Candle magic is one of the simplest forms of spell casting. Consideredsympathetic magic, it’s a method which doesn’t require a lot of fancy ritual or expensive ceremonial artifacts. In other words, anyone with a candle can cast a spell. After all, remember when you were a child and you made a wish before you blew out the candles on yourbirthday cake?
In this article, Patti Wiginton, explains, as birthday candles, here is the same theory, only now instead of justhoping, you’re declaring your intent (and by now you’ve probably stopped hoping for a pony). If you think about it, the birthday-candle ritual is based on three key magical principles:
Decide on a goal
Visualize the end result
Focus your intent, or will, to manifest that result
What Sort of Candle Should I Use?
Most practitioners of magical systems will tell you that, much like a few other aspects of life, size really isn’t important. In fact, really big candles may be counterproductive. Look at it this way–a candle that takes three days to burn down can be highly distracting to someoneworking a spellthat instructs you to wait until the candle burns out on its own. Typically, a short taper candle or a votive candle will work the best. In some cases, a spell might call for a specific type of candle, such as a seven-day candle or a figure candle, which may represent a particular person.
One of the most popular candles, believe it or not, is in fact the little menorah candles which are sold by the box in the kosher section of the grocery store. They’re about 4″ long, white, unscented, and thin. Because of this, they’re perfect for spell work.
You should always use a brand new candle for spell work–in other words, use virgin materials. Don’t use the candles that you burned at the dinner table or in the bathroom yesterday for spell work. In some magical traditions, once a candle is burned it picks up vibrations from things around it. If a used candle is already tainted by vibrations, some people believe it will lead to a negative or ineffective magical outcome.
When it comes to colors, you may wish to have a variety on hand for different magical purposes. Typically,Color correspondencesfor candle magic are as follows:
Red: Courage and health, sexual love, and lust.
Pink: Friendship and sweet love.
Orange: Attraction and encouragement.
Gold: Financial gain, business endeavors, andsolar connections.
Yellow: Persuasion and protection.
Green: Financial gain, abundance, and fertility.
Light Blue: Health, patience, and understanding.
Dark Blue: Depression and vulnerability.
Purple: Ambition and power.
Brown: Earth-related oranimal-related workings.
Black: Negativity andbanishment.
White: Purity and truth*.
Silver: Reflection, intuition, and lunar connections.
* Note that in manyPagan traditions, it is acceptable to use a white candle in place of any other color.
Using Your Candle in Ritual
After you’ve selected a candle, you’ll want to oil it or dress it before burning. This is a method by which you’ll establish a psychic link between you and the candle itself. In other words, you’re charging the candle with your own energy and personal vibrations, and projecting your intent into the wax before you burn it. To dress a candle, you’ll need a natural oil; many practitioners like to use grapeseed because it has no smell. Another option is to use special candle magic oils from one of the metaphysical supply stores.
Begin at the top of the candle, and rub the oil downward to the middle. Then, begin at the base of the candle and rub the oil up towards the middle, ending where the first coating of oil left off. In some traditions, the anointing is done just the opposite way; start in the middle and work your way towards the two ends.
If your working calls for herbs to be used as well, roll the oiled candle in the powdered herbs until it is coated all the way around.
Brujo Negro of BrujoNegroBrujeria says,
“Is a candle magical in and of itself? No, it is the flame of the candle which is what we are making the magic; the candle and its wax are the fuel for the fire. In essence the candle is a vehicle for the creation of the magic contained in the flame, it is a tool if you will and yes it is a magical tool so you should treat your candles as magical tools. You should give your chosen candle a basic cleansing, before dedicating it to the use of a magical spell.”
The most basic form of candle magic uses a piece of colored paper that matches the intent of your candle. Decide what your goal is, and write it on the piece of paper. Just for an example, let’s say we’re going to do a money working. Write down your intent, something likeI will become financially prosperous. In some traditions, you would write your intent ina magical alphabet, such as Theban or Enochian. Because this is amoney-oriented working, we would select either a gold or green piece of paper, and a candle of the same color.
As you write down your goal, visualize yourself achieving that goal. Think about the different ways in which your goal might manifest. Could you be getting a raise at work? Perhaps someone who owed you money will arrive out of the blue to repay their debt. Maybe you’ll find out you overpaid that cable bill from last year, and you will get a surprise refund check!
Once you’ve written down your goal, fold the paper, concentrating on your intent the whole time. Some people like to say a small incantation as they do this. If you’re one of those people, this is a good place to do it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can use something as simple as:
Extra money come my way, I could use a little cash today. Extra money come to me, As I will, so it shall be.
Place one corned of the folded paper into the candle’s flame and allow it to catch fire. Hold the paper as long as possible (without burning your fingers) and then place it in a fire-safe bowl or cauldron to burn the rest of the way on its own. Allow the candle to burn out completely. When the candle has burned out completely, dispose of it, rather than saving it to use again for another working. Usually there’s not much left of a candle except a stub of wax, and you can either bury it outdoors ordispose of itin whatever manner you choose.
Candle Magic for Divination
In some magical traditions, candles are used for divinatory purposes. The two most commonly used methods of candle divination are by reading the wax, and reading the manner in which the candle actually burns. To read the wax, the typical practice is to drop the liquefied wax into a bowl of cold water. The wax will harden almost immediately, and form shapes. Use these shapes to get the answers to your questions, much as you wouldif you were reading tea leaves.
To divine by the way the candle burns is a bit more complex, andCat Yronwoode of LuckyMojo has a great essay on ceromancy in Hoodoo candle magic.
I have noticed a lot of interest on spells. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using other peoples’ spells — and in fact there is an entire industry devoted to publishing books full of them — there are times when you may wish to use your own. I loved this 5 steps guide from Patti Wigington because if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a book, or you might just feel a need to use original material you have the option to write your own.
Whatever your reasons, it’s not as hard as you may think to write your own spells if you follow this very simple formula.
1. Figure out the goal/purpose/intent of the working.
What is it you wish to accomplish? Are you looking for prosperity? Hoping to get a better job? Trying to bring love into your life? What is thespecificaim of the spell? Whatever it may be, make sure you’re clear on what it is you want — “I will get that promotion at work!”
2. Determine what material components you’ll need to achieve your goal.
Will the working require herbs,candles, incenses, or stones? Try to think outside the box when you’re composing a spell — and remember that magic relies heavily on symbolism. There’s nothing wrong with using unusual ingredients in a working — Hot Wheels cars, chess pieces, bits of hardware, sunglasses and even old DVDs are all fair game.
3. Decide if timing is important.
In some traditions, moon phase is crucial, while in others it’s not significant. Generally, positive magic, or workings that draw things to you, is performed during the waxing moon. Negative or destructive magic is done during the waning phase. It may be that you feel a certain day of the weekis best for the working, or even a certain hour of the day. Don’t feel obligated to drown yourself in the details, though. If you’re a person who feels confident doing magic on the fly without worrying about timing, then go for it.
4. Figure out your wording.
What words or incantation — if any — will be verbalized during the working? Are you going to chant something formal and powerful,calling upon gods for assistance? Will you simply mutter a poetic couplet under your breath? Or is it the sort of working where you can simply ponder the Universe in silence? Remember, there is power in words, so select them carefully.
5. Make it happen.
Put all of the above together into a workable form, and then, in the immortal words of the Nike commercial, Just Do It.
Llewellyn author Susan Pesznecker saysof crafting a spell on your own, “When you build a spell yourself, from the ground up, you infuse it with your deliberateness, your preferences, your wishes, your thoughts, and your energies. This spell won’t simply be something you read from someone else’s pages—it will carry your own signature and resonate through your very core. It will be much more powerful and complete than any ready-made charm could ever be, making you an integral part of the magick from start to finish.
When we practice spellcraft, we use magick as a way of altering reality. We do this by working with as many of the corresponding realities as possible—time, date, place, elemental correspondences, the support of deities, etc.—in hopes that we can shift reality in one direction or the other and alter the outcome. Nowhere is this more elegantly done than in handcrafting spells, charms, and rituals, because in these instances, we put our essence into the magick and make it our own.”
Despite the above five-step method being a very bare-bones and simple way of looking at spell construction, it does work effectively. You may wish to keep a magical journal or make notes in yourBook of Shadowsduring the spell construction phase, and then keep track of results as they begin to manifest.
If a working hasn’t begun to manifest within a few weeks — some traditions say within 28 days, a lunar month — you may want to stop and revisit the working. Figure out what variables may need to be changed.
The Universe has a quirky sense of humor, so make sure anything you cast a spell for is worded correctly. In other words, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!
Remember that magic is a tool and a skill set, but some common sense should prevail as well. You can cast all day to get yourself a job, but your chances of success are greatly reduced if you haven’t pounded the pavement and sent out copies of your resume!
Last but not least important… Remember to practice, practice and practice.
Negativity is a pain in the neck and every-time you try to accomplish something, negativity might block you. That’s why I decided today to share this short but insightful article published by The Alchemist. Original source: magicalrecipesonline.com
You must be wondering, there should be a way to cleanse negativity. Of course there is. 9 to be exact (if not more). Here we are going to present you easy ways to banish and cleanse negativity.
Is negativity around?
The First question you have to answer is “does negativity surround me?”. Well to answer this we have to go one step back. Here you can find 10 Signs (and symptoms) when negativity is around. Have you answered yes in more than 5 (out of ten) questions? Then, it is time to make a change and try and see how your magic can help you rectify the issue.
And here is how to get rid of Negative Energy and Cleanse Negativity:
Setting the intention to get rid of all this negativity is step one. The stronger your will, the stronger your magic.
Forgiveness. Simple acts of letting go and forgiving our selves and others have extremely healing properties. All we need to recognise is that everybody tries the best they know how and let things go.
Using the power of water for its cleansing properties. Best solution is to prepare a hot bath, use some salt (or Epsom salts) and add essential oils of herbs with cleansing and healing properties such as eucalyptus, achillea, sage, myrrh and peppermint. Please remember to dilute and do not apply directly on your skin. Dive in and soak your body. Feel the cleansing properties of water removing all the debris from your body and aura and take deep breaths to allow the aroma of the oils replenish you.
Ask assistance from your Deities, the Universe and any higher forces that you work with. The first step is to recognise that you need help, put your pride aside and ask for it. When you ask they will listen.
Carry crystals which ground negativity and have protective properties such as onyx, obsidian, black tourmaline or tiger’s eye. Remember to cleanse them every so often as they all have storing capacities.
Time for a good house cleansing.
Cast a purification and cleansing spell.
Cast a protection spell.
Use the upcoming ritual of the chalice and the athame
Always remember to take baby steps and keep going, asking for help is not a sign of weakness and whatever the situation you are stronger than you think and you can always surpass your expectations.
In this blog post found in www.explorewicca.com is explaining how to become a Wiccan. Remember, you already are, here we are just going to help you to remember it.
The path of Wicca is one filled with excitement, mystery, and wonder. If you’re seeking to become a Wiccan or learn more about what a Wiccan does and believes, you’ve come to the right place!
This article is meant to be a complete, in-depth guide for introducing you to the world of Wicca.
How to Get Started in Wicca
Getting started in the world of Wicca doesn’t have to be a complicated affair.
It simply begins with a desire to learn more about the craft.
Memorizing spells, buying supplies, performing initiations rites—all that comes later.The first steps on the path of Wicca involve keeping an open mind and having a thirst for knowledge.
Becoming a witch is more about cultivating a spiritual mindset and embracing the magick of the world, as opposed to doing and saying specific things.
CREATING YOUR BOOK OF SHADOWS
However, one formal thing I would suggest you do to get started in Wicca is begin a book of shadows. This is one of the most important supplies a Wiccan has in her possession.
Put simply, it’s a place where a witch keeps everything she learns—spells, correspondences, spiritual insights, nagging questions, and anything else deemed important.
The book of shadows is a deeply personal, living document that charts your journey through the craft.
Your book of shadows can be a traditional journal or notebook, or you can create one digitally—what’s important is that you have a place where you can jot dot down everything you learn in your study of Wicca.
To begin your book of shadows, I recommend a dedication page. Write down today’s date and a short statement about your intention. For example, you might write:
“This book of shadows is dedicated to my spiritual journey.”
USING YOUR BOOK OF SHADOWS
How you structure and organize your book of shadows is up to you.
Some witches prefer to write everything down in chronological order as they learn.
Others break theirs up into different sections—one area for spells, one area for gods and goddesses, etc. Everything about your book of shadows should be a unique representation of yourself.
Ultimately, getting started in Wicca is all about marching to the beat of your own drum and searching for truth, wherever the path may lead you.
Wiccan vs. Witch vs. Pagan
When you’re just beginning the study of Wicca, it can be easy to get tripped up by the terminology. There’s no need to be embarrassed by it—we all go through the “what in the world are they talking about?” phase.
By far, one of the biggest sources of confusion is the distinction between a Wiccan, a witch, and a Pagan.
These three terms are very closely related, and it can be very challenging to keep them straight.
First, the good news—if you use the terms “Wiccan”, “witch”, and “pagan” interchangeably, 99% of the time people will know what you’re talking about. Outside of the magickal world, these three words frequently all refer to someone who practices some type of witchcraft.
However, in Wicca, words matter.
We say certain things at certain times and in certain contexts because we understand the power that language has to shape our world.
Words are powerful, and words are magickal.
For this reason, I think it’s worth learning the distinction between these three terms.
This is the easiest one: a Wiccan is simply a person who practices the religion of Wicca.
This religion was developed by British occultist Gerald Gardner and is considered a distinct branch of witchcraft. But while it might be the most well-known branch of witchcraft, it is not synonymous with witchcraft in general.
While Wiccans may incorporate other belief systems into their personal practices, there are in fact some teachings within witchcraft that are considered exclusively Wiccan.
This refers to anyone who practices any branch of witchcraft. This means that all Wiccans can also be considered witches. (For our purposes, a witch is anyone who believes in and works with the power of magick.)
But the reverse is not true—all witches are not Wiccans.
Here’s where things get a little tricky.
Paganism is a broad umbrella term for religious practices that developed in the folk religions of rural areas (particularly in Europe).
Originally, the word “pagan” was used as an insult by Christians of the ancient Roman Empire towards people who continued to worship their traditional Gods and Goddesses instead of the Christian God.
Over time, people began to self-identify with the term Pagan, and it’s rarely used as an insult anymore, though.
KEEPING THE TERMS STRAIGHT
If you’ve been keeping track so far, you should have been able to deduce the following:
All Wiccans are witches.
Some witches and Wiccans.
All Wiccans are Pagans.
Some witches are Pagans.
Some Pagans are Wiccans or witches.
For example, a witch who only works with the traditional deities of ancient Egypt would not be considered a Pagan because that pantheon does not come from a folk religion—it comes from the highly developed religion of a highly developed society.
On the other hand, if someone worshipped the traditional Gods of the British Isles, they would be considered a Pagan but not necessarily a witch, if they didn’t utilize magick in their religious practices.
These are very minute and challenging distinctions to make. And like I mentioned before, it’s okay to mix them up or use them interchangeably.
You’ll rarely encounter a Wiccan, witch, or Pagan who will berate you for innocently using the wrong word.
Core Beliefs of Wicca
It can be hard to pin down any beliefs that all Wiccans share. This is mostly because diversity of thought and practice are a hallmark of the religion.
THE WICCAN REDE
However, if there’s one unifying belief that unites all of Wicca, it’s the Wiccan Rede.
This statement, though it looks deceptively short and simple, actually contains deep philosophical and moral insight. And it goes like this:
“An [if] it harm none, do what ye will.”
For those of us who aren’t well-versed in old English, this can be rephrased as something like, “Do what you will, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone.”
In some ways, this statement is similar to the ever-popular Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This is because it takes into account how our actions can impact others. However, the Rede adds a truly Wiccan twist to things—do what ye will.
Witches and Wiccans love their independence. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that, historically, folks have not had a lot of tolerance for us.
From the Christian church dictating (quite often, violently) which God was acceptable to worship to the struggle for governmental recognition of our religion, we’ve rarely been given the opportunity to be left to our own devices.
Finding your own path, doing your own thing, discovering your own truth—these are all important aspects of the Wiccan experience.
However, compassion for all forms of life on this planet informs our experience as witches, too. And with the Wiccan Rede both of these conflicting ideas are brought into harmony with one another.
THE RULE OF THREE
Another common (but not universal) belief in Wicca has to do with the Rule of Three.
This is simply a belief that the energy we put into the world will come back to us threefold. This idea is slightly different from the Wiccan Rede, but it is absolutely consistent with it.
So, if you’re promoting peace and prosperity in your witchcraft, you should expect that good energy to return to you in some form.
And if you’re promoting negativity and evil, that will find its way back to you as well.
It’s important not to get too hung up on the “three” portion of the Rule of Three, though. Just because you do one good deed doesn’t mean you should expect three to come your way!
This is rarely an exact science—rather it’s more of a general reminder that karma exists and you can’t escape the consequences of your actions.
Wicca has two primary deities of its own that hold a special position within witchcraft.
They are the archetypal (classic or traditional) representations of divine feminine and masculine energy. These deities are known as the Triple Goddess and the Horned God—or you might also hear them referred to as the Lord and Lady.
THE TRIPLE GODDESS
Take a look at the image above—that’s the symbol of the Triple Goddess.
She is depicted as the three phases of the moon, and each of those phases corresponds to a different representation of the Goddess.
Over the course of a month, the moon enters different phases, and we can observe this by watching its light gradually get larger and then smaller night after night.
When the moon is moving towards being full, this is known as the waxing moon. And within the triple goddess, it represents the Maiden.
The Maiden is a young woman and is a symbol of purity and beauty. We as Wiccans turn to the Maiden for things like:
A fresh start
The blessing of people or objects
Basically, she represents all that is good and wholesome within the world.
Within the cycle of the seasons, the Maiden is celebrated on the spring equinox—with a Wiccan holiday known as Ostara.
When the moon is full, it represents the Mother—the second face of the Triple Goddess. As our spiritual Mother, she represents fertility and maternal protection.
In traditional times, witches and pagans would turn to the Mother to ensure a good harvest and a healthy family.
We might not have crops to worry about now, but we still turn to this manifestation of the Triple Goddess for the guidance and comfort that only a Mother can provide.
We celebrate the Mother at the time of the fall equinox—as this was traditionally part of the harvesting season.
Finally, as the moon nears the end of its cycle, it moves towards darkness.
This is known as the waxing moon, and it represents the third part of the Triple Goddess—the Crone.
“Crone” is a term sometimes used to refer to a witch of advanced age. Some people may use it as an insult, but within Wicca, the elderly hold a position of importance.The Crone represents all the spiritual and magickal wisdom that experience brings.
A witch is at the height of her power as she nears old age, and the Crone is a celebration of that power.
She is celebrated at the winter solstice—a time when we remember that life is a cycle of death and rebirth.
The Horned God is the classic male nature deity within Wicca.
He is commonly depicted as having the antlers of a stag and represents harmony with nature and the power of the natural world. Sometimes, you will hear witches refer to him as “Cernunnos”, which is the name he is given within Celtic witchcraft.
There are some people who like to claim that the Horned God is the Christian Devil. However, this is not the case.
The Wiccan God has no ties to Christianity whatsoever—in fact, he predates the religion by centuries. Cernunnos is not some malevolent entity who is going to poke you with a pitchfork and send you to Hell!
He is our protective Father who helps us attune ourselves to the natural world.
The Horned God is classically associated with the Underworld, so as with the Crone, we celebrate him at the winter solstice. You might also see Wiccans invoke Cernunnos and his protective power during memorial services for the deceased.
If you’re interested in giving Wicca try but aren’t sure how to get started, I’ve created a simple seeker ritual just for you!
There’s nothing formal or binding about this ritual—you won’t have to sell your soul or swear allegiance to witchcraft or anything like that.
It’s simply a way to symbolize your intention to grow spiritually. You’ll be asking for Divine guidance in your quest to find truth, and that’s something beneficial whether or not you decide to become a Wiccan.
This seeker ritual is also a good introduction to what Wiccan magick looks like.
While magick can range from incredibly fast and simple to incredibly detailed and complex, Wiccan spells and rituals have some components in common.
Symbolism that affects one or more senses (sight, smell, etc.)
Invoking of a deity (like the Triple Goddess)
Particular words and actions that must be performed
This seeker ritual illustrates all three of these things, and I’ll be sure to point them out as we get to them. But for now, let’s get started!
COLLECTING YOUR ITEMS
To begin with, you’ll need to collect a few items to use during the ritual. These will provide a visual representation to help strengthen the symbolism and spiritual energy of the process.
In this particular instance, you need to find four items that represent the four primal elements of magick—fire, water, earth, and air.
These four elements have traditionally been seen as the four building blocks of all life on earth.
Within Wicca, they each represent different attributes. For example, fire is a symbol of passion and desire, while earth is a symbol of wisdom and stability.
They show up pretty frequently in rituals, and you’ll be invoking these elemental spirits to assist you with different aspects of the seeker’s journey.
As far as the items you choose, feel free to get creative with this process.
Traditionally, a witch might choose a candle to represent fire, a flower to represent earth, incense to represent air, and a bowl of water to represent water.
But as long as the objects represent the elements in your mind, it’s fine to use them!
In addition to these four items, you’ll also need a candle—a white one, if possible. It represents Divine energy and will be used near the end of the ritual.
Don’t forget the matches or a lighter! (And always use precaution when dealing with fire!)
So to recap, your item list should look like this:
Object representing fire
Object representing water
Object representing earth
Object representing air
1 white candle
Matches or a lighter
PERFORMING THE RITUAL
Clear a space and place your four elemental objects on the ground, as if they were the four points of an invisible square.
Stand in the middle of that square (with the candle near your feet). Clearly say the following:
All spirits of goodwill are welcome here to join me on my spiritual journey. May I learn the truths you have to teach me.
Now, move to your object representing fire. Stand in front of it, and with your palms up in the air, say:
Element of fire, giver of passion. Light the flame within my soul that I may always desire to seek the truth. So mote it be.
(FYI—“So mote it be,” is a phrase you’ll see a lot in Wicca. Without getting into all the details, it’s basically the witchy equivalent of a Christian saying, “Amen.” It’s a phrase we use at the end of some invocations to reemphasize our desire for the words to become reality.)
Next, move to the air object. Once again in the same position, say:
Element of air, giver of flight. Move me closer to the truth with your gentle winds. So mote it be.
This time, stand in front of the object representing earth and say:
Element of earth, giver of wisdom. Plant the seeds of knowledge within my soul. So mote it be.
Finally, move to the object representing water. Repeat the following:
Element of water, giver of purification. Cleanse my soul that I may be worthy to embrace the truth. So mote it be.
If you were paying attention, you probably noticed that all four of the previous invocations followed the same basic structure—they began by addressing an elemental spirit and followed with a request to that spirit.
This ties into the idea that I mentioned earlier of particular words and actions being an important component of spells.
By creating repetition and rhythm in our words, we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of magickal energy all around us.
Finally, return to the candle in the middle and light it. As you do, say this:
Divine spirit, accompany me on my journey. Show me the road towards truth that I may come to love all the wisdom of the Universe. My intention is set, my will is sealed. This is the path I have chosen. So mote it be.
And now we’ve reached the end of the ritual!
It may not seem like much, but these words and actions you’ve just performed have serious spiritual significance.
Even when we don’t notice it, the energies and spirits of this universe are always in action—so you can rest assured that your intention has been telegraphed loud and clear.
Learn More About Wicca
So that about does it for our crash course in the world of Wicca!
You’ve discovered the basics, but there is so much more to learn about this exciting art! Deities to discover, incantations to memorize, spells to write—your options at this point are wide open!
If you’re looking for resources that delve into the advanced specifics of Wicca, you’ve come to the right place!
I found this interesting article and decided to share it with all our community. It is recommended for any witchcraft level. You will found in detail steps for casting a Spell. Published by Sage at Exemplore she explains spells as simple steps that can be followed by witches of any level of knowledge. The use of a spell is meant to 1) change the ‘inner landscape’ to prepare you for going after your intent and 2) to direct the conducive energy that will draw your intent to you, or ‘clear the path’ for you to reach it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
The way one designs and executes a spell can vary greatly, but the underlying principles are the same. I like to think of it like buildings—all over the world there are buildings with completely different designs. No matter what they look like outwardly – tall or short, brick or steel, ornate or simple — they all have to adhere to basic engineering principles for a sturdy frame and foundation to hold them up. Likewise, a much about the way one designs and executes a spell can vary. A lot depends on the Witch’s methods, religion, philosophies, preferred tools and components, etc. but underneath there is a common framework and foundation that is what actually makes it hold up. There are essentially five essential parts to casting spells.
How to Cast Spells
Spell Casting Part 1: Preparation
Preparing for a spell is pretty much all the pre-spell work that you’ll be doing. This begins with defining your intent, which involves identifying your need and determining the ultimate goal of the spell. I have found the best intents are:
Personal (the spell is cast on you, or someone close to you with your permission, rather than others who aren’t actively cooperating).
Specific (no “wish” spells or “just make life better” spells – think about your actual needs. This is no time to be ambiguous).
Focused (if you can’t say what you want in a few words, you’re not focused enough).
Positive (always strive for positive goals— never use negative language like not, won’torcan’t. For example, instead of a spell to not be lonely, cast a spell to find a friend or romantic interest).
Broken down into small goals when your overall goal is complex (just think about how many steps or how many changes it would take to achieve your intent; do a specific spell for each one of those rather than one big spell to try to change everything at once).
Find, or write, a spell. Review it, tweak it and familiarize yourself with it well. You don’t have to memorize it (you can if you want), but you should really be familiar with the steps and what you have to say so it flows naturally. Even if using notes, you should not be stumbling over them because you barely glanced at them.
Determine timing if you wish to work with magical timing.
Gather materials and supplies. Make a list; check it twice.
Prepare your space. Clean the area, cleanse and purify it if you feel the need. Set up your tools and supplies. Send the kids to grandmas, walk the dog, feed the cats, turn off the phone, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door if you think it’ll help.
Prepare yourself. On the day leading up to the spell you may want to eat light or fast, meditate and center yourself, take a cleansing bath or purify yourself in some way.
Spell Casting Part 2: State of Mind
Your state of mind needs to be conducive to your goal from the earliest preparation stages, through the spell and until your intent is manifest. State of mind is everything, which is why it’s so important to have mental discipline (a regular meditation regime helps).
In the weeks/days leading up to the spell, keep positive thoughts. The worst thing you can do is walk around worrying, “Will it work? I hope I don’t screw this up! I’m scared of what might happen!”
During the spell, you want to achieve the ALPHA state, the most conducive for magic and energy work. Alpha is a meditative state of relaxed awareness. It opens the way to the subconscious while you still maintain consciousness. You know the feeling—it’s when you run on ‘autopilot’ and are so focused on the moment. You don’t notice the time passing. You’re not thinking about what you need to do in the future, or what you could have done differently in the past. You’re not worrying about your chores or whether you feel cold or hungry; you are completely and fully absorbed in the activity. You’re in the zone.
After the spell, you need to keep your thoughts positive. Thinking negative thoughts or letting doubt creep in just sabotages the results. It’s best to not think about it at all, but if you do think about it you must think about it in a positive way. You need to banish doubt and worries, and know you not only canachieve your goal, but — on some level — you have achieved it.
Spell Casting Part 3: Linking to Your Intent
During the spell, when you’re in the ALPHA state, you need to establish both a psychological and metaphysical link between you and your intent. There are multiple ways to do this, and you can actually throw several into the mix:
State your intent. By saying and hearing it, you make it part of your reality and thus begin to forge a connection between yourself and the intent.
Sensory stimulation. Pick image, scents, sounds, tastes and objects with the feel that reminds you of your goal. For example, if satin sheets remind you of wealth, use a satin altar cloth for a money spell. On the flip side, a lot of healing spells utilize blue. If blue just reminds you of depression and having ‘the blues’, then it’s not a good option for you and you should pick a different color.
Creative Visualization: the more detailed you can envision your intent already manifested, the better.
Symbols and imagery have a powerful effect on the subconscious. Use something that makes sense to you. For example, if you work with runes, you might see FEHU as symbolizing material wealth and career success. That’s great—use it. If you don’t work with runes, then don’t use FEHU just because someone else says so. Perhaps a dollar sign, or the amount you want written out on a fake check.
Objects. In sympathetic magic, you might use a poppet, or in candle magic you might use one candle to represent yourself and one to represent your intent. Personal items are a great way to infuse personal power and link it with your intent. This is why you find so many spells that call for using nail clippings, hair, blood or personal belongings.
Spell Casting Part 4: Raising, Directing and Releasing Energy
Once you are focused on your intent and have connected yourself to it, it’s time to begin raising energy. Part of this energy comes from internal sources—your emotional state, your thoughts and desires. This is why it is so important to keep your mind exactly where you want it: on the intent. The rest of this energy is drawn from external sources—your tools, correspondences, components, the Elements, other participants (if any), deities you might invoke, the Earth, Moon, Sun or other planets. Basically, everything in existence has energy, and you can draw from one or more sources when casting your spell.
Energy should build up slowly but surely by your chosen method(s) for raising it. Work on raising energy for as long as you can, until you feel it’s reached a crescendo.
How long does it take? Some people feel they can do it for as little as 5 or 10 minutes; others will spend hours. This will take time for you to experiment to see how you personally are able to build a sufficient amount.
At that point, you direct and release. To direct it, simply keep focused on the intent. There are a number of ways to release energy. Some people might stomp and shout. In sex magic, achieving orgasm is the release. Burning or breaking something is a great way to release energy. If you’re using an infusion or potion, you’d drink it. “Seal” the spell with a final thought or gesture to formally signify it’s done. This might be saying something, such as, “So mote it be!” It might alternatively be a gesture, such as throwing up your hands or making the sign of a pentagram with your finger or blade.
Make sure to ground as well, once you’re finished, as a final step of working with energy. Just envision pouring out any last bit of excess into the earth, a tree or a tool.
Ways of Raising Energy
Spell Casting Part 5: Creating Channels
I go much more into depth about channels is in my article, but essentially a channel is creating ways for that energy to flow freely between you and your ultimate intent. For example, if I cast a love spell to meet a compatible mate, I then create ways for the spell to take effect—I join a dating service online, I start going out by myself to coffee shops or museums, I take classes at a community center or volunteer at a charity, putting myself in the position in which the energy can help manifest my desire.
Thus, you put yourself in the perfect position for your spell to manifest.
I have been receiving many questions through our Instagram account on how to be a Wiccan, Witch or Pagan. There’s no simple “start here” form of, but I hope this great article from Lavender Moon can help all new witches.
1. you don’t need someone else to make you a witch
How do you become a witch? The simple answer is really that you decide to become a witch and bam! There you are. Although some covens or paths of witchcraft or Wicca might require formal initiation or have specific rules about who can or can’t join, in general anyone can be a Wiccan or a witch. There’s a tradition of studying for a year and a day before dedicating yourself to the Craft, but it’s really not necessary. I initially decided I would do this, but found myself identifying as a witch long before the year and the day were over. Still, once the time was up, I just did a little self-dedication ritual more for myself than anything else and that was it! No one else’s approval required.
2. read selectively at first
Usually, I would say “read ALL the things!” but unfortunately there’s a lot of cultural appropriation and just plain misinformation out there about witchcraft, Wicca, and their history. I do think there can be a lot of good things in a problematic text, but when you’re first starting out it can be hard to tell what’s truth and what’s not. One of the best resources I’ve found is Drawing Down the Moon* by Margot Adler. Adler was Wiccan herself, and she manages to debunk some of the main myths about Wicca and witchcraft without putting down the craft itself. It’s also a fascinating look at the way witchcraft and Wicca have been practiced in the United States over the years. It was written a while ago so it’s a bit dated, but not OUTdated, if you know what I mean.
Another great intro to witchcraft is The Inner Temple of Witchcraft* by Chris Penczak. My memory of reading this is that he does cross into some iffy cultural territory and sort of perpetuates some witch myths, but overall I thought his approach was a great way for someone to learn the basics of witchcraft, especially if they’re kind of skeptical (like I tend to be!)
Also, take all the books with a grain of salt. If one talks about a practice you don’t like, need or feel comfortable with, leave it. Not every witch astral travels or does blood magick, and not all witches think curses are bad. It’s okay to make your own rules.
3. start small
There’s so much information out there and it’s seriously overwhelming to start with, but you don’t need to be a big bad experienced witch in order to work an effective spell. Start small with materials you already have on hand, or learn the meaning of one new herb at a time and use that. Some of the most effective spells and rituals I’ve done have just been me, a candle, and the moon. Don’t let a lack of experience or things stop you from working your magic(k).
4. find your community
I don’t necessarily mean finding a coven – in fact, I would suggest not looking for a coven until you’ve been practicing long enough to be sure of your path. I thought at first that I would LOVE to be in a coven, but now I realize that while it would be nice to have an IRL community to chat with, I do my best practicing on my own. Also, you run the risk of pledging yourself to a coven dedicated to a certain deity only to find out later on that you don’t want to work with that deity after all. Awkward.
But I do think it’s important to have other witches you can learn from and ask questions of while you’re learning. I haven’t found any good forums (if you know of one, PLEASE tell me) but Tumblr has proved to be an amazing resource for all things witchery. Browse the “witchcraft” and “witches of Tumblr” tags for blogs to follow. Most people I’ve met there have been super nice! (I’m a-lavender-moon if you’d like to follow!)
5. you don’t need a lot of stuff
I know that Tumblr and Instagram make it seem like you need a huge crystal collection and an entire pantry full of herbs, but really, REALLY all you need to do magick is yourself. That’s it. You don’t need anything else but you and your intentions. It’s fun to collect witchy bits and bobs and I’m the last person to talk about minimalism because I buy everything, but you don’t need those things. You can make spell jars from recycled bottles or decorate your altar with rocks from your garden. Don’t give in to the pressure to LOOK witchy. It’s more important that you ARE witchy.
6. write it down
You’re probably going to want to keep either a grimoire or a Book of Shadows, but I think it’s important that you keep a spiritual journal, as well. This can be something you carry around with you everywhere and that no one will ever see but you. Put in all your messy, disorganized thoughts, write down any time your intuition is spot on, scribble about your struggles with meditation, whatever. It’s really great to have a record of where you’re at and what you’re doing with your spiritual practice. For one, it’s therapeutic, but for another, it helps you figure out the way forward!
7. it’s okay if your beliefs change
In fact, they absolutely will. My views about working with deities change all the time. My thoughts on reincarnation have evolved the more I’ve thought about it. My personal set of rules has shifted as I’ve grown more comfortable in my craft. Changing your views on one thing or another doesn’t necessarily mean you were wrong before, it just means you’ve got more information now and can make a better decision for the current you. It doesn’t invalidate your past.
8. your book of shadows doesn’t have to be perfect
I need someone to wake me up every morning by yelling this at me through a megaphone. I think we all fall into perfectionism when it comes to our grimoire or Book of Shadows because we want them to be the cool witch books we see on TV. Honestly, though, a grimoire is just for you, no one else, and since all of us are imperfect it’s totally okay for your book to be imperfect too. The most gorgeous grimoire in the world is totally pointless if you never actually use it for fear of screwing it up! If you’re really concerned, though, do what I do and have a million different grimoires that you use for different things and one big main one that you only put the pretty stuff in.
9. don’t appropriate closed cultures
Seriously, y’all. This is a HUGE problem in the witch community, partially because as I mentioned above, cultural appropriation is passed off as a normal part of witchcraft by some of the major authors in the community.
It can be really, really hard to tell at first what’s cultural appropriation and what’s not, but use your common sense and if it’s taken from a culture that’s been systematically victimized over the years, it’s probably not okay to use. I think that Native American spiritualities, in particular, tend to be appropriated, but you can find a way to incorporate basic beliefs into your practice without outright taking from a closed culture – for example, you can say “smoke cleansing” instead of “smudging” or “animal guides” instead of “spirit animals.”
As I said, it can be hard to know what you can and can’t use because so much of witchcraft is a blend of things taken from historical cultures. If you don’t know if something is cultural appropriation or not, look it up. Especially if you’re a white person. We’ve stolen enough from other cultures already.
10. you don’t need to know everything
If I could tell you one thing, it’s this. No one knows anything. If they say they do (or make you feel bad for asking questions) they’re probably a jerk. There are no bonus points for being able to recite every poisonous plant by heart when pretty much anyone can do a Google search to find the same information. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you DO learn, and in no time you’ll be able to rattle off all the things rose quartz is good for or what herbs can help an upset stomach. But there’s no pressure to memorize this stuff. In fact, some of the best knowledge comes from DOING the thing. That’s the stuff you end up remembering. You never stop learning in witchcraft, and that’s the beauty of it. The trick is to be comfortable with not knowing, so you can invite more knowledge.
So those are my 10 tips for the beginner witch! I might end up doing part two of this post in the future because I could talk about this for days probably.
Do you have any tips or resources you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to check them out!
The word “paganism” has come to refer to various pre-Christian religions belonging to a number of ancient cultures—those from Greece, Rome, Egypt, Scandinavia, and so on. It has come to also represent, in some circles, the modern ideology of Wicca and the followers of revived versions of the old practices. The truth about “paganism”, however, is that it is a historically inaccurate phrase in the context of these aforementioned faiths. Although it is now the accepted term for these religions, it is important to examine where the word truly came from and what it initially meant, allowing for a better, all-inclusive understanding of the world’s religious past.
The term “paganism” was revived during the Renaissance when writers were trying to differentiate the old traditions from their contemporary Christian faith. The term itself stems from the Latin paganus translated loosely along the lines of “country dweller” or “rustic”; thus it was initially a word describing a person of locality rather than a religion. However, because of its usage in ancient texts, medieval authors mistakenly believed it referenced a religious sect and thereby gave it the corresponding connotation. In actuality, there was a different word used to describe the “pagans” as they are called today, and that word too stemmed first and foremost from the location of the religious supporters.
According to scholar Peter Brown of Princeton University, “Hellene” was initially utilized in place of “paganism”. “Hellene” was a reference to Ἕλλην (Hellas), the native ancient Greek name for what is now called Greece. Brown explains that when Christianity started making appearances in the eastern communities, “Hellene” was used to differentiate the non-Christians from the Christians. Those from Hellas tended to remain faithful to the old religions, but with the strife between Judaism and Christianity beginning, the Jewish faction needed to ensure they were not incorrectly associated with them. As they were not from Greece, “Hellene” became the perfect title.
In the Latin west, it was more common for the various religions to refer to themselves by their ethnic origins rather than by the gods they worshiped—they simply referred to themselves (in their own language) as Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, etc., simultaneously insinuating their religious factions as well. This form of labeling was largely due to the fact that the political and religious aspects of life were a unified entity. Thus, the tradition of ethnic titling appears to have been continued by the early Christians. As far as ancient sources can tell, it wasn’t until the Late Roman Empire that the term “pagan” began to be used instead, as it was an easy way to lump all the non-Christians together in conversation, decrees, etc. It rose to popularity as a matter of convenience rather than of accuracy and respect.
It is important to note that “paganism” is not intended to differentiate the polytheistic religions from the monotheistic. The number of gods does not apply to the term because many so-called “pagans” would have not considered it important to differentiate themselves based on the number of gods they worshiped. Followers of the ancient religions did not necessarily have anything against Christianity based on its preference for a singular deity—many cults within each sect had a primary deity at the center of the religion, beneath which subordinate deities were also worshiped. “Paganism” as a title was intended only to reference the non-Christians (and the non-Jews), isolating them into one solitary category that could be more easily destroyed and replaced.
This effort of combining all non-Christian religions under one umbrella was, in fact, a clever strategy by the early Christians to remove the “pagan” faiths altogether. Using the Norse traditions as an example, the Vikings of the early medieval period had no true name for their religious following. In truth, the word religion would have been an unknown, foreign term to them. The Nordic tribes preferred the word “customs” as—like the Greeks and Romans—their rituals, beliefs, and traditions were undefined and fluidly interpreted, orally passed down rather than rigidly studied. There was no all-encompassing word for the belief in the Aesir and Vanir, and the various other beings and deities the ancient Norse worshiped, and there was no written text discussing their practices until the Christian author Snorri Sturluson wrote their mythology down in the 13th century.
According to Gareth Williams in Viking: Life and Legend , what is now considered the Norse religion is actually the “legacy of the Christian missionaries”, their textual product a “concentrated target” that is much easier to remove and erase than the amalgamation of gods liberally worshiped. Consolidating the various Norse—and every other “pagan”—tradition into a simplified faith with recorded rules and codes provided the early Christians with a more straightforward target to remove and replace.
Though the phrase “paganism” is widely used to describe followers of the various ancient religions, it is important to understand from where the term originates and the misconceptions behind its usage. Too many centuries have passed now—the word “paganism” will continue to label these supporters despite its original meaning. But it is never too late to be informed of the origins of the term, thereby allowing a better comprehension of the history of the ancient followers.