According to most modern definitions, a spell is a ceremonial act that focuses energy to achieve a goal. A spell is intentional magick. Most commonly, it implies a combination of words and actions combined in a symbolic way to bring about a magical result, but spells can come in many different forms.
Historically, spells were traditionally written or spoken, the power of words being paramount. Although ritual movements and other actions probably accompanied historical spells, more attention is paid to these in modern spellwork than seems to be in the past.
Still, most spell-workers will agree that speaking your statement of intent out loud or writing it down is a very important part of any spell. A song, chant or a poem may be written to elucidate the statement of intent in a more artistic way to add to the sense of ceremony. However, privacy occasionally dictates that this statement, whatever form it takes, is delivered silently, via writing, creating a sigil or through focused thought and visualization.
Some Examples of Spells
To cast a spell to create a mojo bag to draw prosperity to you, assemble your ingredients and declare your intent out loud as you assemble them, perhaps in a rhyming or singsong chant, or simply as a firm declaration.
The act of mixing together ingredients chosen for the metaphysical properties into a meal that you will then eat in order to bring about a change in yourself or your situation is a spell, especially if you sing or chant while mixing and declare your intent over the finished product.
The act of casting a circle, with the accompanying verbal declarations, and raising energy to send out into the universe to accomplish a goal is a spell.
The act of creating a sigil, declaring its purpose aloud, raising energy through sexual intercourse and sending that energy into the sigil to create a talisman to protect and strengthen your marriage is a spell.
A banishing spell often involves ritual actions that sympathetically mimic cleaning or driving something out along with a firm declaration of the intent that the person or energy to be banished immediately leaves the area or situation.
A binding spell often involves a sympathetic action representing the tying up or closing in of a taglock, or object intended to represent the target accompanied by the announcement that the object is bound to or from a certain course of action.
A number of sample spells and techniques commonly used in spellwork can be found in our Spells and Rituals section.