Witchcraft for Beginners: Spells, Exercises, and Lessons
Spells of Magic and Witchcraft for Beginners
Many novices will ask Witches for the real spells—as if they think we Witches are hoarding all the good ones. We're not! I promise. Here is your problem: Looking for spells when you haven't studied Witchcraft is like looking for sheet music when you haven't learned how to play an instrument yet.
Unfortunately, a lot of websites just hand you spells—many of which are by people who have not studied the Craft from reputable sources, so these spells come off sounding like something from Charmed. But saying a rhyme and lighting a fire doesn't make things go "poof," which is why many people have the following questions:
- Can anyone become a Witch?
- What is the first step to becoming a Witch?
- Do I need a mentor to learn Witchcraft?
- Can I be a "good" Witch?
The following directory of my how-to articles and instructional guides has been a labor of love that took me a couple of years to work on. I respect the Craft and want students to learn it properly so that their journey is a blessed one.
Looking for spells when you haven't studied Witchcraft is like looking for sheet music when you haven't learned how to play an instrument yet.
How Do I Learn to Become a Witch?
I have shared my knowledge from my book 13 Moons to Becoming Wiccan: Making the Transition from Theory to Practice in this article. Start by reading the sections below. Here, I explain a few things you need to know from the start. They will help you adjust your expectations and avoid some pitfalls. The subjects we will cover are as follows:
- How to Study to Be a Witch
- Understanding the Principles of Witchcraft for Beginners
- Advice for New Witches
- Techniques for Training Your Mind
- Essential Skills for the Beginner Witch
- Great Magical Spells for Beginners
- Magical Timing Guides for Casting Spells
- Lessons in Magical Herbalism
- Types of Spells (Love/Relationships, Prosperity, Growth, Health, Protection)
- Seasonal Spells
1. How to Study to Be a Witch
In this step-by-step guide, we will cover some of the foundations of beginner Witchcraft. Here's what to do:
- Start by studying/reading the materials in this article.
- Take notes, read, and conduct more research.
- Start forming and following questions.
- Begin a regular meditation regimen.
- Begin working/experimenting with energy.
- Start practicing spells.
- Learn to adapt spells and write your own.
- Keep reading and practicing (it never stops).
What's the Difference Between Wicca and Witchcraft?
As a Wiccan Witch, I write about both Wicca and Witchcraft—they can go hand-in-hand or they can also be mutually exclusive. Wicca is primarily a religion. The articles here are mainly focused on the skill of Witchcraft and can be applied by any Witch of any religion (solarity Witches or those belonging to a covenant).
Important Note: Because I am Wiccan, some articles specify Wicca. However, the techniques I describe and the principles behind them in these articles can be universally applied. You do not need to be Wiccan to benefit from this guide.
2. Understanding the Principles of Witchcraft for Beginners
There are quite a few principles of Witchcraft that all beginners must become familiar with. From the Witch's Pyramind to training the mind and knowing how to employ energy, start by learning the essentials.
A witchcraft primer is perfect for anyone thinking about studying Witchcraft, magic, and spell work. Here is an overview of what you need to know and the things you need to learn. Witchcraft requires that you become familiar with the tools, techniques, and components of spells in order for your intentions to work.
Training the Mind
Training the mind is essential if you want to learn Witchcraft. You don't need a spellbook and you don't need to run out and buy an altar full of tools. What you really need to begin with is training your mind. Once you've learned to discipline your mind by practicing meditation, you can move on to visualization techniques.
The Witch's Pyramid
The Witch's Pyramid is a fundamental philosophy that's beneficial for learning the Craft. It is an important lesson for all beginner Witches. It has been called other names like 4 Powers of the Magus and 4 Secrets of the Sphinx and the Hermetic Quaternary. Studying the philosophy of the Witch's Pyramid will allow you to employ your knowledge and creativity.
3. Advice for New Witches
As a beginner Witch, you have a lot of responsibilities to navigate. From choosing a mentor to learning essential tools of the Craft, these articles will allow you to start your journey in the right direction.
Choosing a Mentor or Teacher
Choosing a mentor or teacher is an important step to learning the Craft. Be aware, however, that there are a lot of people who are not what they claim to be. Careful choosing is paramount. Always consider "doing good" with your energy work, and be wary of those who intend to harm other human beings. Here are some qualities to look for in someone who is offering to step in as a mentor or teacher.
Creating channels by raising energy and directing it towards your goal is necessary if you want your spells to work. You can't just cast them and expect things to fall out of the air. You need to create channels for them. Learn what a channel is and how to make one.
Casting Effective Spells
Effective spells work and other spells don't—this is something you learn when you study Witchcraft. So, are you looking for more ways to cast spells that work for a change? Maybe the problem isn't your skills, it's your goals. Learn which spells not to cast so you don't waste your time.
Common Beginner Mistakes
Beginner mistakes are common, and even the best of us, no matter how experienced, probably stumbled over at least one or two common mistakes in the beginning. So, for all you beginners out there, forewarned is forearmed! Knowing what pitfalls to avoid can sometimes be half the battle. Here are seven more beginner Witch mistakes to read up on.
4. Techniques for Training Your Mind
The most important tool in Witchcraft is your mind—that's what makes it work. Learning how to train your mind is a prerequisite for practicing the Craft. The words, the herbs, the candles, the tools, and the gestures—these are all to help you focus and borrow their energy. They don't make anything happen on their own.
What makes a spell work is what takes place in your mind. It's of the utmost importance that you train your mind properly. The only real way to do that is through meditation.
Meditation Tips for When You Can't Sit Still
Meditation is an important prerequisite for practicing Witchcraft. Have you tried to meditate and keep hearing how beneficial it is for personal growth and spirituality, but are you struggling to sit still? Guess what? You don't have to sit still to meditate. Here are alternative methods for training the mind.
Learn to Meditate for Beginners
Learn to meditate with a brief, introductory guide. Meditation is the cornerstone for many religions, people of independent beliefs, and magical practices like Wicca. The article I've provided here strips down meditation to the bare basics to help newbies get started without becoming overwhelmed.
How Meditation Helps Witchcraft
Meditation helps Witchcraft in numerous ways. It helps to train your mind to tackle a goal for extended periods of time, teaches you how to deliberately alter your state of consciousness, allows you to increase your sensitivity to energies, and helps you to compartmentalize emotions. Simply put, it's a heightened state of awareness and will benefit you greatly as you learn the Craft.
Grounding and Centering
Grounding and centering allow you to connect your energy to the Earth and also center your focus inward. Anyone can reap the benefits of learning these techniques, but they are a must for beginner Wiccans. These activities will benefit anyone in every day life.
Visualizations for Grounding and Centering
Visualizations for grounding and centering and learning how to use them can make for productivity, not just in ritual, but when it comes to living a healthy, balanced life. These visualizations are a great way to accomplish grounding and centering at any time and in any circumstance.
Advanced: How to Improve Psychic Abilities
Psychic abilities are something to be nurtured in order to learn and practice Witchcraft. You have to learn to improve your natural intuitive abilities. I've provided some exercises to help you work on developing your psychic powers.
Advanced: Energy Manipulation With Crystals
Manipulating energy is an important tool for any Witch, but it can be especially difficult for the beginner. Spiritual activities in Pagan religions or Witchcraft depend on your ability to sense, raise, and project energy. Need practice? Try these exercises to help improve your skills.
5. Essential Skills for the Beginner Witch
In order to put your intentions to work, learn about the essentials skills that every beginner Witch should become comfortable with:
Cleansing, Consecrating, and Charging
Cleansing, consecrating, and charging, also known as "the three Cs," are fundamental to the Craft. If you've ever read a book about Wicca, you've probably been told to do any and all of these things—but did you ever really stop to think what they are or what they're about? Start learning about "the three Cs" in the helpful article provided above.
Casting a Circle
Casting a circle is an art; it only comes with practice. Here are some techniques, tips, and exercises you can use to help develop your ability to perform this essential Wiccan rite.
6. Great Magical Spells for Beginners
Spells do not involve just following a script like in play-acting. You need to understand what you're doing. There are philosophies behind magic that you need to understand before you can expect it to work for you. If just reading words off a page was enough to make something happen, then every actor playing a Witch on television would be shooting fireballs.
Here are some basic types or "styles" of magic and spell-casting that you can learn. The techniques are consistent and you only need to change up a few things to apply them to any purpose. The more you practice, the more adept you will become.
A Beginner's Guide to Candle Magic
Candle magic is a beautiful type of magic and is perfect for beginner spell-casters and potent enough for advanced practitioners. Learn the basics and get started.
Petition Candle Magic for Beginners
Petition magic is a type of candle magic that is great for beginners who are new to the Craft. Learn how to design and use petition magic for any magical goal.
How to Be a Kitchen Witch
Kitchen witches adopt the Craft for the purposes of enchanted living and can be of any religion or belief. They work with herbs and materials of the home to bring blessings into their lives.
Magical Potions, Brews, and Concoctions
Magical potions, brews, and concoctions all serve an individualistic function. Learn the difference between each type of tool and the various purposes they serve. Discover useful terminology for Witchcraft, from mojo bag to Witch's bottle.
How to Cast a Jar Spell
Jar spells are extremely versatile. Here you can learn the basics so that you can use this technique for any magical goal. This article offers a step-by-step guide for how to design jar spells for any need.
How to Cast a Witch's Ladder Spell
Witch's ladder spells are great for beginners because they don't require any special tools, ingredients, or elaborate rituals. They can be used at any time but are especially appropriate for use in a Beltane spell around spring.
Pendulums are extremely useful tools for practicing Witchcraft and can eliminate a lot of guesswork. Learn how to make a pendulum and the various ways you can use one.
An Introduction to Blood Magic
Blood magic often conjures up all kinds of gothic images. It's a quite controversial topic within the magical community as well. Find out what you need to know about it and how to practice it safely.
7. Magical Timing Guides for Casting Spells
Moon phases can be used to heighten the success of spell-casting and some Witches swear by timing spells based on moon phases. Here is a guide for using lunar timing in your craft.
Moon signs involve the astrological sign that the moon is in at the time that a spell is being cast. Proper magical timing is always a great way to give a boost to your spells. Try working with moon signs to see if this technique improves the effectiveness of your intentions.
Planetary Hours and Magical Timing
Planetary timing and its calculation can be a bit advanced, but with reference charts and some basic math, you can figure out the perfect timing of your spell down to the minute (free charts are included in the above article).
8. Lessons in Magical Herbalism
Welcome to my herbal grimoire. If you ever wanted to practice herbal magic, these resources are perfect for you. I lean heavily towards magical herbalism in my practice. I love to grow my own herbs, even though I don't even have land! I have a screen porch full of flower pots on wire shelves that's a bit like a greenhouse without glass. I love to use herbs for cooking, home remedies, and crafts. I also use them for magic.
I enjoy learning about the legends, lore, and mythology associated with plants. Here you can pick and choose whichever plant it is you desire to learn about, and if you don't find what you are looking for, feel free to put in a request.
Safety first. Never handle, prepare, or ingest any herb, spice, or plant without first understanding its properties and toxicities—including interactions with medications or effects on those with preexisting health conditions.
Aloe has many magical uses. According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, aloe is a magical plant—offering protection against evil influences and accidents. It is recommended that you keep aloe vera in and around the home. It is thought that if you dry the leaves of this plant by the new moon that it will bring a lover into your life.
I prefer to use dry basil for magical uses. The scent of basil is said to be good for soothing hurt feelings in relationships between lovers. It may also be used on the body to attract your lover's attention and draw in affection. You can sprinkle powdered basil over the heart of your lover while they are sleeping to keep them true forever.
Bay is actually not an herb but a tree, therefore, it's technically a spice. Bay is thought to aid in psychic abilities or visions. It has long been considered a protective spice and has been used to break curses and ward off malevolent energy. A bunch of bay leaves may be hung in a room to ward off pesky spirits. If you are an athlete, keeping a few bay leafs on you is thought to boost your athletic performance.
Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade)
Warning! Belladonna is not recommended for magic and spell-crafting because of its toxic nature. You are encouraged to find another herb to substitute for belladonna for use in spells. Belladonna has, therefore, been used in many death potions, hexes, and curses. It has also been well-known for its use in so-called "flying ointments," which are thought to allow Witches to fly on sticks (or broomsticks, according to some). Belladonna may have actually been used to induce a trance-like state in order to aid astral projection, which is where the notion of "flying" came from.
Lavender is widely popular in love spells. It can be used to bathe in, worn as an oil, or carried in a satchet or mojo bag to attract a lover. The oil can also be used to anoint and dress candles for love spells. Lavender is also used for dream divination. This can be done by keeping a pouch of it under your pillow.
Think of what you desire as you lay down to sleep. If you dream of what you desire, this means it is meant to be; if you do not dream of what you desire, it is not meant to be at the moment.
Lemon balm is celebrated for its healing properties and its ability to attract bees in nature. It is a wonderful, benevolent herb. One can put lemon balm leaves into a small, folded foil pouch to be worn under a bra strap or in a shirt pocket. Carrying lemon balm is said to attract love.
Warning! Mugwort is abortifacient and should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women. Mugwort is a plant that is exclusively associated with Witches and used to induce trances, aid in divination, and assist in prophetic dreams. It is great when used in an incense mix for channeling and scrying and is especially good when prepared as an infusion for cleansing divination tools (scrying mirrors, crystals, and pendulums). Mugwort is also great for boosting other herbs while performing herbal magic.
Rosemary is one of my top 10 favorite herbs. You can put rosemary under your pillow to induce peaceful sleep and prevent restless nights and nightmares. If you grow rosemary, you can hug the plant or give it several strokes with the hand to make your chores or a difficult day easier to get through. Rosemary makes for a wonderful incense in combination with other scents. Its aroma is known to increase mental stimulation.
Although sage is generally safe, use extreme caution when taking it internally as it can be toxic at high doses, interacts with certain medications, and can act as an abortifacient. Sage is commonly used for cleansing and clearing negativity and is popularly carried in sachets or mojo bags to promote wisdom. It is frequently used in smudge sticks and often combined with other herbs for added effect.
In his book, The Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham advises gardeners to have a "stranger" plant sage in their personal garden rather than planting it themselves to avoid attracting bad luck.
Stevia has been used medicinally and consumed for millennia in South America. It is popularly used in spells to banish sweet-tooth cravings. Although much of the magical folk-uses of stevia have, unfortunately, been forgotten, you can use this herb for health and general well-being.
To get rid of a headache, charge a combination of dried stevia and dried thyme and stuff it in a small green or blue pillow, anoint it with eucalyptus oil or draw healing symbols or sigils on it, and place it over your forehead while lying down.
9. Types of Spells
Please remember that you should not jump into trying spells before reading through the lessons mentioned above. Still, when you're ready to practice, here are a number of spells you can try. I explain them in full detail, including what your mind should be doing or why you are doing it. Also, remember that any spell you see should be seen as a springboard, not written law. As you learn to understand the principles of Witchcraft, you can adapt them as you see fit.
Finally, you'll notice some of these spells were made specifically for Wiccan Sabbats—that's okay! They're just a good option for Wiccans looking for seasonal workings. You don't need to be Wiccan to do them, and you don't even need to do them on the Sabbat (you don't even need to celebrate the Sabbat).
Spells for Love and Relationships
Love spells that work (and are free) might just be what you're here for. Have I mentioned how I met my husband? I cast a love spell! After about 20 years together (still going strong), I share my most successful spell.
Spell to Bring Back a Lost Love
Bring back a lost love with this full-moon candle magic spell. Do you ever think of the "one who got away"? Do you regret that you never got together with the person or that the relationship fell apart? If you still have feelings for this person, the relationship may not have been bad but the timing may not have been right. Need a second chance? Try candle magic.
Boost Love on Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is all about love. Looking to put a little magic into your special day? I've provided a general correspondence "cheat sheet" for you to raid. Add it to your Book of Shadows for future workings regarding love and intimacy.
Spells for Prosperity
New Year's Eve Prosperity Spell
Prosperity and wealth spells can be timed to take advantage of New Year's Eve energies, but they can actually be performed throughout most of the year. This New Year's Eve, why not bring a bit of Wiccan magic into your life? Learn how to create and use a charm bag for prosperity.
Free Money Spell
Money spells are second only to love spells. Everyone can use a little extra cash now and then. If Witchcraft is your way of giving a little boost toward the things you need, you may find that a charm bag is just what's required.
Samhain Harvest Spell for Prosperity
A Samhain prosperity spell can bring you abundance and success. Prosper from the fruits of your own labor and investments this year. Samhain is considered the “New Year” by many Pagans. Cast this spell on Samhain Night on the nearest full moon or nearest Sunday night. Learn how to charm a mojo bag to use throughout the year.
Pumpkin Spell for Abundance
A pumpkin spell for Samhain is a great way to utilize seasonal energies in order to bring what you desire into your life. This basic pumpkin spell is easy enough—even for beginner Witches. You can actually cast it any time, but it is particularly powerful at Samhain.
Spells for Personal Improvement and Growth
Banishing Unwanted Thoughts
Banish unwanted thoughts with a Wiccan spell for Mabon. Magic and spells cast on the Sabbats can be particularly potent. The autumn equinox lends energies to your workings and can really boost the effects. Mabon is the perfect time for banishings.
Wisdom From Ancestors (Samhain Pumpkin Spell)
Wisdom from ancestors can be gained by casting a Samhain pumpkin spell. I don't know about you, but I can always use a little wisdom from those who have gone before. Ask your ancestors to bless you with their knowledge as you honor them this Samhain season.
Wiccan Spells for Balance
A Wiccan spell for balance can help you to tap into the unique energy of the Sabbat, which can lend power to your spells. This ritual Wiccan spell for balance can draw great strength from the equinox energies at Mabon.
A Spell for Transition
A spell for transition may help you let go of something or a way of life that is no longer serving you. Need help making a big change? This is the spell for you. This spell is cast over seven days, so you will need a place where you can put your supplies where they won't be disturbed for seven days.
Spells for Health and Healing
Weight Loss Spell
Weight loss spells abound, but this spell is especially good for flushing fat and it's simple. Weight loss is one of the most common resolutions people make for the new year, and a full moon is the perfect time to cast a spell for losing weight—as is the month of January.
Breaking Addiction Spells
Breaking addiction spells are excellent for the dark moon phase. They allow you to break free from an addiction that might be hindering you: a relationship, a substance, food, or a bad habit. The energy of the dark moon gives a great boost to your intentions, so these types of spells are perfect for tackling big problems.
Spells for Protection
Wolf Magic Protection Spell
Protection spells—especially wolf magic—are great for the month of January. There's nothing more protective than the spirit of the wolf. Take the opportunity during a "wolf moon" (waxing crescent moon) to summon a guardian spirit to protect your hearth and home.
10. Seasonal Spells
Magic for Ostara
Ostara—when day and night are equal—is a good time for some spells and traditions involving balance. Seasonal celebrations of spring can really help shake off the winter doldrums. What better way to celebrate the season than with a little bit of magic? Spring is a good time to draw love and romance into your life or to enhance your attractiveness.
Magic for Samhain
Samhain, Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, Shadowfest—no matter what you choose to call this holiday or tradition, there is one thing we can all agree on: it is arguably the most powerful time for magic and divination. Here are some magical workings that even newcomers can enjoy.
A yule spell is perfect for casting on Winter Solstice since it is such a magical night! Take advantage of the abundant energies and make use of certain ingredients that are pretty common this time of year. A yule spell will help you keep on track with your newly set goals.
Keep in Touch With Me
I'm not even close to being finished with these lessons and I'm not going anywhere. As I wrote this article, I kept stopping to jot down ideas for topics I have not yet covered or spells I would like to pull from my Book of Shadows to share. Feel free to comment below; I’d love to hear from you. Until then, happy Witchcrafting!
What other lessons are you interested in?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.