Weaving Your Own Enchantments
The Art of Enchantment
The Practice of Druid Magic
As you finish the work outlined in this chapter, you will wield the three working tools of the Druid mage together for the first time. At this point the possibilities open before you come close to infinity, and one of the major challenges you face is that of deciding what to do with your skills at the art of enchantment.
Other Working Tools
One practical and traditional use for enchantment is the creation of other working tools to fit the particular needs of your own magical path. Anything you use in a magical setting can be enchanted to make it a better channel for your intentions. Druids who practice herbal magic, for example, commonly enchant the knife they use to cut herbs, the mortar and pestle they use to powder them, and other pieces of equipment, while those who practice different kinds of divination often enchant their divining tools. If you travel in the wilderness, a magical staff is an obvious and useful accessory. Here as so often in magic, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your willingness to do the work.
Another valuable use of enchantment is the art of making and using talismans. A talisman is a physical object filled with nwyfre and charged with a specific intention. Once charged, it sends the pattern of its intentionality out through the nwyfre night and day until and unless you disenchant it. This persistent and steady effect can accomplish wonders over time, so talismans are among the most effective tools magic has to offer for intentions you plan on making a permanent part of your life.
In many magical traditions, talismans take the form of disks of paper or metal with complex symbols painted, drawn, or etched on them. Most Druids who practice magic, by contrast, use a simpler approach. A short twig of a symbolically appropriate wood—one of the Ogham woods works well for this—can be marked with one or several Ogham fews, and then enchanted using any of the ritual methods covered in this chapter. Once enchanted, the talisman may be worn, tucked into a pocket, or put near a place where you spend much of your time.
If the talisman is no longer needed for some reason, and you do not want to keep its energies in place, it should be disenchanted. This is best done by a simple ritual. Open a grove in the usual way. In the Sphere of Protection, call on each of the elements to take back the energies placed in the talisman. Then, one at a time, trace the banishing form of each of the elemental symbols over the talisman, saying words such as, “O my talisman, I release you from your task. Let the energies of (element) placed in you return to their source.” Imagine the elemental nwyfre flowing out of the talisman and returning to the direction of the element. When you are done, close in the usual way. The disenchanted talisman should then be washed in cold running water and left in sunlight for several hours at least. When it is thoroughly dry, it can then be burnt to release the last traces of nwyfre in it.
Two Other Enchantments
Two other forms of enchantment require a closer study and have chapters to themselves. You can apply the skills you have learned to the material thing closest to you—your own body. Work of this kind forms one of the main branches of traditional magical lore. Since the natural flows of nwyfre inside you play a crucial role in maintaining health and keeping your body alive in the first place, some care needs to be taken in bringing more nwyfre into the picture, but the Druid tradition contains proven methods to do this while increasing your health, strength, and magical power. A set of workings along these lines are covered in chapter 7.
A final and even more challenging focus for enchantment is the world around you. If the problems of today's society have their roots in the disenchantment of the world, as Max Weber suggested back in 1904, one of the greatest contributions magic can make to the present crisis is its power to reenchant the world. Like the enchantment of the body, this forms one of the main branches of traditional magical lore, and it also requires careful handling of powerful forces. A set of rituals for this purpose is given in chapter 8.