Sometimes friends/acquaintances who aren't magicians ask me for magic advice. Think of this as a magical advice column. :)
A friend asks (edited for length and privacy), "Sara, Is there such thing as a love spell? How does it work? What is the efficacy of such a spell? How do I do it?"
First off, a disclaimer. I really don't recommend love spells. They often go badly. If for no other reason, it's too easy to wonder "Does she really love me, or is it all just the spell?' That being said, here's some general information.
I'm going to talk about a couple of different kinds of love spells, but I'm only going to teach you how to do one of them. I don't mean to imply these are the only kinds.
The first is the "classic" love spell. It's targeted on a particular person, and designed to make them fall in love with you, "against their will". I really think these are unethical (except in a few particular circumstances, which I'll talk about it a minute.) Even if your ethics are different, I'm telling you that in my experience (and the experience of everyone I know), they go badly. Really badly. I'm not going to teach you how to do this, but I'm sure google will, if you really want to. I don't think you should, but I'm not in charge of you.
The only case where I think it's ok to do a "targeted" love spell is when the target is someone to whom you're married. They've already consented to be ritually bound to you. This is also a fairly classical form of love spell, and there are lots of good options. Here's an example: Take a piece of your hair and thread it through a needle. Take a stitch through his (her) underpants, and tie a knot. Hold the underpants in your hand, and try to feel your love for him, his love for you, the ties that bind you together, well up in your heart. Pray, out loud, that the sacred covenant between you be renewed and strengthened, that the love between you continue to blossom, etc, etc. If you'd like something a little more formal, google "honey pot spell". UPDATE: Here's a version of a honey pot spell using Vermont quarter and maple syrup.
Another time I think it's ok to do this sort of spell is one when married couples perform it together. SERIOSULY, this isn't a thing to do with someone you don't want to be married to. Ritually sealing a commitment IS CALLED MARRIAGE. I have a friend who did this kind of work with his high school sweetheart when they were 15. They've spent the 20 years since in a VERY high drama, mutually codependent, on-again-off-again thing, with lots of unpleasantness and cheating. 20 years of a teenage relationship.
Here's how I've recommended to married couples before, with good results: Find a melon. I like honeydew for this (because of the color) but I don't think it really matters. Mangoes are also good. Cut it in half, and hollow it out. Eat the melon with your beloved. While eating, each of you should, independently, savor the sweetness of the melon and write a list of 7 things about the other person that made you fall in love with them. Fold it up, and hand it to the other person (who SHOULD NOT read it). Burn each list over a red or pink candle, saving the ashes. Carve both of your names or initials into the inside of the melon, and also carve a depression to hold a candle. Put the candle in the "candle holder", and then take the melon to a body of water (the ocean is ideal), light the candle, and leave the melon offering on the beach. You can add other things to the melon; spices if your relationship needs "a little spice", honey for sweetening, etc, etc.
The next kind of love spell, which is what I generally recommend, isn't really a love spell at all, it's a drawing spell, designed to bring you into contact with the right person. If you arleady know them, it will gnereally just "pount them out" to you in some way, or you might find yourself running into an old acquaintance, or meeting someone new that you have an instant connection with. That's all it does; once they're in "your circle of influence", this spell lets nature take its course (or not, as the case may be).
Spend some time really thinking about what you want in a lover. Make sure to include "logistical" necessities; this REALLY is one of those "careful what you wish for" type deals. I've had these spells work perfectly, bringin me exactly who I asked for, except that I forgot to include something really important on the list...he was married, or lived 3000 miles away, or a junkie, or was too young, or whatever. Think it through, and write your list. It's ok to be super, crazy specific, and don't be embarrassed to include "shallow" things, or even things you're "not supposed" to want. It's even ok to put things that seem to be in comflict with each other. The more specific, the better. Then, set your list aside for a day or two, and read it over again. Make sure it really is what you want. Here's an example list. (Don't you judge me!)
Once you have a list, you'll need a 7 day candle in a clear glass jar. Pink is good, but white is fine if you can't find pink. If you can find a pink rose-scented one, that's even better. Virgin of Guadalupe candles are often pink and rose scented, and can be had in any groery store in a hispanic neighborhood. For this, however, peel the label off; you'll need to write on the candle jar. If it makes you feel weird to pull the label off, buy two, and burn the other for Theotokos, and explain to the her you needed her candle, but didn't mean to desecrate her image. Say a Hail Mary or something.
You'll also need a permenant marker ("magic markers" are probably my favorite magical tool. you can use them to write on ANYTHING.) On a pink candle, a black one is fine, but red, green, or gold would also be great. If you use a white candle, a red or pink marker is probably best. Now, write your list on the candle jar. Be sure to eyeball the length of your list and choose an appropriate size, to make sure it will all fit. If you have extra room, draw some hearts or 7-pointed stars, or Cupid's arrows, or Venus mirrors or other "love spell" looking symbols. After you've written the list on the jar, light it, and then read the Song of Songs chapter 3 to the candle.
This is important: don't read the passage AT the candle, read it TO the candle. Treat the candle as if it has a real spirit in it, a personality all it's own, one that loves and cares for you, and wants nothing more than to find you a match. (Level up: dedicate the candle to a spirit whose bailiwick this kind of thing is. Promise more candles, and maybe roses, when it delivers. Make good on your promise when you get what you want.)
If that passage doesn't speak to you, you can pick a different verse about finding love. A text you feel is sacred is best. Sufi poetry works well. It is best to do this spell on a Friday or Monday during the hour of Venus while the moon is waxing, but it doesn't really matter. Read the passage aloud again each night until the candle is gone. In my experience, it takes another week or two for the right person to show up, but it's never taken more than a month for me. Obviously, if you never leave your house it will take longer. Go to a party or a Gnostic Mass or Art Church or something.