Several of you have been discussing spell work lately in the comments, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss the mechanics behind how to cast a spell.
Why might you want to know about this? Spell work can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. And, the principles are precisely the same as the law of attraction. But, since magic has been studied for millennia, while the law of attraction has only been studied for a bit over a century, there is much more known about the intricacies of using magic.
Plus, who doesn't want to cast a spell? 😉
What Is Magic?
Before we discuss how to cast a spell, there is one very important question to discuss, first: what exactly is magic?
I can't possibly hope to answer that in one post, as magic is one of the most complex, intricate arts in existence, and there are many differing, at times conflicting views on it.
I take my sources from my favorite magician, Aleister Crowley, plus various witchcraft traditions, and my own experience.
What's important to note is that my opinion is just that—my opinion. If you should pursue magic, and this includes via the law of attraction, since that indeed is also magic, then you will have to test these principles for yourself.
Magic as a Science
Crowley saw magic as a science. He believed that if you did X, you got Y as a result, every time. If you didn't, then you did X wrong.
Here's a telling quote from his book, Magick in Theory and Practice:
Thus its fundamental conception is identical with that of modern science; underlying the whole system is a faith, implicit but real and firm, in the order and uniformity of nature. The magician does not doubt that the same causes will always produce the same effects, that the performance of the proper ceremony accompanied by the appropriate spell, will inevitably be attended by the desired results, unless, indeed, his incantations should chance to be thwarted and foiled by the more potent charms of another sorcerer. He supplicates no higher power: he sues the favour of no fickle and wayward being: he abases himself before no awful deity. Yet his power, great as he believes it to be, is by no means arbitrary and unlimited. He can wield it only so long as he strictly conforms to the rules of his art, or to what may be called the laws of nature as conceived by him. To neglect these rules, to break these laws in the smallest particular is to incur failure, and may even expose the unskilful practitioner himself to the utmost peril. If he claims a sovereignty over nature, it is a constitutional sovereignty rigorously limited in its scope and exercised in exact conformity with ancient usage.
I agree with a great deal of the above, though not all. To understand Crowley's view of magic, you have to understand the worldview of most magicians. Here I refer to ceremonial magicians, not practitioners of witchcraft.
Magicians see themselves as more or less the center of the Universe. Their will is final, as long as they are adhering to the universal laws as they have been laid out. If they are to work with another being, it is to be among equals, at best. This is why they're not extremely favorable towards working with deities.
I hold more or less the same view, but, like most witches, I don't see deities as beings to be worshipped. I see the gods as beings who have immense experience, and who can help me with specific areas of life. I see it as a relationship.
Also, as I've discussed before, I do believe that sometimes an intention can be stopped for your highest good. It is rare, but has happened enough times that I can't discount it.
The Definition of Magic
Now, at last to the definition of magic I adhere to, and which also comes from Crowley, and also from the same book:
Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.
Notice how he spells magic with a “k”. He did that to differentiate it from stage magic, which is based on illusion. I just call it magic.
Again, we see that magic is a science. Put in X, you get Y.
That's why magicians keep a magical record of their practice. Witches often call this a “book of shadows”. Ceremonial magicians will usually call this a “grimoire”, because they like fancier words for everything. 🙂
Notice, too, that the definition is very loose. It says nothing about a wand, circle, or any other tool or prop. There's also nothing about the words you have to speak.
Really, magic is just changing the world around you with your will. According to Crowley, that doesn't even mean it has to be done in a supernatural way. If you want a glass of water, and you fetch a glass of water, you've just caused “change to occur in conformity with will.” Congratulations, you're a magician! 🙂
That means that every act is a magical act. You cannot perform an action without that action changing the world around you. You cannot even really speak a word without that word changing the world around you, both mundanely and magically. You similarly cannot think a thought without causing change around you, though that change is much more subtle, and takes much more focused thought to cause such change. However, it is all magical.
What Is a Spell?
In order to learn how to cast a spell, you must also learn what exactly is meant by “spell”.
If magic is to cause reality to conform to your will, then a spell is very simply, a focused magical act with some particular intent.
I mentioned above the simple act of getting a glass of water. Magic is the laws by which that was able to take place. A spell is the focused intent itself which moved the entire operation, as well as the process by which the act of will was carried out.
So to get more specific, if I say, “I want $1,000,” I have the raw ingredients for a spell. But, the spell doesn't happen until I apply that will to actually cause change to happen. Essentially, a spell is simply a magical act directed toward some end.
In the law of attraction, you might call this simply an “intention”. A spell is the act of focusing on that intention so as to manifest it into your life. It's all the same thing.
Notice that it's not a spell until you actively carry out your will. Simply having the intention isn't enough. Magic is extremely active.
This is why I've emphasized so much that it is not enough to just feel good. You have to actively will it, and act upon that will by magical acts, like affirmations, visualization, or any other technique you might use.
At a minimum, you need the will, a focus for that will, and the emotion to move the energy towards your goal. But this is just the start of how to cast a spell. There are many more considerations, which I'll discuss below.
You Need a Goal
It probably goes without saying, but before you can cast a spell, you need a concrete goal.
A vague goal doesn't really do the trick. Just saying, “I want more money,” doesn't really move the energy you need to accomplish the spell, just as I've said with the law of attraction.
Not only that, but your subconscious mind, as well as the Universe as a whole, will take the path of least resistance to fulfilling your goal. Technically “more money” could mean $1. 🙂
I've discussed the criteria for a goal before: a goal needs to be inspiring, believable, and challenging. The perfect balance between these three qualities is essential to have a successful goal.
Depending on the magical tradition, more requirements may be added on the goal. White vs. black magic isn't something we'll get into today, but someone might have the requirement that their magic is for good only. Of course, magic can be used for harm, but that's up to your personal ethical code. I don't believe any magic user can or should tell another how to practice magic.
Some people are wary of love spells, too, especially with specific people, because they don't want to influence someone else's free will. My own view on it is that we are always influencing other people's free will. For instance, even for me to do a spell for more clients is to influence enough people's free will to choose to order from Co-Creation Coaching. As long as you recognize that they have a free will, and can say “no”, then I think it's fine to do a spell for a specific person to be in your life.
Of course, as always, your goal should be positively stated, and should likely be in the present tense. For example, don't say, “I will receive $1,000,” but say, “$1,000 is coming to me.”
This may all seem simplistic, but choosing the right goal is an integral part of how to cast a spell.
3 Steps to a Successful Spell
When learning how to cast a spell, there are 3 steps that must be taken into consideration with any magical working. I will describe these steps right now, and later will describe how the law of attraction uses these steps as well.
However, spell work takes these steps to the next level, where far more is possible. I'll explain why that is later.
The 3 steps of how to cast a spell are:
- Raising Energy
- Directing energy
- Releasing energy
Step 1: Raising Energy
Before you can perform magic, you need the raw material of magic, which is energy.
I've talked about energy just about as long as I've had this blog. Energy is the creative force behind magic. No energy, no creation. It is what the Universe itself is made out of. It is what your manifestations are constructed of. And, it is the fuel of your spell.
What does it mean to “raise” energy? It simply means to call upon some amount of Universal Energy to be used for a particular purpose.
Energy on its own is neutral and unprogrammed. It is neither light nor dark. It has no intention on its own. Energy is shaped entirely by the mind of the magician, which we'll discuss later.
Just as in how some appliances require more energy than others, so some intentions require more energy: specifically, intentions that aren't entirely believable to you right now. The less believable that intention to you, the more energy it requires to manifest.
Creating $20 might require very little energy. On the other hand, creating $1,000,000 might require quite a bit more. It all depends what's within your comfort zone.
This is where the discussion of the current level goal vs. the next level goal comes in. A current level goal requires almost no energy. Think of the energy required by, say, a can opener. It's simple and requires next to no power.
On the other hand, a next level goal requires quite a bit more power, because it has more resistance to overcome, and requires the alteration of your subconscious structures. The bigger the next level goal, the more energy it requires. Think of the energy required by, say, a microwave. It requires significant amounts of power to operate, because of its complexity.
In our example, you can plug in a can opener just about anywhere, and it'll work fine. A microwave, however, you have to make sure can get enough electricity.
When we first moved into our house, all but one of our kitchen outlets were broken. So, we used a surge protector and plugged all of our appliances into it. Any time we'd try to run the microwave and toaster oven at once, the circuit breaker would trip. Finally we got it fixed, though to be honest we're too afraid to try running both at once in case it trips again, as neither of us are about to take a trip into the basement. 🙂
The point is, there wasn't enough energy.
So, you need energy for your spell. But, how do you raise energy?
There are countless methods. Some of the most popular ones are repeating an affirmation repeatedly, chanting, visualizing, drumming, dancing, and so on.
Energy can come from two sources: within yourself, or from external forces. Chanting, visualizing, and the like will raise energy through your own system. Using crystals, magical symbols, calling on elementals and deities, and so on, are ways of using external forces. I see drumming and dancing as a mix of the two, as it is great for raising your own energy, but also can help to call on other forces as well.
The more you practice magic, the better you'll get at feeling energy. You'll get a sense for how long you should do these practices for. Some will use such techniques for 5 minutes, while others might take an hour. It just depends on the need.
There's also the matter of how to contain this energy. For basic spells, you can generally contain it within yourself. But the more complex the spell, and the more energy it requires, the harder it is to contain. Plus, if you need to call on elementals and/or gods, you'll need some help containing them as well.
That's where a circle comes in. I plan on writing about how to cast a circle in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned if you are interested in that.
Magic circles are important for several reasons: they can contain the energy, keep the area clean of outside influences, keep external forces contained within the circle, keep negative forces outside the circle, etc. If you're doing black magic or calling on demons, they're also extremely, extremely useful for putting a barrier between you and the demon. I don't know much about this as I've never practiced this magic myself, but just pointing out that it's out there. 🙂
Now you have raised sufficient energy, so what's next?
Step 2: Directing Energy
The second step of how to cast a spell is directing energy.
So you have all this raw energy, either within yourself and in your energy system, or in the circle you have closed. By itself, that energy will do nothing. In order to have that energy act on your will, you must program it. We call this directing the energy.
Some methods of directing the energy are closely tied to the methods of raising. For instance, chanting can be used for both.
The essential difference is that you direct the energy when the raised energy reaches a climax. With chanting, this might mean getting louder. With visualization, this might mean including the full detail of your desire.
Essentially, this is the direct act of will. Before, you are only building things up. But at this point, you infuse the energy with your will.
Raising energy, as mentioned, can take minutes, or hours. Directing energy will generally be a lot shorter, because it doesn't take much effort to infuse it with your desire. In fact, the less you try, the more effective it'll likely be. You don't want to overthink this step.
However, the moment of directing energy should include no doubt within yourself. You should be absolutely certain of what you are doing. Ideally you leave all doubts outside the circle, prior to the spell. But if doubts crop up, then you need to deal with them at the raising stage, when the energy isn't yet being programmed. As always, the best method to use is the zero state.
To return to our analogy of the microwave earlier, raising energy is like simply plugging in the appliance and knowing the electricity is present. Directing the energy is the act of the microwave actually drawing the electricity. It now has a definite purpose.
While this is the shortest part of the process, it is probably the most important. If your will isn't precise, then the energy will be scattered.
Here are some examples of directing energy:
- For a money spell, you might write the desired amount on a check, or just a piece of paper
- For a love spell, you might inscribe on a candle the qualities of the partner you desire
- For a spell to release negativity, you might write down the things to be released from your life on a piece of paper
These are just simple examples. It'll also work if you just visualize or use affirmations. But the above are common enough examples, and you can customize it as you see fit.
Really all that matters is that you believe in it. You can't just take a spell you find online or in a book, and try to perform it without adding your own belief. Spells don't work like that. That's why I am purposely vague here.
Step 3: Releasing Energy
The third step of how to cast a spell is to release the energy that you've raised and directed to your goal.
Now you have a great deal of energy programmed to a specific purpose. But, it is just sitting there. In order for it to do anything, it needs to be sent out into the world to accomplish your will.
This is why people in the law of attraction always talk about “letting go”. You have to let go of the energy of the desire once you have evoked it within yourself. Otherwise, it cannot go out and actually align the proper events in order to manifest.
Letting go, of course, does not mean being detached. Being detached from a magical working is the worst thing you can do.
However, you do have to let go to a certain extent. Thinking about your desire all day just holds up that energy and doesn't allow it to go out. That's why I tell people not to obsess, and only to focus on the desire a few times a day.
Really, with a spell, it's better to raise enough energy once, program it, release it, and allow that to be enough for a while. “A while” could be a day, several days, or a week. Because you did a lot of the work up front, you don't always need to repeat the process. You might visualize your desire in short bursts here and there, especially before bed, but no major effort should be required after this point, until you can see the effect the spell had.
There are near infinite ways of releasing energy. Have you ever noticed how most people, when they pray, will say “amen” at the end? That is releasing energy of their “spell” (which they'll call a prayer), so it can go out and do what they asked. Some witches will say, “So mote it be.” If you've cast a circle, then opening the circle (meaning taking it down after the ritual is complete) will release the energy as well.
Here are some methods you can use to release the energy for the spells mentioned earlier:
- For the money spell, you might put the check in an envelope and set it away until the next full or new moon.
- For the love spell, you would subsequently light that candle that you had inscribed.
- For the cleansing spell, you would burn the piece of paper, or bury it.
Here are just a few ways energy is released:
- Saying some short phrase like “So mote it be”
- Opening the circle
- Ringing a bell
- Clapping the hands
- Snapping the fingers
- Burning an item
- Lighting a candle
- Burying an item
- Imagining your desire being done and dropping the visualization
These are just off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are more. It is any act of finality.
Often these methods can be mixed. You might ring a bell, and then close the circle to clear out any residual energy.
To return to our microwave analogy, this would be when it actually cooks your food. The energy was raised (electricity is available), directed (microwaved draws on the electricity), and now it is released (the electrical energy is converted into a form that can perform the microwave's task).
As you can see, all 3 steps are clearly vital. If any of them are missing, your desire will not be accomplished. The spell will fail.
But if all three are in place, and you have successfully programmed the energy, then the spell will almost certainly succeed.
How These Steps Apply to the Law of Attraction
I said before that learning how to cast a spell is really indistinguishable from learning the law of attraction. To practice the law of attraction is to practice magic, and to practice magic is to practice the law of attraction.
So let's take three common techniques and break them down into these steps:
When you use an affirmation, the affirmation will not work unless you feel the desired emotion of having your goal. It is said that you must have a burning desire. Feeling the strength of that emotion is nothing less than raising energy. To speak the affirmation is to direct that energy. To let it go afterwards is to release the energy you have raised and directed.
When visualizing, you must also feel the emotion of having your goal. As before, this is raising energy. The stronger the emotion, the better. The detail of the visualization is directing the energy, because you are telling it that this image is what you want. To let it go afterwards is to release that energy.
Vision boards are another popular method. You must find a picture that evokes strong emotion in you of having your goal. Yep, that's raising energy. 🙂 As you print out that picture and put it on your vision board, you are telling the Universe that this is what you want—i.e., you are directing energy. Then as you let it go, you have released it.
The great thing is that every time you look at that vision board, you have performed a small spell. You look at the picture, feeling the emotion, and thus raising energy. The picture itself tells your subconscious mind what you want, and so you direct that energy. And then you move on with your day, effectively releasing that energy.
The difference is that most of these are pretty small scale. This is why you have to repeat it often. The more tools you add, and the more you put into raising energy, the faster and more effective the spell will be.
But, that is up to you how much effort you'd like to put in. Just rest assured that every time you set an intention, visualize it, and let it go, you are performing a spell. You have just done magic!
How About You?
Now it's your turn. Now that you know how to cast a spell, can you see how you've been doing magic all along? How do you plan on using these steps to improve your magical ability? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.