Candles, Prayer and Magic

A Christian goes into her local Roman Catholic Church. Before worship, she lights a candle for a sick friend and prays to Jesus, asking for healing. She believes her prayer will help to make her friend better…and it does.

A Wiccan stands in front of her home altar. She lights a light blue candle for a sick friend and calls upon the energies of the Ancestors and powers of the elemental spirits to send health to her friend. She believes her candle magic will help to make her friend better…and it does.

What’s the difference? Not a blessed thing as far as I’m concerned. There have been studies by physicians such as Larry Dossey who have documented that prayer/intention is a powerful thing. People who are prayed for do better clinically. Period. Why this is the case is anybody’s guess. I believe we are directing spiritual energy toward the person we are praying for and it helps them to get better.

Some Christians get hung up on the term magic. They’ve read all the Harry Potter books and watched a few movies like The Craft and or Hocus Pocus and think that’s what magic is all about. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Scott Cunningham in Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner defines magic as “the projection of natural energies to produce needed effects.” The sources of these energies are a combination of personal, earth/natural, and Divine. I would argue that Christians tap into this same energy only they may not be as intentional about it as their Wiccan friends. Christian prayer unleashes something. Wiccan magic unleashes something. Define it how you will, but I think it’s the same something.

As a Christian, I try to send only positive prayers into the Universe. I may pray for justice, but never for vengeance. I may pray for God to deliver someone from destructive patterns of living, but never to kill them. My guide for prayer is Jesus’ definition of the greatest commandment: Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s just how I roll!

With the Wiccan Rede as a guide for all works of magic (An it harm none, do what you will), Wiccans try to be forces for good and healing in our world. Many cautions are given to those who try use magic to bend someone’s will or hurt them. Some believe that only positive magic should be practiced in the Craft, which can include binding spells if a person is a harm to themselves or to others. Sounds like the same intent to me.

So, I’m trying to start a conversation here. Maybe what Christians and Wiccans are trying to accomplish is precisely the same thing with different names and rituals for carrying it out. I would be interested in knowing what others think about this.

Copyright ©2022 by David Taliesin,

About David Taliesin

My name is David Taliesin. I'm an writer, teacher and retreat leader who explores the connections between Christian and Pagan Spirituality. E-mail me with any personal comments you'd like to share and I will do my best to answer them. You can also contact me through my Facebook page
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3 Responses to Candles, Prayer and Magic

  1. The Bible is full of miracles, its a wonder why the idea of “magic” seems so foreign. The resistance is a man-made discrimination. Thanks for the discussion. I believe we all have so many adopted beliefs that are only there because we haven’t stopped to really consider what we believe as our own Truth. in lak’ech, Debra – believer in magic

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy says:

    I agree. I think there are certain, laws or . . . Something, be them in the realm of physics or spiritual etc, (I’m struggling to define what I mean) that remain the same no matter who attempts to use them, whatever creed they follow. That is just the process/focus through which they come to it.
    Not sure if I’ve made sense or not.


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