Magic, spell-casting and the occult, are generally words which are today often associated with wrong or evil doing, yet in reality when it comes to the historical evidence what we actually find is that the opposite is more often the case.
No matter which system we examine, whether it be, Druid, Egyptian, Pagan or even Indian Hindu, spell-casting is a practice that in intention is for good only and usually is incorporated into some form of worship. Some might worship their God, others nature, others still the spirit beings, but no matter what the considered omnipotence the underpinning objective is for benefit to be forthcoming in some form.
Quite possibly our misunderstanding of spell-casting today has been influenced by technological advances in entertainment. We have come to associate such things with devil worship, sacrifice and the Dark Arts, yet this is simply a dramatized misconception which has been built upon by those in the business of trying to keep us entertained.
If we try to think of spell-casting not as being associated with evil but more in terms of religious ritual, then perhaps we will edge closer to the true meaning and start to gain a better understanding of this aspect of magic. No religion, even in contemporary society, is without these self same rituals whether performed in a church, chapel, mosque or synagogue. Yet no one would ever consider to interpret such practices as say, a baptism, as evil, because we understand our own rituals and practices and thus know them to be ceremonies designed for good rather than wickedness.
Once we start to accept that spell-casting is used for good then we not only start to lose our fear of the term but we can also further develop this understanding. In this context what we can see are distinct similarities between the different systems in the form of: intent, willpower, visualisation, ritual operation and mantra recitation, and, providing the intention is for good and the other aspects are performed effectively, there is in reality little difference between a Druid ceremony and a Christian wedding.
The fears we have of different systems can, of course, be enhanced by other factors which are dictated by convention and so variants can seem strange to our own individual or cultural understanding. For instance the language used or inflected, the way it is applied, the rituals which differ from those we have become accustomed to. We only have to look at how the enthusiasm, types of music and even the clothes of an evangelical ceremony differ from perhaps a catholic ceremony where the clothes, speech and music are much toned down and provide a more restrained offering. Yet these are often simply reflections of how different cultures and sub-cultures apply systems which are in essence extremely similar.
Understanding the reasons which underpin magical spell-casting often helps to diminish the fears, anxieties and inhibitions many people have and encourages them to participate in a practice which, in principle, is often little different to the one they would perform in the religion of their choice.