How to Set a Magickal Intention
I’ll never forget the moment I discovered (or decided, the jury’s still out on that) I was a witch.
Shortly after moving away from my hometown in Colorado, I broke my back. That sounds dramatic . Technically, I fractured a vertebrae. Sometimes when I look back on this time of forced rest and healing, I relive the sense of the fear and anxiety I felt when I was experiencing this four years ago.
It did mean I had to leave my job as a nanny, which left me unemployed. I was so lucky to have a safety net of supportive family and friends and my loving then boyfriend now fiancé who all took care of me emotionally, physically and financially. I was lucky I had health insurance and could afford to pay my medical bills for an emergency room visit and several expensive doctors appointments. I was lucky it didn’t leave me paralyzed. And looking back now I was lucky because this event was a catalyst for the next phase of my life.
During my time recovering I wasn’t able to earn money in a traditional way. I had a ton of time on my hands, so I read.
Without that time I maybe wouldn’t have read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, or When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone, or Spiral Dance by Starhawk, or Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler or the Secret by Rhonda Byrne, or Ask and it is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. Or gotten into learning about the Law of Attraction and all the other magical laws that dictate our universe.
Related: Life of Maggie
I wouldn’t have started to view myself as a co-creator of my life.
And without all of that leading me to Earth based magic and spirituality I don’t know where I’d be right now. I wouldn’t have started the Etsy store that led to this blog and later this business helping witches connect with their power.
And once I started practicing witchcraft, I realized that I had been practicing witchcraft my whole life and I didn’t know to call it that. It was a turning point.
Related: 13 Signs You Might be a Witch
I learned about myself, and how to enhance my gifts and evolve my shortcomings. I learned to trust my instincts and manipulate the flow of my own energy. I learned how to accomplish anything I set my mind to faster than I dreamed possible.
Discovering this innate power is truly one of the most exciting things. The knowledge that you are a co-creator of your own reality is truly the most inspiring realizations.
Do you want to know the secret?
Yup, it’s that simple. Almost disappointing. Setting your intention for a spell is the difference between success and, well, nothing happening at all.
Now, let me clarify what a successful spell looks like, because manifestation often occurs in unexpected ways. Success is …
Seeing positive change happening in your life.
Seeing new options opening up for you.
Feeling more connected to your intuition and higher power.
Feeling more confident to take bigger risks and larger leaps towards your goals.
Throughout my experimentation, especially in the early months of my practice, I knew, in my heart, that all of these types of experiences were due to my actions and I had brought them about.
Why Intentions are Important
At this point, you may be wondering, “Maggie, what exactly is an intention?” This is a great question. It’s kind of a buzzword in New Age / witchy / metaphysical circles.
At a basic level, an intention is a descriptive statement—communicated clearly and specifically—about what you want from the spell, or your desired outcome from the magic.
Unfortunately, sometimes spells don’t work. Usually this just looks like—nothing.
It’s a bummer, I know. When it comes to the Law of Attraction, and manifesting your desires through spellwork, failure (or rather, apparent failure) is part of the process. In fact, unsuccessful spells are opportunities to tweak your intention to be more clear and more specific.
The Law of Attraction—in case you’ve never heard of it before—states that "like attracts like." The Universe will return to you the same energy you put out with no judgments and no preferences. Basically, “You get what you ask for.”
If what you ask for is unclear or not precise, you probably won’t even notice what is returned to you because it won’t be recognizable as anything you desire. That is why intention is so important in witchcraft. It’s basically your no-fail formula for magick.
You set an intention, focus on that intention with absolute clarity, and take action that is in alignment with your intention.
Why Set An Intention
The first reason to set an intention is so that you get what you actually want. However you believe magic works, you want to be sure you are communicating your desires to the source of you power very clearly.
Whether you believe the Universe delivers what you want or it’s your intuition, deities, a higher power like God, or whatever / whoever the spiritual sky boss you co-create with, it / they need to know what you actually want in order to deliver it.
Think about it like going to a restaurant, the server hands you a menu and asks what you would like to eat. If you say, “I’d like dinner,” you could be eating any number of dishes: spaghetti with wheat balls, kale salad, stir fry and tofu, a baked potato, etc. Yes, you technically got what you asked for but if what you really wanted to eat was an Impossible burger, are you really happy with what you were served?
Another reason is so that you don’t accidentally manifest something you don’t want. A personal example of this is when I went on vacation to New Zealand I cast a spell to help me make the trip less expensive. I wasn’t specific about what that meant though. What I wanted was to find cheaper places to stay and good deals on food. What I got was extra food at every restaurant.
At one, there was a mistake with the order and they gave me two orders of my meal. At another, they gave us the wrong order and so they made us the right order and let us keep the first meal, too. Technically, I was not paying for these extra meals and we were able to save the leftovers for later. Technically, the trip was less expensive. But it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.
My intention would have been better as, “I pay less for food and lodging wherever I go.” That’s what I wanted, and if I had spent a little more time getting into my real desire in the first place, I could have saved us a lot of confusion.
A third, and arguably the most important reason to set intentions is because the intention is actually where the power of the spell is. When you cast a spell, you may think the power is in the herbs or crystals, or in the candles and other tools, but all you need for your magic to work is your mind focused on your intention.
The tools and ingredients are fun and give your mind an anchor in the physical realm, but they do not give you power. Harness the power of your mind by making sure your thoughts and feelings support the intention.
How to Set an Intention
1. USE WORDS TO WRITE YOUR INTENTION
Probably the easiest way to communicate your intention clearly is to use words. Write out your intention to help you make sure it clearly describes what you want, is in present tense, and uses the pronoun “I”. Here is a formula:
Your desire + the time frame you desire to manifest it = your intention
For example: “I pay my rent with money to spare before it is due.” feels more powerful than “Send me rent money.”
2. FEEL THE REALITY OF YOUR INTENTION
Your mind is powerful, so be sure to focus your thoughts on what your desire is. Beyond that it’s also important to feel the way someone who already has the reality you desire would feel. Your emotions are simply sensations or vibrations, and when you align yourself with the frequency of your desire, you will attract what you want to you according to the Principle of Vibration.
3. TAKE ACTION TOWARD YOUR INTENTION
I also think it is important to take action. For me and for witches in general, this often takes the form of a spell or a ritual. Many Law of Attraction practitioners use vision boards and affirmations.
Related: Law of Attraction - Three Methods
Taking action can also be touring a house you’d like to live in, test driving a car you’d like to own, purchasing a mug for your soulmate to drink out of, or any number of symbolic, mundane activities that align you with what you want.
I personally believe we are co-creators. Whether you are aware of your thoughts and actions or not, and whether you are intentional with the creation process or not, you are always creating in a partnership with a mysterious x-factor, something that is beyond you and your mind. Some people call this God, the universe, spirit, etc. It doesn’t matter what you call this force, your spiritual sky boss has a say in your life.
Continue your journey and share your experiences on the Mumbles and Things Facebook page.
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Now it’s your turn!
If you could list one thing that you hope to gain from practicing witchcraft, what would it be? What is your main purpose for practicing witchcraft? Set your intention for your practice.