Five Spell-Casting Essentials for Beginner Witches

Updated on August 10, 2017
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Sage has been a Witch for 25 years. As a teacher and writer, she enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the Craft of the Wise.

Casting Spells

When learning Witchcraft, it’s important to understand just what spells are. Simply put, spells are procedures. The use of a spell is meant to 1) change the ‘inner landscape’ to prepare you for going after your intent and 2) to direct the conducive energy that will draw your intent to you, or ‘clear the path’ for you to reach it.

The way one designs and executes a spell can vary greatly, but the underlying principles are the same. I like to think of it like buildings—all over the world there are buildings with completely different designs. No matter what they look like outwardly – tall or short, brick or steel, ornate or simple -- they all have to adhere to basic engineering principles for a sturdy frame and foundation to hold them up. Likewise, a much about the way one designs and executes a spell can vary. A lot depends on the Witch’s methods, religion, philosophies, preferred tools and components, etc. but underneath there is a common framework and foundation that is what actually makes it hold up. There are essentially five essential parts to casting spells.

How to Cast Spells

Spell casting basics.
Spell casting basics. | Source

Spell Casting Part 1: Preparation

Preparing for a spell is pretty much all the pre-spell work that you’ll be doing. This begins with defining your intent, which involves identifying your need and determining the ultimate goal of the spell. I have found the best intents are:

  • Personal (the spell is cast on you, or someone close to you with your permission, rather than others who aren’t actively cooperating).
  • Specific (no “wish” spells or “just make life better” spells – think about your actual needs. This is no time to be ambiguous).
  • Focused (if you can’t say what you want in a few words, you’re not focused enough).
  • Positive (always strive for positive goals— never use negative language like not, won’t or can't. For example, instead of a spell to not be lonely, cast a spell to find a friend or romantic interest).
  • Broken down into small goals when your overall goal is complex (just think about how many steps or how many changes it would take to achieve your intent; do a specific spell for each one of those rather than one big spell to try to change everything at once).

Find, or write, a spell. Review it, tweak it and familiarize yourself with it well. You don’t have to memorize it (you can if you want), but you should really be familiar with the steps and what you have to say so it flows naturally. Even if using notes, you should not be stumbling over them because you barely glanced at them.

Determine timing if you wish to work with magical timing.

Gather materials and supplies. Make a list; check it twice.

Prepare your space. Clean the area, cleanse and purify it if you feel the need. Set up your tools and supplies. Send the kids to grandmas, walk the dog, feed the cats, turn off the phone, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door if you think it’ll help.

Prepare yourself. On the day leading up to the spell you may want to eat light or fast, meditate and center yourself, take a cleansing bath or purify yourself in some way.

Recommended Witchcraft Book:

The Candle Magick Workbook: Why and How Candle Magick Works
The Candle Magick Workbook: Why and How Candle Magick Works

This is an old book but I'm a big fan of it. Very well written and through candle magic one can learn a great deal about the basic principles of magic, then apply it to any other method.


Spell Casting Part 2: State of Mind

Your state of mind needs to be conducive to your goal from the earliest preparation stages, through the spell and until your intent is manifest. State of mind is everything, which is why it’s so important to have mental discipline (a regular meditation regime helps).

In the weeks/days leading up to the spell, keep positive thoughts. The worst thing you can do is walk around worrying, “Will it work? I hope I don’t screw this up! I’m scared of what might happen!”

During the spell, you want to achieve the ALPHA state, the most conducive for magic and energy work. Alpha is a meditative state of relaxed awareness. It opens the way to the subconscious while you still maintain consciousness. You know the feeling—it’s when you run on ‘autopilot’ and are so focused on the moment. You don’t notice the time passing. You’re not thinking about what you need to do in the future, or what you could have done differently in the past. You’re not worrying about your chores or whether you feel cold or hungry; you are completely and fully absorbed in the activity. You’re in the zone.

After the spell, you need to keep your thoughts positive. Thinking negative thoughts or letting doubt creep in just sabotages the results. It’s best to not think about it at all, but if you do think about it you must think about it in a positive way. You need to banish doubt and worries, and know you not only can achieve your goal, but -- on some level -- you have achieved it.

Spell Casting Part 3: Linking to Your Intent

During the spell, when you’re in the ALPHA state, you need to establish both a psychological and metaphysical link between you and your intent. There are multiple ways to do this, and you can actually throw several into the mix:

  • State your intent. By saying and hearing it, you make it part of your reality and thus begin to forge a connection between yourself and the intent.
  • Sensory stimulation. Pick image, scents, sounds, tastes and objects with the feel that reminds you of your goal. For example, if satin sheets remind you of wealth, use a satin altar cloth for a money spell. On the flip side, a lot of healing spells utilize blue. If blue just reminds you of depression and having ‘the blues’, then it’s not a good option for you and you should pick a different color.
  • Creative Visualization: the more detailed you can envision your intent already manifested, the better.
  • Symbols and imagery have a powerful effect on the subconscious. Use something that makes sense to you. For example, if you work with runes, you might see FEHU as symbolizing material wealth and career success. That’s great—use it. If you don’t work with runes, then don’t use FEHU just because someone else says so. Perhaps a dollar sign, or the amount you want written out on a fake check.
  • Objects. In sympathetic magic, you might use a poppet, or in candle magic you might use one candle to represent yourself and one to represent your intent. Personal items are a great way to infuse personal power and link it with your intent. This is why you find so many spells that call for using nail clippings, hair, blood or personal belongings.

The "Poppet" or "Voudou Doll"

This 4th century doll was found in a terracotta jug with a tablet that bore a binding spell. This is known as 'sympathetic magic' - the doll is linked to the person on whom you cast the spell.
This 4th century doll was found in a terracotta jug with a tablet that bore a binding spell. This is known as 'sympathetic magic' - the doll is linked to the person on whom you cast the spell. | Source

Spell Casting Part 4: Raising, Directing and Releasing Energy

Once you are focused on your intent and have connected yourself to it, it’s time to begin raising energy. Part of this energy comes from internal sources—your emotional state, your thoughts and desires. This is why it is so important to keep your mind exactly where you want it: on the intent. The rest of this energy is drawn from external sources—your tools, correspondences, components, the Elements, other participants (if any), deities you might invoke, the Earth, Moon, Sun or other planets. Basically, everything in existence has energy, and you can draw from one or more sources when casting your spell.

Energy should build up slowly but surely by your chosen method(s) for raising it. Work on raising energy for as long as you can, until you feel it’s reached a crescendo.

How long does it take? Some people feel they can do it for as little as 5 or 10 minutes; others will spend hours. This will take time for you to experiment to see how you personally are able to build a sufficient amount.

At that point, you direct and release. To direct it, simply keep focused on the intent. There are a number of ways to release energy. Some people might stomp and shout. In sex magic, achieving orgasm is the release. Burning or breaking something is a great way to release energy. If you’re using an infusion or potion, you’d drink it. “Seal” the spell with a final thought or gesture to formally signify it’s done. This might be saying something, such as, “So mote it be!” It might alternatively be a gesture, such as throwing up your hands or making the sign of a pentagram with your finger or blade.

Make sure to ground as well, once you’re finished, as a final step of working with energy. Just envision pouring out any last bit of excess into the earth, a tree or a tool.

Ways of Raising Energy

sexual arousal

Traditional Gardnarian Power-Raising Chant

Spell Casting Part 5: Creating Channels

I go much more into depth about channels is in my article here, but essentially a channel is creating ways for that energy to flow freely between you and your ultimate intent. For example, if I cast a love spell to meet a compatible mate, I then create ways for the spell to take effect—I join a dating service online, I start going out by myself to coffee shops or museums, I take classes at a community center or volunteer at a charity, putting myself in the position in which the energy can help manifest my desire.

Thus, you put yourself in the perfect position for your spell to manifest.

A Visual Aid:


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    • profile image

      Gabriel 7 days ago

      I'm just a beginner at this, please correct me if I'm wrong. As far as I know, while performing a magick spell my mind must be in a meditative state if I don't memorize everything that I have to do and say during a spell, I might have to stop and take a look at the book or article where the spell is written to know what I have to do next and that will take me out of that state of mind. So should I do the spell a few times until I memorize it before actually doing? Would the times I rehearsed the spell count as spells too and then they would cancel each other out?

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 weeks ago

      Hi Erin; no, the 'bloodline' is a myth. Witchcraft is a learned skill. Like any other thing, some people will have more of a talent for it than others, but ultimately success will depend on effort and knowledge rather than family. Best of luck to you!

    • profile image

      Erin 2 weeks ago

      Do you need someone in your family to be a witch or can you just become one Ive always been interested in the world and what it contains when it come to that

    • Carnella Thorn profile image

      Cheyenne Treece 4 weeks ago from Ohio

      It is!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 weeks ago

      Glad to help, sounds like a great compromise. :o)

    • Carnella Thorn profile image

      Cheyenne Treece 4 weeks ago from Ohio

      Thank you so much. I've talked to my mother and step father. They said I can practice there aslong as it's not around my grandmother. But at my father's house I'll just meditate! I appreciate your support, and kindness. I look forward to your guidance in the future!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 weeks ago

      Hi Cheyenne;

      I am a firm believer that what you believe & relationship with your Gods is a personal thing. No one, not even parents, can 'order' us to shift our spiritual beliefs and experiences like that. Your mom & dad may mean well, but this is a very personal, internal thing, our spirituality, and you need not feel guilty for not following the path someone else wants for you... even your parents.

      Basically if you end up not their religion, it's an issue they're going to have to learn to deal with, not something you're doing wrong. And you never really have to talk about it with them if you don't want, because it's a private issue.

      But formal practice isn't necessary; if it would go against their home & rules, or your mom & dad's beliefs in their home, I'd say put it off.

      Pray to whom you believe, go out and acknowledge the Sabbats by sitting outside & meditating or holding a simple rite with no tools (make an offering of some spring water, sit and chant for a while, be mindful and attune to the nature around you, etc.). But if your parents don't want you to have certain tools, or books, etc. then respect that as a minor in their home. It'll change one day.

      Have you read this?

      Hope that helps.

    • Carnella Thorn profile image

      Cheyenne Treece 4 weeks ago from Ohio

      please reply soon. Im not gonna be able to keep this up withought feeling horrible. thanks,

    • profile image

      cheyenne 4 weeks ago

      Hey, I have a question. my parrents are christian and I am wiccian, I hate to say it but im not sure what to do. I know you are not saposta be disobediant. but the practice has helped me alot with getting to know myself better and Id like to know how to practice yet not let them know that I am doing it. because Ive come out before than I was punnished. and I had to say I was christian to get there trust back, and I just dont feel comfortable with not practicing wicca, yet I want to be loved and excepted and not told that Im going to hell.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 6 weeks ago

      I know that's a popular belief Torrence, but not my experience at all. I've known many Witches who know of no family relations, I've never had a student fail on a serious effort (if they needed a certain bloodline, you'd expect many would fail despite their efforts, if it depended on a bloodline rather than knowledge).

      The truth is we all go back to the same roots. Magic is in nature, it's in everyone's bloodline.

      Also, having it in a bloodline does not mean it's going to come any easier for those who don't practice/train/study. Having a grandma who is a chef doesn't mean you'll be a great cook; likewise, having a grandma who is a Witch doesn't mean you'll be a great Witch. The effort is required of everyone.

      Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      Torrence 6 weeks ago


      i don't think it works like that

      i'm pretty sure you have to have some one in you family that has that kind of power my mom and grandma have it so thats how i have it

    • profile image

      Katrina 6 weeks ago

      Well. I m not a witch but I want to become a witch and learn how to cast spells . Any help for it

    • profile image

      Joy 8 weeks ago


      I casted what I believe is a communication spell using a candle. I mediated as much as I could. I started to zone out and continued to repeat my mantra or intent. At some point I felt like I was rocking back and forth but I don’t think I was doing it on purpose. While doing this, I intensely imagined the person I wanted to communicate with. I then released the energy that I gained by burning the paper I wrote my intent on. Afterwards, I continue to visual my intent until reality took me back. Does it sound like I did everything correctly or was there something else I could have also done?

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 8 weeks ago

      Hi Help; spells just don't work like that in reality, that would be fictional magic. Se'd all be going back in time to get a re-do on our mistakes; it would be nice, but sadly not possible.

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      Help 8 weeks ago

      Gotta cast spell that will send me back ten years please

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      Cora Gray 2 months ago

      That was very helpful. I want to help my son and my daughter once again. One is having very bad nightmares. And the other is having night terrors. I used Sage and used my Lord Tyr command "what ever " to get out of my house 4 months ago. It worked then. Now it seems like what I did is not to strong. Do I need to do it again? Do I need to do something at bit stronger? Thank you for your information

    • profile image

      Annoymous 2 months ago

      Any spell on helping a relationship to work out better as we both feel confused now

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 months ago

      Sorry, can't help you with that; spells that emotionally enslave people are against my ethics. I would highly recommend you consider what you're doing and cast spells on yourself to help you work the situation out for the best. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 2 months ago

      I want to cast a spell on my mom in law, so she can fall in love with me. I'm in love with her

    • profile image

      Sharon 2 months ago

      I need help with spellcasting can anyone help me cast a spell.

    • profile image

      Athena holmes 3 months ago

      Me and my sister are witches I'm 9 my sister is19

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 6 months ago

      Definitely read on some of my articles then, Hayley. Especially the ones that teach you how to prepare to cast spells by doing meditation and learning to manipulate energy.

    • profile image

      Hayley Ramirez 6 months ago

      I never did a spell but I would like to know how !

    • profile image

      Debbie 7 months ago

      Excellent article and very helpful.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 7 months ago

      Hi Deon; Reach out. Pray. Meditate on her.

    • profile image

      deon simms 7 months ago

      how do i find the goddess?

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      Hildor A Pederson. 8 months ago

      I was watching the movie ( time machine ) and I thought that how it feel if I could travel into the future what wood it feel like . But only go 2 or 3 days just to see if it works, then come back. Do you think this could happen . Is their a spell for that , please answer. Mr Pederson .

    • profile image

      super articles. realy always informative 8 months ago

      Very informative it

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 15 months ago

      Thanks for your comments, Bonnie; I hope my articles are helpful to you as you learn and study.

    • profile image

      Bonnie 15 months ago

      Thank you for your help. I've thought of me as a witch for as long as I can remember. I've always had dreams that happen within a few days and I've seen things happen that couldn't have seen but then it happens within a few days too. I don't have anyone to talk to about how I feel or how to go about learning or how to practice. I'm trying to manifest me a teacher. And I'm not going to give up on it. I know there's a whole lot more to me than I know how to use. I feel I am really really powerful. I just need help to find how to use this from what I feel inside me.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Thanks Ms. Lizzie; I did write a hub on cleansing, consecrating and charging that might help you out if you haven't read it:

      Hope that helps, thanks for commenting!

      Bright Blessings,


    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Very interesting, Sage!

      I so enjoy your detailed articles.

      I've done a few minor "spells," but sadly, though I actually planned them, and what I would do, I did not follow all these steps; they were rather 'played by ear,' with words spoken on the spur of the moment. I chose appropriate words; I avoided negatives, but I sure as heck don't do rhymes, or call upon any forces beyond the elements and Earth and Moon and Sun.

      That video almost seemed to have a satanic edge, with it's line about "...queen of heaven, queen of hell, horned hunter of the night..." Kind of gave me the shivers, even though I don't truly believe in such entities...they struck me as negative energies, which I would avoid.

      I have purchased a beautiful pendant necklace with a photo cabochon of a black cat surrounded by a pentacle. It "spoke" to me, as I am very much a cat person. (I am collecting various items I really like to use as totoems/amulets.)

      I wonder if you have another article to refer me to about cleansing/purifying/infusing with energy for these items? I would make up my own, as usual, but I am also interested in learning proper methods.

      Voted up, +++