Writing a spell: Where to start?

Jun 8th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Books for Pagans, Books for Witches / Wiccans

Writing a spell: Where to start?

spells and charms, rachel patterson

So, you’ve decided to go ahead and cast a spell, where do you start?  Here are some basic guidelines to help you write your first spell.


What you need to decide first is what the purpose of you spell is but also have you covered all the other options first?

Is there a mundane solution that will bring the same outcome?


If you are set to work a spell make sure you put some thought into it and ask yourself if you are willing to put the work into it to back it up and follow it through.

It is a pointless waste of time and makes a mockery of The Craft if you just go into it half-heartedly.


Write down your intent and be as detailed as you can.  If your intent is to find a job, be very specific about what job it is that you want/need and when you would like to have the job by.  When writing out your intent think about answers to these questions:

Who? What?  Where? When? Why? How?

Some answers you may write down are:

Who – Me

What – A new position of employment

Where – Within “such and such” a company

When – October 2017 – always put a specific date of when you need the spell to manifest

Why – To gain secure employment and financial stability

How – By being a successful candidate at the job interview

When I cast my first spell it took me forever…I researched, I wrote it all out in detail and spent ages setting it all up. And yes, I felt pretty silly doing it.  It was a slow process but each spell I cast after that became more refined and generally faster to work.  These days I tend to work more ‘’off the cuff’ and don’t write it all down first and I follow my intuition and let it guide me as to where the spell wants to take me and what it needs.  This sounds in complete contradiction to my strong guidelines above but it comes with experience and I always make sure I am still very precise with my wordings and my intent.   In fact, I encourage you to follow your intuition when putting a spell together, be guided by what words, herbs and oils you need.

Trust your inner voice.  Just make sure you are specific…

You don’t have to write a beautiful sonnet or rhyming poem to go with your spell but the words must have meaning.  Your aim here is to speak your intent and tell the universe what it is you desire.  This can be a chant that rhymes or just words from the heart, whichever you chose the universe will hear and respond.

Choose the type of magic you want to work with whether it is candle magic, a cord spell, creating a witch bottle – whatever method feels right for that spell.


Next you need to gather together the ‘ingredients’ and that might be a candle, corresponding herbs and/or oils, paper, pens, matches.  Write a list of everything you will need and gather them all together in one place.  You might even want to decorate your altar or space to tie in with your spell work (this isn’t essential but always an option).

Choose your ingredients carefully, trust your intuition and be guided about what items you need and what they will bring to the spell working.

You can layer the power of your spell magic by using corresponding items such as working the spell on a certain day of the week or phase of the moon.  Spices, herbs and oils can all be added in for extra power.  Using a particular colour candle or altar cloth will also boost the magic.

Your ingredients will also need charging or activating before you use them.  They need to know what magic you require them to work.  I like to hold the item (herb, crystal, candle, whatever it might be) in my hand and draw energy up from the earth and down from the sky channelling it through me adding my intent and visualising my desire.  I send the energy down through my hands and into the item.   NEVER draw energy from your own body because you will end up exhausted.  Mother Nature is more than happy to give you her energy, just use your body to channel it.


I don’t believe herbs for magical use need to be expensive or picked at dawn by a virgin maiden wearing red silk underwear…Use what you have to hand.  Grow your own herbs and dry them or forage in the woods and by the roadsides.  Purchase bunches of fresh herbs at farmers markets or big bags of dried herbs at Asian markets or in your local supermarket.  If you are worried about how ‘pure’ they are then just cleanse them by visualising a clear white light removing any negative energy.  You are going to charge the ingredients for your spell with your intent anyway.

I also tend to avoid any spell that lists 73 different ingredients including exotic ones that I would have to order online and have shipped halfway across the world.  Personally, I prefer to work with what I can easily and cheaply source; call me lazy, call me tight or call me a Kitchen Witch – I don’t care, it works for me!

The same goes for candles and materials; in an ideal world, I would love to be able to afford beautifully crafted eco-friendly candles. But they aren’t always readily available and they are not usually very affordable (I do understand why: The time and cost of ingredients used).  I work with candles purchased from 99p/dollar shops and often find candle holders and scarves to use for altar cloths in thrift/charity stores.  I have never had any problems and to date have not been struck down by the gods for using such items.  Use what you have to hand, use what you can afford.

It sounds like a lot of work and sometimes it can be depending on how complicated you want to make the spell.  However, it doesn’t have to be and I encourage anyone who is inexperienced or unsure to start simply.  All you need to cast a spell is to say a wish to the moon, write your desire on a slip of paper and burn it or light a candle and visualise – it really can be that simple.  But it is interesting to add in all the other bits and bobs as you gain experience.  Spell making is personal and you will need to find out what works best for you.

Once you have all your items prepared you need to decide whether to cast a circle or not or whether you want to perform a whole ritual – the choice is yours.

When you are ready to perform the spell take it slowly and carefully and be guided by your intuition.  It doesn’t matter if you stumble over the words in the chant or spill herbs on the table – hey, it happens!  Keep going and follow your spell to the end.

Once you have finished with your spell work don’t forget to ground.  You will have raised and worked with a lot of energy and you don’t want to hang on to it, let it go.  Otherwise you may find you are incredibly tense and on edge and it can give you a heck of a headache.  Work with a tree grounding exercise, visualising you are a tree sending your roots down to the earth and allowing the excess energy to flow through the roots into the earth.  Or you can place your hands palms down onto the floor and release the energy back into Mother Earth.  And of course, you can always eat something to ground, cake and chocolate are the obvious choices.

Note: My advice to you is never to cast a spell when you are angry, tired or feeling poorly…the magic will definitely go squiffy.


From Kitchen Witchcraft: Spells & Charms


rachel patterson kitchen witch

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