Monday, December 24, 2018

How to Craft a Spell

This is the general process I go through when creating and then working a spell.  Hopefully, it will be helpful to you in learning to craft your own spells.  This teaching is based on George Polya's famous book "How to Solve It" which I cannot recommend highly enough.  If you google for it, you can probably find the full text online.  There's a summary of the book on page eight on the book. 

 I can provide additional instruction or support (or just do it for you) any of these steps for $150 per hour.  Email me at to arrange a session.

How to Make a Spell

Step One: Understand the problem.  Be careful what you wish for.

What is the current situation?

Carefully examine the situation from your current point of view. Write a full page, in complete sentences, describing the situation you would like to witch. It can help to ask yourself the following questions.  You may wish to use (or purchase) some divination (such as a tarot reading) to help you answer all these questions.  I find that most situations take about an hour of investigation.
    • Who is involved?
    • Where is the situation physically located in space?
    • Make a timeline of the situation up to the present moment.
    • How do I feel about the situation, emotionally? How do others feel about it? Here is a list of emotions to help you think about it.
    • How is this situation operating? What is sustaining it? 
    • How will the current pattern play out over time if uninterrupted?
    • Why is this situation happening? What was the original cause? 
    • Who benefits from the current situation? What forces in the world work to keep this status quo? 
    • Can you represent the problem with a picture?
    • What information do you already know?  
    • What similar situations have I done in the past?  How did they play out?

What would you like to be different?

Write a full page description of the situation as you would like it to be. Ask yourself all the same questions you asked before. It's ok if you don't know all the answers. Be as specific as you can about the situation, but try to avoid describing the path from here to there.  Be sure to think about who and what, other than you, would benefit from the situation being as you wish it.  Be sure think about the timing; WHEN do you want these changes to happen?  Be specific.  The longer you can wait, the easier it will probably be, but fix a deadline.  As a rule of thumb, most beginner spells should be showing some kind of results (although might not be fully complete) in a month or less.  If your deadline is more than a month away, consider cleaving off some shorter-term goals.  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Can I describe the desired change in a single sentence?
  • What similar changes have I been able to make in the past?
  • Can I break this problem into several smaller, more manageable problems?
  • What is a simpler version of this problem which I already know how to solve?
  • Who do I know who has solved this problem before?  How did they do it?
  • Start with the goal and work backwards; what does it look like as it unfolds?

Step Two: Make a Plan/Recipe

In  most situations, this is the most difficult step.  It is best learned from a teacher (human or other) but you can teach yourself by carefully examining a lot of spells that were crafted by experts and trying to figure out why they did it the way they did.  Work some of them as written, and adapt/recombine others.  Once you have more facility in spell craft, you can skip this step and invent as you go (just like an experienced chef might make up a dish as they cook it).  BUT, that skill is born from having a lot of experience, and a huge library of "recipes" in your head already.  If you're going to hire a witch to do anything, this is the step you should pay for; in most circumstances, I can write a custom spell for almost any situation in about 2 hours.  The easiest/cheapest thing is to finding a ready-made "off the rack" spell and then adapting it to your own needs.  Some "spell recipe books" (sometimes called "grimorium") that I like are:
  • The Orphic Hymns
  • The Greek Magical Papyri are a collection of spells from the syncretic Grekophone culture of the eastern Mediterranean in late antiquity, collected mostly in Egypt.  These require some level of familiarity with that culture.
  • Ancient Jewish Magic, by Gideon Bohak.  Requires some familiarity with that culture.
  • The Fourth Book of Abramelin the Mage is a 14th century Ashkenaz  (German Jewish) grimoire.  Like the PGM, it requires familiarity with that culture.  (some of which is provided in the Dehn/Guth edition)
  • Book One of Key of Solomon is an 15th century upper-class European Christian grimoire, and requires familiarity with that culture.
  • Pow Wows: The Long Lost Friend is a 19th century PA Deitsch grimoire, and requires some familiarity with that culture.
  • Mastering Witchcraft, Paul Huson
  • Hands on Chaos Magic, by Andrieh Vitimus
  • Protection & Reversal Magic, by Jason Miller.  Financial Magic, by Jason Miller. are useful for beginner magicians in those particular areas.
  • Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judika Illes
  • Cat Yronwode's Lucky Mojo site.
Things to consider when making your plan:
  • How will I target the people and things involved in the current situation?  You need to forge a path that links you and your spell to the targeted situation.
    • The easiest links to people are full names, photos, videos, or audio recordings.  Pieces of their body (such as blood, semen, hair, etc) are excellent. Generally, you don't need links to yourself, because your you-ness is that link, but if you want to work on a specific part (physical or otherwise) of you, how can you represent that?  
    • The easiest links to places are google maps surveillance and pieces of the place (like dirt or pebbles.
    • For corporations, logos, names, photos/recordings of important people, and place-links to offices are all good.  Branded merchandise, like letterhead, pens, and magnets are also excellent.
    • Bank account statements and wallets are good links for cash-drawing magic.
  • How will I link to the desired outcome?
    • Draw a picture of it.
    • Can I make/manipulate a physical object to represent it? (such as a poppet)
    • Describe it in a single word, or a very short sentence.
    • Make a sigil from that sentence.
    • What other symbols can I sue to represent it?
  • How can I manipulate the first set of links into the second?
    • For example, to seduce a person, you might make a link to them and then rub honey on its lips and rose oil its genitals.
    • For example, to get more money, you might put monopoly money in your wallet.
  • Who can I recruit to help?  
    • What humans have the power to change this situation?  
      • How can I recruit them to my team?  Some things to consider trying:
        • Ask nicely?
        • Offer to trade favors
        • Buy them off
        • Seduce them 
        • Make friends with them
        • Trick them (often unwise)
        • Threaten or compel them (often unwise)
    • Are there other human magicians I can recruit to my cause?
    • Friends of friends?  Other networked folk?
  • What agentic/sentient forces in the world would benefit from the situation being the way I want it to be?
    • Are the spirits that love me (ancestors, personal gods, spirit guides, etc) on board?  If not, consider the idea that they might be right before proceeding.  They might not be, but if the collective wisdom of everyone who loves you thinks this is a bad idea, they're probably right.
    • Is this good for my Community (however you define that)?  Work with communal totem-spirits.  If it's bad for you community, you might once again want to stop and consider if it is a wise action.
    • Is this good for the Land?  Work with local land-spirits, and with Gaia herself. If it's bad for the Land, you might once again want to stop and consider if it is a wise action.
    • Are their gods who might help?  Who wants to see this done?  For example, Hera likes to make good marriages.  Hephaestus likes to help people get good jobs that pay an honest living for an honest days' work.  Ishtar wants to help you have amazing sex with enthusiastic partners.  Pluton wants you to be rich as fuck.  Hygeia wants you to flourish with health.  etc, etc.  If no gods wants to help with this, is it unwise?
    • Are there plants, animals, ghosts, demons, or other kinds of sentient creatures that I can recruit to my cause?  What will it cost to convince them?
    • Are there medicines or other chemical spirits that want to help?  These are especially good for healing work.
  • What materia and symbols are related to this situation?
    • colors?
    • incense?
    • music or chants?
    • herbs?
    • stones?
    • magic words/names?
    • sigils and seals?
    • costumes?
  • What will power the spell?  Generally, it's best to combine multiple sources for anything big.  Remember, this energy can be stored, either in your own body for short-term use, or in constructed amulets/talismans/potions etc for longer-term storage, but most of it will probably need to be channelled thru your body in some way, because your body is your only mechanism of interface between the physical and non-physical worlds.  Non-physical magic yields non-physical results.
    • Your own personal chi/prana/body-spirit-power.  You can build more of this in your body in the short-tem with any of the following techniques:
      • breathe deeply and powerfully of fresh, clean air
      • drink water
      • eat wholesome food
      • dance about, or otherwise move to aerate your body
      • hum/sing/drum or otherwise make noise
      • some kinds of drugs
      • sex (alone or with partners)
      • There are also many long-acting techniques to build your capacity for personal power, including prayer, meditation, qi gong and pranayama.
    • Other people's chi/prana/body-spirit power
      • Most humans radiate small amounts of chi most of the time.  Places thick with humans, especially humans engaged in high energy enjoyable activities, are thick with power.  
      • Churches, nightclubs, gyms, and playgrounds are all excellent power sources.  Personally, outdoor raves are my favorite.
      • So are hospitals and prisons but that's kind of a shitty place to get your energy, because the people there need it more than you do.  
      • Personally, the single most energetically potent thing I have ever done is chaperone a high school dance, cock-blocking a couple hundred teenagers in heat.
      • Remember, if you're going to such a place, bring a talisman or other kind of "battery' to charge for later.
    • Other living creature's chi/prana/body-spirit-power.
      • Forests and other naturally balanced life-dense locations are excellent for this.
      • Factory farms and slaughter-houses are powerful, but also terrible.
    • Other non-physical spirits will provide the power
    • Fire, light, sun, moon, or other luminous/radiant energy sources.
    • Power stored in an object, such as talismans, machines, or cash.
    • Power of a place (such as a river or temple)
    • Power of a time (astrology is good for finding these)
  • How will you get the power from the source into the spell?
    • Mediate it thru your body by:
      •  physically consume it
      • sense-perceive it (for pictures, sounds, etc)
      • speak its name aloud
      • write or draw it
      • moving stuff around
    • Physically attach it to the links
    • Think/feel about it real hard (not super effective, but it does work)

Step Three: Enact Your Plan

Most plans will involve most of the following steps in more or less this order:
  • Clean the space you'll be working in.  It should be clean, healthy, and in good balance on both physical and spiritual levels.  How long this takes mostly depends on how long it's been since you last cleaned.  DO NOT over-clean, banish, or "sanitize" unless you have reason to believe there is something unwholesome or counterproductive to the work in the environment.  Healthy natural environments are mostly self-cleaning; pick up any human litter or etc, and you're good to go.
  • Collect links, materials, and tools and arrange them in a convenient and aesthetically pleasing fashion.  Personally, I like to construct a little altar, with an ikon of spirits who will be helping, pre-written hymns or chants, materials in pretty bowls, and etc.  My working table is painted with whiteboard paint, so I can draw/write directly on it.  If you are more physical in your magic, and will move around a lot, you might want to make a magical costume for yourself that has a lot of pockets or arrange the material in the ground in a circle around your working space.  If possible, set up somewhere you can leave things set up until the spell has worked.  Trays, which can be worked on a table and then moved somewhere out of the way, are helpful for this.  
  • Clean yourself.  Use the restroom to eliminate internal waste.  For bigger workings, take a shower or bath, but for small stuff, it suffices to wash your hands and face.  Focus on washing away impure (ie irrelevant to the work at hand) thoughts and feelings while you use the restroom and wash.  
  • Set the "vibe" in your space with incense, lighting, music, etc.
  • Set a timer so you know when to begin and end (I like to use this free online sound machine for this, because they also help to "set the vibe".
  • Enter into magical consciousness (trance).  For a new magician or lay person, this can take up to an hour.  With practice, you will get much, much faster at this.  Most expert magicians should be able to do it in less than 3 minutes.  Until you are so tranced out that you can't follow your plan, you can't really over do this.  There are many, many methods for this including
    • oration / chanting (my favorite)
    • singing / music making
    • drawing/writing
    • moving (dance or etc)
    • spinning or other handcraft
    • meditation
    • breathwork
    • drums or other rhythm
    • entheogens
  • Preform the spell.
  • Exit magical consciousness and recharge the spent power.  Just like it can take a long time for inexperienced magicians to enter, you might need some time to recover.  Drink some water.  Wash your hands and face.  Eat something.  Take a nap, etc.  Once you get better, this will be easier and faster.  If you worked with unwholesome power sources or spirits, clean yourself.  (but this is not recommended for beginners)
  • Clean up the space if needed.
  • Don't obsess over it.  It's done.  Just let it work.  If you find yourself obsessing, try reciting a relevant hymn or chant (even in your mind) to help empower the work when your mind turns to it,  but, as much as possible, do not attach to your desires.  If you often find yourself unable to let thoughts go, learn to meditate.  If obsessive thoughts and compulsive desires are interfering with your life, seek professional help.
  • If there are mundane actions you can take to help the work along, do those things.

Step Four: Analyse & Improve

  • After a suitable period of time (most beginner spells should see some results in a month or less) look back over what you've done and decide if it worked.
  • If your got just what you asked for:
    • How long did it take?  
    • What path did it take?
    • Using hindsight, how might you have made the spell more efficient if you had known the path in advance?
    • What other situations could you adapt this spell to?
  • Did it improve the situation, even if it didn't fully work?
    • What is preventing it from fully manifesting?  
    • Is there sufficient power, or should you add more?
    • Now that you can see the path it's taking, can you grease the rails in any way? (by mundane action or magical effort)
    • Are there blocks you can remove? (by mundane action or magical effort)
  • Is it a complete failure?
    • Are there blocks you can remove?
    • Does it need more power?
    • Does it need better links?
    • Were you sufficiently entranced?
    • Was your spell poorly written?  Try a different one.
  • Did it make things worse?
    • AS SOON as things get worse, unless you can see a clear path from where you are now to your goal, dismantle the spell and start over.  
    • Try to figure out why you went wrong.  Usually, this is caused by a poor understanding of the actual problem.  Be careful what you wish for.

      If you'd like to learn more, please check out my course Introduction to Witchcraft: Thirteen Lessons in Practical Magic.  The first lesson is free.