Practical spells and folk magic penned by...a Roman Catholic nun? A surprising book filled with rituals, spells, and prayers combines “Catholic Magic” with Wiccan, Jewish, Native American, and Buddhist influences.
Sister Karol Jackowski began her life as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s before moving to New York City in 1990 to finish her PhD in theology. Since then, she has encountered a variety of other spiritual and religious traditions in the Big Apple. Whether it was joining in the Solstice rituals of her Wiccan neighbors or celebrating Hanukkah with her Jewish friends, Sister Karol came to recognize commonalities: ritual, prayer, and the celebration of life cycles were at the core of each practice.
In the first half of her Book of Spells, Blessings, & Folk Magic, Sister Karol discusses the “divine, primitive, soul impulse” towards prayer and ritual, while the latter half includes a series of practical spells, spirit prayers, and blessings from several different traditions. The 258-page new edition (published by Red Wheel/Weiser) is “every denominational” – rather than “non-denominational.” Its approach to spirituality and magic is not only inclusive, but all encompassing. From a Catholic "Three Kings House Blessing” to a New Job Spell and how to create a home altar, there’s a little bit of magic for everyone.
“There are as many paths to God as there are people who walk this earth, and not all of them lead to church,” Sister Karol writes in the book’s preface. But one thing that permeates most world religions and individual faith practices is “ritual as a prayerful activity” – as well as repetition as a sacred ingredient in both prayer and magic. It’s in this place of soulful stillness that we can “hear our best self,” Sister Karol writes. “We entered this life well-equipped spiritually, knowing we were never alone. We saw how thin the veil is between this world and the spirit world, and how easily accessible it is when we pray; the door to the spirit world opens and we enter.” Abracadabra.
Sister Karol describes prayer and ritual as “the soul’s ticket to entering all of life’s mysteries lies.” When we remain open – calm, still, and centered – the door to the Divine opens. Whether you’re calling upon angels or deities, Mother Mary or the Great Goddess, divine intervention occurs when we mix “matters of the heart with spiritually charged rituals,” says Sister Karol. That’s when and how we make magic.
From the burning of spell candles for three, seven, or nine days to the Catholic novenas, repetition is also present in nearly all magical practices. And like these repetitive rituals, Sister Karol’s Book of Spells, Blessings, and Folk Magic can be re-read countless times. It’s a great companion to any magical library – one that you may turn to for a simple Full Moon Holy Water Blessing, a Money Magic Spell, or a even a Pet Blessing any time of the year.
To purchase the book, please visit Red Wheel/ Weiser here.