To Magic or Not To Magic?

I love it when Ailsa Abraham invites herself onto my blog. The subject of magic attracts most people (and there is plenty of it in my book!). I was especially interested in this sentence: “Some people need to suffer to learn a lesson and that is not my judgement.” 

You will have to read on to find out more…

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A long time ago, when I was initiated as a priestess in Wicca, I remember my moon-father saying “Now listen out for the flap-flap-flap of lame ducks making their way to your door. That will be your hardest job, sorting the do-able from the lost causes.”

He was right.

One of my problems is that non witches fall into three reasonably distinct categories.

a)      The total disbelievers. Good for them, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I can’t do a thing to help out, no matter how much I would like to. It’s akin to recommending acupuncture to a total sceptic. No matter how many programmes they see with patients undergoing surgery with no anaesthetic, only pins stuck in them, they will explain it away as placebo effect.

b)      Those who think there is something in it and are willing to help me try to help them. Those are the people I love working with. Carrying on a medical analogy these are the patients who will go to the doctor and listen to what he or she has to say about changing diet, cutting down on drinking, stopping smoking etc.

c)       The “magic bullet” merchants. These are the people I dread because they are even worse than the total disbelievers. They are desperate. They completely believe that I can literally wave my magic wand (yes, I do have one, hazel if you really want to know and cut from a tree in my garden in Brittany, paid for with blood)… and everything will be OK. They are not prepared to lift a finger to help themselves and sit like baby birds, beaks a-gape going “make it all go away”.

Oh dear! I don’t do miracles, I think you have to be a bit higher up the religious ladder to get away with that. I do “help” and here is where I have to question myself.

Is there anything I can do physically to make the situation better or do I resort to magic?

This is becoming easier as I get older and more experienced.

If my neighbour has several kids, a husband in hospital and is at her wits’ end I can either drive her to the hospital, look after her children, cook a meal, do the ironing. All good non-magical stuff that will sort out some problems. That’s the easy one.

A friend contacts me to say that he is going for a job interview and he really wants the job. I can’t do one single thing physically, so do I send positive energy to help? I have some questions first. Is this job right for him? Is he just dreaming? What effort has he put in to prepare for the interview or is he expecting me to “just make it so”? I may seek guidance from the cards to see if this job is the right move for him now. I may get the answer that no, he should hang back because something better is on its way. Now it is down to me to discuss it with him.

When it comes to healing I have the same problem but often I have to “take it upstairs”. I will not work on someone’s hacking cough if they are going to continue smoking 60 a day nor will I try to heal a jogger’s bad knee if I know that she will be straight out on it the next day. Unlike doctors I can say “No”.

Where I do have to seek guidance is the moral aspect. Some people need to suffer to learn a lesson and that is not my judgement. I can tell from putting my hands over someone if it is a “go” or a “stop” situation.

I’m also not a doctor so I always insist that even if I can relieve pain for a while the person seeks medical help as soon as possible. If I get an instinct that the problem is not “the constant headache” I am wily enough to know my neighbours well and realise that the headache is the mother-in-law who is living with this woman. Short of advising her to chuck her relative out (no I couldn’t do that either) I can suggest that she come to me for “relaxation session” (which will be a chance to drink coffee and download to someone who isn’t going to blab) plus getting out for a bit of fresh air and exercise thus taking her out of the house and away from the cause of the pain.

To Witch or Not To Witch, that is the question. Very often the answer is “No, Ailsa, roll your sleeves up and pitch in.”


Scottish/Irish in origin Ailsa Abraham is the author of Shaman’s Drum, an award-nominated futuristic novel where paganism has replaced mainstream religion and two lovers from opposing belief-systems have to undertake a seemingly-impossible task to win the right to be together. Their opponents are renegades and demons while they find help from unexpected sources including an undercover Christian Granny and three energetic goths.

Shaman’s Drum is available from Crooked Cat Publishing  276719_301592883274755_578428817_n

also on Amazon UK

Ailsa’s web page is

and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook under her own name.

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