This is area of PaganPath is for questions submitted by email. Each week we will select a question from those we receive and publish Friday's response. All private information will be removed of course, and anonymity preserved. Questions are abbreviated and summarized to assist in maintaining privacy. This week we have a question about the ability to do magick and spells without being initiated as a Witch.
If I'm not initiated, will my magic and spells work? Will I be able use the elements to make my spells work?
Yes, they will still work. Initiation is not something that happens during an arcane rite. It is a process that we go through. As you learn more about yourself and your path, you will gain the ability to create more effective spells and magic.
This doesn't mean that a traditional initiation after a year and a day of study is going to instantly give you the ability to cast spells, it just means that the more knowledgeable you are, the more effective you can be. Some of this important knowledge is gained through experimentation and practice so casting spells now is certainly not out of the question, it is how you learn.
Although it is helpful to know more about yourself, the year and a day is intended to be spent studying the Craft so you know more about spells, magick, and most importantly, the spirituality of your tradition. Of course there are some paths of Witchcraft that are more focused on energy work and folk magick than they are on worship.
There are many ways to do spells and work magick besides Witchcraft, but if you are calling yourself a Wiccan, it most likely means you follow that spiritual path. Wicca is a religion open to much interpretation by the individual Witch, but it also has some specifics such as the Rede that explains how Wiccans strive to harm no one.
You don't use the elements like a tube of toothpaste, you ask their assistance, you direct their energies like a conductor to make music. The attitude with which you approach magick and the elements will make all the difference. Keep up your studies and practice and you are well on your way to successful spell work.
Many blessings on your path.
You may notice that both the question and response have been edited. This is to preserve privacy and I apologize for any disjointed thoughts or incongruencies in writing that this causes. The responses to the letters to the editor will reflect my views. This is entirely appropriate as everyone has a different approach and there are few absolutes in the paranormal or Witchcraft. Some of the responses may have been written without enough reflection on my part as I often reply to many dozens of email messages daily. Hence, the letters and responses are presented here for us all to learn from and share in each others' celebration of life. I have no technical qualifications as a professional counselor and simply offer an opinion (which may change even after I write my response).