As a practical technique for initiating personal change in one’s world Magic is so often misunderstood.
Indeed the practice can be so personal to the operator that it can take many years of hard work and exploration simply to ascertain the most effective and efficient methodology to follow.
Spellcasting is such an essential aspect of most systems of practical magic that it deserves a book dedicated to the subject – which is exactly what American Witch of over twenty years and current priest of the Cailleach Michael Furie has written.
Different Types of Magic
In his book Spellcasting: Beyond the Basics Furie strips magical philosophy back to its roots. He even begins with basic questions regarding its practice and from the start he offers his own basis framework for spellcasting including its important stages including intention, preparation and the closing of a ritual.
He also describes the process of magical operation as a kind of binding force – one that is radiated around the caster and which us used to draw towards him or her the object of their desire.
This technique he refers to as ‘affinity manifestation’ and explains how it can involve the use of additional tools; those such as oils incense and charms, in order to help the process.
Having described the act of magic and its metaphyisical laws the author also looks at the central focus of all magical work – that being the magician him or herself.
He eventuates the need of the magician to work from a place of deep personal integrity and promotes the imperative that as a magician one has to be clear about ones own goals and motivations.
This he describes as spiritual centering – an important prerequisite for performing any sort of magic so that will not end up coming back to damage you.
Other key strategies that aid the magician in his preparatory work are also explored including meditational practices that enable you to enter into different states of consciousness.
Know the Heavens
In addition to the internal factors that impact upon a magicians’s work there are also external ones at play.
Furie introduces the impact that astrology and planetary motion plays in spellcasting work. He includes the effect of the Planets and the meanings of the twelve zodiacal signs from a magical perspective. This is followed by a brief look at the four major stars that operate as the focal powers for the four fixed signs. These are referred to as the Guardians of the Watchtowers.
In addition to the influence of the astrological forces the author also explores the Hermetical Laws – principles that are said to govern the very act of creation itself.
Structure of Ritual
With the theoretical basis of spellcasting dealt with the author begins assembling the structure that permeates the ritual itself. This includes self-purification, cleansing the aura, building the altar, casting the circle calling the Guardians, performing the spell and closing the rite.
As an important extension of ritual work of any kind Furie offers practical advice on how the magician can, and should, protect themselves from negative astral influences at all times.
Techniques for achieving this includes the use of amulets, seals and sigils. Another technique that he advocates for protecting the home is the use of poppets, or ‘nocturnal survitors’ as they are sometimes known.
One of the most popular forms of spell magic today is that used to find love. Furie is outwardly dismissive in his book of many love spells that are promoted as workable techniques so once again he strips the subject back to its core and considers even the meaning of love itself.
The second most popular form of spellwork is that related to money and so in his book Furie offers specific prosperity magic advice and spells.
Aspects of Magic Work
In the final chapters of his book the author covers a number of additional subjects that pertain to spellcasting. These include the use of astral allies and helpers; such as animal familiars, as well as techniques for healing, forms of defensive magic, weather magic. The book finally closes with a reference section of ingredients and recipes that are useful in spellcasting work.
Our Review of ‘Spellcasting’ by Michael Furie
The moment that a book opens up with a radical redefinition of the meaning of magic you know you are in for an interesting read.
In his book Furie states that “Magic is the science and process of projecting emotionally and intellectually charged energy into the spiritual plane in order to manifest change in the physical world.”
This is not only one of the best definitions of magic that I have read but is also one that sets the tone and flavour for the whole book.
Spellcasting is not an endless collection of tired and obsolete spells nor is it a treatise on boring and largely unnecessary incantation. What it is for the main part is an examination of the spellcasting used in all forms of magic. It deals with many and varied topics that support and underpin the core work of any magician of any standing and of ant tradition.
With some great and very down-to-earth commentary on magical practice as well as some great tips and insights into the fundamentals of living a magical life this is a book that offers so much to so many.
Free of dogma and not even curtailed by adherence to the restrictive practices of his own craft Furie has written a book that is immensely clear of needless adherence to old methodologies and is one that which carries a very welcome fresh approach to modern magical practuce.