On monday morning I have anointed a red candle with rose-geranium oil (I have created this myself some time ago from rose-geraniums in my garden). I have harvested fresh patchouli leaves, jasmin leaves and leaves of rose-reraniums (all these plants and some more are at the moment inside of my house through the winter months). I have put these leaves around the candle into a candle glass.
Then I lighted this candle in my hearth-shrine and invoced the presence of Hekate into her statue- I invoced her as Kourotrophos (nourisher of life), Phosphoros (lightbringer) and Soteira (savior). I prayed to her to fill me, my home and life with harmony, strength and balance. I connected myself to the spirits of the herbs and asked them to aid me and bless me (and home and life).Than I let my emotions, will and etheric energy flow through my hands into the candle flame and weaved the etheric energy of the herbs into the spell, too.
I have burned herbal honey as incense and the smoke filled the shrine as offering to the Goddess. And it filled my home, I blessed myself with the raising smoke. The flame of the candle burned bright in the hearth-shrine, filling the shrine and my home with blessings.
Often magic and religious acts are going hand in hand, often they are connected with each other and are melted together.
The word religion has in its original meaning something very mystical and magical- it comes from the latin word religio- and means to re-connect with something. To re-connect with the divine, to experience the divine through this connection.The religions of antiquity were not religions of pure believe (like the monotheistic religions today) but were quite mystic in its practices. They were not centered around the beliefe in the Gods and Goddesses, but they were focused to the connection to the Goddesses and Gods, to get in touch with them through prayers, rites, offerings and sacrifices, to experience the Gods/Goddesses. The Gods/Goddesses were reachable and their power could be felt. Symbolic acts (like the offerings and sacrifices) were important in the religions of the ancient world, they connected the worlds with each other, connected the humans with the Gods/Goddesses.
The offerings, sacrifices, prayers and symbolic acts created a bridge between the worlds. Prayers were not just a repeating of psalms and words- but a speaking with the Gods, a connection with them. And the gods answered the prayers (and do this today, too) through signs and omens, through dreams and inspirations and divination was an importand part of ancient religion, too. It was used to get signs and messages from the Gods.
It was not about to believe in the Gods but to get in touch with them, to experience them and to connect with them. Many people today feel a desire for mystical practices, for magic and for the direct connection with the divine.
The Goddesses and Gods of the ancient world are alive, they can be reached through offerings (like candles, food, flowers, incense, blessed water etc…), through their statues and idols, through prayers and invocations (or evocations), symolic acts, trance and rites. All these acts build a bridge to the old Gods, connects us with them, the Goddesses and Gods can be experienced today, they still answer the prayers like they did in the old times. Religion is something that is alive, that is living and breathing if we focus again to the old meaning of the word. Religion is connecting- if religion is practiced, if religion is lived: Than religion truly connects the humans with the divine- in the old days as today.
In this sense religion is something magical. Because the direct contact to the divine transforms us and changes us, it creates change- and that is magic.