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A Checklist for Spell Casting
Using pre-made spells for your magical work has the advantage of listing just what you will need to use and when to use them, the experienced Witch will find themselves more often than not creating their own specific spells. To make sure you have not forgotten any necessary action or ingredient, it is handy to have a basic checklist for generic spell work to make sure you have everything in place before beginning. You may not need everything on this list depending on your objective but at least by checking off what you do not need is as important as gathering what will be required.
You will know what type of spell you are going to perform already but stop and write down the exact purpose you are striving for. Determine the basic order in which you will do each part. Write out the exact wording of the spell and double-check that the meaning of the words used leave no doubt as to your objective. Rewrite as necessary until the words are concise and clear with no gray areas that can be misconstrued.
Determine the proper time or season that this type of spell should be performed at. This may include not only the seasons as related to the solstices and equinoxes but also the Lunar phase that is appropriate for success in your spell. The day of the week, time of day and in some cases the specific hour will need to be determined. You should also have in mind the time it will take to perform and if there are time limits on its execution.
Once you have this aspect worked out, determine the location you will be performing the spell. While quite often it will be at your home altar, there are many types of spells that will take you outdoors. You should already be familiar with the area around you and know where the best crossroads, cemeteries, wooded areas or public parks are that allows the practice of Witchcraft. If you will be working outdoors, it is also necessary to keep up with the weather patterns that may affect your operation. If you can have an altar place set up in advance, by all means do so.
If your spell work will include candles, gather up the type, size and colors you will need for the specific spell. Choose the appropriate anointing oils and prepare them. If you are carving specific sigils then do this before dressing your candles. If you are going to be transporting your tools, wrap them in a protective cloth. Make a chart if necessary of just where they will be placed during the ritual. Then determine whatever other materials you will need. Herbs, spices, incense, oils or crystals should be picked out in advance and prepared for your work. Again, if you are going to be transporting these items to another location, wrap them well for protection.
Once all your materials and tools are prepared, you will be ready for the actual ritual. Lay out your materials as required and draw up the power to make your circle of protection. Invoke whatever powers or elementals are to stand in attendance and charge your area with a cone of power. Perform your spell following the step-by-step procedure you have determined will be most efficacious. Once the spell is said and the energy released into the etheric realm begin your withdrawal by closing down your circle and grounding any random energy elements that remain. Thank the powers that have aided you.
You will have determined in advance whether your candles should be left to burn down, in which case you need to make sure there is no fire hazard left behind. If they are to be extinguished, you should have planned for whether it is after the spell work or after the closing of the circle. Any other materials must now be dealt with. Depending on the specifics of the spell you have devised, they may need to be buried, burned, left in another location or even given to the person a spell was worked for. Once all this is done, the last step you need to do is to cleanse and recharge your Craft tools in preparation for the next time you will be using them.
Taking a hint from the American Boy Scouts, the practicing Witch should 'Always Be Prepared'! In addition to the things you will need to have worked out for your spell work, you should also keep a small kit of other items that may be needed to keep you safe in your activities. This may include anything from personal protective charms or holy water to a clear idea of how to make a fast getaway from the area you are working in. Witchcraft is the path of the Wise. It is wise to always know just what you are doing at all times.
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