15

The Art of Casting Spells

When creating your own spells, or embellishing ones that already exist, it is important to consider any correspondences related to the work at hand.

from the text

The art of spell casting incorporates many different aspects. Most spells include the use of various types of candles, herbs, charms, oils, and so on. Also common to most spells is the verse or incantation. In this chapter, we will examine the spell itself and each of its ingredients, as they pertain to the casting of spells.

THE SPELL

A spell is a simple, or basic, work of magick which incorporates the use of personal power and/or "Otherworld" power (known also as drawn power). In a spell, the mind is conditioned by each step or phase of the spell. This allows the mind to draw upon its inner powers. The spell is a focus for the mind and a catalyst. It enables the mind to create changes in the Astral substance, which will then cause changes to occur in the physical world.

The forces that work together for the success of a spell are basically these: the trained mind, the magickal current, and the Astral substance. The mind is trained in visualization, concentration, and imagination. These are the keys to raising Personal Power. The magickal current is the Plane of Forces, and is sometimes called the Elemental Plane. It is a "current" flowing to and from the Astral Plane. Anything that enters the flow will manifest in the realm opposite its origin. The Astral substance forms around any energy that stimulates it. Thus does it transform the energy of mental/magickal images into formed thought.

Once a thought form is firmly established within the Astral Realm, a corresponding change will occur in the Physical Plane. When a spell employs the aid of a god or goddess, the formula is still the same. The deity involved simply uses the Astral Realm as a mediator and "responds" to the spell from another realm.

Spells can be used for many different reasons. They may be used to heal or to harm. They can bind a person from performing a certain act, or they may remove an obstacle to allow a person to accomplish a goal. The power of a spell is limited to the power of the spell caster, and to his or her own ability to formulate and direct the spell.

The Spell Book

The casting of spells involves the employment of the four elements. Candle wax is symbolic of earth. Oils represent water. Incense smoke is symbolic of air, and candle flames/ritual flames represent fire. The use of these elements serves as a "battery" of power. Together with the spell caster's own mental and emotional energies, this "battery" supplies the drive needed to accomplish the magick of the spell.

It is important to visualize your desire as you work the spell. Concentration is also very important, for it will "fix" and "bind" the spell. Symbolism is also essential in the art of spell casting. You must incorporate all colors, scents, images, personal links, and so on, which pertain to the person or situation for which the spell is intended.

In conclusion, you must symbolically release the power of the spell. An example would be to visualize a sphere of energy forming before you (or perhaps between your palms). Then mentally project the sphere off in the ether, or in the direction of the spell's "target." Finally, you must dispose of any melted wax, ash, or debris in a manner suitable to the nature of the spell. This is explained below.

There are four systems that are useful in the casting of spells. Each of these relate to the elements as follows:

Fire: acts through combustion

Air: acts through dispersion

Water: acts through evaporation (or mixture)

Earth: acts through decomposition

At the conclusion of a spell, you would dispose of the debris in accordance with its elemental action. This applies to the general cleanup, in most cases, and you may wish to dispose of various substances by combining ways for magickal influence. For example, you may wish to melt a wax candle in a pan, until it evaporates, to release its magickal charge.

If a spell covers a certain nature, then you may wish to dispose of the ritual materials accordingly:

Fire: motivation, passion, vitality, virility, force, etc.

Air: intellect, creativity, artistry, mental activity, etc.

Water: love, fertility, emotion, mutability, etc.

Earth: strength, endurance, fortitude, stagnation, etc.

These are only a few of the many possible associations. If the spell touches upon more than one element, you will want to employ them respectively.

Fire: burn in an open flame

Air: toss into the wind or evaporate

Water: drop into moving water

Earth: bury in the soil

The effect of this method is in the merging of the spell's energy with that of the Universal Elemental Energy. In the following section we will examine the various ingredients in spell casting.

Candles

Candles may be used in spells to represent the person or situation that the spell is designed to influence. In such a case the candle would be colored appropriately, linking its symbolic color to the nature of the work at hand. If the candle represents a person, then the color of the candle would reflect something about that person. The same is true of using symbols to represent any situation.

The way in which the candle is used for a spell varies. Sometimes a candle is notched into sections for the purpose of burning a section at a time. Each section will mark one day of the spell casting. Other times candles may be moved in some symbolic fashion, representing the goal of the spell. The examples that follow in this chapter will make this much clearer.

Incense

The use of incense is three-fold. It conditions the mind by stimulating the sense of smell (along with any physiological effects). It draws spirits through its magickal associations that aid the spell. Finally, according to ancient beliefs, it raises or lifts the spell up into the ether.

The type of incense burned must correspond to the nature of the spell itself. Most spells use an incense of planetary symbolism or deity association. Love spells incorporate an incense of Venus, binding spells an incense of Saturn, and so on.

Incense can also be used to add power to your candles by passing the candle through the incense smoke three times, in a circular clockwise manner.

Oils

Oils are somewhat similar to incense, inasmuch as they relate to the sense of smell. In addition to this (and more importantly), oils have the ability to hold magickal charges. When an object is anointed with a charged oil, the object then becomes charged as well. Traditionally, candles are anointed with oil that is then rubbed along the length of the candle. Concentration upon the intent of the charge is important at this point of the spell.

Scented oils correspond to planetary symbolism in the same manner as incense, so you will want to become more familiar with these correspondences.

The purpose of oils in spells is to add power. Therefore, the spell caster as well as the candles should be anointed (if it is appropriate to the spell).

Herbs

Herbs, like oils and incense, correspond to planetary symbolism. Yet they have a deeper level of influence than do the others. The herbal plant is a living vessel for a spirit or entity. This is similar to the relationship between our own spirits and bodies. When treated properly, the "consciousness" of the herb can work toward our needs.

Herbs may also be used in a spell for their physical properties, such as in potions and the like. In some cases, herbs have been used as offerings to spirits and deities, for some are considered sacred. Some spells incorporate herbs as charms to be carried or buried in a particular place. Often herbs are used to "charge" candles. In this method the base of the candle is hollowed out and the appropriate herb is placed within, then sealed over with melted wax.

Condensers

Condensers are similar to oils, but their influence and use is more diverse. A condenser can be any liquid substance that is magickally charged. The advantage of a condenser over an oil is that condensers can dry and evaporate with relative quickness. Condensers also blend better with other liquids, and are easily absorbed by dry substances. This makes them ideal for times when you wish no trace of the material left as evidence.

Condensers may incorporate more symbolical ingredients than oils and, therefore, are potentially more useful in magick. Oils, however, adhere to objects better and can easily be added to the wax when making candles. Use condensers as you would oils for magickal purposes.

Charms

Many spells incorporate the use of charms. The charm can be a natural object such as a root, or it can be something handmade. In the case of an handmade object, symbols may be engraved along with runes, or words of power, in an attempt to summon aid from spirits or deities. Natural objects are used when they resemble something pertaining to the spell (such as a heart-shaped stone for a love spell) or when they correspond symbolically (as in the case of herbs and incenses).

Verses

There are basically three different types of verses used in spells. The most common type is that of the rhyme. The advantage of the rhyme is that it allows the mind to easily memorize the verse. It also frees the mind, during the spell, from thinking about the verse on a conscious level. This helps the spell caster to focus his or her attention upon the rest of the spell.

The second type of verse is that of the free verse. The advantage here is that you may say exactly what you desire to say word for word, without seeking words that rhyme to convey your meaning. The last type of verse is the formula verse. This verse calls upon spirits or deities in such a way as to draw their response, seemingly through emotional rapport. The following examples will demonstrate these different verses.

The Rhyming Verse

Water to water, a Witches'spell. Cast I now to speed this well Forces and powers from out of the night gather within and give my spell flight.

The Free Verse

Hear me, 0 Goddess of the Moon, hear me, and grant me success in the Ways of Magick.

Send to my Spell, Thy powers of Enchantment, assist me in all my endeavors.

Hear me, for I am a Child of the Moon, grant me the ancient power. For Thou art the Great Goddess, Mistress of Magick, and I worship Thee!

The Formula Verse

1. Speak of the virtues of the deity or spirit that you call upon. Flatter as you go along.

2. Praise its power to influence things by its very presence and nature. Exaggerate.

3. Dispraise everything that is opposed to the nature of the deity or spirit.

4. Request (in a pleading manner) that your desires be granted, stating what it is your desire of the deity or spirit.

5. Condemn all that is opposed to your desire.

CORRESPONDENCES

Herbs

Unlike most of the other tools of magick, herbs often have several different associations or symbolic correspondences. An herb can be linked to a planetary influence by its color, scent, taste, smell, or appearance, all of which may correspond to a different planet. Therefore, it is the aspect of the herb being used in the spell that will determine its symbolism. The following list contains those herbs which are commonly associated (for a variety of reasons) with the planetary influences.

Sun: Peony, angelica, sunflower, saffron, cinnamon, laurel, wolfsbane

Moon: Selenotrope, hyssop, rosemary, watercress, moonflower, moonwort, garlic

Jupiter: Basil, mint, elecampane, henbane, betony sage

Venus: Lavender, vervain, valerian, coriander, laurel, lovage, foxglove

Mars: Wolfsbane, hellebore, garlic, tobacco, capsicum

Saturn: Dragon's wort, rue, cummin, mandrake, aconite, hemlock

Mercury: Fennel, mint, smallage, marjoram, parsley

In the above list, garlic is associated with both Mars and the Moon. In ancient times, garlic cloves were placed at the crossroads on the night of the Full Moon as offerings to the Goddess of Witchcraft. In this case it was most likely the white, Moon-like appearance of garlic that determined its symbolic correspondence. Garlic is also associated with Mars because of its strong taste and odor.

Wolfsbane is associated with Mars because of its leaves that grow in groups of five spike-like clusters (the number of Mars). Its flowers may be yellow, white, or blue which would link it to the Sun or Moon, or even Jupiter. Laurel is an herb sacred to Apollo, which would link it to the Sun, yet laurel leaves often appear in love spells, which would associate their uses with Venus as well.

Planetary Colors

Sun: Gold or yellow

Moon: White

Mars: Red

Mercury: Violet

Jupiter: Blue

Venus: Green

Saturn: Black

Color Symbolism (Candles)

White: Purification, protection

Pink: Love, friendship

Yellow: Drawing (pulling/compelling)

Green: Material success, abundance

Red: Passion, vigor, sexual energy

Orange: Concentration, psychic energy

Purple: Power over obstacles, magickal forces

Brown: Neutralizing

Gold: Drawing (strengthens other candles)

Blue: Peace, spirituality, spiritual energy

Dark Blue: Depression

Black: Crossing, suppressing, ending

Ritual Color Symbolism (Ceremonial Items)

White: Purity, transmitting

Green: Nature Magick, love, receptive fertility

Blue: Peace, spiritual forces

Red: Life force, sexual energy, vitality, active fertility

Brown: Earth Magick, neutralizing/grounding

Yellow: Mental energy

Black: Drawing, absorbing

Elemental Associations

Earth: (Yellow) Strength, fortitude

Air: (Blue) Intellect, healing, freeing, inspiration

Fire: (Red) Sexual energy, life-giving, cleansing, force, desire

Water: (Green) Emotion, subconscious, love, fertility, adaptability

Trees

Sun: Laurel and oak

Moon: Willow, olive, palm

Mars: Hickory

Mercury: Hazel

Jupiter: Pine, birch, mulberry

Venus: Myrtle, ash, apple

Saturn: Elm

Aromatics

Sun: Cinnamon, laurel, olibanum

Moon: Almond, jasmine, camphor, lotus

Mars: Aloes, dragon's blood, tobacco

Mercury: Cinquefoil, fennel, aniseed

Jupiter: Nutmeg, juniper, basil

Venus: Myrtle, rose, ambergris

Saturn: Myrrh, poppy, asafoetida

Numbers

Sun: 6

Moon: 9

Mars: 5

Mercury: 8

Jupiter: 4

Venus: 7

Saturn: 3

Stones

Sun: Diamond, topaz

Moon: Moonstone, opal, clear quartz crystal

Mars: Bloodstone, ruby, jasper

Mercury: Chalcedony, citrine

Jupiter: Amethyst, chrysocolla, chrysoprase

Venus: Emerald, green tourmaline, aquamarine

Saturn: Black onyx, jet, black jade

When creating your own spells, or embellishing ones that already exist, it is important to consider any correspondences related to the work at hand. Go over the lists in this chapter and work in as many items as possible. Also consider the numerical value of the planet that rules over the spell's intent. An example of this might be to add seven roses to a spell for love, since seven is the number of the planet Venus, and roses are sacred to the goddess Venus.

Remember that colors, scents, and symbols are all necessary, as they stimulate the senses of the person casting the spell. This stimulation creates a vibration, which then causes a reaction within the subconscious mind, then in turn within the etheric substance of the Astral plane. As we know from the law of physics, every action causes a reaction. So it is, too, with the law of metaphysics. Review the chapters in the workbook section of this book for further correspondences.

SPELLS OF THE STREGA

The spells appearing in this section are samples of the various types used among the Strega. Some are old traditional spells and some are modern eclectic. However, even the modern spells are based upon the Italian magickal system. A few of these spells are quite primitive and, in some respects, perhaps even a little crude. I include them here in order to preserve them and to provide the reader with something of true antiquity.

THE PROTECTIVE PENTAGRAM SPELL

1. On the night of the New Moon you shall construct an amulet of protection bearing the symbols of the Art. Draw or carve the pentagram symbol (Figure 27) upon any object or entrance you wish to protect.

If this symbol is already formed as a piece of jewelry, etc., then trace it with your finger (left hand). Once the figure is established, proceed as follows:

2. On the night of the Full Moon, light the Spirit Bowl and suspend the amulet over the Spirit Flame, tracing the symbols with the tip of the Spirit Blade or finger: first the star, and then the circle.

3. Next, hold the amulet in your left hand, and with the tip of the Spirit Blade or your finger touch the first point and say:

I call upon the Source ofAll Power to protect against all that is evil, negative, or unbalanced.

4. Touch the second point and say:

I call upon ye spirits and Guardians of the Western powers to protect against all that is evil, negative, or unbalanced.

5. Touch the third point and say:

I call upon ye spirits and Guardians of the Southern powers, to protect against all that is evil, negative or imbalanced.

6. Touch the fourth point and say:

I call upon ye spirits and Guardians of the Northern powers, to protect against all that is evil, negative or imbalanced.

7. Touch the fifth point and say:

I call upon ye spirits and Guardians of the Eastern powers, to protect against all that is evil, negative or imbalanced.

8. Complete the spell by placing the tip of your right index finger upon the center of the pentagram, and say:

I bind here, by all of these powers and forces, this unyielding Pentagram of Protection. To thee thy course by lot hath given charge and strict watch, that to this (place or person) no evil thing approach or enter in.

Figure 27 The Pentagram of Protection

9. You may wish to strengthen the spell by burning an incense of angelica, Solomon's seal, dragon's hood, dittany of Crete, and periwinkle.

10. Now draw the blue flame up from the Spirit Bowl (mentally) and form it into a five-pointed star. Visualize it merging into the pentagram. Next, dip the amulet into the flame three times, and present it to the North.

11. To conclude, hold the amulet in your left hand and place the tip of the Spirit Blade or finger against the power symbol, then say:

Henceforth art thou a pentagram of protection and a force of awesome power! In the names of Tana and Tanus, so be it!

To CURE THE M u occ IO (Evil, EYE)

One who has received the "overlook" (Malocchio) may suddenly and unexplainedly become ill. A severe headache preventing a person from going about their daily routine can be a sign of Malocchio (especially centered between the eyes and forehead). Becoming extremely tired and groggy without reasonable cause may also be a sign.

1. To test whether this is from natural causes place three drops of olive oil, one upon the other, into a bowl of water. If the drops remain together then the illness is natural. If the drops separate or smear across the surface of the water, then Malocchio is present.

2. To break the Malocchio spell, take two sewing needles and insert the tip of one needle into the eye of the other saying:

Occhi e contro occhi e perticelli agli occhi, crepa la invida e schiattono gli occhi. (Eyes against eyes and the holes of the eyes, envy cracks and eyes burst)

3. Then drop the needles into the water, on top of the oil drops. Next sprinkle three pinches of salt into the water. Take a pair of scissors and jab them into the water three times, through the oil drops. Take the scissors and "cut" the air above the bowl three times. The spell is then broken.

SPELL OF THE WITCHES' PENTAGRAM

The symbolism:

1. The Divine Totality

2. The God Energy

3. The Goddess Energy

4. The Astral Plane (or substance)

5. The Elemental Plane

6. Manifestation

If you desire to cause a change within yourself, then you will use your left hand to perform this spell. If you desire to cause a change within another person, or a situation, then you will use your right hand.

Preparation: Draw a five-pointed star, enclosed by a circle (Figure 28) large enough to accommodate the tips of four fingers and the thumb, one fingertip just within each point of the pentagram. The star should be almost your hand-spread in size.

Once this is completed, then place an appropriate link or talisman upon the center of the pentagram. This can be anything associated with the target object or desire, such as a lock of hair, a ring, a key, etc. The size of this talisman should be no larger than the center section of the star. If necessary, you may simply concentrate upon the center and visualize the desired goal, without the use of a talisman.

Figure 28 The Witches' Pentagram

The Spell: Place your palm out over the pentagram and state your desire. Then perform the following:

1. Place the tip of your middle finger upon the first point and say:

I call upon the Source ofAll Things, to send me power!

2. Place the tip of your right-hand ring finger or left-hand index finger upon the second point and say:

I call upon the God to give strength to my spell.

3. Place the tip of your right-hand index finger or left-hand ring finger upon the third point and say:

I call upon the Goddess to give life to my spell.

4. Place the tip of your right-hand little finger or left-hand thumb upon the fourth point and say:

I call upon the Astral forces to receive the image of my spell.

5. Place the tip of your right-hand thumb or left-hand little finger upon the fifth point and say:

I call upon the Elemental forces to draw the desire of my spell (concentrate upon the elemental properties, mentally visualizing them in action).

6. At this point you draw upon all your powers of concentration, visualization, and expectation, saying:

By the Power of the God and Goddess, and by the Forces of the Planes, and by my desire (state desire), I declare my purpose manifest!

7. Now quickly draw all your fingers forcefully together into the center of the pentagram, and press down firmly upon the talisman (or center space, if no talisman was used).

8. The spell is completed. Do not allow your thoughts to dwell upon your desire, as this will only serve to deplete its energy. If a charm or talisman was charged by this spell, then carry it upon your person for seven days (especially if coming into contact with the target of the spell).

INCANTATION TO BEFANA

This is performed to remove evil of any kind, or to invoke good fortune. Items required:

An ounce of high quality frankincense

An ounce of low quality frankincense

A pinch of cumin seed

1 incense burner dedicated solely to Befana

2 pieces of coal for burning the incense

1. Preparations: Place a burning coal into the incense burner (scaldino), then take 3 pinches of both high- and low-quality frankincense and line them up in a row across the threshold of your front door. Take the cumin seed and mix it into the remaining separate portions of incense. Then drop three pinches of the high-quality frankincense upon the burning coal in your burner, followed by three pinches of the lowquality frankincense (cumin seeds should be mixed in both).

2. Carry the incense burner throughout your house, from back to front, ending at the threshold (wave the smoke over every bed and in every corner).

3. Speak the incantation as you go from room to room:

In nome del cielo! Delle stelle e della Luna! Mi levo questo mal d'occhio per mia maggior'fortuna! Befana! Befana! Befana!

Chiunque mi ha dato mal d'occhio; Befana! Befana! Befana! Me to porta via e maggiorfortuna Mi venga in casa mia !

(In the name of the sky, and of the stars and Moon, may this trouble change to good fortune soon! Befana! Befana! Befana!)

(Whoever gave me this misfortune; Befana ! Befana ! Befana! Take it away and bring good fortune I pray into this house of mine!)

4. When the incense has been used up, light the piles of incense at the threshold and say three times (spit over your left shoulder each time you complete the incantation):

Befana! Befana! Befana! Chiunque mi ha dato it mal d'occhio! Me lo porta via!

(Befana, Befana, Befana whoever gave me this bad luck, carry it away!)

5. Complete by passing three times backward and forward before the burning incense, spitting over the left shoulder, and repeating the same incantation. It is completed.

SPELL OF ST. ANTHONY

When a girl wishes to win or reclaim a lover, or, indeed, if anybody wants anything at all, he-or generally she-puts two flowerpots, containing lilies of Saint Anthony, one on either side of an open window at midnight, with a pot of rue in the center. These must be bound with a red-scarlet ribbon, made in three knots, and pierced or dotted with pins, as a tassel. Then, turning to the window, he or she should say:

My benign Saint Anthony! I am not worthy to pray to thee. This grace I modestly require; please light for me three flames of fire and of these the first in turn on my head may storm and burn, one I pray within my heart, that all pain from me depart and the third beside my door that it may never leave me more. If this grace be granted me, let three sounds be heard by me: a knock at a door, a whistle, before, or the bark of a dog.

When this prayer shall have been uttered, wait attentively at the window, and if a knock at a door be heard, or a man whistling, or a dog barking, then the request will be granted. If a dark horse or mule passes by, or a hearse is seen, then the prayer is refused. If a white horse is seen then the favor will be granted, but at a later time than you desired.

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