Practical Magic

“I wished for you too.”

Sisters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) were raised practicing witchcraft. Plagued by a family curse, Gillian falls in love whenever she can, while Sally goes out of her way to avoid it.

Witchcraft
Contrary to spooky literature and films, witchcraft actually is quite…practical. Sometimes referred to as “kitchen witches” or “green witches,” practitioners of the craft often utilize herbs to alleviate physical strains or pains or they practice gardening.

Readers, it’s a fucking beautiful thing.

Practical witchcraft has little to do with the devil and more to do with environmental harmony. The core of Wiccan principles states, “If it harms none, go ahead.” Curses, hexes, and jinxes are best left to the world of Harry Potter, but they don’t have a real place in those who practice spiritual witchcraft.

Manifestation
Sally’s conjuring of her soulmate relates to the popular idea of manifestation. Widespread after publication of The Secret, manifestation suggests that if you believe something will happen, your belief can make it so. For example, if you want to find your partner, you have to first make room in your life for your partner; you sleep on one side of the bed (leaving the other side unoccupied for the pending partner); you make closet space for them, etcetera. In manifesting this physical space for a partner, you communicate to the powers that be that you are ready for the partner’s arrival and presto, there they are! Although this type of behavior sounds borderline delusional, as long as no one gets hurt in the process, many people swear that manifestation actually does work.

Though Sally intends to conjure a man who does not exist, her spellwork is a practice of manifestation. She lists precise qualities she wants in a partner, and when her life is in an ideal place for his arrival, he shows up!

Real Magic
I dabble in kitchen witchery myself (because I grew up in a super religious town – funny how that happens, isn’t it?), but I don’t think witch dabblers believe that healing through herbs or gardening are anything like magic in movies. The heart of Practical Magic suggests that falling in love is the closest thing any of us – of any spirituality – ever get to real magic.

Fall in love whenever you can, Readers.

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