A Spell is a "Magickal Intention". It's like a Prayer, with added staying power and intent. Spells should be mulled over quite intensely before they are Constructed and Delivered.
I am a firm believer that ready-made, "canned" spells rarely work because the Personal Energy used to Construct a Spell of your Own Intent is not there.
That's not to say that Spells found in Books or on the Internet are not useful. They can be useful guides for Spell Construction, but will never fully be able to grasp your own Personal Intentions.
The following guide can be used to construct your own Spells.
Clearly define the Intent or Purpose of the Spell. Think it over and write down what you would like to accomplish. Be as specific and clear are you can. Muddled ideas lead to muddled Spells and muddled consequences. If you intend to recite your Intention verbally you might want to take some time to refine it into a simple statement or rhyme that you can easily memorize and recite. Cheat Sheets are Ok too, and if you'd like to document your spell, take some time to write down what you're up to, how you are planning on going about it, and later on, the outcome. This may help you to find combinations of Magickal Techniques that work best for you and will help retain documentation of your work and progress, in case you ever need to fall back on your notes.
Decide what God(desse)s or Elements you will be working with. If your intent is clearly defined, you should have no trouble deciding the proper channels of energy with which to work. Many Pagans work with specific Deities and Elements most of the time, and are thus familiar with who/what to work with. If your Spell intent is something that you do not usually work toward, it may behoove you to look in to any Deities or Elements that may aid your Intention.
Decide how you will be putting your spell to Work. Do you always work with Guided Meditation? Perhaps then you would be most comfortable working the spell into a Meditation Session. Would you rather Cast an elaborate Circle and make your Spell Casting a small part of a Greater Ritual? Is it more convenient for you to simply light a candle, state your intent, burn the scrap of paper your spell is written on, thus releasing it's energy into the universe? Would you rather gather your spell intention into Herbal Form and burn it over a fire? Does it make more sense for you to gather the spell components and bury them in the ground? However you decide to put your Spell to work is your choice. Your choice may be guided by necessity or instinct. The possibilities are endless. The "correct" way in which to Cast the Spell into the Universe is yours to choose.
Define your Spell time-line. Check the time of day, time of the season, and Phase of the Sun or Moon. Is the intent of your Spell a Growing Energy or a Dying Energy? If you are doing a spell that requires Growing Energy (for example: To Increase Physical Protection) you may have to wait until after the New Moon to perform your spell to better maximize it's effectiveness in the Waxing Energy. Likewise, if the spell needs Dying Energy (for example: To Banish Negativity) you should wait until after the Full Moon, to allow the Spell to linger in the Waning Energy.
Gather Your Ritual Tools. If all you have is one candle and a piece of paper, that is all you need. If you can't be in the right frame of mind to Cast Spells with out your Athame in One Hand, a Wooden Staff in the other and your Cauldron at your feet, so be it. Just as you chose certain Deities or Elements to aid you, specific aids and tools will help you to visualize your intention with greater ease. For instance if you are doing a spell for Money, a green candle, a loaf a "Money" Bread you've baked by hand, or a pile of coins may help you to better visualize your Intention. Gather any items that will help you define your goal.
Define your Ritual Space. Again this is very much up to you. If the only space you have is on the top of your bedroom dresser, then that's all the space you need. If you can find space under a tree or in a meadow, so much the better. Pick a place where you can have some quiet, uninterrupted, private time so that you can better accomplish your magickal goals.
Once you have chosen how you will be Casting, and have gathered everything you will need, Cleanse your Space, Cast a Circle, Ground & Center, and call up the Elements and/or any Deities you are working with. I think Circle Casting, no matter how simple or complex, is a very important step in any Magickal Working because it affords your with some Protection. If you do not no how to Cast a Ritual Circle, then it is not advisable for you to be Casting Spells.
State your Intention clearly, either in your mind or out loud. You may wish to chant your intention 3 times to help it sink in. Perhaps you would like to chant it over and over until you feel the energy has built up sufficiently.
Release your spell into the universe and put it to work. You can do this by putting it into the flame of a candle and letting it burn away, by physically igniting the paper the spell was written on, or by burying the spell. Whatever you decided to do in Step 3, do that now.
Bind your Spell. This is an exercise in responsibility that needs to be performed for each and every spell. By going though this exercise you state Intent and then stake your claim in it. Binding the Spell is a Realization of Action in which you take full responsibility for the Spell and it's Intent. By making the Binding Statement (ex: This Spell is Bound and Shall Be to Harm None Nor Return on Me) you are acknowledging the power the Spell has and you are re-defining that your intention is for good, bringing harm to none. When you perform a spell, the energy you have put into it is Bound to you. This is why Pagans choose the Spells they Cast very carefully. If you do a spell for someone else, even if you are not "involved" in the situation, you are binding your energy to the situation, like it or not. This statement of Binding is your way of acknowledging, before the Gods and the Universe, that you believe that what you are doing is right, and just and for the greater good, and should thus be granted.
Thank the Gods and/or Elements for aiding you in your Magickal Workings and Release their Energies if you are done for the day.
Break your Circle, physically or figuratively. Clean up your space (especially if it is outdoors) and make sure to leave the space cleaner than when you found it.
Forget About it! A Spell is Best Done when left Alone to do it's Work. You have given it up to the God(desse)s; let them see to the Intention as they see fit.
I hope that this guide is helpful to those who are interested in
This spell guide was written by darkstar
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