Many people who are just coming to witchcraft often come because they are in need of a spell or have an interest in casting spells and using magick. Spells are a huge part of witchcraft in my humble opinion. In fact, I would say that for me at least, it is just as big of a part in witchcraft as Prayer is in many mainstream religions. That is why I think it is often associated with prayer.
One of the mysteries of magick is that on the outside it looks like all a spell consists of is lighting a candle or two maybe burning some incense and saying some magick words and bam some crazy magick just happens and manifests out of thin air. In pop culture, we have been started out with Lore about Gypsies, witches, wizards and sorcerors and ingrained with lots of really cool movies about magick and spells. When I was a pre-teen, I loved Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. I loved watching the show charmed and I completely loved the movie practical magic.
Executing a spell based on the tools and incantation can be really fun but what fuels the spell and makes it work is the skill and knowledge of a magick user. There are three key factors needed to do a spell. These are more important than the items used in the spell although items have meaning too.
these three keys are
- Belief in yourself, your magick, your desire and the spell.
- imagination to visualize and create your magick
- Will. Your will is a big key part. How much do you want it and how willing are you to make it happen.
It takes a bit of personal exercise of these things to really get good at it. It is true that some people are naturally good at magick while others have to work really hard for it. People often get sidetracked with the cool jewelry, clothes, makeup, tools, and trinkets. That is just fine because these things are way cool. But the biggest thing isn’t what you believe, not what you look like or wear, not your great life philosophies, Doing yoga, meditating or any other thing that we can find in witchcraft.
What really makes a spell work doesn’t really depend on any of that stuff. So, as a magick practitioner, I want to make it clear that there is no real way to teach a whole lesson that will make sense to someone who hasn’t learned the basic principles of magick that will give enough of an understanding to cast a successful spell from scratch. Even then, any given Witch can only teach what works for themselves and it may or may not work for others. That is why it takes practice and experience to hone the natural skill of magick.
Creating a master spell caster out of one single blog post is not likely to happen but there is a great book that I love that will help almost anyone begin a journey in spell casting. You can find the book here to learn or brush up on spell casting. The spell casting book listed here is based on the concepts of spell casting from different magickal paths which I find flexible and it works for me.
A general spell usually consists of items such as candles, incense, herbs, stones and other things to create a talisman, charm or amulet. These items are accompanied by an incantation or chant to help the mind focus will and intent on the desired outcome.
It really is necessary to use items that mean something to you. Our correspondences to items help us to focus on our goals because real magick happens within us and our items have certain energies that help us. In Wicca, this power is given through different processes one being to cleanse then consecrate the item/s.
For me, rituals that acknowledge seasons, Deity, or other rites even if it is a mere re-enactment helps to keep me focused on my own belief, practice and inner discipline. As a Witch, I know it takes more than an incantation and cool stuff to make it work. I also know it doesn’t require a single item to cast a successful spell but I know these items can be used to enhance and direct a spell because I believe it bridges between the spiritual side and the physical side.
In the movie “The Color Purple” Whoopie Goldberg’s character cursed her husband without lighting a single candle, burning a single herb or throwing a single stone. I realize it was just a movie but that is how magick works. She meant it when she said that everything he does will fall apart until he does right by her. That quick, that simple, and with a focused will, imagination, and belief in what she said, magick is cast.
Words have power, feelings have power, thoughts have power. Items have the essence, energy, attributes, and power to draw from. Using tools and items are often used in what we call Sympathetic magick and it is the most common concept of magick. Each tradition’s correspondences vary depending on the cultural perspective influencing the magick.
How to do a particular spell depends on but not limited to the spell, items used, and the purpose of the spell. Until you have experienced success with magick through practice and learning, you will not actually truly know magick and spell work. Experience is what helps us to determine what we know along with what we believe to be real and what we dismiss as fake.
It is a common belief that spells are a matter of what candle you light and what cool rhyme is chanted. A spell may be executed by these things but they are not the fuel of magick. These items are focal tools to help us use our inner power and strength to manipulate the energy around us and within us to create the desired outcome.
Witches use trial and error along with a journal or record to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Honestly, the first time you are blatantly successful at a spell is the most exciting and motivational experience. Magick is a simple concept that is only truly understood through experience. It is like a little pinch. You can describe it but the only way to really understand a pinch is to be pinched. To be pinched gives the experience of a pinch and a new understanding about what a pinch feels like and what it is can be clearly understood.
Magick may be simple but it is not always easy and it is not always accurate. Even the most disciplined Witch has spells that don’t work as intended. A spell that worked once may not work every time because the key factors are within the focus, will, imagination and desire for the outcome along with the reasonability of the expected outcome.
Sometimes, doing a spell is nothing more than wishing, thoughts that are directed by emotion or a spell done through a visualization of the desired outcome. That is why we hear things like, be careful what we wish for and thoughts create reality.
That is why older and more experienced witches will tell you that witchcraft is more than using spells and tarot cards. It is about personal growth and development. As one learns and experiences different aspects of witchcraft personal growth and development begins to happen. The way you think changes, the way you feel begins to change, the way you do things begins to change, what is important to you begins to change, You begin to change. Change is not easy. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Change can be quite painful but the outcome depends on you.
What kind of witch you want to be is up to you. If you like the trendy cool stuff that is associated with witchcraft like crystal balls and tarot cards, cool clothes and jewelry and how cool being called a witch feels, that is perfectly fine with me. If you want to be one of those Witches that lives it in every part of your life, Welcome to the world of witchcraft and be the light that illuminates the path for others.
Casting a spell is the art of magick and often takes personal discipline, exercises to sharpen your skill, understanding of what it is and how it works in sympathetic terms as well as how the tools correspond with energy, planetary alignments, planetary phases, and don’t forget natural attributes and properties of items used.
I don’t know of many public teachers of witchcraft that are not Wiccan and until there are better public options, believe it or not, Wiccan Witches can teach the basic core of magick through its lessons. There are two things that really separates Wiccans from other paths. These are the ethical rules of using magick a certain way and the religious aspect of that tradition. Much of the teachings are sound although at times we can find its practitioners to be a bit altruistic, unreasonable and sometimes a bit extreme and intolerant. Unfortunately, these characteristics can be found in every group of people and seem to be a byproduct of humanity.
There are reputable online schools that can teach you some stuff and get you started. Just keep in mind there are many different types of Witchcraft that come from diverse cultures around the world. They all have power and are all valid but each comes with its own lore, legends, mythology, corresponding meanings, and practices. Each of these traditions or types have their own set of beliefs and ethics. We are not all the same and the key to learning how to cast spells is keeping an open mind to decide what path is right for you while allowing others to practice their chosen path. Keeping an open mind that there is no one right way and being open to possibilities. Always be open to listening to different ideas, concepts, and practices.
Once you understand magick and how it works, casting a spell will come easier.
The real question to ask is where do I find this mysterious information?. If what you seek you do not find within, you will never find it without. Not to mention lots of books, magazines, articles, posts, and online classes can help guide you in your search for knowledge of witchcraft. Take everything with a grain of salt, experiment, contemplate, and consider what you hear, read, or discover and the answer will be found within. Search all resources that have to do with spell casting for each resource has a piece of the mysterious puzzle.
With each piece of the puzzle, it will begin to make sense and you will eventually find clarity.