A spell is a spoken or written formula which, in the act of magic or divination, is intended to create or change a particular course of events.
Their methods vary accordingly from culture to culture, but all spells function on ritual activity.
Spells are cast to meet the needs of an individual or a group of people. They can be can by an individual or a group, such as a solitary witch or witches in a coven.
A spell could consist of a set of words, a formula or verse, or a ritual action, or any combination of these.
Spells traditionally were cast by many methods, such as
- by the inscription of runes or sigils on an object to give it magical powers;
- by the immolation or binding of a wax or clay image (poppet) of a person to affect him or her magically;
- by the recitation of incantations;
- by the performance of physical rituals;
- by the employment of magical herbs as amulets or potions;
- by gazing at mirrors, swords or other specula (scrying) for purposes of divination;
- and by many other means.
It is thought that the success of the spell rests on the power and will raised and the skill with which they are focused and projected. All of these powers go into spell casting.
There are various types of spells. Some are beneficial while others are harmful. Some claim they may be worked on man and beast alike.
Their purposes are limitless including healing, love, success, money, fertility, longevity, protection against disaster, illness, misfortune and evil, exorcism of ghosts and spirits, victory in war and over an enemy, truth in divination, weather control and accomplishment of supernatural feats.
A person can cast a spell for himself, or direct it toward another person. A positive spell is called a blessing. A negative spell usually known as a hex or curse. Archaic terms for spells include bewitchment and enchantment.
A binding spell is on that is casted with the intention of preventing harm or disaster, or to stop someone from performing a particular act such as a murder or rape, or something as inoffensive as spreading gossip.
Such methods help the one casting the spell to emphasize his mental images so he can better identify with these images and form a clear goal .
The person repeats his intention to achieve the particular goal and combines it with the projection of his will and the invocation of the aid of the spirits, deities or inner force.
Generally the words of the incantation used in casting spells are spontaneous and composed to serve the immediate purpose.
Rhyming words or verses help to create rhythm to boaster the increasing of energy. While many effective spells and charms may be found in books on witchcraft, folk magic and magic most witches and magicians believe spells composed from the heart work the best. They know just the recitation of a chant or charm does not cast a spell.
Along with this many witches and magicians believe that the words of the incantation are not as important as their intent. This involves, during ceremonial magic, the focus of intense concentration and will upon achieving the goal, visualizing it and believing that it already has been accomplished.
When the psychic power has peaked, it is released and directed toward the goal.
A psychic cleanup ritual finishes the spell casting work, this is to banish any remnants of psychic energy. The invoked deities and forces of the elements are thanked.
The ethics set forth within the Wiccan Reed prohibits the casting of curses within neo-Pagan witchcraft. Also within this group there is divided agreement on the acceptability of binding spells.