SPELLCRAFT is the art or ability to cast or work spells, also known as "work". "To Work" is also known as performing "magick", which is spelled with a "K" on the end to differentiate this kind of magick from prestidigitation, or sleight of hand performed by stage magicians.
Spellcraft uses the vibrations of natural things around you plus your own vibrations to accomplish a desired goal. Colors, herbs, incense, etc, all have vibrations that affect the universe. This has been proven by the physicists of our modern age, but was known to the ancient magicians already.
Before resorting to magic, however, you must do everything you can on the practical level first! Magic never excludes you from your own participation. If you light a black candle to lose weight, for example, and then contimue to eat ice crean fudge sundaes, your spell is NOT going to work! This may seem like commonsense, but I have repeatedly heard people complain that their spell did not work, and they did absolutely nothing to help it along on the physical plane. Remember, if you REALLY WANT something, you would be doing EVERYTHING you can to get it, right?
A spell usually will not last longer than 3 lunar cycles, or can begin & end almost immediately. For example, if you light a green candle for money, and the very next day someone gives you a $50.00 bonus - your spell has worked! Now spend the rest of the time you were going to do your spell saying "Thank you". If you were planning to do a spell over a certain number of days, and your wish manifests itself sooner than that, you should still continue the time allotted, but focus now instead on thanking your Diety for granting your wish so promptly. After all, if you never were told "Thank You" by someone you were helping, how likely would you be to want to help that person again in the future? Think about it. Whatever you begin must be finished completely, it must be ended properly, even if circumstances change.
What if it's been 3 lunar cycles and your spell still hasn't worked? Take a look at how you set it up. Look also at your level of desire, is this something you seriously wanted or needed? Try redoing the spell a different way. If you need to do the same spell more than 3x without results, stop - you are getting a karmic lesson. This is not for you, and your Higher Self, or Guardian Angel, has stopped your magick from manifesting. Perhaps what you are asking to have happen will be harmful to someone else that you hadn't thought about, or will harm you at some future time in a manner that you are not aware of. That is your Higher Self's purpose, to help guide you through this life, and you should always request His/Her guidance when doing magick.
Here's a good place to give an explanation of why and how we believe magick works. In many cultures, the human being is perceived as having three (3) parts. In Huna culture, it is the animal self, the middle self, and the higher self. In Wicca it is called the younger self, the middle self, and the higher self. For years people did not understand the concept and the Hawaiians (who practiced Huna) were thought to be backwards people practicing a ridiculous religion. Then Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung came along and discovered that we have three parts in our minds which they call the subconcious, the concious, and the superconcious. This is also the concept of the Soul, the Higher Self, the Guardian Angel, whatever one chooses to call it. Now that the existence of these three parts of the human mind have been "proven", the Hawaiian people seem to be very smart indeed!
Now, you must understand that the concious mind, or ego, has no real contact with the Higher Self. It's analytical "show me" attitude precludes any contact with Spirit. The Higher Self only has contact with the subconcious, or what we call the Younger Self, which "thinks" through imagery and emotion, not logic. Higher Self has the ability to help manifest on the physical plane what we really want to have happen through contact with Deity, but the messages we give our subconcious mind are often garbled or erroneous. The childlike subconcious only knows what we tell it, so our inner voices need to be positive. This is why positive affirmations work so well! Keep telling yourself something and it will manifest. The same is true of negative affirmations also, so you'd better beware of saying things to yourself like "Oh, I'm so fat!" or "I never seem to get ahead of my bills", etc.
Your Younger Self is very playful, and likes symbols. It always takes things literally (kinda like a computer), it can only say "yes" to whatever you tell yourself. So guard against negative thoughts, and saying things like "She is a pain in the neck" or it may manifest for you. Once you have started to do magick or spellcraft more regularly you may notice that things seem to come more easily - this is true of negative things as well as positive things. Your "stray" thoughts may not be so "stray" as before, you will need to keep your mind in better order.
What we do in magick, is to symbolically act out what we want to have happen. We see it as happening now, as a "done deal", and we see it as being positive. We state what we want, not what we don't want! By doing this with the use of candles, poppets, herbs, etc, we have fun and we get our Younger Self's attention. We speak in rhyme, we dance to raise energy, and we send that energy and our desire out into the universe to have it come true. Younger self sees that and the message is sent out to our Higher Self, who is linked with Deity, and what we want is set in motion.
This is a rather simplistic view of our system of magick, and there are others, this isn't the only viewpoint. If you have questions concerning this, please do some research for yourself and decide for yourself how you wish to perceive it. There isn't a right or wrong way, there are only opinions, because we haven't all the answers on this physical plane.
Another point I wish to stress is that magick DOES work. I have firsthand, personal knowledge of this, not a belief. I have seen it at work in my life, and the lives of those around me. I have done good spells and I have done a few "Aunt Clara's" that backfired on me! Magick, though, is WORK make no mistake about that. It's not a hobby, it's not a toy, and it's rarely entirely predictable, so if you are looking for the easy route to winning the lottory, keep looking!
Remember to be silent, do not let it be known that you are doing magic, it promotes fear, hostility, envy, or someone could try to interfere with you. This really can't be stressed enough. There are some cases, however, when you should discuss your magick with another person. If you are involving another person in your spell YOU MUST HAVE THEIR PERMISSION !!! Even healing, done without someone's permission, is going against the plan for their lives that they have decided upon. You have no right to infringe your will on another person, and doing any kind of magick without asking first is imposing your will on them. Suppose they have a lesson to learn from being sick? Or someone else in their life has that lesson to learn from their illness? If that is the case, then even the best magick probably won't cure them, but you have no right to even attempt it without asking them.
If you find you absolutely MUST do something for a person you care deeply about, but you do not have their permission, or for some reason you cannot obtain their permission, then the best thing to do is to send them your loving energy, to use as they will, with no strings attached. This means that if your Grandmother is dying and you want to heal her, you can send her loving energy. She may choose to be healed with it, or she may choose to use it to help her passing on - either way, it is up to her Higher Self, and not up to you. But at least you can have the peace of mind that you didn't interfere with her, and you sent her your love. If you don't think you can do it without attaching what you want the outcome to be, then it's better that you don't do it. This kind of interference will come back to you threefold, and not in the way you'll be expecting it either.Another time when you will need to discuss a working with another person is if that person's energy will be contributed to the magick. If you are going to do any working with a group, you will have to let them know exactly what you are doing and why. Also, the leader of your group, or your High Priestess should always be consulted any time you have an ethical question regarding the nature of the spell you wish to do. Many times there is a better way to do something than the way that we first think of, and someone who is well versed in magick can help you find a way that may be more appropriate or more effective. If you have no one you can consult with, you may email me and I will help you as best I can. (Use the link on the home page.) However, be advised that I do NOT give spells out to people via email, and I do NOT condone love magick on people. So if you are looking to "hex your ex" or you want to "get that one guy to fall in love with you", you'll have to do the research yourself. I want no part of that kind of karma, thank you!
On the other hand, if you have a spell you want to do, but are not sure it is ethical under the circumstances, or just need a second opinion on whether or not it is the right way to go about it - those emails I will answer to the best of my ability.
Observation is critical (and could save your ..ahem..assets). You should keep a magickal journal of your observations. For example: If you are doing "XYZ ritual and this is the result, and I noticed this when..." WRITE all this down in your BOS or a magickal diary. THIS WILL PROVE TO BE INVALUABLE !!! At some time in the future, you may need to do a spell again. It is critical that you know exactly what happened, and when. If a spell was ineffective, you certainly wouldn't want to waste your time doing it that way again, would you? A magickal diary will also document and show your grouth, both spiritually and as a magickal worker.
Whenever you do a spell, give yourself an out, by saying
"if it be for my highest good...."
"and with harm to none....."
and "this or something better for me.."
This is to prevent ourselves from trying to outsmart your Higher Self by asking for something you may want badly, but which is really not conducive to your well-being. Remember, your Higher Self, or Guardian Angel, or Spirit Guide (whateer you choose to call this force/being) is looking out for you. Given the chance, He/She will guide you to the correct path.