Spell casting is the act of seeking to effect the world by bringing magical (or some might say 'psychic') pressure to bear.
There are lots of folk spells around, and most of them are extremely simple:
Blow a kiss to the New Moon when you first see her, and make a wish
Grind coriander seed to powder and as you do so chant:
Warm seed, warm heart
Let us never be apart.Put the powder into something your lover will eat
If you have lost something, light a candle to St Anthony and pray that the item will be returned to you.
All of those examples are spells and anyone can simply follow those instructions and work those spells.
However have a think about it: spells are recipe instructions for magic, and they assume that a practitioner of magic will be aware of all the unsaid processes which can give the spell its optimum potency.
As today is St Albert Magnus day, let us have a look at a spell from the Petit Albert:
To Prevent Persons doing Evil unto you, whom you suspect of bearing Malice or designing Evil against you.
Welcome, in the name of God, ye brethren true and God, we have all drunk of the Saviour's blood. God the Father be with me, God the Son be with you; God the Holy Spirit be with us all. Let us meet in union and part from each other in peace. + + +
Three times spoken.
Now even though it would appear that the spell is worded as if you are speaking directly to your enemies, it is obvious that the spell is designed to be used before you actually meet them, so how would you use those words?
As Folk Witchery practitioners we know there are several things we can add to the spell, for a start we can do it within a properly cast circle. So first cast your circle, consecrate salt and water, bless yourself and anyone else with you in the circle.
Next we have to think about how we want to make use of the invocation. If you think your troubles are being caused by one person in particular, take a candle and write that person's name up the side of the candle, from bottom to top. Use your athame for this, or a long pin or needle. If you don't know who is causing the trouble, write 'My Enemy' up the candle instead. If you suspect it is a group of people, you can write instead 'My Enemies'.
Now light the candle and speak the invocation, just as if you have the person (people) in front of you and are speaking directly to them. Remember to repeat the invocation three times. the + sign means that you make the sign of the cross in the air towards the candle. So you make the sign of the cross three times after each repetition.
You can even make this invocation into a special magical talisman to carry with you for personal protection. If you want to make the talisman to prevent the machinations of one particular person (or several) write their name(s) on a piece of clean paper - consecrate the paper by putting a spot of consecrated salt water on each corner of the paper and pass the paper through your incense smoke.
In this case you could use frankincense, white sage or a special blend either for protection or to banish evil.
Turn the paper over and on the back write the invocation out. When you have written it, read the invocation out and make the sign of the cross three times in the air over your writing. Turn the paper over and say the invocation once more over the name(s) you have written and again make the sign of the cross three times.
Now fold the paper up so that the names of the person or people is hidden inside the packet, then fasten red thread around the packet to keep it closed. Then drip some of the wax from your candle onto the knotted thread to seal the package.
Put this packet into a little pouch you can carry with you, it is best if you can make it so that you carry the pouch against your skin, put a thread on it so you can wear it around your neck, or a woman could pop it inside her bra.
If it is safe to do so, let the candle burn down completely. This is for several reasons:
1) Letting the candle burn down makes the complete offering to the powers and means that you cannot accidentally use that candle for anything else.
2) having written the name of the person up the candle, as it burns down, the person's name is also diminished and made less, and in magical terms this also diminishes their influence over you and lessens their ability to do you harm
So there you have it. From a seemingly simple and basic spell, you can create a potent and effective magical working just by using your knowledge as a working Witch.
Incidentally the book Black and White Magic of Albertus Magnus ed. Chris Sempers £4.95 packed with spells, information and a section on the Sator Square is available from
17 Melton Fields, Brickyard Lane, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire HU14 3HE