Before you Begin
Spell casting always seems to be stereotypically shown as some spooky ritual that involves a full moon, black candles, sacrificial ceremonies, and plenty of magical potions, powders and props. This is not an entirely accurate picture. Magical dealings need not be so strict in nature. There are certain items that are needed to cast a spell, but what you use and how you use it are ultimately up to you. In fact, some say that if magic is not personalized, it is rendered useless. Spell casting is made out to be such an inflexible art, but this is a prevalent misconception. First and foremost, when casting a spell, the caster must be in the proper mindset. If you are stressed about your job, bill payments, family issues, etc. this could throw off your focus and the spell will either not work or the effectiveness of it will be diminished. Seasoned casters suggest meditation, grounding rituals, and cleansing baths before attempting a spell, so you can be rejuvenated and fresh for the task at hand. Many spell casters will perform their spells "skyclad" or naked, or in special robes they keep solely for this purpose, but you may dress in whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Tools of the Trade
Those experienced in spell casting will most likely already have an altar on which to perform the spell, but for beginners who do not have altars yet, they are very simple to construct. Altars are small tables usually made of wood, metal or ceramic. They may be as simple or elaborate as you like. They are usually covered in an altar cloth. The altar cloth is most usually white or black, but should be varied to match the kind of spell you are casting, for example: if you are casting a love spell, it should be pink or red, or for a money or prosperity spell, it should be green. Altar cloths can also be very simple or ornate. You may even wish to make your own, that way you can infuse your own personal energy into it.
Spell Casting Aids
When conducting spells, there are many items that can aid you. Firstly, you may choose to play music during your spell. It is very common, when casting a love spell, to play favorite romantic songs. However, when playing music, the volume should be kept to a minimum so as to not disrupt your focus or to make you break the circle to wrestle with the volume. Candles are also widely used in spell casting. Not only do they provide adequate mood lighting, but each candle color is attributed with certain emotions or powers, for example, a pink or red candle would be used for a love spell as those colors are attributed to feelings of romantic love. Therefore, the caster, depending on the type of spell, should be sure to pick the appropriate color of candle to enhance the potential potency of their spell. Herbs, crystals and incense are widely used in spell casting to enhance the energy or power of the spell. The scents of lavender, vanilla, honeysuckle and gardenia are used mostly for love spells. Another integral tool used in casting is the athame, which is a ritual dagger with a double-sided edge and a black handle. The athame is never used to cut anything physical and is most often used to cast the magical circle.
Other Things to Consider
There are many other tools that can be used, but are not necessary to the craft. Many altars usually include a chalice, which represents the element of water, which will usually hold water or wine for drinking after the spell casting is complete. There is also usually a wand representing Air that can be made of wood, metal, or bone. Most altars will include a pentacle or small pendant that will typically be used to cleanse other items on the altar. Cauldrons are also usually found on altars as well. They are normally placed there for a more "witchy" effect and are used infrequently. Timing should also be considered when preparing for spell casting. Each lunar phase and day of the week is associated with different deities and planets. Therefore on certain days, particular energies might be more potent. An ideal time to cast a love spell would be on a Friday as that particular day is associated with Venus.
Casting The Circle
In order to start your spell, first the circle must be cast. A circle is simply a space that is used as your realm of power in which to perform your spell. It should be in a place that is free from distraction, such as televisions, telephones and all other everyday appliances. The space should be cleansed with the sprinkling of salt water to ensure that any negative energy is banished. When your space is ready, the circle must be drawn. You may use your finger, wand, or athame, to draw a symbolic circle approximately 9 feet in diameter. Those skilled in spell casting can simply call up their circle through visualization, but the circle may physically be defined as well with stones, gems, earth, or candles. After casting the circle, it is time to invoke the elements to help you with your magical deed. The four elements to be called forth are Air (East), Fire (South), Water (West), and Earth (North). Simply stand in the direction associated with the element and politely ask for each Guardian to join you and watch over you during your spell. After the Guardians have joined you, then you may invite any other spirits and deities that you wish. At this point, you are ready to perform your spell.
When casting a spell, setting the proper mood is integral to success. If the energy is not correctly balanced, the spell will simply not be effective. Spell casting is a very personal and powerful way to commune with your inner self and the universe and there are numerous ways to go about it. Regardless of whether you have the appropriate tools, words, and timing, if your mood is not suited to your spell, it is sure to fail.
About the Author: Terri Lewis is a relationship advisor specializing in alternate therapy and is an authority on wicca and pagan culture and tradition. Terri provides content for the website Free Love Spells and Information - www.love-spells-pheromones.com.