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How To Be A Witch: Part 3 – What Is Intention?

Intention is a word that gets thrown a lot in the witchy world, but sometimes it can be hard to know what it exactly means. Undeniably, it’s essential for magic, living at the core of most spells and rituals. It’s the fuel that powers our spells and workings. It’s 90% of what makes magic work. 

It’s no surprise that if a spell doesn’t work, it’s probably a good idea to re-examine your intention, and maybe even re-define for yourself what intention really means. If you want to write your own spells, intention is even more important to have a working knowledge of. 

The definition from the Macmillan Dictionary: a plan in your mind to do something.

My definition: an aim or goal you hope to accomplish through magic.

Intention is the thread that connects every element of your spell, from the incantation you speak, to the candle colors you choose to use, to the moon phase you plan to perform the spell under.  

Some ideas on how to infuse intention into your daily life and magical practice:

  1. Figure out your desired outcome. What EXACTLY is it you want? Is it specific or broad? Does it come with stipulations or parameters, or are you more open to whatever the universe thinks is best for you?
  2. Formulate your wording carefully. Words are powerful and slight wording differences can be hugely influential on our spells. Fill your intention with words that are powerful, active, and clear.
  3. Write it out. First try writing it out in your journal or personal book of shadows, and then when you have it finished, you can write it and put it on your altar or use it in your spellwork.
  4. Visualize the outcome clearly. What does it feel, taste, sound, smell, and look like?
  5. Focus on abundance. Cultivate a feeling of already having your desired outcome, rather than on a feeling of lack or wanting. If you infuse your spell with feelings of neediness, that’s what you’ll get back… more neediness.
  6. Let it go. Concentrate your intention while working your magic, and then let it leave your mind. Let the magic do its work without obsessing or dwelling on your want.

All that being said, intention alone is not enough. While you definitely need gas to drive a car, the gas is pretty useless without the car to power. Just the same, you need to have an action and a physical object to infuse with intention, in order for the intention to have a vehicle to work through. It’s okay if the tangible object is only your body, but it needs to be something. 

It’s also important to note that our true intentions in life are not always what we think they are. Through therapy, self-reflection, and shadow work, we can learn to uncover the true underbellies of our motivations, which will only help us to be more magically powerful.

Intention is not the law of attraction. It’s not saying that whatever you think is going to become true. It’s saying that if you want to get somewhere, and you start taking steps to do so, you’d better know where it is that you’re going! 

Intention means that what you think affects your actions, which affects your life and your magic. The best part is, by setting an intention, you get to choose!

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