Everything you need to know to write your own spells

Posted by Laurel Hazelgrove on

If you’re new to witchcraft, wicca and spell casting, the idea of writing and creating your own spells can seem daunting if not outright overwhelming. It isn’t – trust me. Once you have an understanding of the basics of spell writing and spell casting, along with some handy reference guides and resources, you’ll be a master spell caster in no time.
The first thing to understand is that it will take some time to research the basics you’ll need to build a strong foundation for successful spell casting. The difference between writing your own spells versus using those others have created is research. While I have nothing against using some elements or ideas from someone else's spell, the main thing is that you understand why you're doing what you're doing.
When you’re casting other people’s spells, you’re using the results of their research and their understanding of the metaphysical properties (magickal properties or correspondences) of the items they used in their spells, their choice of timing as to when to cast the spell, and any words or invocations they used. In my opinion, if you don’t understand what those metaphysical/magickal properties are, the chances of success in spellcasting are greatly reduced. If you don’t really know why you’re using certain herbs at a certain time of day or day of week, and if the words you use don’t have much meaning to you, then the outcome of your spells will be less than stellar.
In other words, creating and writing your own spells is an essential element to successful spell casting. Creating and writing your own spells will also increase your knowledge of witchcraft in general, increase your confidence and create a stronger connection between you and the natural world through the items you use based on your own understanding of how they help and why.
Obviously, books are an excellent source of information. There are all sorts of books on the metaphysical properties of crystals, herbs, candle colours, days of the week, planetary energies, etc. Whatever source of research you choose is a matter of your own personal preferences. I recommend checking out witchipedia.com, as there you can find an immense amount of information about anything and everything witchy – including all the correspondences you’ll ever need to create and cast a spell for any occasion.
Now that you understand what makes doing your own research so important, let’s get down to some details.

What are the component parts of a spell and the steps involved

Your choice of items you’ll use in your spell will depend on your intentions – what goal you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want to cast a love spell, you’ll want to include things that correspond to love. These items may include rose quartz, rhodonite or morganite crystals, lovage root, orris root, mandrake root or rose petals for herbs, and probably a pink coloured candle. You might want to cast your love spell on a Friday, which is associated with the Norse Goddess Freya (a goddess associated with love, among other things) and the planet Venus, the planet of love. Once you have done some research on what kinds of herbs, candles, crystals, etc. correspond you your particular intention (goal), then you can incorporate those items in your spell.
When you include items like crystals and herbs in your spell, you’re using their energies to help you accomplish your goal. You draw upon the energies (again, metaphysical properties) inherent in the items you use to empower your own energies and intentions. I would like to add here that you do not have to include any items whatsoever in spell casting – not even a candle – because your own energies and intentions are enough to cast an effective spell. However, crystals, candles and herbs can be helpful as you can draw upon their energies to boost your own energies and intentions towards the success of your spell and in accomplishing your goal.
Setting intentions. Your intention is your goal, the specific reason for casting your spell - a specific goal you’d like to achieve.
Circle casting. The purpose for casting a circle is to keep the energies you’ve raised and generated within the confines of the boundaries you’ve established within that circle, making sure that all of that energy stays with you and within your control rather than dissipating and vanishing into thin air or being taken up by something or someone else, namely lower vibrational beings. Without going into too much detail about how your energies can be siphoned off, suffice it to say that a circle of salt or white light really is beneficial if and when you need to raise energy.
Personally, I prefer a circle cast with salt because salt both preserves and purifies – it does a lot to keep any negative energies out while purifying the energies within. My second favorite circle casting method is by pointing a finger, moving in a circle and envisioning a barrier of white light between myself, the area in which I’m working, and everything else. You can also create a circle with rocks, candles, crystals and with any other means of your choosing. It’s your practice so do whatever is most meaningful to you.
Whether or not you cast a circle is up to you. I generally prefer to cast a circle as it really does help to keep the energies within the boundaries I’ve established with my circle.
Cleansing your sacred space. Clearing your area of any old, dull, heavy or even negative energies may be beneficial. You can cleanse an area with incense/cleansing (smudging) herbs, by ringing bells, hand clapping or singing bowls, or by simply imagining white light filling the area.
Grounding. Grounding brings any energies you have lost through dissipation, negativity, etc. back to you and under your control. I recommend that you conduct a grounding ritual before and after casting your spell. Grounding connects you to the energies of the earth from which you can draw upon and returns any excess energies you’ve built up or any energies that don’t belong to you back into the earth to be absorbed, cleansed and transmuted.
Location. You can conduct your spell casting anywhere you want. Don’t feel as though you have to cast your spell at your altar, if you have an altar at all. Not everyone has an altar and that’s no big deal. Quite frankly, I do all of my spell casting at my kitchen table. I cleanse and bless the area I’m working in, create a sacred circle around that area and use my kitchen table for the items I’ll be using for that spell. I usually add an altar cloth on top just to distinguish the difference between an everyday eating area to a more sacred one. So even without a formal altar, you can still cast a spell anywhere you want – just cleanse and bless the area first to create a sacred space, and if you have a spot outside you want to use then by all means use that space.
Plan ahead. You can plan to cast your spell at a certain phase of the moon, such as a full moon or new moon, at a certain time of day associated with a planetary hour or during a liminal time of day, such as at sunrise or sunset, or on a certain day of the week which may correspond to your goal. The most important thing is to set aside the time you need to cast your spell well in advance at a time and date that is most convenient for you. Don’t worry too much if you can’t coordinate your schedule with a certain moon phase or time of day. It is more important that you feel comfortable, unhurried and at ease. Make sure that both the day and time are what is most convenient for you.
You might also want to consider whether you’re casting your spell in one shot or are you casting over a few or days/nights? You could, for example, light a candle associated with your goal for a few nights before and/or after you cast your spell. If you like to incorporate numerology or favorite or lucky numbers in your spell casting, then you might want to use a candle you can burn for, say 9 days or 12 days. If you’re working with the moon, you might want to light a candle for a few hours on the night before the full moon, cast your spell on the night of the full moon, then burn more of the candle or let it burn out completely the night after the full moon. There are no rules associated with how many days or nights you need to cast your spell and there are no rules about casting spells during the day versus at night. You choose what you feel is right and most convenient for you.
Clothing. Do you have special ritual clothes you like to wear for special occasions like a robe or hat or even just a certain piece of jewelry. How about casting a spell sky clad (naked). Wear whatever is comfortable for you.
Meditation. Meditation helps you focus on your goal and with setting your intentions. Meditation is not about completely emptying the mind but is about mindfulness - being present in the moment - and should lead to greater awareness, not a reduction in it! Meditation is not just about relaxing the mind but about focusing it.
The practice of meditation will help you keep your mind focused on what you are doing right now – focusing on your goal – and to not be distracted by any other concerns or issues you may have going on in your life right now. When meditating, visualize the outcome you want, imagine your goals being achieved, keep your mind on what you’re doing and why. This will help you to ground, center and focus your energies, then you’ll be in a better position to raise and generate that energy to use to cast your spell. The more you can visualize and meditate upon your intentions, the more success you’ll have casting a spell.
Meditating will also help you connect with your intuition – your inner voice – rather than relying on the rational mind/monkey mind all the time.
A chant or incantation – the words you want to use. You don’t have to say anything, chant, or have an incantation ready to cast a spell. You can cast an effective spell silently. However, if you want to say something during your spell, I highly recommend that you choose your own words and phrases. I know it can seem really difficult to come up with a phrase or rhyme or words to express what you want your spell to mean, but here’s what I want you to do:
Practice meditating well before the day you’ve chosen for your spell. Have a pen and paper handy and relax your mind, thinking about your intentions. Focus on the feelings associated with your intentions and what words you could use to express those feelings and write those words out as they come up. Keep practicing this until you get as many words as possible and, believe me, once you start writing you won’t be able to stop. You’ll have pages of words, phrases, or even paragraphs associated with your intentions. When you’ve gathered enough materials, review it and then choose what you want to use as part of your spell, rhyme or incantation. Trust me, this really works!
Writing your spell out. You can also write your spell out on a piece of paper that you can burn or bury afterwards. You can do this instead of speaking and incantation or along with it. Writing has just as much power as speaking does.
Raising energy. You can raise energy by speaking a chant or moving your body (such as swaying, rocking or even dancing). You can rub your hands together to open the palm chakras. As you rub your hands together, imagine the energy centers in the palms of your hands opening up and energy balls forming in your hands.
Once you feel the energy building, move the palms of your hands apart, feeling a ball of energy forming and growing larger and larger. Once you feel the energy has grown and been raised to a level you’re happy with, you can release the energy by pointing your wand or index finger at your candle, or crystal or any other object, or clap your hands together to release that energy. 
Keeping notes in your grimoire, book of shadows or journal. When you’re done your spell make notes about everything you did, what you said, what you used and when you did it. This way, if you feel you want to cast the spell again you can refer back to what you did before. If you’re not seeing results from your spell in, say, 3 to 6 months, you might want to try casting it again, either exactly as you did before or you might want to make changes.
Things take time and practice. You might not get stellar results on your first try. You may have to practice your spellcasting abilities over a period of time before you get your steps down pat and gain confidence.
Confidence is key. It takes time to build confidence and you can’t build confidence without practice. We learn by doing things and not just reading about them. So, don’t get discouraged if your first spell is not as successful as you had hoped. This is not a sign of failure – it just means that you probably could use a little more practice.
Far too often, people get discouraged and give up after having only tried one time! As you build confidence and learn what works best for you, you will begin to see better results from the spells you cast. It does take practice, practice, and more practice. The only failure lies in giving up on yourself. Take as much time as you need to build your craft – from the ground up. Be okay with things not happening as quickly as you think they should happen.
There is a lot of information to take into consideration, but now you’ve got a solid foundation for creating and writing your own personalized spells that are meaningful to you and far more effective than simply copying someone else’s work.
Now let's talk about the steps involved in conducting your spell. How, exactly, you go about spell casting is really, totally and completely up to you and will depend in part on what kind of spell you’re casting. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just provide an outline for an uncomplicated yet effective spell. You can use this as a template and guide for your own spell casting.
  1. Gather all the items you need where you’ll be conducting your spell including a towel to wipe the oil and herbs off your hands (if you’re using these items).
  2. Conduct a cleansing/blessing of your sacred space (either with smoke or sound or visualization) and perform a grounding ritual.
  3. Cast a circle. I recommend starting by facing East and sprinkling salt or envisioning white light or whatever method you’ve chosen, moving to the South, West, North and finishing facing the East again.
  4. If you’re invoking any Deities or Angels, or invoking the elements, do so now.
  5. If you have a mortar and pestle you can grind any herbs or resins you’re using.
  6. Hold your items in your hands, one at a time, asking them individually to help you accomplish your goals and thanking them for offering their energies.
  7. If you’re burning incense, herbs or resins on a charcoal disk you should light your disk now.
  8. If you’re inscribing your candle with words or symbols, do so now, then anoint your candle (also referred to as dressing a candle) with oil, applying the oil from the middle of the candle to the top, then from the middle to the bottom to draw something away from you (as in banishing), or apply the oil from the top down to the middle of the candle, then from the bottom up to the middle to bring something to you.
  9. Roll your candle in the herbs then light it.
  10. Light the incense or start burning your herbs/resins on your charcoal disk.
  11. Meditate while focusing on your intentions.
  12. When you’re completely focused and relaxed, you can write out whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind about the spell your casting – what you want to achieve or manifest. Write whatever comes to your mind and use this time to start generating energy as it flows from your mind to your pen to your paper.
  13. When you’re done writing out your thoughts, start rubbing your palms together, feeling the energy centers open up. You can chant, rock, dance or sway at this point to help raise the energies, feeling it grow into a ball between the palms of your hands.
  14. When you’re comfortable with the energies you’ve raised, release it into your candle, crystal, or any other object of your choosing with a wand, athame, or by pointing a finger. Or, you can hold an object in your hands to release the energies into if you’re creating an amulet, for example. You can also speak your incantation at this time if you have one prepared.
  15. Once you feel all of the energy has been released into the object of choice, you may want to say “so mote it be” to end your spell. 
  16. Take a few minutes to relax your body and mind, then conduct another grounding ritual to dispel any lingering, excess energies.
Now is a good time to make notes in your grimoire, book of shadows or journal while your candle and incense may still be burning and everything is fresh in your mind.
When you’re completely done, deconstruct your circle by going the opposite way you created it. So, start facing East again, but this time move to the North, West, South and returning back facing East.  
After you’ve cast your spell, if you still have quite a bit of candle left, you can simply let it burn out or burn it at times when you’re working on your book of shadows or reading about and researching the craft to use its energies to help you along. Otherwise, feel free to simply throw the candle out along with any extra herbs you may have left over.
Again, this is just a basic outline of how you might cast a spell. Use your imagination and judgment as to how you want to cast yours.
The most important thing is to make it fun – you should take spell casting seriously, but without making it a bigger deal than it needs to be. Maybe start of with easy and more enjoyable spells like a spell for more confidence, a self-love spell or simply practice meditation and intention setting. Practice creating energy balls in the palms of your hands. You could even use the spell casting outline to enchant an object to make a magickal charm or amulet.
There are also other types of spells you might want to consider, including jar spells, freezer spells or even poppets. Once you understand the basics of spell writing and have learned about metaphysical properties and correspondences, you can write and create any kind of spell you want.  
I hope this information has been useful and helpful to you and brings you a little further along on your path.