If you’ve been hanging out in the witching community for more than a hot second, you’ve no doubt heard that the most effective spells are the ones you craft yourself, because they contain your personal energy or imprint. But crafting a spell from start to finish can be a tall order for beginners.
In essence, spell casting is a way to harness and direct power to manifest a desired outcome. Spells usually include using specific words, gestures, etheric energies and sometimes physical objects to invoke and direct magical energy towards a desired outcome. Effective spell casting depends on a number of factors, including the skill and experience of the person casting the spell, the alignment of their intentions with the natural order of the universe, and the level of belief and focus on the intention and outcome.
Spells can be used to bring about positive change in one’s life, such as healing, protection, and prosperity. A spell can also be cast for more specific purposes, like financial gain, love, or revenge. Whatever the intent of your spells, you should always approach spell casting with respect and responsibility, and with a clear understanding of the potential consequences of the energy you set in motion.
Let’s start with the basics. A fundamental knowledge of natural law and an understanding of human nature are foundational to good spell work. It’s not really likely you can craft a spell to turn your enemy into a toad, it goes against nature. But, you can probably muster a good revealing spell that will expose their toad-like qualities to all who lay eyes on them. A little hint—knowing what really gets under this person’s skin will be key.
Your Power Source
In witchcrafting, there are a few expressions of power a witch must understand. First there is the life force energy, referred to in many traditions by various names, such as qi, prana, manu, source, spirit and more. The deities represent aspects of this energy (if you work with deities), but every living thing embodies the life force. Combined, our individual expressions of energy, what we put out in the world, becomes the collective consciousness, the gestalt coalesced into a greater whole. Finally there is your personal power.
Personal power can be described as the ability to exert influence or control in your own life and surroundings through willpower, and intention. It involves a deep understanding and connection with the inner self, as well as the ability to manifest desired outcomes through focused effort and visualization.
For the most successful spell crafting, a witch taps into the greater powers to channel and combine them with their own personal power. If it all sounds too esoteric, don’t worry, there are simple steps to follow that will have you casting effective spells in no time.
The Parts of a Spell
There are four basic parts to a good spell, your intention (or what you desire make manifest), the invocation (or words), the tools, and the activity or actions that set the energy in motion.
Your desire is the core of the spell. Hone your statement to a laser focus, being as specific as possible. If you’re casting a spell for needed money, state the amount you desire. Be careful not to limit possibilities. In the example above, instead of saying “bringing me more than enough,” you could say 4% or more is enough.
Try to avoid passive phrasing. For example, saying “is enough” instead of “will be” enough. We work with the intent that our desire will come to be, but when will it be? A pay raise “soon” is good — it rhymes (though that’s not necessary). But how soon?
Also, who does the spell affect? In this example, it would be best to specify the pay raise is for yourself. The less you leave to interpretation, the better results you’ll have.
By the light of this fulsome moon
I conjure my pay raise
before next moon is new.
From golden citrine and green aventurine
the color of money here seen.
Mint and cinnamon bring wealth and luck,
Nickels, dimes and quarters add up
4% or more is enough.
I call on the powers, without and within
that which I desire does now exist
So say I, so it is.
Layering Your Magick
You can write a quick rhyme, light a candle, say the words out loud and so be done, or you can build layers of power into your spells with diligent research, planning and thoughtful selection of correspondences and tools.
I enjoy participating in many witchcraft focused groups on social media and I’m happy to offer advice and guidance when others ask. Still, I always encourage witches to put the leg work in themselves. With online access to information in all traditions, we have it so much easier now than when I first became witch curious. Just be sure to seek out information from recognized experts and authorities.
Remember too, that our ancestor witches were figuring this all out on their own. Your magick should be a combination of acquired knowledge and personal experience from trial, error and success. As you grow and gain experience in your craft, listen to your intuition and instincts. For example, all the literature I can find on lilacs say it is bad luck to bring them into the house, associating them with death and grief. But I find lilacs to be quite the opposite and use them in spells for deep, inner healing.
Tools and Correspondences
There are so many tools and correspondences we can work with to enhance our spells—from the etheric, such as natural elements, planetary alignments and influence—to the physical, such as plants, herbs, minerals—not to mention actual physical tools . . . It can be overwhelming. Here, again, I remind witches who are still in the early steps of their path, that our ancestors worked with a limited pallet from what could be sourced locally, and we can too.
Everything you need can be found in your kitchen, just outside your doorstep, or available in the isles of a dollar store! Knife or scissors, spice mill, mortar and pestle, or grater, candles, bells, mirror, culinary herbs, rice, beans, root vegetables, oils, eggs, citrus, stones, minerals and other natural objects—all become magical tools and ingredients for spells.
What’s more important than how many, or what tools you have, is developing a personal connection with them, combining their vibrational energy with your own. When I pick up basalt, carnelian and agates from the lakeshore, I’ve already created a relationship through seeking them and connecting on a vibrational level. Of course, you can create the same personal connection with purchased items by sitting in meditation with them.
When I do the research, or rely on past experience to choose the tools and correspondences I will use in a spell, I am putting more of my personal energy into the works. Do you see the difference? I could ask, “what herbs should I use in a protection spell, but that generates almost no personal energy into the spell. When researching we’re churning out all sorts of vibrations. That’s personal energy, Also, I’ll make notes on scrap paper. After I’ve recorded the highlights in my BOS, I often burn the notes and use the ashes in the final spell.
Still another layer of magick to empower your spells is timing. What seasonal or moon phase enhances your intention? What day of the week and hour of the day corresponds with your desire? What planetary influences supercharge your final results? Perhaps we can’t always wait for the perfect timing, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to investigate the current energies and consider how you might adjust your spell accordingly for a better outcome.
For example, moon phase energies are pretty straight forward. Generally we work for increase or new beginnings during the waxing moon, decrease, releasing and endings during the waning moon and fulfillment or reinforcement during full moon. But, say you need to whip up some magical help to find an apartment ASAP and the moon is waning. You can shift the focus of your spell to removing all obstacles and roadblocks for a direct path to the right apartment.
Words are powerful magick and the way we use them can make or break a good spell, at least in regard to being as specific as possible. Using evocative language and phrasing that appeal to the senses adds to emotions, more powerful energy. Use poetic license—make up words. If you can’t rhyme, try using alliteration. Remember, though, an effective spell will not be diminished just because it doesn’t rhyme.
Practice using your spell voice. It should have a different quality than your normal speaking. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or loud—you can whisper if necessary. Try for rhythmic cadence. Emphasize important words or phrases, hand gestures help with this. Consider singing your spells. Some of my best spells have been sung to a familiar tune.
Spells don’t have to be long and drawn out either. Sometimes short and sweet is the best way to go. “Bothersome thoughts cease and desist. Be gone now, I insist!” Likewise, any repeated affirmation or mantra is an effective spell. “I am loved, I am loving, love is returned to me.”
If you struggle with writing your spells, visualize your desired intention and write down what you see in the present tense. “My house is clean and organized, I have only what is necessary or pleasing to me. I have less things I don’t need and more time for fun and leisure. I’m healthy and active, enjoying my life.” From that I might write a spell something like this:
Powers that be
hear my need,
a clean and tidy house for me
a place for everything and everything in place
makes for a pleasing space
less stuff and less strife
more time for living life
minutes to hours, hours to weeks
step by step this goal I’ll reach
by my will it is done.
The final part of a successful spell is the action, including preparation, raising energy, casting the spell, and releasing the energy to do its work.
Once your spell is written, gather your tools and set the stage. In the example of the first spell here, I want a mirror to reflect, or amplify the light of the moon. The reflection of the coins and other items also represents them in the etheric plane, where the work of the spell takes place.
Once you’re ready, work your spells in the way your tradition dictates. For example, Wiccan’s will most often cast a circle, calling the quarters and invoking the Goddess or other deities. Essentially, all that’s necessary is drawing power by raising energy—sound and rhythm are good ways to raise energy, drumming, chanting, singing, dancing, or even rocking in place. Raise the energy to a crescendo, cast your spell, and then release the energy. Most often I clap my hands, loudly, once. Sometimes I fling my arms overhead, hands open, releasing the energy into space.
Practice Make For Prowess
Your spells do not have to be perfect. Perfection is largely unattainable, and fear being less than perfect can keep you from trying. We all start somewhere, we all have failures, but if you keep practicing your spell work, you will become adept at manifesting your desire. I actually used a spell very similar to the one here for manifesting a pay raise and had favorable results by my next pay period, in a quarter when nobody else received an increase because of budget shortfalls.
Just remember, the more thought and energy you put into your spells, the more likely you’ll manifest the results you want.