The main character of Random Magic is young witch, Winnie Flapjack, who uses her smarts as well as her magic to get herself out of tricky situations.
Here we have Winnie working a spell in front of Henry’s astonished eyes, using a crumpled-up, innocuous looking piece of paper to conjure up something entirely different: Winnie opened a black cupboard and carefully extracted a small red book, a big copper key, and a pair of knitting needles.
Most modern witches won’t be changing bits of newspaper into living bats, but they do have simple, everyday objects used in rituals to acknowledge, respect and channel the invisible forces which work on all of humankind.
For Halloween, which is also an ancient holiday in the pagan tradition (Samhain, originating from Old Irish for ‘summer’s end), let’s take a quick peek into what you’re likely to find in the home of a modern witch:
The broom is also used in handfasting rituals -- essentially a witch wedding. A decorated broom is laid on the floor, and the new couple jump over the broom, symbolizing their leap over a threshold into a new life together.
And, here we have the cheeky ‘bell, book and candle’ phrase used to describe witch tools, explained:
Bell: Think about every religious ritual you’ve experienced. Notice any similarities?
Witches are no different, in this respect. A bell is used to focus the mind on the ritual at hand, to signal the end or beginning of a period of intense meditation or concentrated energy, to signify joy or to acknowledge sorrow.
Book: (Book of Shadows)The modern witchly equivalent of a cookbook, address book, reading material and Wikipedia, combined.
One thing hasn’t changed, though – every Book of Shadows is nearly always handwritten, as it’s a very personal book and meant to be kept and referenced for years to come.
Candle: As with music, candles have ritual significance – not only for witches, either.
Fire is both life and death, it can bring light to illuminate the dark, and heat and warmth to sustain life. A fire raging out of control can destroy life. Mankind has a long, long history in using fire to improve or to change the world surrounding us.
Early humans used fire to cook food in order to eat it safely, to stay warm in the dead of winter, to forge materials to build homes -- or to wage war.
Witches use the flame of candles to reflect the eternal fire within that animates the physical body, to celebrate life, to quiet the spirit, to mark or mourn the passing of the seasons.
It’s not far removed from how candles are used in everyday life – for birthday cakes, for the centerpieces on wedding tables, or midnight vigils, marking seasons of change in individual lives.
The flame is both temporary and easily snuffed out, and enduring and eternal; fire will always be fire. And, like energy, fire can be used for good or evil, depending one how it’s wielded, and by whom.
The colors of candles also have significance, letting the practitioner concentrate on creating a particular energy. Outside witchy circles, this is ambience – and that’s often the subtle charge that ends up on the restaurant bill.
Color plays a huge part in Random Magic, actually, although often it’s subtle. For example, red is used to denote energy, passion or creativity, and blue for reason, calm or stillness.
You can experience this, yourself – what colors do you notice most, and which are your favorites? There’s a quality in that color that’s personally appealing to you, and there could be a reason why!
If you’d like to know a little more about the symbolism of various colors, and how they’re used in Random Magic, feel free to browse – just pick your favorite color:
Whether a broom is just a broom, or a way to mentally clear bad thoughts, or a candle is just a candle, or a way to show solidarity with the living flame in everyone, doesn’t really matter. Tools are only as good as the way in which they’re used.
So, more important than any and all witchly tools is intent. In a sense, energy used for good or evil isn’t magical or arcane at all, it’s just an everyday form of magic.
Nearly everyone can be uplifted and actually feel energized by the power of a genuine smile, or feels energy drain when wounded by unkindness.
This is why one of the never-changing laws connected to modern witchcraft is the Rule of Three, which says that any energy a practitioner sends out into the world will be boomerang back with three times the power. In other words: Play nice!
There are several other tools used in modern witchcraft, and they all symbolize the elements necessary to protect or destroy human life – earth, air, water and fire. If you’d like to know more about the toolkits of modern witches, feel free to take a peek: More witchy tools
If you’d like to know more about Random Magic, feel free to watch the book trailer below, or visit Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble to find a copy of the book and go along with Winnie and Henry on their journey.
In the meantime, thanks for stopping by to spend a few minutes exploring the whys and wherefores of modern witchery, hope you’ve enjoyed your time here, and Happy Halloween!