Spellcasting seems like a witches staple, but if you’re reading a book ABOUT a pathway whether that be Wicca or a separate pagan pathway, it can be hard to find a “how to spell” section. There is a lot of history, lore, the do’s and don’ts of the path, deities, and maybe already preplanned spells and rituals, but how to put together your own spell is something I haven’t really found.
So let’s break it down to some basics that we all have learned, regardless of religious or societal upbringings. Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Whether I’m creating a spell, or a tarot spread, this is my first basis.
For the most part, this is pretty obvious, the spell is for you. But there is also the spells you do forothers or onothers. I am not going to tell you that cursing or hexing or performing spells on others isn’t right. There are some witches who will never practice this way, (myself included,) and I blame that on the fact that I started with Wicca which is a very “do no harm” pathway. While this is okay, I don’t want you to feel like the Wicked Witch of the West because you want to hex your local rapist. (A term coined by Amy over at @venusintulle, and I respect the hell out of her for that.)
So you need to figure out who the spell is for. If it isn’t for you, maybe you want to get a picture of your intended recipient. Whether this be a friend or foe. This is a great way to focus your mind and your intention when performing your spell.
So what will you need for your spell? This ranges from ingredients to tools. What do you want to use and what do you have available to you? There are many “witchy” herbs like mugwort and belladonna that you may want to use, but belladonna is poisonous and depending on your geographic location, mugwort may be hard to find.
There are lots of herbs that are commonly found in grocery stores that may not sound as mystical but have a wide range of uses like rosemary, basil, bay, cinnamon, turmeric and clove. Sometimes depending on how(and the how is below) you’re going to do your spell, you may want to have crystals in your spell as well. This could be something that you channel energy through or keep on you.
The what here also includes the tools you will need for your spell. Do you need candles for light, for the actual spell, what colour candle do you need? Do you need a heat resistant pad for incense or candles? Do you need incense? Do you need essential oils? Do you need music? Do you need a knife of some kind for your herbs or do you need fabrics?
If you have a working altar, this is probably where you are going to perform your spell. If you are someone that chooses to/has to set up and take down your altar as you need to work, you have the ability to change the direction you face if there is a direction corresponding to your spells intention.
If you live on a lot of land, you may have the ability to perform your spells right in nature, which brings on some other rules. Are you somewhere that is safe to have a candle? Are you on your property or public property? Do you have an outdoor altar or bonfire that you use?
The where really depends on your location both in the world, and your living situation. Above all, regardless of the type of spell you are doing, make sure that your whereis safe.
Timing can be just as powerful and add just as much to your spell as the herbs or colours can in the what. So when do you want/need to do your spell? I fell into the habit of only doing spells in the depth of night, because I didn’t want to bother my family with them, but when I was able to perform whenever I wanted to I still chose to practice at midnight. There are so many magical times of day and night.
There are so many materials that will give you a break down of every single hour in a day, that can be used for very specificintentions, but you can also use the suns phases. Now the sun doesn’t look any different, but its phases include in order; dawn, sunrise, morning, noon, golden hour, sunrise, dusk. Those all have their own properties and magic and I’m just getting better at working magic in the light if that is what works best. (You don’t celebrate Midsummer, at Midnight, it just doesn’t make sense.)
There are a lot of witches that know (of) the moon phases; new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter. There are also the in between phases that some people sometimes forget about OR don’t know depending on where you are in the craft. New moon,waxing crescent,first quarter,waxing gibbous, full moon,waning gibbous, last quarter, waning crescent, new moon.
You can also go as far as lining up the day, month, season, or Sabbat celebration to whatever you are trying to accomplish with your spell.
While this may seem like a useless topic, why are you doing the spell, this is something that I think you really need to think about. This can require some true brutal honesty and this can lead to you not even choosing to do the spell in the end if you are being honest.
Example: those who ask for a love spell to bring their ex back.
Why do you want to force someone who doesn’t want to be with you, to be with you? Why do you want someone to be unhappy with you when that isn’t what they want? Why do you feel the need to have someone else in your life to make you happy? Why do you feel so desperate to be in a relationship or possibly with the wrong person? Why aren’t you happy being alone? Are you truly happy with yourself?
Or; why do you want to hex that person that was so mean to you? Why do you feel threatened by them? Why can’t you just let it go because their reaction to you is not about you, it’s about them.
Something that you can do instead for some of those issues, is change your bringing back an ex-lover to easing your heartache, or bringing the right lover to you. You can also do a spell for increased confidence instead of hexing the mean person, (or be passive aggressive and make everyone around them incredibly nice.
These are questions that no one wants to ask themselves but if you’re not truly honest with yourself and your intention, I believe it can affect the outcome of your spell.
Last but not least, how do you want to perform your spell?
If you want to do a candle spell, you have a few options. You can anoint the candle with essential oils and carve symbols into the candle, you can also drop your herbs of choice onto the candle or around the candle. Depending on the size of the candle it may burn down in two hours or less (chime candles,) or it could take up to 10 or 20 hours which means your spell could probably be done for a few hours a day for a number of days. When your candle is burnt out you can either bury the materials in the yard or you could bottle them in a jar and keep it with you. (The jars is what I commonly do with protection spells.)
If you want to go straight to jar a sachet, you put your herbs and crystals in the holder of choice and usually you would create a rhyme that you can say while you’re preparing the herbs together or dropping in the crystals. When you’re done with this option this is either a keeping-it-on-you (small jars or sachet), or placing the (big) jar in a corner of your home or maybe under a bed* depending on what the spell was. (*Fertility, pregnancy, good night sleep or no nightmares are examples of under the bed jar spells. Make sure the lids are very secure so that nothing spills or pets don’t get into them.)
Where do you find all of the correspondences for spells? My best book suggestion is the Llewellyn Book of Correspondences.The book is broken down to intentions, herbs, crystals, gods, symbols and more. The index in the back is organized well and is easy to read. If you don’t have the funds, or the home, to be able to bring that book into your life there are lots of accounts that post correspondences daily.
To name a few.
I hope that this little guide helps you feel more confident in your ability to create your own spells! If you have more tips for beginners, please comment below!