The word “faith” has always generated a lot of controversy, especially when used in conjunction with religion, magic, shamanism, God… anything that stirs up the emotions and can rock the very foundation of our souls.

But what is faith really? Is it a belief? Is it a knowingness?

Look up faith in a dictionary and you’ll find something like this:
confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

Biblically, faith is “the general persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true” (dictionary.com). So basically faith is a belief that something is true whether or not there is proof. This is according to standard dictionary definitions… and probably the opinion of the man on the street, too.

Shamanic Secret: Faith as Action

But the above definition doesn’t really work for shamans and magical practitioners. To believe something to be true, a shamanic or magical practitioner has to have personally observed or experienced the phenomenon. Until then, everything remains in the category of hypothesis. That’s all well and good, but then how does someone – like you or the average Joe on the street – figure out whether something is true or worthy of “faith”?

You take action!

Pick any magical or shamanic statement and determine for yourself whether or not you should put your faith in it. Practice any daily magical ritual for 40 days and see if it does what it is proclaimed to do. Do any shamanic exercise for 40 days and see whether your life is affected or changed – for the better or the worse! In the immortal words of Nike, “Just do it!”

Don’t bother asking a shamanic practitioner whether you should believe in love spells. Don’t bother asking a magical practitioner whether the Tarot is accurate. Why? Because you will only be getting THEIR experiences and observations. THEIR stuff may not work for YOU. So YOU have to determine what is true and not true for you, as a person, as a magical practitioner, as a wanna-be shaman… whatever. Whatever YOU want to be. Whatever YOU want to have faith in… figure out whether it’s true for YOU first.

An Example

What do we mean by the 40 day experiment? Pick any daily ritual. One that we talk about a lot is the Sun Candle blessing. Sun Yellow is the color that nourishes Spirit, is the color of joy, and can be a “pick-me-up” when you are feeling blue. Should you have faith in the Sun Candle? You decide. Do the following for 40 days and see what happens, if anything, in your life.

* Get a bright Sun Yellow candle (no orange or red overtones).
* Have some paper or wooden matches handy.
* Sit in the South facing North, with the Sun Candle in front of you.
* Light the Sun Candle with the matches (no lighters!) and wait until the flame steadies into a bright tall flame.
* Cup your hands around the flame and say in a voice of command:

“Child of Wonder,
Child of Flame,
Nourish my Spirit,
and Protect My Aim!”

* Keep the Sun Candle burning for 30 minutes (remain in the same room as the Sun Candle). After 30 minutes, blow out the candle (do not snuff the flame). Write down how you feel, and keep jotting notes for 40 days.

At the end of 40 days of this same action, ask yourself, “Is the Sun Candle worthy of my faith as a daily magical ritual?” Answer the question for yourself! If you find it not worthy of your faith, you have not lost anything, least of all your time and effort. You will have paid into your magical practice… and your practice will eventually pay you back. If you find the Sun Candle worthy of your faith, you have not only paid into your practice but you have also gained a new magical tool to put in your toolkit! It’s all to the good … Best of all, it is all YOURS!