Like most practitioners, you probably started out looking for spells in books and online.
But at some point, you hit a roadblock. You need to get something done energetically, yet no spell that quite fits your problem seems to exist.
Now’s the time to ask yourself . . . why haven’t you considered writing your own?
Please note: Lots of ways to approaches to spell writing are out there. I encourage you to explore them all! The following formula is just one of many devised to help you think creatively about spell design.
Begin by identifying the problem. It’s much easier (and some say, more ethical) to change yourself than to change those around you. So consider what about your attitudes, beliefs, thinking or behavior could be influenced with energy work to solve your problem.
For example, if you hate your boss, rather than fantasizing about turning him into a toad (not possible, sorry!), perhaps you want to design a courage spell or job hunting spell to encourage the universe to open new doors for you.
Pick appropriate timing. Most people with even a little experience in the Craft know the following traditional moon phases and how to work with them. I’ll gloss over them briefly, but lots of articles already exist about this if you want more in-depth information (see links for mine).
Then we’ll talk about some more creative, out-of-the-box ideas.
Full Moon: Pretty much anything that requires maximum power. But not everything does. Also, for spells that go for multiple days, try timing them to culminate during the full moon.
Waning Moon: Use to drive things away from you. Weight loss, debt reduction, elimination, exorcism, endings, transitions.
Waxing Moon: Use to draw things towards you. Prosperity, fertility, attraction spells, creative inspiration, beauty or glamour spells.
Dark Moon: Protection, divination, binding, meditation or trance states.
Now, let’s talk about some ideas not often considered, but equally interesting.
Your Birthday: Wishing Spells.
Valentine’s or Lupercalia: Love & attraction spells.
Mother’s Day: Fertility spells.
Labor Day: Work or career spells.
You get the idea. Use the collective power of association around special dates to fuel your spell.
Decide whether or not you will use tools. Some people never use tools. I certainly echo the sentiment that you need not use them if you prefer. Particularly for newer practitioners, I encourage you to never feel like you must use them.
But personally, I love tools. Then open all kinds of creative possibilities. I enjoy making my own especially.
The most common tools are the chalice, pentacle, athame and wand. If you find these terms unfamiliar, simply search the many, many resources available online or in your library to get to know them better.
Many other tempting options crowd the displays of new age and pagan shops, including stones, cauldrons, jewelry, candles, and essential oils.
But nothing says your tools need come from a specialty shop. Check out this article for some ideas on items available at the dollar store.
Even better, get creative with things around your house.
Or, use your mundane crafting skills to your magickal advantage. Perhaps you weave or embroider—imagine how much energy you store in your creations with all the work you put into them.
Leave tools out of your spell work or include them to your delight—-your choice!
Choose herbs, flowers and/or fruit (optional). Again, you don’t have to use them, but getting to know herbs for their magical and medicinal properties behooves any practitioner, whether you use them or not.
And if you’re writing a spell from scratch, they’re an easy place to start.
Literally thousands of herbs line the shelves of grocery stores, occult shops and herbal medicine boutiques around the country. All of them contain useful energy just waiting to be released!
Below, I included links to creative ideas for using some of the more accessible ones. (I include fruit as well, which contains high concentrations of essential oils). Your local grocer likely carries most of them for culinary use. Or, depending on the season and your region, you may be able to find some of them growing wild for free!
Pick a color scheme (optional). I love using color in spells! It creates a vibe and makes the altar beautiful. Choose candles, altar cloths, flowers and stones in an appropriate color for your spell. Below, I listed a few common associations.
Red: Love, passion, courage.
Orange: Creativity, justice, intellect, freedom from dependency.
Yellow/Gold: Wealth, happiness, joy, dispel depression, brighten mood after grieving, divine masculine, sun magick.
Blue: Honesty, humility, restraint, weight loss, self-control, friendship, marital peace, soften hurt feelings, soothe frayed nerves, calm domestic tensions.
Green: Money matters, job hunting, healing, growth.
Purple: Communication with spirits, intuition, dream magic, divination, psychic awareness.
White: Purification, innocence, magic for children, all-purpose.
Black: Protection, grounding, reversals, banishing, hide from danger.
Silver: Moon energy, divine feminine, beauty spells, grace, elegance.
Decide on a power raising technique. Power raising generates a build up of energy to fuel your spell and propel it forward. As with all other elements of your work, use your imagination to come up with something creative.
Chanting: This timeless approach leaves much room for customization. It doesn’t need to rhyme, but something rhythmic helps to fall into the “trance” state you want to achieve. One effective technique involves beginning your chant in a whisper and building to a shout. This can be very moving in a group setting especially.
Dance: If you’ve never considered the spiritual side of dance, try using it to raise power!
Drumming: The earliest human societies used drumming to induce trance or connect with spirits. The ancient power of this technique stirs even the stillest souls.
Visualization: Those with a steady meditation practice tend to find this technique especially appealing and effective. If you focus well, try visualizing a build up of waves crashing over you.
If none of these ideas appeal to you, there’s an infinite array of others. Looking for a little excitement? Try using firecrackers to raise power.
Lay out your basic procedure. Or not. Some people really like to use a lot of spontaneity in their ritual practice.
I think a general idea of how you plan to proceed still helps, even if you go way off script during the actual spell work.
At the very least, make a list of the items you need, if anything. Don’t forget practical items, like a lighter for candles (I always forget that one!)
Prepare for your work. Many people like to take a ritual bath, clean the ritual space and spend some time gathering their spell elements. However you like to do this, make sure you walk into your ritual feeling cleansed and of sound mind.
Go to town. Actually do your thing. Showing up is 90% of it. Do what you planned. Once you’re done, try to step away and forget about it.
You may feel an immediate shift in energy. It may take some patience. Either way, I find it’s best to “put it on the shelf” mentally and wait.
Very often, something happens and it takes you a while to connect it. But when it clicks, it clicks.
Finally, step back and evaluate. If you feel things worked out well, great!
If not, take heart. Try to think about where things went astray.
Or perhaps recognize that while the better outcome wasn’t what you wanted, it was still for the best.