Monday, May 21, 2012

Magic, prayer or both?

As I mentioned on my other blog, my mother is in the hospital and won't be able to come home until she is strong enough, which means time in a rehabilitation center.  Apparently these are different from nursing homes as the residents aren't considered long-term. 

She fell the other day and they are calling it a wonder she didn't bleed to death because her blood was too thin from the medication she's on to keep it thin.  Apparently it can turn on a dime so the levels have to be watched weekly or maybe monthly. I'm not sure.

Zach and I were talking about "miracles" and how we used to understand prayer when we were Christians.  I don't think of miracles as such anymore.  Over time it started to bother me that some people were "blessed" by those miracles and others weren't.  It made me think more and more that the Christian god was showing a bit of favoritism, even though we were taught that he didn't.  Attributing someone's escape from death to their god, while the other peoples' deaths were because he had something he wanted to teach their families, seemed a bit smug to me.  Still does.

I think my mother didn't bleed to death because of the quick action of the doctors and my sister getting her to the ER.  Did all the prayers for her contribute somehow?  Possibly, but I don't think so, at least not in the way they think.  If you think of prayer as a request to a deity who either will or will not answer your prayer in the way you want him to, then I would say, no, it didn't work.  But if you view prayer as a form of magic, then I will say, maybe.  Because no one will ever know for sure.

I was talking to Zach about it and said that prayer consists of a specific intention directed toward a specific situation with a specific result requested.  Isn't that similar to a spell?  Isn't the energy directed toward that situation the same as the energy-result that occurs in a spell?  Which is what I consider my prayers to be anyway.  A form of magic.  Are my prayers also a communication with the gods?  Sure.  But again, there is a specific intention (worshiping the gods) about a specific situation (worship) with a specific requested result (worship accomplished.)

I just don't think it's any harder than that, although the spell can consist of more complex actions and wording.  And certainly more familiarity and understanding of the gods you're communicating with will make your spell work better or be more effective.  I don't think picking a god out of a book and using a spell you found on the internet will have the same result as using a spell you thought about, modified or wrote up, and then focused on with serious intentions, calling upon a deity you have taken the time to get to know and develop a relationship with.  Certainly there are situations when there isn't time to develop anything more complex but I do think that magic is as much about the effort you put into it as it is the other developments.

But I'm a beginner so I could be wrong about it all.  Time and experience will teach me, I'm sure.


  1. K, I'm so sorry to read about your mother's health problem. It is hard to be a daughter from far away when a parent is dealing with something like this. I'm sure they'll appreciate what you're sending them, physically and non-physically.

    Re: spellwork vs. prayer - yeah. ;)

    I hope you start to feel better too.

  2. I'm sorry about your mom honey. I wasn't far from my mother during her various accidents and illnesses but I was in NJ when my sister was diagnosed with Cancer while living in FL. It was hard not to be able to just see her.

    As for prayer vs. magic. To me, when I do a spell it is for a very very very specific reason that my intuition has guided me to work my magic.

    Prayer is when I am humbled and have been shown that I do not have the answer but I do have The Goddess to be with me to comfort me or show me the right or wrong way.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your mom. Sounds like a pretty rough time for all of you having to help her out. And it sounds like you all did a helluva good job doing that!

    Prayer is magic is prayer? I have no earthly idea. I know that my perception is of prayer as a kind of conversation whereas magic is a deliberate imposition of will on reality. Prayer is when you know you need help way beyond your own. Magic is when you know you have it in you to change what you need to change. My definition is probably not a common one.

  4. Thank you both for you comments. I'm pressed for time or I would do this individually.

    I was confused at first but now I realize that prayer doesn't mean the same thing in Paganism that it means in Christianity. Both sides seem to be saying the same thing, that prayer is just communicating with the gods, but in Christianity it's more than that. There is a formula that is supposedly followed that includes certain "required" actions. Christians will disagree that they follow that formula but they do in one form or another. Bottom line is that there is always supplication in Christian prayer, you always ask for something. In group prayer something is always asked for...a healing, money, jobs, etc. In that respect, Christian prayer is like magic.