Know the Basics
Know what magick is. Know different ways to raise, direct and ground energy. Know how to cast a magick circle. Know how to open a circle. Know the basic outline of a spell.
Know the Intent or Purpose
What is it you are trying to do? Heal an illness? Increase your concentration? Bring love into your life? Sell a house? Celebrate a Sabbat? Before you begin any magickal working, you should have a firm grasp on what outcome you are seeking.
Know the Best Time to Work the Spell
Do you know what type of magick should be worked during the waning moon and what type during the waxing moon? What type of magick is best worked on the full moon? The new moon? What days of the week are best for what types of magick? Learn how the moon phases and days of the week affect magickal workings so you will know when to work your spell.
Learn which colors will bring what results. Learn a little about herbalism; which herbs can be used for what magickal purposes. Learn about image magick and how it works. Learn about elemental magick; which elements can be used for what types of magick.
Basic Working Spell Outline
We all have different ways and routines when doing spells and rituals. Below is a basic guideline suggested by many books and web sites that you may find helpful if you feel that following a structured routine will work best for you, or if you aren't sure where to start and need a guideline. These are not set in stone and can be changed to suit your needs.
1. Ritual Preparation
Choose a time. Decide the intent. Choose an aspect of the Divine, if you wish. Decide how to raise energy (ie: dance, chanting, drumming, etc.) Choose how to cast and close the circle.
2. Cleanse yourself and your magickal space.
You can do this with a ritual bath for yourself, or through meditation to still and focus your mind. You can cleanse your space with your magickal broom or with incense or burning herbs. Use this step to ground and center yourself.
3. Cast the Circle
This is one method for casting the Circle, however I have a more detailed outline for casting and closing the Circle here. Feel free to use either for your ritual, or to base your own ritual off of.
Starting at the North side of the room, point your finger or wand and say the following as you imagine white light energy streaming forth from your finger and forming a circle around you:
I cast this circle to create a sacred space.
No unwanted energies can enter this space.
The circle is now cast! So mote it be!
By the time you've walked three time around the circle, you should be finished saying that.
You may also choose to sprinkle salt or water on the ground around you or in the four corners.
4. Invocation of the Divine
If you are not working with any deities, then feel free to skip this step.
Invoke the Dieties you are choosing to work with by asking them to join you for your magical workings.
"[deity's name/s], I ask that you join me here to assist with my magical workings."
5. Statement of purpose
This is simply to tell the Divine why you have called Him/Her to the circle; what you are trying to accomplish. This can be done in the form of a prayer, or skipped alltogether.
6. Magickal Working
Raise energy. Direct or channel this energy by using candles, herbs, stones or whatever other correspondences you found to fit your specific need. Ground your energy when you have completed the working.
This is the step where you perform whatever it was you set out to do by doing this whole process. That's right, it's showtime!
6.1. Cakes and Wine (optional)
This step is typically only performed in coven/group settings. Feel free to skip this step.
Eat a small piece of bread or cookie and drink an apropriate liquid to help restore your energy.
7. Thanking the Divine
Skip this step if you did not invoke the divine.
Thank the Dieties by showing your appreciation for their help in your magickal workings this day, if you chose to invoke any.
"[Deity's name/s], I thank you for joining me here in my Circle today."
8. Closing the Circle
Again, you can find a more detailed outline on creating your own method using this link here.
Starting from the West, walk widdershins (counterclockwise) around the circle three times as you say:
"The circle is open, but never broken.
So mote it be!
Merry meet and merry part,
and merry meet again!"