Do you cast spells? Deliver incantations? Can one do this without believing in magic?

Seriously, many of the "spells" are quite good psychologically, because they use analogy and mental tricks to alter behavior.
For example, there is an apple banishing spell which really is just an exercise in focusing on a bad habit to rid yourself of such. One focuses the habit and its effects into an object and burins the object, and salt is added so the habit/discomfort is "neutralized". When you bury the object, you are seeing it go into the ground, and when you want to do this habit, your mind remembers it's in the ground therefore it's easier to break.
I think prayer works much the same, psychologically. Although one is praying to some "other", it's really just focusing your intention and having your mind act accordingly...
as in: "dear God, please deliver me from smoking"... the person has already decided they want to quit, and when they light up they are focusing on the negative aspects of smoking... so they are already in the mindset to quit.
It's mind trickery which helps!
A great example using straight psychology... there is a beautiful documentary called Phantoms in the Brain. There is a man with severe phantom pain from a hand he no longer has.
It feels to him as if his fist is clenched so hard and continues to clench without relief, clenching harder and causing great pain. A box was created with a mirror on one side. The patient slid his hand into the box, and it looked like he had two hands. Cognitively the man knew the other hand was a reflection, but it was enough that when he clenched and unclenched the fist, then opened the hand wide, his brain sent the signal that the phantom hand was unclenched as well and he found relief. Now all he has to do is use the box if the pain gets to him.

If I have a trouble which caused me distraction through the day, I decide to only allow myself to think about it at certain times. Since I am set to think about this at noon and again at 4, when my mind drifts there I simply tell myself, OK, I'm thinking about that at noon, so I can do this now. Then at noon I think about it till it's out of my system and go on. It's playing with the beautiful mind....

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There´s a book about this. It´s call "psycho-magic", from Alejandro Jodorowsky. He´s not a non-theist (as far as I know), but he argues that exact thing, that magic has to do with alter our conduct, with talking with the subconcious. I don´t agree with all he says, but I think he has a point. He is a tarot reader, but he says that he doesn´t use the card to predict things, but to know people better, because with every card he pulls out people star talking about themselves when they relate the card with their own lifes, like with the free association method in psychoteraphy. He also says that predictining things is a very dangerous thing because people tend to "obey" the so call "predictions", without knowing they are doing so.
I have the pdf of the book in spanish, if someone wants it.
Melana, I'm going to check out this book... Thanks!
I agree about people fulfilling their own prophecies... we do tend to live up to our own expectations.
Kitty - my turn to give you a virtual bear hug and thank you profusely for saying what's on my mind!

I absolutely do cast spells ... knowing the effects are purely psychological and the only thing I'm really changing is me, but relating it to hypnosis, it's a matter of making changes we didn't know how to make, didn't know we had the power to make, or don't know how to find the strength to make.

Of the two that have been the most successful, both started out as me having to be in just the right frame of mind at just the right time. One was a serious need for better financial luck. Within a week I was offered more work than I could accept. What really changed? Did I subconsciously know just where to look for the one job? Know just what to say to the other interviewer? Give myself that extra push to look just a little deeper for the next/better job?

The other was 2 coworkers actively looking to get me fired. Ahh, office politics ... the bain of my existence! Knowing that even for the crystal crunchers who believe in the supernatural it is against the rules to attempt to interfere with the will of another person, I came across a neat spell idea then modified it for myself: Put the person's name on a piece of paper and tape it to a mirror, name facing the mirror. The idea is to imagine yourself as the mirror; whatever energy that person puts out, especially negative, let them see only themselves, let it bounce right back to them. In the meantime, I 'charmed' a necklace as something of a shield to serve the same purpose.

Now, from an Atheistic/psychological standpoint, what was I really doing? I was psychologically thickening my own skin and conditioning myself to ignore the negative (let it bounce off of me) and accept/put out only the positive. The necklace served as a reminder to me to maintain that positive outlook. The result? One coworker simply left me alone. The other quit within days with the manager and rest of the staff recognizing that it was her inability to get along with me, not my inability to get along with anyone. Apparently, not only could she not stand being around me but couldn't stand me not fighting back. See also Aikido martial arts for how this be-a-brick-wall concept works.

Finally, I do dabble in Tarot. The way I see divination; it's like kayaking down a river and getting out for a moment to assess the rapids up ahead from a different angle. I do not ask yes/no questions, such as "Will I get the promotion?" I know the answer I want is 'yes,' and the cynics are right; I'll read into the cards whatever I want to read into them. What I'm doing instead is asking questions like, "What do I need to be doing to get that promotion? What's in my way? What am I overlooking?" Somewhere deep in my psyche the answers are there, I just need to clear my head and look at things from a different angle, such as through the pictures and poetry on the Tarot cards, to wake up that hidden, inner answer.
prismic thought is so intrinsic to my behavior, and it truly works!
As I continue long-term recovery from my Summer motorcycle wreck, I'm reminded of another great use for translating Pagan practice into cognitive results: Do It Yourself Physical Therapy.

For those of us Americans employed too gainfully to qualify for poor-person's state insurance, but not gainfully enough to be offered benefits from our employer, "Follow up with an Orthopedic Surgeon for several months of physical rehab" becomes "WebMD and a gym membership."

That, and any way I can find to 'talk' to my body and discover on my own what it needs. The difference between hurts-because-I-shouldn't-do-that versus hurts-because-I-need-to-do-that-more can be subtle and frustratingly difficult to sort out.

I find any number of meditation and visualization techniques seem to help. Close my eyes and 'look' at my bones and muscles. The best fitness gurus will tell you to visualize the exercise as you're doing it.

I'd still really, really love to have, oh, say, an affordable public insurance plan so I can get the x-rays and see my broken bones for real. But until then, let's hear it for the power of meditation!


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