Imagine a circle inside a square.
This is where magick happens, in a circle cast inside the square of the cardinal points.
If you ask ten witches how to cast spells you will likely get
ten different answers, because each of us has our own way of working. Magick is
a very individual thing. Some witches prefer candle spells, others like image
magick or cauldron spells . . . there is no right and wrong in this, just what
feels right to you, what works and what doesn't.
Any place that has good energy, is quiet, private, and without interruptions will do. I usually do spells in the kitchen because most of what I need is already there. It's also the safest place in the house to burn things. Good for you if you have a special place like a grove or garden available to you. If not, don't let it stop you.
There is great wisdom in this but I must admit that as an urban witch who cant see the moon from her apartment windows, I pay no attention to the moon whatsoever. I did follow it, however, whenever I lived in a place where I could see the moon each night.
Spells can also be performed in accord with the Zodiac.
Aries: battle - beginnings
HOW: The Five Steps
Intention is the focus of your spell and the absolute will to succeed. I try to never do a spell unless I feel it well up inside of me beforehand. Spells don't work unless you are able to focus your Will. Your intent must be clear, or your spell may have unintended results.
2. PREPARATION: Assembly of tools and materials
The spell actually begins at this stage because your Will
starts to focus itself as you gather the herbs, select the candles, choose the
incense, decorate the altar and lay out your tools. Knowledge of correspondences
is essential here, so that you select materials
appropriate to the spell.
3. CAST THE CIRCLE: (See also: The Cardinal Points)
Raise power. You should feel it between your hands, like the force of two magnets that repel each other, as you invoke the Lords or Ladies and cast the circle.
4. THE SPELL:
Perform the spell, reciting its words and carrying out whatever actions it requires. The words of a spell should be said aloud, in a commanding voice. This is the Word that goes forth and comes into being, so mote it be. Manifestation of word into deed is the essence of magick.
5. CLOSE THE CIRCLE:
Close the circle and ground the power you have raised. Clean up. Carry out any after-spell actions that the spell required.
Think of correspondences as lists of ingredients. What exactly do you do with them? Let's take an example from the Magick page in the Craft section:
The power, like the Good Witch told Dorothy, is in you. You effect magick with your Will. Spells, incantations, candles, herbs, crystals and all of that just channel it in the desired direction.
Eight ways to raise power:
I usually use incense and psychic concentration, drawing power from wherever I can feel it: the jet stream, an approaching storm, trees, rain, the city, my love, my anger, my desire, the Sun or Moon, even the Universe itself. You have to experiment with different methods in order to find the best way for you to raise power. You will come with practice to recognize the state of psychic readiness that tells you when you are prepared to make magick.
Ways to boost your power:
Power is connected to the moon. It increases as the moon waxes, decreases as it wanes. Witches are most powerful at the full moon. Many witches wear their hair long because cutting your hair can diminish your power. This is likely why Joan of Arc had her hair shorn before she was burned at the stake.
For a spell to work in the intended way it must be properly
directed. You can do this with words or images, putting representations of the
person or thing you want the spell to affect on the altar while you cast the
spell. Old spells sometimes call for hair or fingernail clippings, but I've
never used anything creepy like that. We have cameras now.
A poppet is a humanoid figure. It could be a root, a 'voodoo doll', a chess piece, a Barbie doll, a puppet, a paper doll, a piece of twisted wire. . . anything you have at hand.
"Poppet, I name you _____________."
Sometimes the effect of a spell will be astonishingly immediate, other times you will have to wait a while. I'd repeat a spell if I saw no effect after two weeks, making the second spell stronger. If I still saw no effect, I'd assume the spell was not in accord with the Universe and move on to something else. If it's something that's too important to you for you to drop, try coming at it from another direction.
Spells can be worked over great distances. I have often cast spells that worked from one continent to another. A personal connection to the people or situation involved is helpful with this.
When spells call for herbs you can plant them, pick them, burn them, eat them, brew them, strew them, make floor washes, decorate the altar with them, put them in a mojo bag . . . whatever seems appropriate to the spell.
Don't make yourself crazy trying to acquire exotic items. Use whatever is available to you. Be creative. Learn correspondences so that you can find good substitutes when a spell calls for something you don't have.
Florist shops, the supermarket, and health food stores (for essential oils and herbal teas) are good places to start. Dried herbs sold in jars as spices usually work just fine, but fresh herbs are better. You have sources all around you. Identify the trees that grow on your block or in your yard. Find out if there is a farmer's market or botanical garden near you. Plant an herb garden. Study herbalism.
Any type of candles can be used, from the hardware store, supermarket, card shop or wherever. Tapers or votives are good. Unscented candles are best unless you can identify the scent as appropriate to your spell, such as vanilla candles for love spells. The colors of the candles should also be appropriate. A stock of candles in various colors is useful to a witch.
Joss sticks, smudge sticks, little cones . . . the form isn't important, but the scent should suit the spell. Some plants and resins can be burned directly as incense. Try card shops, head shops, the Internet and other religions. Learn to make your own incense, if need be. Witches always have incense on hand, for use in spells or as offerings.
STATUES / ICONS / PICTURES / POSTERS
Try museum gift shops, magickal supply shops, bookstores and the Web.
There's no telling what ordinary paper is made from, so I like to use papyrus or linen bond. Papyrus and flax (for linen) are plants that can be made into paper. Papyrus comes from Egypt and may be difficult to obtain, but linen bond is available from stationers and office supply stores.
Small magick is worked without a circle, often with visual
aids. The possibilities for this kind of magick are limitless. Inventiveness is
the key here.
Balloons can be used for spells. Blow one up, write a name or draw a face on it saying,
"Balloon, I name you _________."
You can then:
Meditate on ordinary items like keys, ice, pockets, bird cages, mirrors and photo albums. Use the Other way of thinking, and I am sure you will invent more spells than I ever could.
More Power To You!