Friday, October 17, 2008

Magick for Profit

This article showed up today in my news alerts. I took a look through it, decided to comment on it, and then... well, I'll get to that.

Looking for free witchcraft spells? Many people are.

Sure! Why not? While I'm not precisely into "witchcraft" I'm always interested in checking out techniques that have worked for other magicians and comparing methods.

And why do you want free witchcraft spells? Do you want free witchcraft spells to find “true love”, free witchcraft spells to hog-tie that wayward ex and drag them back, free witchcraft spells to make you sexier, smarter, stronger, healthier and, of course, free witchcraft spells to make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams?

Definitely! Or at least I'm interested in magick that could in theory help me do all these things and augment the techniques that I've already developed to accomplish similar goals.

The problem with free witchcraft spells is that they are not worth the paper they are printed on.

I'm sure this is news to all of the traditional witches out there who maintain that teachings about the craft should be offered free of charge. While I agree that there are a lot of published spells out that are not all that useful, in my experience the cost of said spells has little to do with their usefulness.

For that matter, this is news to me. The spells I publish on this website and offer for free have worked well for me in the past, and I think it's great to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with other practitioners.

These days, if you were to toddle into your local bookshop, close your eyes and fling a dart, there’s a reasonably good chance you’d hit a spell book. There’s an even better chance that you’d be forcibly ejected from the shop shortly thereafter, so I’m not advocating this practice. It does, though, make the point that this literary genre has never been more popular.

Maybe if you're at Magus Books (I couldn't resist inserting a plug for my favorite occult bookstore here in the Twin Cities), but in fact the occult sections at stores like Barnes and Noble or Borders are pretty small, one or two shelving units at most. And not all of the occult books they sell are "spell books" in the conventional sense.

I suppose that one could argue that such books have never been more popular, but that's because they never have been all that popular. The interest today still represents a tiny percentage of the reading market.

Everybody wants witchcraft spells, but nobody want to go into the bookshops and pay for them. Which is just as well, really, since that would be a pointless waste of money in most cases.

I'm beginning to think that the author of this article must live in a community composed solely of impoverished pagans who can't afford to stock their libraries. "Everybody" wants spells? Really?

Most people in Western societies don't even believe that magick works. The ratio of spirit workers to non-magical people has varied between about 1 in 30 and 1 in 50 throughout human history, from societies with tribal Shamans to the priesthood of ancient Egypt. That suggests to me that the segment of humanity interested in magical spirituality is and has always been a tiny minority of the population - 2-3% at most.

The biggest Witchy complaint against spell books or free witchcraft spells online is that the spells don’t (or possibly can’t) work. The spell in the spell book or the free witchcraft spell on the web page looks comparable to a recipe, but whereas Delia Smith can reliably lead most of us through the creation of an omelette, the compiler of spells is less likely to guide the average punter to health, wealth and insuperable sexual charisma.

Let's see, I publish free spells on this blog, so I guess the author is calling me a loser. Nice.

The better authors in the field make it clear that the spell isn’t really the equivalent of the recipe for “Grandma’s Mushroom Meatloaf”. It’s more like sheet music: valuable to those who have put the effort into learning how to read music and perhaps play an instrument, but bookshelf clutter to those who haven’t.

Finally, here's something that I agree with completely. A spell made up of the best techniques in the world is useless to somebody who hasn't developed their magical abilities. That's why I recommend a serious period of daily practices to rank beginners prior to the use of any of the free spells that I have available here. You need to get yourself in shape before you try to lift heavy weights.

Free witchcraft spells as no more than electronic bookmark clutter if you haven’t learned how to work magic. The free witchcraft spells you will find online often contain expensive ingredients which, co-incidentally, are supplied BY the writer of the free witchcraft spells. Go figure.

Again, correct as far as it goes. You need to learn to use spells properly in order to get decent results with them. And it's pretty cynical to imagine people putting spells out there in order to sell spell materials, even though I'm guessing that plenty of such folks exist.

But what's going on here? Does the author think it's bad that people who post spells want to find a way to make money, or bad that people aren't willing to pay for the spells? Which one is it?

Well, clicking on this link at the end of the article I found out. THE WEBSITE IS A FREAKING INFOMERCIAL! See, the problem is not that people should pay for books, or that they should pay for materials, or that they want to learn magick for free, but that they want to do it all without paying the author of the website. And wow, does she sound like a pro:

"Who Else Wants To Know How To use the ultimate power of awesome magical forces to lift your vital energies, find and keep your perfect partner and become a MONEY MAGNET!?"

To get the proper effect, imagine the quote in big letters that would do Billy Mays proud. The promo goes on to explain how much the author's book is really "worth" and then asserts it to be a bargain at ONLY $27, just like the claims you might find in an ad for a salad shooter. "But wait! You also get..."

I suppose being a hypocrite must be fun, or at least profitable. After all, why else would there be so many of them around?

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