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Five Spell-Casting Essentials for Beginner Witches

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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Read More From Exemplore

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

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:


© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright


Leonora on August 02, 2020:

I was wondering if you had any tips for what colour to wear or what type of jewlery and if so for what type of spells? I'm kind of new to the witch world, and would realy appriciate some more advice! I'm working on a spell right now, and am don't have much time, I need it done soon, because where I live I will have to wait close to a year if I wanna do it another time, and it's kind of urgent.. Annyways, thanks for all the help, I really could not have had a chance of finnishing this spell in time without your website.

rich on December 02, 2019:

all these years i didn't understand what my wife was doing, now i know.

Natalie on December 02, 2019:

Do you raise, direct, and release energy before or after spell?

Gladys on November 21, 2019:

I want to know how to cast money spell and if I do where will I see/find the money? in my bank account or in my house?

Nix on November 19, 2019:

So if you do many spells that are aimed toward the same area would they just cancel out or add up?

Like if someone does more than one physical enhancement spell or more than one spell for mental clarity

Roy on October 02, 2019:

I am 11 years old and I have been looking at witchcraft articles for a month . My mom does not like witchcraft . She thinks witchcraft is about conjunting evil spirits and telling them to harm people . I really want to cast a spell to get my birthday money . What time of the day is the best time to cast my spell ? If I told my mom that I want to be a wizard she' ll think I am a satanist . She belives that witches and wizards are evil. She does not allow any form of witchcraft in her household . I would like to cast a spell to make friends . Am I to young to practice witchcraft . I can do some magic card tricks but that is different from witchcraft . I have a secret place outside where i can practice witchcraft without my mon knowing . I am intrested in witches and wizards. Where can I buy a book about making witchcraft potions and casting spells ?

Bo peep on September 30, 2019:

I haven ' t. Tried this does it work if does while I do I'm. Live on YouTube. .

anon on September 15, 2019:

HI I have a quick question if it's not too much sorry but I started witchcraft a yearish ago and a monthish ago started writing my book of shadows. I've only every cast minor magic like not sitting down n doing a spell just small stuff for my plants and wards and stuff but lately like the palms of my hands have been sparlking???? like I touched ultra fine craft glitter but I don't actually work with glitter like ever and it's a come-and-go kinda thing I was just wondering if you'd have any idea if this was something to be like concerned about??

Alex mg on July 09, 2019:

Hi I'm new at being at this I was wondering is there any books that I could get for spell casting

maria hudson on June 30, 2019:

hi I am new at spell casting and just want to know where to begin like I have a book I orderd online called spell casting but I don't think it works. Are there actual spells and books with spells that work also how do I make the Star on the ground ?. I want to find a spell for making water move or make it do tricks can you help me

I know magic is real and really want to know how to be a spellcaster. thank you

Jamie on May 25, 2019:

Hi I am a person who is wanting to be a witch and my uncle is too we have been trying to find a glass shattering spell but had no luck

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 03, 2019:

It can, ultimately it depends on the caster's abilities. Other people's spells can be good but it is always best to adapt them.

Madamshara on March 24, 2019:

I've always felt my Wiccan connection you know the psychic part shines thru often.i just want my kids father to care about me entirely Wiccan sign is fire .what can I do with fire to create a spell for caring. Lol

jo on March 23, 2019:

i have only been doing this for a short time but people i dont know keep coming up to me and asking me to read there cards or to heal them and i cant heal anyone! my daughter on the other hand is very powerful her website is mias witchy wonders you should check it out. i want to cast and connect a person to a doll and i dont want to mess it up any advice