Imagination is reality and reality is imagination. The more you use your imagination the more vivid will be your reality. If you practice just a little, then just little results are what you will get. "Practice makes perfect, when you practice perfectly," I have heard somewhere; probably from my Mother.
Are there many types of reality? We see, hear and feel an overwhelming amount of information in one day but always our mind tries to list them into a linear fashion while trying to classify them into a "reality". And, then, what about dreams. Are they a reality too? And daydreaming? Et. al. Or, are all realities valid? The answer comes down to three different theologies:
The self is real and all Other is illusion claims that by trying to define the self is the only way to understand the Other's distinctiveness and individuality. It is impossible to find a difference to prove identity without first assuming the truth of that very difference and discounting illusion. In discounting illusion a person must look at it in some form or another.
To say that everything is illusion but the self is real indicates that illusion must be defined before we can deal with the self. But, trying to define self results in a definition of illusion.
Both are real as it turns out. One can't "be" without the other. Therefore we Witches believe that magick can work.
Witches also hold that: "If it works, use it." There is an abundance of books, reprints and new, paperback and hard cover, on all aspects of magick from all periods of herstory. The choices of which type of magick to use is a individual choice of the participants of the Circle (the ritual) itself. Magick is neither black nor white. Your intention, is black or white.
You must realize, to practice black or white magick is a choice. This choice has to be a well thought out choice at that. People just don't fall into it, because, when doing magick it is your intention and energy that makes it work.
Magick involves manipulating your reality. Magick is the system that you use to manipulate your reality. There is a system for every person on this planet. That is, no one can use exactly the same system and for the same reason that no two Women can see the same color red. You manipulate and adjust your choice of a system of magick to fit your viewpoint and then you use it.
The Priestess, Kore, Handmaiden or Priest usually teaches Magick. They usually have had the most experience and are usually the persons who formed the Coven. When executing magick in groups, there must be group agreement on ritual, magick, and how and what each symbol will mean for everyone. Everyone then has a part in creating the magick of illusion. That is the power. Magick thought is not random. It has its own laws and logic that is often not rational. Generally we look for what is poetically right.
There are two types of power, both work hand in hand. Invocation, the first, is prayer. An outside agent supplies the power. This outside agent can be the Goddess or a totem or any other Ultimate in this reality that you would like to emulate. The Drawing Down of the Moon is the actual invocation. The drawing of the Goddess into the body of one of the Women present within the Circle is High Magick.
Evocation - Low Magick needs power from someplace, something or someone else, usually imagination and thought, tools, candles, etc., using self energy. Our belief system (thought) is the powering agent. The use of the Women and her creativity in emulating the Goddess is directly from her imagination. When we create we could do no less than the Goddess. Using evocation you supply the power and will. As a Witch, you will exert the energy and you will create reality from the beginning to the end of the ritual.
We use Magick to gain honest retribution. Witches hold that they must get retribution in this life because it is the only life that we have and know for sure. The key word is "honest". We don't go out looking for trouble in any form. I am sure that whether we wanted trouble or not, trouble would have no trouble finding us.
This says that you will get back three times three what you put out into the universe. (Or at least that is what the superstition says.)
Imagine what would happen if you completed a spell for retribution. You worked 100% on the spell when you formulated and performed it and you put everything you had into it. Then sometime later you find that your judgment was faulty because of missing evidence or the other person was truly acting in your behalf. Imagine what you would get back. Think of the junk your mind now has to play with to use to tear you to pieces. You can tear you apart better than anyone, anywhere, anytime. You will carry the thought around with you for years and Goddess-forbid the other Woman should die before you had the opportunity to achieve forgiveness. The three times three theory puts holds on retribution, honest or otherwise.
The other side of retribution says that if you did the spell with honest intention, collecting thoroughly all the information available and then made a rational decision based upon your current information, then there would be no reversal of the effects. There would be no reversal even if it turned out that you made an error. Under such circumstances no one is harmed with the previously completed spell. The Witch should, even so, communicate face-to-face with the Woman whom the spell was against. The communication must be about why she thought retribution and then forgiveness was necessary. If direct confrontation is impossible, then communicate by some other means. The Witch must perform an undoing spell to relieve her own psyche. Under these circumstances the Witch has learned more about Witchcraft and herself from the process of forming the spell and its rituals, and has grown.
You are the judge of what is harm and what is not. You must also remember not to harm yourself, mentally or physically.
My Book of Lights and Shadows came equipped with page after page of laws. I have removed: "No one under the age of civil consent may participate in a Circle." What then, do you do with the young people if anyone must be of the age of civil consent? Every other religion makes sure that the young people know how to participate within that religion. If you don't share, what good is it to have? You can only have something when you give it away. Take teaching for instance, you can only say that you have learned something or say that you know it completely when you can teach it to someone else.
The world has a vast agreement of what is real and what is not real. Hallucinations are real non-realities. Therefore ritual is necessary to get you to feel that you are outside of the worlds' agreements. Ritual is the procedure used to produce an effect on individuals, groups or even the environment.
When people repeat the ritual at regular intervals with the same intentions, assurances and techniques throughout the ages, it produces the results desired within the material reality. That is, if you do a money spell then money is what you will get. You will receive it only in an amount commensurate with what your idea is of what you think you deserve to get right now.
Ritual affects you physically and mentally. Using rituals, symbols and word patterns that have been around for centuries that you've used since your birth you have defined yourself. The Ankh is an example of this type of symbol and it looks very much like the symbol for Woman. The sound "ma" is another.
Your inner response to outer actions is what causes the changes in your material world. Intention of purpose, method and mood combined with ritual is magick. The Circle for the Ritual of Worship and the Ritual of Magick. You must create the Circle with true purpose. Respect is due to the Mother, the Goddess-who-is-your-Mother, and you.
The rules of Witchcraft involve clairvoyance, healing, incantations, meditations, perils, prayers, precautions, predictions, songs, telepathy, etc.