Creating Effective Spellcraft Practices

Creating Effective Spellcraft Practices September 18, 2019

Over twenty years ago, locating information on how to perform effective spellcraft could be a challenge for the Solitary Witch. Sure. There were books and internet message boards/groups from which you could learn but the accessibility we now enjoy through social media didn’t exist. Most independent Witches, Wiccans or Pagans (of any variety) had to figure out how to create effective magickal practices on their own. Perhaps that’s why the advice I share these days, when asked about or to perform spells, echoes what others once told me: The best spellcraft performed should be your own.

Spellcraft
Magick is an act of one’s will. Image by BWSavannah via pixabay.com

Effective Spellcraft Should Be Personal

Back in the day, the seasoned Witches with whom I had relationship through the internet didn’t share much information beyond the basics about their Craft. They encouraged new witches, suggested books, etc. However, these Witches did not share spells. The familiar mantra was that magickal practitioners should create their own.

Why? Through spellcraft, a Witch (or magickal practitioner) is putting their power and intention into the world to effect a change or manifest their will. Therefore in my experience, spellcraft is a personal activity, even when shared in a group (such as at a public ritual). The Witches I knew encouraged people to spend a year and a day studying and researching before ever attempting spellcraft. They would give helpful suggestions or cautious warnings. But for the most part, these Witches let people work out their own solitary practice.

Now, I was fortunate to have a mentor for a couple of years. She taught me the art and philosophy of witchcraft while encouraging me to follow intuition for the mechanics of spellcraft. Basically, my mentor gave me the building blocks but I had to figure out how to create something with them. As a result, I learned not to rely on printed spellbooks or spells readily shared on the internet.

Dont misunderstand. There is great information available on effective spellcraft from many points of view and traditions which should be explored. There are books of correspondences, mythology, herbcraft, candles, colors and more. Resources my family and I highly recommend for study and research. A practitioner can then take the information, pulling together the pertinent components, to “craft” unique magick designed for their intended purpose. At least, that is what experience has taught me.

Your Spellcraft
Follow your intuition when crafting a spell. Image by Gowithin

Effective Spellcraft With Help Will Work. But Should We Give It?

As Wicca, Paganism, and witchcraft in general have become more available (and acceptable) in our culture, it seems the standard of waiting a year and a day to learn has taken a backseat for many solitaries. Some new Witches want to start casting as soon as possible. Who can say? Perhaps the desire/need to handle a life situation through magickal means is what brought them into the Craft in the first place?

As a result, new solitaries are often asking for spells within the groups they belong. The request is often preceded by an explanation of a need and admitting insufficient knowledge to create their own spell. Which is fine. Depending on the group, the request is often met with a variety of answers and spells from which the requester can choose. I’ll throw simple spells out there for people which can be adapted and changed (as evidenced on this blog). Even so, I have to wonder if the approach taken by the Witches twenty years ago was better. Simple guidance with a “figure it out yourself” attitude. Very little spoon-feeding.

Does this mean using a spell verbatim from a book, blog post, or provided by a Facebook “friend” won’t work? Obviously not. For that matter, are pre-made candles with provided incantations ineffective? Not at all. People have to start somewhere. Those who choose a solitary path, or don’t have access to a coven or magick working group, can find their footing by using what more experienced practitioners make available. But are we (seasoned Witches/Wiccans/Practitioners) doing “newbies” a disservice by answering spell requests so readily?

Effective Spellwork
A framework upon which to build a spell is helpful. Image by ktphotography via pixabay.com

Effective Spellcraft Begins With A Framework

So, for the purpose of this post I’m going to provide a framework for a simple candle spell. Hopefully, in doing so a newer practitioner can take the information, do the necessary research or study, then tinker with it to create their own.

Simple Candle Spell

You will need:

Candle
Matches/Lighter
Intention — What do you need this spell to accomplish? Be concise, limiting the intention to a sentence or two at most.
Paper (optional)
Pen (optional)
Fire-safe vessel or cauldron (optional)

Build Your Spell

Use one or two of these suggestions, all of them, or none. What’s listed below is the framework to build around your intention.

Timing: This will depend upon the intention. Some spells will be “boosted” when performed on a particular day, phase of the moon, etc. Do some research to figure out what is best. For example, if the spell is for a job then consider casting it during a new moon phase on a Wednesday.
Elements: The candle represents fire in your spell. Do you wish to include the other elements in some way?
Deity/Spirit Ally: Do you work with a particular deity or are you able to make connection to a deity who may be able to assist with your spell. There is the possiblity of a spirit ally such as an ancestor or some other spirit with whom you work. Consider the intention of the spell and whether it is appropriate to ask for their assistance and energy.
Color: This is something which you can intuit (go with what feels right) or choose a color which corresponds with your intention. In my practice, I find that following intution is the better route.
Oils/Herbs: As a Witch who works with plant spirits, I tend to include these allies in my candle spells. Anointing the candle in oil, sprinkling the herbs on it or in the candle holder.
Sigils/Writing: Carved on Candle to represent your intention or written on a piece of paper to burn from the candle’s flame.
Incantation: Optional

Image by The Pixalman via pixabay.com

Effective Spellcraft Includes Study And Practice

Other considerations for crafting a simple candle spell include candle type (chime, standard, image?), how long will it burn, day or night casting, etc. All of these things (or others) are for you to figure out and proceed with the intention in mind.

Years ago, I learned the best way to craft an effective spell is through study and practice. As Witches/Wiccans/Magickal practitioners we are always learning and growing. Indeed, sometimes we need an ally in our witchcraft such as a pre-made spell candle, a spell from a book, or an incantation given to us in a Facebook group from which we can build (or even just repeat as is) because for one reason or another it’s helpful and/or necessary.

My desire is to help “Witchlings” and beginning magickal practitioners through a bit of guidance (I love consulting on spells or creating kits for people to use), so long as the final result is a person who is confident in making an effective spell of their own.

About
Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is a Modern Hekataen-Green Witch, Devotee of the Covenant of Hekate, and Clairsentient Medium. She loves working with herbs, essential oils and plants. In the past, she has been a musician, teacher, and published author. Now, together with Car and Ode, Gwyn is a teacher/presenter at multiple Pagan events and loves to chat about witchcraft, spiritual things, and life in general. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I hadn’t heard that advice about waiting a year and a day before performing a spell and I’m kind of glad. I tend to be overly hesitant when trying new things, which results in anxiety and/or never getting the thing done. I recently performed my first(ish) spell, which I created myself. I incorporated elements of spell and ritual design that I’ve learned about, but I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable and it wouldn’t be effective unless I had a satisfying answer to every possible “why?”, and for me, that meant building something unique. I’m sure I’ll continue to improve my magical practice as I read and learn more. For example, I hadn’t considered incorporating colors or sigils. Now I want to try them!

  • Gwyn

    Well, the year and a day came from out of the initiation process of Wicca. The experienced Solitaries I knew incorporated it into their practice/teaching/advice of the Craft to make sure people were better prepared for spellcraft. But it sounds like you are well prepared and taking your time. And yes, colors and sigils are are excellent correspondences to incorporate into spellcraft. You should be able to find a lot of information about both.

  • Ah, that makes sense. And thank you! I will definitely read up on color correspondences and sigils. I believe I already have a few resources bookmarked.

  • Kate King

    Loved this article. I know when I first got into spellcrafting I was completely overwhelmed with all the moving parts and pieces. This overwhelming feeling caused a lot of confusion with no direction as I had no one to mentor or guide me. I believe many new spell casters reach out for spells as a way to start because there is no single or simple way to gather the basics. I love the open but structured method you described here and wish this article was written when I was first starting. I will be sharing this article with my fellow pack members.

  • Gwyn

    I’m so glad this article has been helpful and that the framework is something you can build spellwork upon.