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Spell Work Basics

A little while back I had a nice chap come into the shop looking for a spell book, and when he found none, I explained to him the same thing that I tell all of my clients-

Yes, I have carried them in the past, but honestly, a spell book is something that you need to write yourself with your own spells. It absolutely MUST be individualized to YOU...or it's not gonna be worth a dang.

His visit DID, however, cement my resolve to write a simple how-to book on the subject.

He also inspired me to write this article and put a few things down for posterity.

So let's dive in shall we,

Firstly, if your lookin for a spell book-don't bother!

*Unless it's a how-to-make-your-own spells, or your buying the book for the tables-charts-correspondences.


If you lack the confidence to your make & work your own spells- They won't work anyway and neither will anyone else's.

Each spell or working has to come from you, by you, for what YOU are trying to do.....But you also need to have the confidence/faith/heartfelt emotion behind it.

Emotion equals energy, so think of your spell as a light bulb and the emotion as the electricity running through it. No electricity, no light....right?

Same thing with a spell- No juice, no result.

*However I will say that, It is nice to have someone guide you and give you some tips and ground rules. Barring that, because unfortunately in a non quantifiable field like the metaphysical its nigh impossible to know if someone actually knows what they are doing or if they are just blowing smoke, its nice to have something in writing

What is a Spell?

A spell or magic is the manifestation of your will in the world around you.

*Always remember that when you are doing a spell you are forcing things out of the natural order, so ONLY DO THEM IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!

What I prefer is to ask the universe for what I need and allow the higher powers to work out the how so that there are the least consequences and the best for everybody. I would feel terrible if somebody paid the price for something I wanted.

However pragmatically sometimes you can't wait for the universe, rent doesn't pay itself, so sometimes a spell is a necessity.

Do I need metaphysical protection when I'm doing spell work....Even if its a simple spell?


Absolutely, 100% YES!

It doesn't matter how simple or complicated a spell is, you need to keep yourself AND EVERYONE ELSE around you SAFE.

No matter if you are doing a conjuring or throwing Tarot cards to get a peek at what's gonna happen on your date tonight, you need to make sure that nothing unintended is drawn to the energy that you are putting out there.

Looking into this area is like knocking on a door or placing a call. Your are putting out into the universe the desire for contact with the other side and many things will answer that desire, most are not what you are looking for - some are very dangerous. Which is why you need some spiritual protection.

*This goes for Astral travel as well.

How do I go about protecting myself during spell work?

There are a lot of different ways, you can research and find what works for you.

Here are some of my suggestions though:

Put a call in and get in touch with your Spirit Guides, They are your support and guidance team. If they say don't do something, Listen. If you cant listen, then be as safe and prepared as possible.

You can also call a protective Deity or Entity- I.E -




Artemis- for children

Archangel Michael

Saint Benedict

Of course when your working, a magic circle ( I will cover this in a minute, keep reading).

Having in your house and on your person protective crystals and oils.

Protective crystals :

Black Obsidian

Black Onyx


Black tourmaline

Black Kyanite

White selenite for cleansing

You can also program a Clear quartz to protect you as well, which I will do an article about in the near future

Some great protective oils are:





Palo Santo

Cedar or Pine

Some people prefer Lemon.

Some people use a Mojo bag filled with herbs and a few different items specific to each person.

Some prefer to use Statuary I.E. A pentacle or cross over the door ways, mirrors in the windows, an angel or foo dog by the doors or front gates etc

*You can also charm your own home or personal entry guardians and you can call spiritual guardians to watch over your home as well

 and personal talismans, I.E. A Cross or Pentacle worn as jewelry or a tattoo (If your super dedicated that that symbol or if you prefer inkwork to jewelry). Some people wear small mirrors or the Evil eye as protection or the symbol of their protective deity or Angel or such.

One other thing I will mention, Keep your home clean both physically and metaphysically, that is the first step. When you have a lot of clutter and broken things laying about, its easier for negative and stagnant energy to lurk and grow which brings down the energetic vibration and attracts bad stuff.

Clean metaphysically with lots of sunlight and smudging (You can use White sage or Palo Santo or a different kind of smudge stick- I am re writing my How to Smudge article and it should be up soon) and positive music (Singing bowls, high pitched flutes, happy music-dance if you like it will make your environment more positive, some people like to play gospel. Whatever works for you is great).

Keep Plants around, More life energy means less room for yuck to collect.

*You can also burn incense and use candles to help with energetic vibratory maintenance.

Working with Deities?

While most of my work is not deity or saint based, there are times when my work calls for deity assistance.

I have found a handful of Deities that I actually very much enjoy working with, and many more that I enjoy working with for specific projects.

 Always remember when dealing with Deities, everything is a trade, so make sure to ask what they want for their help up front.

Also, it is a good idea to get a good working relationship with the Deity first. Be polite and respectful, but don't be a sucker.

* I will be putting up a much longer article on this in the future.

Working with Saints is a great experience, but please do thorough research on the saint before calling for their assistance.

You can also work with Angels and Archangels, but keep in mind that these beings are not all love and light. None of the otherworldly beings are.

Some like to work with the Fae or the Yokai or other supernatural entities. Do as you will but I advise against it. Especially in the beginning.

What is the difference between light & dark spell work?

Simply put,

Dark spell work or magic or working is an attempt to hurt or control someone else- and yes love spells fall under this category.

None of us have any business fooling around with this side of things, however, I do believe that every person who begins their spiritual journey should know about both specifically for defensive purposes.

Light spell work is about protection, healing, etc.

There is also grey spell work which is a bit of a mix. I don't believe that anyone is all dark or light, so I would advise any beginner to strive to stay on the light side as much as possible but understand that there will be times when you need to defend yourself or your loved ones.

In life, absolutely nothing comes for free. There are prices attached to every spell, every working, every exchange of energy, and every deity petition (All spirits and deities want something in return when you are working with them, I will write a future article about this)

Once you begin this journey many things will be attracted to you whether you enjoy it or not (both supernaturally and physically), so get good at warding, shielding, banishing and such.

Remember that power equals responsibility and all metaphysical journeys lead to power (Among other things).

Also, keep in mind that if you venture into the metaphysical/occult you have just become an ambassador for this group and you must be able to gently and patiently teach & explain if someone inquires.

What are the basics of spell work?

A clear mind, A strong desire, Will, intent, energy........ and then tools if necessary.

-Tools are nice, they anchor a spell to this realm/plane and they give you one less concept to hold in your mind.

*Freeing up mental space is always a plus.

-There are also foci objects, much like a tool, this is an object so you don't have to shoulder the entire spell mentally. These act as concept anchors.

*Always remember to cleanse any objects and space that you are using before you begin your work. Some prefer to bless and anoint their tools, it's your choice.

If you decide to do spells and workings on a regular basis I suggest that you pick a place to set up a sacred space ( I will go into how to set up a sacred space and a few tips in a later article), again it can be as fancy or as simple as you like. I do urge you to be practical with it as it is basically a workspace.

Also, for a spell to work you have to do your part as well- I.E. If you do a spell to win the lottery, you need to go out and buy a ticket.


A Physical item/items that are a representation of what you want so that you can pour your energy into it and allow it to do its job(Some use the term Program or intent or encant)- I.E. A crystal or an amulet or talisman, a candle or oil, a voodoo doll, etc

One of the tools that I am a huge fan of & I love to use when I am doing any work (As I said, I don't do it a lot....just when it's an emergency) are candles-, they are easy to come by, easy to use, easy to clean up, and can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.

Plus they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and you can add oils, crystals, herbs, you name it.

Smaller candles (Chime, birthday-these are great and come in almost every color imaginable-, tealight, votive) are great for getting something short term & getting it done expeditiously.

Larger candles are all about more in-depth work, for which I absolutely adore 7-day candles, some call them prayer candles.

They are self-contained, easy to clean up, and -depending on the colors- easy to get a hold of.

*Honestly, in a pinch you can use a white candle with a little intention in place of almost anything.

Also, always keep your tools and your space clean.

Do all Spells need to be complex?

A spell is as simple or complicated as you want to make it.

When I asked him where he wanted to start he answered very logically, he is new and wanted to start simply as possible and then move up to complex spells and divinatory practices.

The most basic spell that almost everyone is familiar with is- Wishing on the candles on your birthday cake.

or you can make your spell align with the planets and moon cycle and toss in crystals and sigils and herbs and ritual tools and all sorts of stuff.

Some spells are done purely through power of will, but some incorporate physical props (Crystals, candles, herbs, mirrors, photographs, etc). The importance of these physical items is to anchor the spell to this world and also to act as placeholders so as your mind can focus on your goal I.E. you already have your black obsidian for your protection spell and your in a salt ring so while yes you still need to visualize a protective bubble, the salt acts as a place holder for your mind. its also purifying so it has both intent(from you) and purpose(from its nature).

What is a magic circle?

Well its more of a bubble then a circle and think of it like an office away from home.

It completely surrounds and encompasses your working area(Think of it like a creating place outside of normal time space or a place between realms), it protects both you (from anything that is drawn to you and the energy your putting out there from what your doing) and the area and people AROUND you (from whatever you conjure up).

So nothing there that's not supposed to be there.

If you are doing any sort of work that needs a circle, I highly advise you shield up any kiddos and elderly or ill people in your area as they are most vulnerable to mystical critter attachments which don't belong in our world.

In short, A magic circle is to make sure that by the power of your will and salt or some other equative ingredient, that nothing of what your doing or calling upon can do any harm to anything outside the bubble. I like to think of it like (Yes I'm a HUGE Sci fi nerd) the ships shields on star trek, so when I am doing work that needs a circle its more like shields up and then i have my temporary office for doing my work.

Once I'm all done I clear everything and make sure all the energies that I have been working with are sent back where they belong-only the energy of my end goal, or finished project remaining-then its Shields down and I erase the circle.

Ok, I have heard about Sigil work, what is that and how does it work?

The simplest example of sigil work is making a pentacle or a cross on an object, location, or person for protection from negative energies or entities.

Sigil work is a topic for a separate & longer article, but I will say that

I advise against doing any sort of sigil work as you never truly know the origins of the symbols that you find in books and on the internet, and any "inspired" or spirit-guided sigils are always very suspect.

Entities and spirits masquerade as different things all of the time. Just because they are on the other side doesn't mean that they don't lie , it doesn't mean that they are innately good or have naturally good intentions, or that they aren't tricking you into doing something terrible.

Entities play "dress up" all the time and spirits can be real Buttholes to deal with.

*Once your further down the road and have a bit of experience under your belt, then you will be able to sort the supernatural out fairly quickly. Still be mindful as anybody can get tricked.

 If you really want to work with sigils, use the Nordic Runes-they are pretty incorruptible.

 You can also use a symbol that has so much mass consciousness behind it that it would be hard to influence it with any dark ulterior motives. I.E. for attracting money use a dollar sign carved into a green or gold candle.

It might look a little derpy, but it gets the point across and you aren't making a bridge for some supernatural nasty into our world while trying to summon up inner peace or a job.

What are the different types of magic?

That is a topic for a much, much longer article.

What are correspondences?

These are specific days, colors, deities, astrological alignments, times of day or year, moon cycles, herbs, oils, crystals, etc that have a specific meaning that ties into your spell and help it along.

It all depends on which traditions you are following, however, there are some commonalities amongst the lists of correspondences.

Examples of correspondences-

Colors- The color black is good for driving away negative energy.

Planetary- Waning moon & Waxing moon

Crystals-Obsidian is good for protection

Deities- Call upon Lakshmi for matters of wealth

Entities- call upon Archangel Michael for protection

Herbs- Lemongrass to overcome obstacles

Oil- Patchouli for attracting what you desire (It is also a powerful relaxant so keep that in mind when using it. Btw, I LOVE this stuff and wear it frequently for it's de stressing properties!)


So you get the general idea of correspondences. I'm sure that you have heard of some of these before, but I strongly advise you to look into different traditions and find out which path-if any- that you feel most pull towards. Then use that traditions correspondences for your practice.


There is so much more that I could write about on this subject but this article is getting to be too long as it is, so I will end it here and if you have any questions, just ask me.

"Every Answer begins with a Question"

Alicia Anspaugh

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