A Few Thoughts on Intent
The purpose of a spell is to manifest something you need or desire. That need or desire (or both) compose your intention. When you cast a spell, your intent is as vital to your success as your beliefs. Focusing attention on what you want puts energy behind your objective, enabling your mind to consciously create the circumstances you desire.
“A spell involves words and actions chosen to achieve a certain goal or desire, and is driven by the will of the person performing it. Words, symbols, and tools are combined to produce a ritual. Power is raised and directed out to the Universe to do its work.”
— Debbie Michaud, The Healing Traditions & Spiritual Practices of Wicca
As you design a spell, ask yourself a few basic questions. What is your reason for doing a spell? What outcome are you seeking? How passionately do you want what you're trying to achieve or accomplish? Are you ready and willing to accept the outcome?
Be very clear and specific when asking for what you want. Remember the old saying “Be careful what you wish for.” Ambiguous statements tend to yield confusing and sometimes unwanted results. Bear in mind that just like a computer, spells do what you tell them to do. So if you perform a spell to find a perfect companion and get a wonderful dog, your magick certainly has manifested — exactly as you asked but not exactly as you'd hoped. Spells always take the easiest and most direct route to manifestation, so if you don't state exactly what you intend, the outcomes can be interesting — to say the least.
It's not necessary to envision how all the events leading up to the outcome will unfold. However, you must be able to clearly imagine the end result you seek. In fact, seeing from the end is essential. Hold firmly to your vision of the outcome you desire and trust that it will manifest.
Keep it Simple
Multitasking has become the norm in our busy modern world, but it's not the best way to do magick. When your attention is diffused in several directions, its creative power becomes dissipated.
Magick doesn't have to be complicated to work. Complexity doesn't imply power, nor does simplicity mean weak magickal results. In many instances, the simpler a spell the better. Simplicity allows you to focus your mind and spirit completely on the task at hand.
Limit a spell to a single objective or desire. Don't design a spell to find the perfect partner and improve your finances (although if you attract a wealthy partner, both goals might be accomplished simultaneously). If you want to create more than one condition, cast a different spell for each intention, preferably on a different day. Some magicians suggest waiting until one spell has manifested before doing another. By focusing on a single goal and putting all your energy behind that objective, you improve your chances of bringing your goal to fruition and avoid confusion.
In Old English, the word spell meant “story or narrative.” The noun form referred to a recitation or the act of speaking aloud. The verb spellen meant “to read something letter by letter.” Spoken spells were probably the earliest form of spell-casting, dating back to a time when few people could read or write.
Verbal spells, also called charms, make use of the power of sound and vibration. (See Chapter 6 for more about sacred sound, affirmations, and words of power.) The word charm comes from a Latin term carmen, which means “incantation.” Many spoken spells rhyme or have a distinct rhythm in their delivery, making it easier for the witch to commit them to memory. Recitation and repetition have the additional benefit of forming impressions in the brain, providing a channel for your thoughts to flow through to manifest your intention.
A witch might wait until the first night of a full moon to recite the charm, then recite it thrice each night thereafter for a designated period of time. The full moon represents completion and coming to manifestation. The number three represents the body-mind-spirit connection. In this manner, the witch combines lyrical verse with other symbolic systems to improve the results of the spell.
Charms are a simple, no-frills sort of magick, considered by some people as a “low” form of spellcraft (as opposed to the highly ritualized magick performed by ceremonial magicians). Originally, verbal spells probably dealt with mundane matters rather than exalted ones. Prayers, however, also fall into the category of spoken spells. Don't be misled by their lack of complexity; verbal spells can be quite powerful and fast-acting.