusing the energy and and aiming it towards a desired outcome. All the tools herbs and other furnishings of the craft are simply there to enhance and focus intent as you really cant practice effective magic with only them without the basing of intent, just fiddling around with tools and adding herbs together is going to do nothing, you cant work effective magic without that conscious basing of energy. However with that said tools do remain a rather invaluable part of most witches practices as they do aid in focusing and enhancing energy and not to mention it can be rather draining to work without without them. I often found that in the beginning of my practice I would only work with a few herbs so that the main focus would be my intention and becoming more secure in that foundation instead of the smaller details. I will say that having something physical to wrap your energy around does tend to help quite a bit especially with those who are kind of practicing building this skill.
How do we express intent? Personally I have found there to be about three categories of intent expression and while I do believe that this isnt a complete list and there are definitely areas that you can expand on or change up a bit I think its a good starting point.
First and foremost probably the one you have heard most often is to visualize intent, and often I find this ties to the second one which is to feel intent with visualization you are quite literally seeing your intent. I personally use a combination of visualization and feeling but visualization is the main component of my craft and my intention and how I express it. Everyone that uses visualization does not use it in the same way. As there is no right way and no wrong way to do this. It's truley just a matter of what feels comfortable and right to you.
I realize that not everyone can visualize or thinks in that way and in that regard I would move on to the other two, feeling or telling. Feeling is pretty straight forward and I do believe that feeling ties into all of them, as with visualization you feel the energy around you as you see it. The other way you can do this is without the visual component and just feel the energy, a lot of people who are deeply tuned into their emotions can put emotions into spells, without really requiring another component to it. They're just able to express that comfortably and easily and feeling it can be either a physical or emotional sensation it doesnt have to be either or its something you will have to discern for yourself. But like I said I do believe that feeling intent is connected to both.
The last way that I have found easiest way to express intent is to vocalize it, you dont even have to use projection of words per se, very commonly you will see spells with incantations and talking. When first starting you might feel the need to connect with your spell work thru spoken word or writing out a spell and you might even heavily rely on telling a spell what you wanted it to do. Those are typically the go to, until one day you might feel ready and secure enough in your ability to build intent without it. To this day even when I;m working on something that I want specifics with and I want to make sure has the right kind of power behind it, I'll go back to telling the spell what I want it or need it to do but like I said this doesnt have to be done with spoken words or incantations.
You can also write or draw or speak in your mind or even sing. Im sure there are many other ways that you can achieve this as well and I have met other witches that have very unique expressions of intent that I have found rather inspiring. So when it comes to intent, this core concept of witchcraft, the thing that you need in order to actually practice effective magic, and there are so many ways you can express it and show it and achieve it. It again really comes down to what feels comfortable and authentic to you.
One more thing I'd like to add is that it does often help to incorperate that physical component such as addinf herbs or other ingredients, such as working with candles or spell bags or jars. One thing I do enjoy when I'm working kitchen magic or herbal magic to stir or infuse magic with tools like that that implement and help direct and combine the energy but this can be achieved with really anything. It does not require putting things together either, I think that that's one of the biggest misconceptions of witchcraft is that you have to have everything and it be perfect to achieve effective spell work.
There are no "right" tools, no "right" look, no amount of bowls "handcrafted from Salem", no fancy "glass apothacary" herb jars, no "witchy" web tights and not everything you own needs to have a triple moon goddess symbol on it, you dont need to only work by candlelight with gothic candle holders strewn about your house.
In all honesty all you need is intent, it has to be strong and it has to be focused, and can be easier to achieve when you have the other tools and ingredients there to aid you. However, it is not necessary especially because once again without intent you will not work effective magic, and unfortunatly sometimes the "right things" become a distraction to the intent. It will in the end beg the question if the intent is true or if your energy has been misplaced and put towards "the things" then all those tools are going to remain things, unless you put energy behind them, hence once again less effective magic.
When it comes to building confidence with intent and becoming successful at it all I can say is PRACTICE, try out all the methods see which one works for you and which one feels more comfortable and just practice, do some simple spells its ok if they dont pan out the first time, really the worst thing that wil happen is...nothing... and its importiant to just keep going and see what you can achieve. Its not called a practice for no reason, practice makes perfect especially when it comes to something like this.
Honing in your intent developing this ability to direct and manifest energy is a skill that can take time and thats ok, theres absolutely no rush when it comes to practicing witchcraft, its a life long journey.