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What is a spell?

Wiccan SpellIn Wicca, paganism, and other magickal studies we hear the word, ‘spell’, but how many of us know what goes into a spell? Some folks think of fairy tales, with eye of newt and toe of frog…but in truth a spell is a many-layered thing. A spell is not unlike a cooking recipe. You have a list of ingredients, of timing and preparation, all for a given purpose or outcome. Some can be as simple as a wish whispered to the winds, or as complex as a month long observation and daily devotion to the task/outcome desired. I hope in this article to enlighten you as to how a spell works and what is best for each and everyone, for there is no one right way, so explore what works for you best.
To start, examine your reasons for working a spell; are you looking to change your job, do you feel a need to bring happiness and luck into your life, did you move into a new home and so on. After you have figured out the purpose for a spell, look at what you would use to help the energies to be in line with your desired goal. Energies you say? What influences energies and why do I want to do so? Energies are the untapped potentials around us, not tangible to the touch, sight or other senses as we know them, we can feel them with what has been termed our sixth sense.   Always, always, always, when doing work with spells and energies, bring salt to cleanse your area and prepare it for your magickal workings.
 In all spell work you want to help tune the energies to your workings. You can do this with the use of herbs, oils and incense. Look up what oils, herbs and incense may best aid you with the help of some books or with what you “feel” will work best. Select as many or as few as you desire for the task at hand. Make sure not to mix any of the herbs and oils until you are ready to start your spell. Next select a candle, the color depending on your spell, but when in double white works for any spell. To see what color works best for what spell, please see our short article, ‘Candle Colors’. Next you may wish to pick a stone that you can carry with you after the spell is done (having let it charge up next to the candle while the spell is working) or an image of the god or goddess you like to work with.
A simple but important statement, ‘an it harm none’…. this means, folks, no messing with free will. No binds or controlling others around us through spell work, the karmic repercussions are harsh indeed. This is not to say a person cannot wish for what they want, but they can only influence the possibilities around them, not people. 
Now before you run out and start working your spell, what moon phase is best for your spell? Are you working a spell to bring something in, or to banish? Is it meant to cleanse or to release? You should check the phase of the moon to see when it would be best to work your spell. In more advanced workings, wording can be changed to go with the flow of the moon, so you don’t have to wait to perform a spell until the time is just right, you can just go for it. Once you have checked the Phase of the Moon, gather all your items when the time is right and select the space you wish to use for performing your spell. It can be as simple as your bedroom or as grand as a cave deep in the woods…just remember, you will be burning incense and a candle, so choose a location where they can be left to burn fully without causing trouble. Starting a wild fire or burning your house down would put a damper on any workings, magickal or not.
Wicca Moon SpellCreate a circle with the salt that is big enough for you to sit in with your spell items. Lay out your herbs, oils, candle, stone, images, and any other items you feel will aid you in your spell working. Clear your mind, ground and center, then spread your herbs around your candle. Anoint your candle with the oil you have chosen. Light your incense and place your stone and/or deity image next to the candle. State aloud your desire and light the candle. Now close your eyes and meditate on the outcome of your spell. Visualize what you wish to take place, see it becoming reality. Allow yourself to feel the energies around you as they charge your stone and deity images with your spells potential. When you are ready, open your eyes. Allow the candle to fully burn out before removing the stone and deity images.  Place them when you can be contact with them. Clean up the herbs and salt, you can use a broom, or being a modern day witch, a vacuum works just as well. Remember; it is very important to clean up after you perform magick, so no stray energies are left behind. Always practice good metaphysical hygiene.
 Now that your spell is done, take the time afterwards (days, weeks) to work with the energies you have released, until the goal of your spell is achieved. Also, for those who are really on the go, different kinds of Spells on the go or Spells in a box are right up their alley. Whether you like to light a candle, meditate or go all out, spell work can be an amazing thing.