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The Structure of Spell Working

A spell can be worked in many ways from a simple pointing of the finger to a complicated ritual involving lots of tools, herbs and crystals and of course any variation in between.

There are a lot of things in the universe that we don’t understand. When something is meant to happen, it will whether you cast a spell or not. But you can help it on its way by guiding and encouraging it and maybe even tweaking events a little too. What will happen for sure is the boost of confidence and happy buzz you will receive as you cast the spell. You also get the positive vibe that you are putting something into action.

What exactly is a spell?

From the dictionary (which is always interesting to see) the definition of the word ‘spell’:

A spell is a series of words that has magical powers. If you’re under a spell, then what you do is out of your control — your thoughts and actions are dictated by the spell.

Spell can refer to the magic words you say, or it can describe being under the influence of those words.

In its most simple form a spell is the wish or desire to bring about change whether it is in your life or that of others. Add to that wish your own will, intent, belief and energy and you can make change happen. Although it sounds straightforward a successful spell working takes thought, focus and energy. If you don’t believe in what you are doing then the chances are that the result will be non-existent. Badly constructed spells or those cast in anger have a habit of going wrong, sometimes with disastrous results. Spells in general do have a habit of ‘doing their own thing’ and often have unexpected results. Fundamentally, I wholeheartedly believe that the universe knows best and what you want isn’t always what you need. There is a very big difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. The universe has a habit of stepping into magic and diverting it…

Anyone can cast a spell but the result will differ depending on the strength of will, intent, focus, energy and commitment to backing up the spell with actions. For example, there is no point casting a spell to find a job and then not actually applying for any. The universe isn’t going to drop your dream job straight into your lap.

You must believe the spell will work, any negative thoughts about the outcome of your spell, before or after you have cast it, will have an impact on the results. If you think your spell won’t work, it won’t, the energy you put into the spell will follow your thoughts and affect the outcome. If your thoughts are negative, the outcome will not be as you intended. So, after you cast a spell only allow your thoughts and actions to be positive ones which will reinforce your spell.

And just to be really confusing there is also the train of thought that once you cast a spell you should forget about it completely. Follow your intuition on this one, I think it also varies depending on the spell because some workings need keeping an eye on and others may also need a regular boost of energy.

Visualisation is also key, you need to be able to clearly picture your desired result when you are working magic. Using finding a job as an example again; you receive a chance to interview for a position; you decide to cast a simple spell to secure a successful outcome from that interview. During the spell you may wish to visualise yourself at the interview, answering all the questions with ease and confidence and with a smile on your face. See yourself wearing the clothes you plan to wear and shaking hands with the interviewer. Then maybe you visualise accepting the position and seeing you name on office stationery or something of a similar nature. By visualising yourself in the position you have put your consciousness there, now all your physical body must do is follow that path.

Whilst I have been known to set up elaborate altars and spells with several ingredients and a bit of preparation it is not something I do often. I am more of a practical, hands on, working mum that has to use what she has to hand and in the few precious moments of free time.

I like simple. I like practical. I like hassle free spell work. If I see a spell that lists 57 different ingredients and takes four hours to set up I am very unlikely to even read past the first page let alone attempt it. (That’s not to say it won’t be a good spell or work for others, it just isn’t for me).

For me, keeping spell work simple and uncomplicated means there is less chance for it to go haywire.

Spells have an uncanny habit of working in very unexpected ways so I feel that the less there is within it the less there is to go wrong.

Does the setting have to be grand though? Do you have to work magic on a gold encrusted, velvet draped altar? Will the spell work better if you are standing in a grove of ancient oaks? Is it important to create a mystical atmosphere and sacred space before working magic? I would say: No, no, no and no…

In my very humble opinion and based on many years of working spells I firmly believe that the setting is not as important as the will and the intent. Not everyone has the luxury of space to set up grand magical workings and not everyone can do so or would want to in front of others in a shared house.

My thoughts are…the magic is within YOU, trust your intuition and work with spells in the space that suits you best.

Disclaimer: Just remember that magic is a gift, sometimes a very strong one and spells carry power – be responsible…

Sign it with your own name

Do you follow recipes, spells and ritual instructions written by others to the letter? Do you make your own tweaks or do you just ‘do your own thing’ completely? Now, I realise how ironic this sounds as I have written books and blogs filled with spells but these are here for you as a guide, a place to start from. My style of spell writing may not resonate with everyone, so add your own spin to them. I think the same applies to magical workings and rituals of any kind. If we add our own spin to the structure borrowed from others or write our own from scratch, it will have our own unique flair to it.

Take responsibility

A little side note on the term ‘an harm to none’. This is often used at the end of spells as a disclaimer. For instance, if you cast a money spell but you don’t want to gain the money by someone dying and leaving it to you in their will you could use ‘an harm to none’ as an escape clause. However, bear in mind that although this does reduce accidents it can also neutralise the spell in some cases. You are telling the magic to work but also restricting it. I don’t mean by stopping it from killing people (coz that is wrong, definitely wrong) but by curtailing the energy from causing anyone inconvenience. Properly put together and well thought out spells should not back fire in any way so you shouldn’t need to cover yourself. If you work a spell to gain more money and you get given overtime instead of your colleague then the spell has worked, but someone else lost out in the process. You must take responsibility for that, it is a cruel world sometimes and you need to decide whether you can live with it.


This will depend on your own personal feelings. The suggested guideline is: Do not cast spells to alter the will of another or to cause harm. Also, to never cast spells for others without their permission even if your intent is pure. But…and here is the thing, you are the one deciding to cast the spell so it is your choice to make. You may feel that the need is justified to cast a bad luck spell on another or even a curse, it’s not my place to judge or to tell you what you can and can’t do. Just make sure you think it through properly and be mindful of any return. It also pays to bear in mind if you do cast a curse or a hex be aware that if the person you are sending it to realises where it came from they may very well send it back…


For me this is key to any good spell, you need to have solid intent for the magic to happen. And by intent, I mean the determination, intention and purpose to make this work. You also need to have the will; that pure resolve, drive and motivation to back it up.


To watch the replay of my chat click the link below

Taken from Kitchen Witchcraft: Spells & Charms by Rachel Patterson


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