In this age of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, magic is fascinating, dangerous, and believed to be pure box-office fantasy. The Nimbus 2000, laser-firing wands, and Harry’s best book of spells are all a figment of a very good imagination.
But in reality, people have been using forms of magic, spells and ceremonies from ancient times to modern, believing they’re a powerful way to manifest change in their lives. For instance, there are more spells in the Buddhist cannon than could be found in the entire Hogwarts library, and for centuries Buddhist monks have mixed potions and cast spells.
Today, white magic, commonly practiced to create positive life changes, uses releasing spells and intention-setting ceremonies as potent forms of transformation. Here, there are no bubbling cauldrons, lizard tails or eye of newt. Think instead: natural crystals, essential oils, scented candles and a lot of positivity.
Releasing spells are a set of ritualized actions that help train your subconscious mind to let go of negative people, feelings and behavioral patterns, says Erica Bradbury, owner and designer of Brooklyn’s Species by the Thousands. She says these spells help you release specific unhealthy patterns in your life so that you can grow and become more positive—a state of mind that scientific studies have linked to better health and higher productivity.
A releasing spell might use an essential oil like palo santo, known for its ability to cleanse and clear negativity, coupled with a candle for energy, and a specific crystal for you to hold while visualizing it absorbing any unwanted negative energy.
Another common tool is the intention-setting ceremony. “[These] ceremonies are for charging your desires and putting them out into the universe. They can be as simple as lighting a candle and making a wish, such as a birthday ritual, or as complicated as you like,” says Bradbury.
So do you have to believe in white magic to benefit? No, says Bradbury, you merely have to believe that your actions and thoughts shape your reality.
Suzanne Bovenizer, a natural health therapist, agrees. Her understanding is that because thoughts release chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, these thoughts eventually manifest themselves by changing the vibration of the cells the chemicals bind to.
“When we set intentions, we set up a biochemical process, which is why it is so important to monitor our thoughts and try to stay positive. The more we set an intention, the more we encourage our chemical body toward manifesting that goal,” Bovenizer says.
Science Proves the Power of Positive Thinking
Interestingly, recent landmark studies, such as one from Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD, a leading positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who runs its Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory, have shown that when you experience positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, you see more possibilities in your life. Fredrickson went on to link positive emotions to building skills and more success, and negative emotions to doing just the opposite.
So maybe white magic has more in common with Harry Potter, Hogwarts and the world of fantasy after all.
To learn more about candle magic, read Using Candles for Intention Setting and Manifestation.