Thoughts with Richard Bleil
Of late, I’ve been enjoying learning more about witchcraft. I’ve been finding fun things like a witchcraft kit, vampire hunting kit, and even spell books. No, I haven’t actually tried any of them, but being a chemist, I have looked up the herbs to discover their pharmaceutical categories and learn about their toxicity. Yeah, I’m a geek.
I have read a few of the spells, and they seem to be largely based on connection with the earth and common sense. The spell to get over a relationship, for example, is to find a photo of him or her, tie it with a cord, bury it, and burn a black candle. Does this invoke the spirits? Probably not, but the ritual, no doubt, helps the practitioner to feel as if the ties are broken and the relationship is buried.
There are a lot of rituals I’ve heard of in the past that are similar, but not necessarily witchcraft. For example, one of the best things a person can do to get over a relationship is to purge everything that reminds you of that person from the house. I do this, and even take it a step further. Anything that I need to replace, then, I am careful to upgrade. For example, when I needed to buy a new player to replace the DVD after my marriage, I went Blu-ray.
There is a very fun movie about a magical man who gives wishes, naturally playing with the recipient as the wishes often turn bad, such as the man who loved food so much that he wished he could eat and never get full. Unfortunately, with the wish, he has to eat hundreds of pounds of food a day, and, of course, his wish turned into his curse.
However, one of the interesting comments that he makes to a man celebrating his birthday is that you should never actually hold your wishes secret. They should be spoken out loud, and the explanation he gave was along the lines of putting the wish out to the universe.
The inspiration for the blog is a dream that I had. In the dream, there was a “wishing bowl”. The way it works is that one builds a “wishing bowl” by putting water into a dark bowl. To use it, let the water calm so you can see your own reflection in it. Looking into the bowl, speak your wish out loud. According to the dream, it puts the wish out to the universe, while at the same time implanting it in your own mind. Most wishes won’t come true unless the wisher makes it so. Looking at your reflection in the ritual, according to the dream, helps plant the seed in the subconscious so it becomes a goal.
Much like the witchcraft books that I’ve been reading, this is more practical and connected to your personal psyche than reaching out to the spirits. Looking up the pharmaceutical categories (and toxicity) of the reagents in the witchcraft kit helps to connect the natural qualities of those reagents from the earth to a more practical use.
Many of the drugs we use today began in plants. Chemists analyze the chemicals in plants to identify the active ingredients that give them their properties, purify them, and find ways to make them synthetically. The earliest insect repellents were identified by areas that insects, such as mosquitoes, simply avoided. Looking at the plant life in that area helps identify with plant, or plants, were responsible. Once identified, then the process of separating out the chemicals in the plants began.
So why wouldn’t Wicca be aware of their surroundings make connections with the earth? It’s not unlike the Native Americans who actually discovered aspirin. They would chew on leaves or bark of a certain plant to alleviate pains like headache. As it turns out, the plant was a natural source of aspirin.
I guess I don’t really have a point to this blog post. I’ve written about connections with Mother Earth in the past, and the source of many (not all) pharmaceuticals and plants. I even have a great friend who is licensed at making potions, and her approach is just as mine was. She looks up the plants and the chemicals and pharmaceutical applications. But the wishing bowl in the dream struck me as interesting so I thought I would share. I don’t know if I had seen it somewhere and simply incorporated it into my dream, or if it’s a unique idea. Well, it’s unlikely it’s a unique idea. Heck, maybe it’s a suggestion from the devil!