Spell: /spel/ n
1 a form of words and/or actions used as a Magickal charm or incantation
2 an attraction or fascination exercised by a person, activity or quality, etc.
(Oxford Complete Wordfinder)
Spells and Magick.
Magick is the art of performing works of wonder or gaining knowledge through supernatural means. Magick is allied with Alchemy, Occultism, Spiritualism and WytcheCraft.
The term is derived from the Ancient Persian Magi, whose Priestly occupations included dealing with the Occult. The ancient Greeks and Romans also practised Magick. According to Anthropologists, Magickal beliefs and practices exist in most cultures. Moreover, Magickal beliefs and practices, such as Divination, Necromancy (communication with the dead), Astrology, and the use of Talismans and Charms, survive even in the most advanced cultures.
The modern Sciences trace their origins from practices and beliefs that were originally Magickal. For instance, Medieval Alchemy led to the development of modern Chemistry and Physics, and Astrology led to modern Astronomy.
Magickal practices may be grouped under four headings.
In practice, most Magickal Rites of are generally mixtures of all four of these forms of Magick.
Before you begin casting spells you need to know and understand the basics;
So in summary. remember to ask yourself these three questions before you casting a spell.....
1) Have I done everything I can to resolve the situation without magic? Try all the mundane methods of attaining your goals before resorting to spell craft. If you want a job, send out your resume before you break out the green candles. If you want to meet someone special, try reading the personals or signing up for an adult ed class before you reach for the aphrodisiac. If you're having conflict with someone at work, try talking to them about the problem before you go looking up binding spells. As my teacher taught me - "this way, you can be sure that your intentions are pure."
2) Do I have consent to perform this spell, will this spell harm another, or bend someone's will to mine? Pagans do not generally cast spells meant to harm someone else. Nor do they cast spells on other people without their permission, no matter how honourable their intentions. There's a good reason for this: harmful and meddlesome spells have a nasty tendency to backfire on the people who cast them.
Note: When you're watching someone close to you suffering, it can be hard to consider all situations objectively. I've been asked for spells before and upon digging deeper, it turned out that spell craft was totally inappropriate. If possible, discuss the matter with another trusted pagan friend or preferably your Mentor if you feel you may not be able to be objective. It is probably a good idea in the early days to run all spells past your mentor before casting them to make sure your not missing anything..
3) Am I prepared to accept the costs and consequences of this spell, whatever they might be? (Think long and hard about this one). As I've said before, you may cast a spell with the best of intentions, but end up with unexpected consequences. Meditate a bit on it before you decide to cast the spell. Talk to other Pagans and see if there isn't a better solution. Either way, your spell has a better chance of success if you fully "own" it, and anything that results from it. The best way to avoid unforseen consequences is to follow the guidelines set out above -- and, most importantly, to cast the spell with love in your heart. Making magick is a powerful and transformative experience. In the midst of the spell, you become the subject, and you become the result. Make sure that what you're asking for is something you'd like to become.
Pagans are 'prohibited' from doing harm to others. This is generally interpreted as forbidding any spell that seeks to dominate, manipulate or control another person without their expressed wishes and or desire.
Consider a love spell as an example:
Pagan 1: - This Pagan could design a spell to make a specific person fall in love with her. (That would be black magick, because its intent, goal and effect would be manipulative - to control the other person for the benefit of the spell caster. A Pagan would be 'forbidden' to perform such a spell)
Pagan 2: - This Pagan could design a general spell to make a specific person more open to love in his life. (This again is black magick and excessively manipulative. The target person could be trying to avoid romantic relationships at this stage in their life, for whatever personal reasons). However, this type of spell IS allowable, IF the Pagan first obtained the permission of the target of the spell (eg their partner may be having difficulties and the Pagan has offered their help and been accepted of that help)
Pagan 3: - A Pagan who is desirous of starting a romantic relationship could cast a spell to make themselves more open to love in their life. (That would not manipulate anyone else; it would not harm others; it would not harm the spell caster. It would be acceptable but a very open ended spell).
Pagan 4: - This Pagan would have tried all the mundane aspects of trying to become romantically involved, they have thought about the consequences of what they are desiring, they have written their spell to ask the universe to bring them the ideal lover and partner. They have sat and thought for some time about what they want from a relationship and what they have to offer. Then they have cast the spell and continued to try and find love in the mundane manner but on the lookout for Magickal indications or signs. When they do find love and have the desire they sought, they do a small ritual to thank Deity and Spirit world for the assistance to bring about the desired outcome. - (This is the correct way to cast a spell and perform magick!)
If you are ready to take on magick's responsibilities and accept its disadvantages, It is a joyous experience to work with magick and to create the means to work with it. Just remember that it's also a force to be respected.
Writing your own rituals and spells can be very fulfilling, however you should take the time to learn the basics before attempting to do so. Magick allows you the freedom to worship Deity the way you want. So you can be assured that you can create a ritual or spell for any need or time. However along with this freedom comes huge responsibility! You will wear the 'cost' of any magick you perform, so it pays to ensure you understand what you are doing, before you proceed. You may wish to follow this procedure to assist in the research for your Spells...
1. Write down the name of each type of spell on a page in your Book of Shards (eg prosperity, love, health and healing, employment etc.)
2. Write a few notes on the Spell’s significance (eg Prosperity - to bring abundance) where and why it may be used
3. Begin with the first Spell type, (eg Prosperity) don't try to work on more than one form of Spell at a time. (the point here is to gather informaion and allow yourself to absorb it while also creating your basic spells, this will be of greater use later than just throwing all the information together without taking it in).
4. Continue this process with each of the Spell types, you may choose to do one a night or one a week etc.
5. When you have completed this with all the types of Spells, You may begin to pad out the Spell’s structure (as set out below), Don’t rush this process these Spells will become the Heart of your Magickal practices!
6. Finally begin to bring all the elements of the Spell together, not forgetting your correspondences (eg. candles, herbs, crystals and Altar cloths) words and actions
7. Polish the Spell adding any instructions that have been omitted such as “Cast Circle” or if you intend using a specific Circle Casting, you may wish to add the name, where it is recorded and the page number it is recorded on (eg "Ceremonial Circle Casting, Grimoire, page 42)
8. Copy the finished Spells into your Grimoire under the correct section. (eg. Magick - Spell Working - Prosperity Spells - Candle Magick)
Note: there are some fantastic resources in the members section, in the Free Pagan Stuff pages (downloadable e-books etc - on witchcraft, Wicca, Correspondences, alchemy etc...) that might come in very handy for your research.
The following can be used when crafting a new spell or when performing any spells, as a Magickal Record for your Book of Shadows.
1. Outline the situation (eg need a spell to assist with an upcoming exam)
2. Determine if it is a long term situation or a short term situation (short term - needs to be fixed now, long term will need ongoing attention - this in part determines the form of Magick used)
3. Select an appropriate divination to assess the situation (eg Tarot reading)
4. Decide on the mundane work that needs to be done in conjunction with the Magick (eg if you are doing a spell because you need help with your study - read the work!)
5. Choose the appropriate Magickal application (eg. Sympathetic Magick, Incantation or a combination)
6. Determine the correct correspondences (eg. phase of the moon, day of the week, colours, herbs etc.)
7. Check how many of the correspondences you can employ, given the time available, choose those that will be most appropriate. (eg. the moon times may possible to include, you may not be able to wait if your exam is in two days time!)
8. Will it be a simple Spell or a full Ritual including a Spell? (You will need to decide which is appropriate - this often depends on need, you may only require a simple spell to help with your exams or you may be required to involve a full Coven of Wytches in a ritual spell for a desperate healing)
9. What Circle Casting, Quarter Calls etc. will you use. (this depends on your tradition, what you feel comfortable with and the complexity of the spell working you intend to perform)
10. Gather the necessary Tools and other requirements (eg. herbs, crystals, poppet etc.)
11. Ground and centre. (how will you do this?)
12. Create Sacred Space. (Depending upon your spells complexity you will either surround yourself with white light or cast your circle, call the quarters and evoke deity - or perform whatever appropriate actions you are required by your belifs and tradition )
13. Perform Spell. (see above on crafting spells)
13 Raise and send energy. (how are you doing this, eg. drumming, chanting, dancing. How ill your focus and direct the energy, eg. Cone of Power, infusing a poppet, or directly into the recipient for a healing?)
14 Ground. (again how will you disperse any remaining energy - it is not usually a good idea to finish a spell or tiaul without grounding as the effects of an excess of energy within the human auric field are generally not pleasant!)
15. Close the Sacred Space (this will obviously depend on how you created you Sacred space to begin with)
16 Clean Up (don't leave remains of your spells laying around, often parts of a spell working may be buried, or otherwise disposed of. They may disrupt the working of a spell if left for someone to find, even an animal ingesting part of a spell can cause unexpected results - unless that was the intended result)
17. Record the Ritual or Rite in your Book of Shadows (as per record sheet - you may wish to use this format and just record results or you may choose to use a worksheet which you can keep a master copy of and simply photocopy when you need more, the section on Magickal Record Keeping, has more information on this subject)
18. Wait for the results and record in Book of Shadows.