I do not doubt for one moment the existence of witches.
I know many, and some are great friends.
When I was young I bought a book from a old store called The Abbey in Elizabeth, NJ, as I was waiting for my dad to finish taking pictures of some local characters. This was no Barnes and Noble. There were books from floor to ceiling, in boxes, in barely-lit back rooms, and in bookcases that covered every inch of wall space. Wavy glass let the light into the front of the store, and the original light fixtures and scrolly woodwork gave the store a slightly ominous feel.
Although not labeled, my favorite section was in a corner and thankfully low enough to the ground for a little girl to view. As wide as my arms could span, this section would be called OCCULT in today's bookstores--but unlike today's bookstores, held copies of dusty and out of print gems I can only dream of now.
The book of my choice was filled with spells and illustrated in an almost Edward Gorey-esque style. For twenty five cents I could pay for the book myself, and I did.
The first spell in the book was for love and consisted of finding a personal artifact from the person you wanted to love you. After certain words were spoken the item was buried deeply in a place your love interest would pass often, for instance, near their front door. Within a month, supposedly, they would be yours.
The first entire first chapter consisted of light-hearted, easy-seeming spells. The middle chapter's spells were more complex, and to a girl my age, far more interesting. The Hand of Glory had you digging a grave at midnight and stealing the hand of a thief.
The final chapter had spells that scared me and haunted me--it was my favorite. It was very tempting to use the :To Harm Another" spell after my 5th grade class found my diary in my desk, read it, left their own not always positive comments, and put it back. I did try astral projection and fell asleep. I also tried the spell "See Into One's Soul". This consisted of sitting before a mirror and a candle in a dark room and watching for any changes or signs. It was very frightening to be in a quiet room alone at that age, and my face DID seem to morph and change--and I did NOT like what I saw. I still hope that was not my soul.
The book ended with the spell "To Call the Devil". It said I needed a black hen, black cat, and a black sheep. I was then instructed to kill them and skin them and pour some of their blood into a large receptacle of water. I knew I would not be calling the devil--but wondered what would happen to the people who did do the spell as they waited for his reflection to peer back at them over their left shoulders.
As I think back on this book I wish I had not thrown it into the running water near my home when strange events started occurring in my life. I can see why my father had no problem letting me buy this seemingly innocuous and almost child-like book at such a young age. I had no idea it would get as dark as it did either. I have searched the names of the spells in the book but alas, I can't find it anywhere.
About ten years later I purchased more books from Wiser's Bookstore in NYC. This book was a Golden Dawn manual of sorts, and contained not only spells, but information about rituals, ceremonies, and talismans. I also purchased a book by Aleister Crowley that was very confusing, and some tarot cards. I breezed through both books and got caught up in work and life, and never pursued it much further.
But my interest is still there.
I recently read, "A psychic can read your future--a witch can change it."
This made me wonder if spells can only be done by witches--or by anyone. I've tried several of the spells in several of the books I've had when I was young, to no avail. I do not call myself a witch and ponder what type of things a witch actually CAN change.
I would LOVE some input on this subject! I can look this up and read stories from people on the web but I do not know these people and would be interested in first-hand experiences.
Please tell me. :) And if you know the book I was trying to describe earlier--I'd love to know that too.