Magic spells, incantations, talismans, or symbols cannot be guaranteed to bring results. As most magick practitioners know, for legal reasons, every supplier in the United States of America sells their products as CURIOS ONLY.
If an individual were simply to use magic as a means to concentrate upon their desires and to pray, they would at least clarify what it is they want. However, if it works for you, as it very often does, then you will have not only clarified your desires—you will achieve them. This is not a bad thing.
Some spells employ incantations, some use objects; some incorporate actions and many spells use a combination of these. Generally speaking though, spoken spells or rhymed chants are more common in European folk-magic and its derivatives (including Wicca and Neo-Paganism) than in the magickal practices of some other cultures. This does not imply that the other culture's spell-casters are less potent. It is simply a variance of cultures.
Some practitioners think Latin is the most powerful spell casting language. Others believe Hebrew, Greek, Egyptian, Sanskrit or some other language is the most effective. There is no agreement, nor evidence, that one language is more powerful than another when it comes to spell casting.
There is also mixed opinion on whether old spells or new spells, or even self-written spells are best. Just because a spell is old, does not mean it will work. However, just because you wrote it yourself does not ensure it will work either. Neo-Pagans (new-age types) tend to emphasize the benefits of writing or creating your own spells, while folk-magic practitioners (grass-roots, old-school sorts), tend to embrace the benefits of learning spells from the older ones, or, if that is not possible, from written accounts of the old-time ways. There is one thing both sides agree on: if you create your own spells, it's good to have a broad-based knowledge of the magical meanings and uses of herbs, roots, minerals, colors, seals, amulets, astrological symbols, and similar items. It is also advantageous to be practiced at written or oral spells, before embarking on a new route.
True magick comes from within. Magick can only work within the confines of natural law while seeming to happen miraculously. People, in general, do not understand the breadth of the natural laws.
The basis of spell casting is built on two principles of truth:
There is a natural law, which on a metaphysical level, like attracts like. By visualizing an object and affirming that you want this item to manifest itself in your life, you are sending a message to the universe and your subconscious as to what you want. The universe will listen, and a corresponding image will soon find its way to you.
Desires and wishes, sent out in thoughts, words, and deeds--we attract to ourselves. Your thoughts and words have more power than you can imagine. They are, in themselves, a form of magick. We all use this type of "spell" all the time, usually without ever realizing it.
Magic is a natural act, easily accomplished. Each of us has the power to bring about change in our lives, and in the world around us. Our subconscious mind is the source of our personal power over the universe. Spells, incantations or invocations, are merely one way of conveying messages to the subconscious mind. Many spells incorporate symbols, and as we all know, symbolism is a primary language of the subconscious.
Remember, words have power, and when words are used in conjunction with symbols, they produce magical results! Considering the basis of magic: thoughts, words and symbols acting upon our subconscious mind and bringing our minds into tune with the universe, one cannot help but understand that real magic comes from within.
Karanina wrote: "The alignment of one's mind with one's surroundings has repeatedly been proven to be the basis of all magic. Magic lies not within the spell, but in the force that drives it."
Book of Shadows
Spells and Magic Categories
Symbols - Symbolism - Sigils