SPELLCRAFTING SERIES: BASICS OF SPELLCRAFTING
Once you understand the type of spell you want to cast, you can start constructing your spell around your desire. Spells are essentially a recipe with a few basic components with the intention of manifesting a desired outcome. You fill in each component and viola! you have a spell! Now some spells will be more involved than others, while some will be quick and simple. This all depends upon what you wish to achieve with the spell. However, the basic components remain the same.
Intention or Desire
Behind every spell is an intention and without it, you are just screaming into the abyss hoping something happens. Setting your intention is the act of specifically and clearly communicating what you want to the Universe, spirits, or deities. As such, your intention should be clear, focused, and specific. If your intention is too vague or wishy-washy, the likelihood that your spell will turn out the way you want is slim. Defining your intent can be difficult, even time-consuming, but a clear, focused, and specific intent will get you a lot farther than a vague one with little direction. So how do you make sure your intent is 'good' enough? When writing your intention it should be:
- Specific (no wants, wishes, hopes, or vague desires)
- Precise yet Open (while it should be specific, you should be able to say what you want in a few words, but leave the ending open enough to receive something better)
- Positive (use positive language over negative. Don't use words like not, won't, don't, or can't)
- Time-constrained (set a time frame for your intention)
- Personal (use I, me, and/or the person's full name)
- Reasonable (some things just aren't attainable and that's okay!)
Let's say I want to purchase a new Mazda 3. Side note, I love my current Mazda 3 and can't wait to buy a brand new one in a couple years. Anyway, based on my first statement, the first intention that comes to mind is "I want a new Mazda 3." While on the surface this may sound okay, there are a couple of problems with it. First, it's not specific enough. By starting with "I want..." I am telling the Universe that I want something so I'll get back more wanting instead of my actual desire. Next, it's not very precise, but it is pretty open-ended...a little too open-ended. "New" can mean a whole lot of things. Saying I want a new Mazda 3 could very well manifest as a Mazda 3 new to me, not new in the sense that the car is straight off the dealer lot. Furthermore, what color Mazda 3 is it? Does it have a sunroof? Heated seats? Rear camera? Cloth or leather interior? Tan or black interiors? Radio? CD player? Navigation system? How much does it cost? Are you willing to spend $5 or $50,000? I could end up with a 'new' Mazda 3, but it does not have any of the features I want, is the wrong color, and is unaffordable. No offense, but I just can't do red and white vehicles. Third, there is no time constraint. This means the spell could manifest tomorrow or in 10 years. My current car will need to be replaced in less than 10 years, so that isn't going to work for me. However, the intention is positive as I didn't use any negative language, reasonable as I can afford a new car, and it's personal because I said I wanted the new car. So let's revise this intention a bit to make it better.
First, let's make my desire more specific. Instead of saying "I want" I will say "I own." Second, let's make it more precise yet open to better options. I'll give a specific year, color, and add-ons for the car I really want: "a new 2021, gray Mazda 3 Touring with a sunroof and rear-view camera or better in my price range of $15,000." Here I am precise in exactly what car I want and I opened myself up to the possibility of the Universe giving me something better than I initially requested. Next let's set a time restraint: "within the next year." Now the intention reads: "I own a new 2021, gray Mazda 3 Touring with a sunroof and rear-view camera or better in my price range of $15,000 within the next year." The new intention is specific, precise, positive, time-constrained, personal, and reasonable. You can learn more about writing specific intentions in my post on Primal Language.
Now that you have an understanding of how to construct a good intention, I encourage you to practice this by turning the following 'bad' intentions into 'good' intentions:
- I want to pay off all my bills and buy a mansion.
- I hope I get a new job.
- I wish he loved me.
- I don't have to go without.
Now setting an intention alone is not enough. You want to bring that intention into reality and that is often done as a spell of some sort.
Spell Composition and Ingredients
With your intention in mind, it's time to start composing the spell itself. You want to pick a few ingredients that will best suit the needs of your spell. As a general rule of thumb, I try to use no more than 5 ingredients. Those that I do pick correspond with the energy of the spell, enhancing the magic I generate in the process. This is also the time that you will start planning what time is best for casting the spell, if you will chant or write your intention, how you plan to raise energy, and what you plan to do with the spell remains. I will cover each of these steps in later posts, but for now understand that after setting the intention, it's time to start designing your spell.
Shifting Consciousness and/or the Preparation of Sacred Space
During this phase, you shift your consciousness away from the mundane to the magical, focusing on your intent to achieve your goal. During the time leading up to the casting of your spell, you should keep your thoughts about the spell positive. If you allow doubt to creep in, you will bring that energy into the spell itself which can and often does result in the spell backfiring or never manifesting. When you are ready to cast your spell, prepare your working area, again shifting from the mundane to the magical. Preparing sacred space alone results in a shift in consciousness, allowing the later steps of a spell to go more smoothly.
To prepare sacred space, set aside an area where you will not be bothered. Depending on the spell this may be inside or outside. I know a lot of witches claim that sacred space should be separate from the mundane all the time, but this isn't feasible for most witches and sometimes can restrict your spellcasting if you are not able to work where you need to. Begin by cleansing the space with your preferred cleansing method. This could be through the burning of cleansing herbs or one of my 13 smoke-free ways to cleanse a space. However you do this is entirely up to you. Once you have cleansed the space, you can cast a circle, invite spirits, deities, or your ancestors to help, or simply meditate in the space prior to casting your spell.
During the process of casting the spell, it is important that your focus remains on the work at hand, not your mundane chores. After the spell, continue to keep your thoughts positive as you take the mundane actions required to achieve your goal. A lot of witches cast a spell and forget to put in the work afterward.
Raising, Directing, and Releasing Energy
Once you have set up sacred space, it's time to start performing the spell. Spells have two distinct phases: gathering energy and releasing it. During the raising of energy, you perform the necessary acts to power your intent. This can be done through chanting, dancing, mixing ingredients, visualization, or through other energy-raising means which I will discuss in greater detail in a later power. Once the energy for the spell is raised, it's time to release it into the Universe. This can be done by burning your spell ingredients, releasing them into the wind, pointing your hands to the sky and pushing your energy out into the Universe, or any other way you release energy. Sometimes this can manifest as crying; whatever helps you release the energy you have raised.
Creating Channels and Manifesting
After you have cast your spell, it's time to do the mundane work. You can't throw your desire out into the Universe and sit back and hope it just happens. In order to get my new car, I need to secure a car loan from my bank, go to dealerships, and price shop. A car isn't just going to fall in my lap. By getting out there and taking the mundane steps to achieve my goal, I am opening up channels through which the Universe can manifest my intention. Unfortunately, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of spellcrafting. Without creating channels through which your intention can manifest, you set yourself up for failure. You can't get a new job if you don't put in applications. You can't move into a mansion if you don't bid on a house. You can't get out of debt if you keep spending money on your credit card. You won't find love sitting on your couch watching TV.
These steps combined are everything you need to cast a successful spell. I've broken down some of these basic components into their own articles so I can spend time going into each in-depth while providing exercises for you to complete to enhance your spellcrafting and spellcasting ability. I encourage you to complete the intention exercises as this is the only time we will discuss creating a specific intention for spell work. Later I will have posts on correspondences and spell ingredients, how to word your spells, and how to raise and direct energy to ensure your spells are successful. Until then!