1. Clearly understand and define your magickal goal. Write it down or state it out loud to help form it solidly in your mind. By doing this you begin to invest the spell and the desired outcome with your emotions and energy. If you have more than one need, you may wish to spread them out. You can work more than one spell at a session, but doing so will dissipate and scatter your energies, leaving less for each spell. If you feel you must do multiple spells, limit them to three and try to relate them in some way, so that the energy you raise remains as focused as possible.
2. Be sure of the ethics of your hoped-for outcome. Approach the spell from all angles to satisfy yourself that you are not violating anyone else’s free will or being manipulative. Many witches like to do a divination first, to be doubly sure that their spell will not have any unforeseen ramifications. If the results of the divination are negative, try rethinking your intent to see if you can circumvent the problem. Then do another divination and see what comes up.
3. If you wish to use a specific element as a focus for your magic, decide which one is most appropriate and collect items to represent that energy.
4. Plan how you will visualize your goal and believe in what you see. The powers of the mind are only just now beginning to be explored by science. We have all heard stories of terminal patients who have healed themselves, and of faith healers who use belief to manifest miracle cures. Visualization uses that power to form mental pictures that are invested with personal energy and emotion. It is the soul that breathes life onto all magic, and the soul that is the most important element in its outcome. The moment you start visualizing the resolution of a magickal need is the moment you begin to create the changes in your deep mind necessary for the magic to manifest.
5. If you are working with advanced magic, you will need to prepare a long-range plan in accordance with the above guidelines. This will entail checking moon phases, laying in enough supplies for the duration of the spell, and planning how the energy can be sustained through each day.
6. Gather candles, stones, or whatever else you intend to use as a catalyst for your focus or to direct the energy you will raise. Empower those items with your personal energy by projecting into them the energy of your goal.Keep in mind that these tools, including your cherished ritual tools, have no power in and of themselves. The power is not in the tools, but inside the Witch trained to use them. Without you, they are useless. They merely provide a way to focus your energy and a means for directing it towards its goal.
7. Decide upon your words of power, the words or chants you will use to help focus and raise energy. You may write them out, or simply remember key phrases you wish to use as you improvise. Some Witches like to create simple poems so they will be easier to remember.
8. If you wish to use a special deity or mythic figure in your magic, decide on which one or ones, and how you will evoke, invoke, and/or honour them. You may wish to write out special prayers or blessings and memorize them.
9. Decide when you want to do the spell. This can be any time you personally need the magick, at the time when you coven regularly meets, or you may wish to take into consideration moon phases and/or other astrological influences. If your life is as busy as most people’s today, you may have to choose the only night when you will be free and alone. The timing is much less important than the energy you bring to the spell.
10. At the appropriate time, gather what you will be using and go to the place where you will perform the spell. This can be at your altar, indoors, or outdoors, at your coven meeting site, or anywhere else that feels appropriate, comfortable, and private.
11. Cast your circle and, if you like, call the quarters, or do as you would when opening up any other ritual. If you are using advanced magical techniques you will definitely need to employ these visualizations to be effective.
12. Your magick is now beginning in earnest. Invite whatever elementals, faeries, spirits, or deities you wish to have present as you work. They should always be welcome, but they are not necessary for spell work.
13. Clear your mind and begin visualizing your goal. This is probably the most important step in the spell-casting process and you should invest the mental image with as much energy as you can muster. Recall your need and make your emotional connection with it as deep as you can, on as many levels as possible.
14. Raise energy within yourself and pour it into the magical object(s) in whatever way feels right to you. This can be done as a mental projection, through dance or song, or intense visualization.
15. Do whatever physical actions your spell requires. Some need no special actions, but many require some basic movement, even if it is only lighting a candle. Use your words of power, light your candles, bury your herbs, mentally charge your stones, and/or raise your cone of power.
16. Take advantage of natural phenomena that can help you raise energy. A storm, for instance, is an excellent source of energy that any Witch can draw upon to help feed a spell. Allow yourself to become part of the storm and feel yourself physically drawing on its vast stores of energy as you seek to raise your own energies or cone of power.
17. When you feel you have put as much energy into the spell as you possibly can, send the energy out to do your will. You can visualize this as a cone of power being sent out, or use any other mental image you like. Body language helps, too. Relax, throw up your arms, raise a tool, kneel, send out a cone of power, or do whatever else makes you feel the energy go forth. Be sure to direct it out from you visually as well.
18. You should finish your spell with words such as the traditional So Mote It Be. Mote is an obsolete word for must. The phrase is synonymous with Amen, So It Is, and It Is Done. It is a statement of completion and an affirmation that you know your magick is successful. All magic is worked from the point of view that the desired goal is already manifest – it will not come to be, but IT IS. Always phrase your magickal desires in the present tense; for example, I have love in my life now, or My bills are now paid in full. Talking of magick happening in the future will keep it forever in the future, always just out of reach.
19. Meditate briefly on your goal. Again, visualize it as already manifest. Smile, breathe a sigh of relief, and know the magick is already at work for you.
20. Thank and dismiss all faeries, spirits, and deities who have come to witness or aid in your magick.
21. Ground your excess energy into the earth and open your circle. Excess energy, raised during your spell work but not full sent away from you when you sent it to do its job, lingers on and around you. The best way to ground this excess is to place your hands, palms side down on the earth, into a bowl of soil, or on the floor of your home. Physically and psychically feel the excess energy draining out of you. Know that it is being absorbed and dispersed into mother earth.
22. If you have ritualized your spell, dismiss your quarters or do whatever other endings your rituals traditionally require. If you are working your magic with a coven this is standard practice.
23. Record your spell in your Magickal Diary or Book Of Shadows with the date, time, weather conditions, and any astrological data you wish to include. This will be useful later when you have done enough spells to look for patterns. For example, you may see that your most efficacious spells were done on Sundays or when it was cloudy or snowing, or when you had faeries present, worked with a particular deity, burned green candles, or when the moon was full. Everyone has different affinities, These patterns will help you pick the best times for your spellwork.
24. Back up your desire on the physical plane. This is a must. For example, if you have done a spell for healing don’t avoid seeing your doctor. You will need all the help at your disposal to overcome your illness, and magic and medical science make great partners. Until you achieve your magical goal you should spend some time each day focusing on it by clearly visualizing it as a fait accompli. These added boosts of daily energy can often mean the difference between success and failure.