How to Cast a Pre-Written Spell

So you have a spell you've found in a book or online. Maybe a friend gave it to you or you found it in your grandmother's grimoire or perhaps you wrote it yourself. There are many different types of spells out there and some of them are written in great detail while others are extremely vague. Can just saying these words three times really affect change? Maybe not. Whatever you've got, you can increase your chances of success by practicing basic magical skills and developing your own ritual style and casting your spells within that format.

Required Tools:

You Will Need:

  • Whatever ingredients the spell calls for. If they sound a little weird, try our Herbs Listed by Folk Names and if you can't find everything you need, try our Magickal Substitutions.
  • A Quiet Hour to Yourself
  • An offering for the Spirit of Place and any spirit allies you are going to evoke.


Step One: Read the Whole Spell, Start to Finish, Several Times
Make sure you fully understand the spell, its intent and all prescribed actions. Copy it down into your Book of Shadows. Also ensure that you have all materials and tools you will need. Try to memorize it if you can. This will save you the distraction of having to fiddle with paper in your Circle.

(Be sure also to read this entire guide through, not just on the day of your spell. There are a lot of ifs.)

Step Two: Choose Your Timing
While it is certainly okay to do any spell at any time, many Witches like to choose their spells based on planetary energies, the phases of the moon or other factors. See Spell Timing. Whether you choose to time your spell based on the phase of the moon or the planetary day or when Grandma has the kids for the weekend, put it on your personal calendar and plan for it.

Your spell may have come with directions for when to cast it. If it has a day of the week, but no time of day, the moment of Sunrise or the moment of Sunset is your best bet. If it has a zodiac sign, visit to find dates and times for your area.

Step Three: Prepare Yourself for Magick (optional)
Many witches have a ritual that they undergo before performing any type of Magick. I like to have a long bath with a salt scrub while meditating on my goal and a hot cup of relaxing tea. (My favorite for this. Then I put on my ritual "gown" (just a comfy maxi dress I like to wear, nothing fancy or particularly "witchy".), brush my hair and declare myself Goddess!

Many folks also like to use smoke to cleanse themselves.

Step Four: Prepare Your Tools and Items
If you take some time to prepare every item you are going to use for the spell, you will have much better success. Take a moment to cleanse each tool you are going to use to remove any residual energy from past spells and to cleanse and charge all your spell materials toward your goal.

You may wish to do this well ahead of your spell or you may wish to do it later after you've prepared your sacred space.

Obviously, if you the spell doesn't call for tools or special items, you can skip this bit.

Step Five: Prepare Your Space (optional)
While there are quite a few witches who have dedicated ritual space, many of us have to clear away mundane clutter or even venture away from home in search of an appropriate site to do our magick. Either way, a bit of preparation is almost always in order, unless the spell calls for you to go to a specific place, say a forest or a graveyard, crossroads, bridge, or the sea shore, then this bit is completely unnecessary as the energies you encounter there are exactly the energies you want.

First, you need to clear you space of any physical thing that doesn't belong there. Then, you need to clear your space of any non-physical thing that doesn't belong there. All of these can disrupt the energy you're trying to raise. I like to use my broom to sweep away any residual energies and dust bunnies that are around.

Step Six: Consecrate Your Space (Optional)
Once your space is cleaned up and ready to go, you may wish to bless or consecrate it. This is often done by fumigating the space walking in a clockwise circle around it and then asperging the space, also moving around it in a clockwise manner.

Not every witch will feel this part is necessary and again, if you've gone to a specific spot all of this will just interfere with the natural energies there.

Step Seven: Call the Quarters
For some Witches, Calling the Quarters involves summoning spirit allies, for others, it is more of a balancing meditation. Either way, it has a similar effect and I feel it is a good exercise to do before starting ritual. It really helps you focus and ensure that you are fully present.

See also How to Call Quarters and Seven Directions.

Step Eight: Call in Allies (optional)
If you have spirit guides, a familiar, angels, ancestors, Gods or daemones that you work with, you may wish to call them in now. Make sure you have an offering on hand so that you can offer them some hospitality while they are there.

Many witches will not feel this part is necessary, but some spells call for summoning specific spirit beings.

Step Nine: Cast a Circle (optional) (Maybe)
Many witches cast a circle during spellcasting in order to contain raised energies while they are being charged and to prevent unwanted energies from entering and interfering with spellwork. Depending on the type of spell you are performing, this may be unnecessary or even a hindrance.

However, if your spell calls for you to evoke spirits that may not be happy about it, cast your circle before evoking so that you can enjoy the relative protection the Circle provides.

Step Ten: Ground and Center
It is important to prepare yourself for spellwork and to come from a balanced place, quarter calling can do this, as can grounding and centering. If you've done a quarter call and haven't done a lot of other things, then Grounding and Centering might be redundant. You decide. See Grounding and Centering Sacred Tree Meditation

Step Eleven: Visualize Your Goal
Take a few minutes to visualize your goal before you begin. At this point, you may begin to raise energy by beating on a drum, dancing or using any other method you like that is compatable with a light meditative state.

Step Twelve: Cast Your Spell as Written
Now you are ready to cast your spell. Follow the directions and cast it.

Be sure to focus on raising energy during any visualizations, meditations or chants called for in the spell. If there are none, then include/improvise whatever methods you like best that work well within the context of the spell. Dancing, drumming, masturbating or sex, clapping, spinning, etc.

Step Thirteen: Release Your Intention and Your Allies
When you have finished casting your spell, release it. Open your Circle if you cast one, thank any allies and leave an offering for them and the Genius loci, clean up your mess and then walk away without looking back and don't think about it anymore. Let it go, entirely. If you've created an object then place it where it needs to be and don't look at it anymore. Don't talk about it with anyone else. Don't fret about it. (But do take a moment to write notes about it in your Book of Shadows, for posterity.)

Step Fourteen: Ground and Center (Again)
Ground and center again and eat something to bring you back to reality. Otherwise you could feel spacey and weird for awhile.

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