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Whether it's spell casting, intense dreaming, or warding off darkness, be aware and be careful. There is more at work than can be seen.

Is it possible to cast a spell without knowing spells or having training?

The short answer is yes. We are all casting spells all the time without training, and sometimes without the knowledge that we are even doing so. Making a wish is a spell. Declarative statements are spells. Negative talk and thoughts are spells.

Let me back up, and start by defining a “spell.” This of course is my personal description, I’m sure there are many witches who would add to or change my definition. Simply put, a spell is intentional magic. Spells can take many forms, though a common factor is focusing energy (often through ritual, spoken words, actions, movements, and symbolic ceremony) to achieve a desired outcome. Spell casting is about concentrating on something that you wish to create, and harnessing energy (our own or otherwise, I personally call on the elements and my allies when spell casting) to direct towards the result you wish to attain.

The success of spells depends on many factors. There is the clarity of intention, the amount of energy harnessed, the personal power of the spell caster, and the follow through actions. When someone is casting spells intentionally, they will take all of these factors into account, which is how we often end up with complex rituals to achieve focus, energy, and power. Also, hopefully, the person casting a spell will include the intention for the outcome to be for the good of all. With great power comes great responsibility, and if we use our power to harm or manipulate others that power may very well come back to bite us.

All of that said, we can generate a lot of power with our thoughts and actions that can set events in motion that we may not have intended. For instance, when fighting with a friend you may think that they are wrong and need to learn a lesson. Maybe you even share these thoughts with someone, putting voice to your feelings. There is so much passion involved, because of the fight and feeling of being right, that the energy created takes on a shape of its own, and your friend finds themselves in a circumstance where they are learning a lesson the hard way. Is this your fault? Well, perhaps. We must be careful what we wish for, careful of what we are putting out into the universe. Our thoughts and words hold a lot of power. If you look in the mirror everyday and think, or say “I’m not good enough,” then you are making it so. If you consume a lot of media that makes you feel unsafe in the world, you may be inviting danger to your door.

Beware the power of unintentional spell casting, and take care to create the world you actually wish to live in.

* * *

I had a dream I was told I was pregnant. Later on in the dream I was told the baby I was carrying was dead. A group of women then began to draw symbols on my stomach with mud. I can’t quite remember the symbols but I’m pretty sure I remember seeing an ankh. Anyways that morning I woke up feeling extremely sick, went to the doctor, and found out I was indeed pregnant. My pregnancy was really rough and painful, and I ended up getting a termination due to the fact that something was going wrong. The dream almost feel dark and negative. I woke up from it in a strange haze. I can’t get it off my mind and I need to know some type of meaning behind this. I’ve been feeling isolated from the women in my life lately.

I also would like to let you know that I have always felt followed by a dark presence. I’ve had strange occurrences since I was about 16 (I’m now 19) I had a great fear for a while that this was possibly Lilith trying to get to me as I am weak due to severe depression. The reason I say her name is because of another dream I had sometime last year. In the dream I was in some type of party that seemed very dark. I was offered to drink from a chalice that seemed to resemble Lucifer’s chalice, and eat cake that had snakes crawling underneath it. After that dream things seemed to get worse. My emotional stability was at an all time low and I was much angrier of a person than I used to be. Some time later my boyfriend was talking to a warlock he knew. The warlock was messaging him and asked if he was with 3 people. It was just the two of us. He later said that there was a dark spirit “protecting me”. I drew a symbol on my hand in red ink that he told me would ward off the spirit. I felt the energy leave out of my right hand and it was if my hand was floating. I was exhausted for days after. I just want to make sure that I’m not still under some type of physic attack and what this all means really. I’m novice so I don’t know much.

It sounds like there are forces, internal, external, or both, that are trying to get messages to you. There is a lot happening here so let’s break it down piece by piece.

We’ll start with your dreams. There are many ways to interpret dreams- as messages from our sub conscious, as nighttime wanderings on the astral plane, as prophetic visions of the future… depending on where your beliefs lie, the meaning can be deeply significant or easily dismissed. On the less spiritual side, we can simply see our dreams as symbolic of our emotions and what is happening in our lives. In this situation, it is up to us to interpret our own meaning from the signs we are shown. First determine the emotional energy of the dream- joyful, scary, exciting, frustrating, anxious, delightful, etc. How did it make you feel? Now, isolate certain aspects of the dream (the symbols, the pregnancy, the group of women, the chalice, the snakes) and ask yourself what is the first word/feeling that comes to mind when you think of it? You may need to continue down this road until you find the meaning that resonates the most deeply, and repeat with other significant people, places, or things that showed up in the dream. Use your intuition to interpret the message your dreaming self is sending. It sounds like the pregnancy dream was fairly clear- you were indeed pregnant but the complications involved would prevent carrying the child to term. It also seems to point to the fact that you are without strong female relationships at the moment and it is cutting you off from your own magic and creativity. We all need community and women especially need other women to lift each other up. I suggest dedicating your energy to cultivating stronger bonds with women.

The other dream is more complicated. I will point out that the interpretation of Lilith as Lucifer’s bride is only one representation of her, and a limited and biblical one at that. For many, including witches and feminists, Lilith is a powerful ally, a free and powerful woman that challenges the patriarchal status quo. Snakes, likewise, have been tied to sin and the “devil” in the bible, but in many pagan and Indiginous cultures they represent transformation, fertility, and creativity, among other things. I highlight these contrasts to illuminate the fact that there is no one correct interpretation of any symbol, so we must look within to draw our own conclusions. One possible intrepreptation of both dreams is that you fear your own feminine power. Wise women have long been feared and demonized because of their connection to the great mystery (Lilith is a perfect example). Unfortunately this damaging belief is deeply ingrained culturally, and could very well be impacting you on a sub concious level.

As for the dark presence following you, there are several possible explanations. It could be entity that is attracted to and using your life force, it could be a negative spirit that you picked up or was sent to you, and it could even be some sort of protector (Lilith is sometimes depicted as a protector of witches). Again, you will have to self-reference to determine which feels the most true. If it is one of the first two (an entity or spirit) that is dangerous, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself.

As always, before you begin any magical work, open some kind of safe and sacred space. You can do this in whatever way feels right to you-call in the directions, the elements, your ancestors, angels, power animals, the organizing principals of the universe, god, goddess, great spirit, celestial bodies… the point is that you want to ask your allies to hold space for you while you dive in deep, so that you can trust that you’ll be protected, and put all of your energy into your work. (Close the space with gratitude when you’re done.)

Start by taking a meditative journey- in your mind’s eye, go to a safe space (from anytime/anywhere in your life, or even a fictional place from your imagination), and start to feel a light glowing in your heart. Using your breath, expand the light, letting it grow until it surrounds your body, with some extra space (a few feet) all the way around you, including under the ground-a full sphere of light. In that space, invite someone you trust completely (animals work well, as do children) to arrive outside of the circle, and invite them in. Notice how easily they can enter the safe space. Next, have someone you don’t trust arrive outside and let them try to come in. They shouldn't be able to, but if they can, you'll have to bring more strength and intention to the place in the sphere where they entered, and continue to reinforce until they can't come in. Keep the sphere open around yourself, night and day. Check in with it often, making sure that the space is holding strong, reinforcing as necessary.

You can also communicate directly with the presence. First, open your protected space around yourself, then engage it in dialogue. Ask who it is and what it wants from you. Pay attention to any and all information you receive during the discourse. We all gather impressions and knowledge from our senses, both regular and extra (such as clairvoyance), so be open to hearing, seeing, feeling, and knowing the answers that come your way. Feel empowered to ask it to leave you alone. I always approach with compassion, and a general belief that whatever it is I’m dealing with is probably lost, scared, or wounded, and deserves to be treated with kindness. That doesn’t mean giving in or relinquishing your power, it just means that you are sympathetic and understanding, even as you dismiss it from your presence.

You can also find a stone that feels protective to you (I like ruby, black tourmaline, labradorite, fluorite, obsidian…) set your intention to find one for protectionand then do a blessing on it. Carry it with you (jewelry works well). Salt works too- you can sprinkle it around your home, keep a pouch around your neck, and take salt water baths. Salt absorbs energy, and you can set the intention for it to absorb whatever negativity is comingyour way.

If after all of this you can still feel the presence, and it is unwelcome, find a magical healer to work with. Depending on what you are dealing with, you may need a greater intervention. There are ways to banish entities and spirits that involve years of training, and are best handles by the professionals. Good luck.

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