Spell work. Principles, using images and symbolism
In his excellent book 'Visual Magick', Jan Fries write of
a spell as a seed:
A spell is a way of attracting energy and focusing it with your will to manifesting change. People often get confused about focusing the will - sitting with a scrunched up face intently concentrating on the intent generally doesn't work, as you're too 'tight'. You need to work with you imagination and your 'True Will' - the dynamic flow of energy that is in tune with the Universe.
Spells are always personal. I don't have much time for the 'cook book' style of spell book that tells you exactly what to do, how and when. It's far better to work out your own style based on a few key principles.
Spells generally work with attraction (things you want or preferably, need), repulsion (thing you want to get rid of) or direction (gaining insight, sending energy to another place or person).
Spells work best when there are several possible routes for the spell to manifest.
Be clear in your intent
The main warning about spells is to be careful what you ask for! Just make sure that it is what you want and it can't get misconstrued. Spells almost never work as you expect!
You must be clear about what you want to achieve. You are focusing energy, so this needs to be specific and clear.
The Law of Three Fold Return
This asserts that the energy of whatever spell you do will reflect back on you three times. If you're doing eco-magic, this will usually benefit you, but do bear it in mind if you're working a spell to thwart the plans of some multinational that this rule will still apply.
Some people think of spell work as touching the threads of the "Web of Wyrd". If we imagine the universe as a big spider's web and imagine that each node where two strands meet represents an event (or a person or a life) we can visualise the interconnectedness of things. If we to move any part of the web the entire thing would reverberate though the parts closest to the disturbance (i.e. you and your life) would react the most strongly.
There are techniques of protecting yourself from whatever comes back: Protective circles, asking a Deity to act on you behalf or carefully constructed spells can all help.
Repeat it or forget it?
Opinions are divided about whether you should repeat the spell regularly to reinforce it or whether it's vital to do it once and forget it. Both arguments have value, and I'm loath to tell you what to think! Try both, take notes and see what results you get.
Jan Fries recommends you cast the spell and then forget it. His reasoning is that your mind has many conflicting aspects and they are almost certain to be in agreement about the spell. Suppose you're casting a money spell. Part of you will be thinking 'The more the better!' whereas a more modest part will be saying 'I don't need much...' and a third aspect will feel it's necessary to work for this money.
For this reason Jan uses sigils which are abstract symbols as the spell seed and insists we should forget the purpose of the spell as soon as possible. Drop the seed into the deep and let it grow.
Other magicians I have spoken to believe as strongly that we must constantly re-work the spell to strengthen its power.
Again opinions are divided, but this is more a matter of personal taste. Typically, you would decide you intent, plan the working and prepare your materials, purify yourself, create sacred space, invite energies to help you (Elementals, Deities, Angels, Devas, the Folk, etc..), raise power, direct the energy towards your intent, ground yourself, close and write up the spell for future reference.
We've covered most of these in previous sessions.
Alternatively you might decide you intent then just shift your headspace to connect with the unmanifest reality and shape it. That's pretty vague, I know, but it's the kind of work that's almost indescribable! The former, more traditional method is the best place to start unless you have a knack for it.
Creating the Spell Seed
You need something to symbolise the intent of your spell. This can be a sound, a drawing, a bindrune, a 'mojo' or spell bag, a bone, feather, word, a dance or anything else your imagination can come up with!
It must encapsulate the intent of the spell for you. Use colours, sounds, smells, objects and movements, times, etc. that symbolise the intent for you. Also bear in mind that there are colours, sounds, smells, objects, movements and times that are already tuned to certain energies, whatever they may mean for you. Ideally what resonates for you and what is already tuned are both in accordance with the intent.
Consider using crystals, incense, candles, Runes, herb, rhyme, magical tools, special places, time of the day, Elements, specific deities.
Raising and Directing Energy
You can raise energy in many ways, but they are all broadly static (meditation, breath work, visualisation, using herbs, incense or oils etc.) or active (dancing, drumming or playing other instruments, chanting, sex etc.) You'll probably combine the two. Use what works for you.
At some point in the working you'll feel that the moment is right to release the energy, directing it at the spell seed.
Then ground yourself and close the circle.