So I was asked a while back what components are necessary for successful spellcrafting.

Spell can be very elaborate. They can involve numerous ingredients, representations, candles, accessories, incenses, chants, motions, and all manner of things.

But I’m a chaos magician. I usually like to keep things simple.

What do you need to cast a spell? Instructions and focus. That’s all.


You hear a lot of magicians and witches and newagers rambling on about intent and intention. I think a lot of this is watered down feel-good nonsense only loosely related to what is really being implemented. Positive thinking and vague wishery rarely gets results. Specific instructions do. (It doesn’t matter whether you think those instructions are handled by your subconscious, or the Universe, or the gods, or etheric software, or whatever. They’re still instructions.)

For the sake of convention, though, I am willing to describe these instructions as a statement of intent. It is a formal and explicit declaration of what it is you are attempting to achieve.

Your statement of intent should be as specific and precise as possible. Brevity helps (although if you want to use it as a chant or something you can suitably modify it, in verse perhaps, or something similar).

Focus on the goal as much as possible rather than the means. Don’t do a spell to get money when what you really want is a car. Do a spell for the car and leave room for it to manifest. You might get money to get the car, but you also might get a car gifted to you.

Be sure to detail things you don’t want as well as what you want. If you are looking for a new job, you’ll want to include instructions for your optimal salary, but remember to specify that you don’t want to work the graveyard shift.

Once you have these instructions, you can transcribe them as a sigil, or turn them into a poem, mantra, or chant, or some other representation that includes the totality of those instructions in a form that your mind can access quickly and without effort.


Chaos magical theory refers to gnosis. This is that divine, one-pointed state of consciousness in which magic happens.

Gnosis has a few other meanings, and sounds kind of esoteric, so I call the same thing focus. It is simply how focused your consciousness is on what you are doing. When you are doing magic, the point is to get that focus as narrow as possible, to that one-pointed state where you are either completely focused on one thing or on nothing at all. (Orgasm works great.) The idea here is that a more intense focus allows those instructions to be processed directly by the subconscious and be activated.

In my younger days, I relied on orgasm to launch sigilized instructions a lot. Now I’m more likely to used focused breathing, and I get the same results. But ecstatic states produce the same effect: dancing, chanting, and ritual will all accomplish this goal.

And here is the point where all of the accoutrements come into play. If you have a spell that calls for certain ingredients, words, or actions, you are essentially bringing in elements that assist in tightening your focus. And if that works best for you, or feels more comfortable, or you simply desire a certain aesthetic, then that’s fantastic, and do what works.

The point isn’t that objects, or ingredients, or motion aren’t necessary.  They might be and they might not. The point is that you should do what gives you the best results, and if you don’t need the extras, you shouldn’t feel compelled to used them. Likewise, if you do need the extras, you shouldn’t feel that this reflects poorly on your magical ability. (I very often use candles, herbs, and other things when doings spells.) The key here is that you should employ anything that you feel comfortable with that effectively allows you to focus enough to “launch” the spell.

What accoutrements should you use? That depends on your tradition, school of thought, goal, and means of access. If you are Wiccan, you may feel more comfortable in a Wiccan ritual setting and generating a cone of power. If you can’t afford a certain herb, check for a corresponding one that is cheaper. Improvise as you can, or be as fancy as you want. It is the results you are after.

Happy casting.



One response to “Spellcrafting

  1. Pingback: Spellcrafting | Practical Pagans

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