Resources for spell writing and casting methods




by Nick Farrell

Every elder thinks that the younger generations fails to respect them.  As I am fast reaching the age where I am one of those “elders” I have started to notice the same irritation.

I started this game young – I was 17 and I irritated my “elders” too. But in a completely different way from the way I am irritated now.  I was the eternal student.  I listened and asked questions and wrote a lot down.  I remembered what was told, often reminding teachers what they had said in the past, or what others had said.  If I struck what I thought was a contradiction I would ask about it.

I did manage to swallow a lot of rubbish from a lot of my teachers, some of it has only be countered recently and there might be other material lying below the surface waiting to be challenged.

But the fact that the information is there at all is a testament to the patience of those who taught me, and might even have been down to my own diplomatic abilities. I might be an arrogant shit but most of the time I knew when to keep my mouth shut and be loyal to who was teaching me.

Sometimes that loyalty was rewarded and other times it was not. Sometimes a teacher would get a bee in their bonnet about me and it was time to exit. It is the way of occult groups and teachers. The most sainted occultist will always have trouble at some part of their magical career.  Teachers can be unbalanced, and you should be prepared to forgive them as you would any friend.  Sometimes you can become dangerous to the political games of people in a group and be knifed in such a way that you have to leave a group.  Other times you have to be the one who takes the teacher to one side and point out they are off the rails (normally when the inner calls upon you for that function, your shelf life in a group is short).

But I was still taught and although I had some bad experiences with teachers there was not a single one who I would have avoided.  So here are ten tips for young occultists to actually learn something. It is going to go down like a lead balloon but when you hit 50 and are still an occultist you will realise that it is right.

1.      Realise you know nothing. No one aged 20 to 30 knows anything about people, life or has put in enough man hours to understand magic.  If you are training at that age you are lucky and have more time to learn. Once you have a few years under your belt you will have stories to tell.  But even then you still know nothing and will have something to learn. Those people you think know nothing actually have pissed off far better people than you and stopped making the same mistakes you are doing 20-50 years ago.  Even Jesus did nothing meaningful before he was 30 and he was supposed to be a god.

2.      Stop talking. Your theories on occultism, magic or anything are not really worth much.  There will be people around you who know much more than you and they will never speak while you are talking.  While you are talking you are only able to express your very limited understanding.

3.      Listen. One of the things that are really good about the Internet is that you have access to teachers who know what they are doing. If they are talking listen. When you are listening and I mean really listening, you remember it all.  A “lesson” might be too advanced for you now, but it will go in and not be forgotten.

4.      Do not use questions to assert your own ignorance. Ask real questions related to the subject and its implications. Good teachers allow questions and debates because that is how they learn.  Unquestioned teachers make emphatic statements which will have to be challenged later.

5.      Realise that you are unimportant. You and your ideas will only become important when you have refined your ideas and found your “voice.” The world is full of people who think they are teachers – an occult teacher is someone who is forced into the role by circumstance and other people, you shouting “pay attention to me” disqualifies you.  If you want to teach, you should never do it.

6.      You can learn a lot from some real cunts. One of the thing I noticed that that me and a lot of occultists have been trained by people who have been real arseholes. They may be brilliant magicians but dealing with them requires the patience of Job.  Fighting with such a person is easy – getting on with them is often the challenge of learning.

7.      A good teacher does not really care what you say, they are more interested in what you do.  They will be looking at your diaries to see what experiences you have had with the system they are trying to teach you.  Work flat out and when you are asked show them your results.

8.      You will project your weaknesses onto your teacher. Everyone does this, but the younger you are, the more likely you are going to project whatever you feel about your patents on to your teacher. Occultism is full of people who want a mother or a father figure because the relationship with their parents was so bad.  When you are younger this pain is closer to the surface. If you find that the teacher is suddenly becoming your worst nightmare it might be a good idea to evaluate your relationship with your parents before taking it out on your teacher.

9.      Don’t just sit there help.  A teacher can teach but organising an even often requires help. Walking into a room sitting down and saying “teach me” is expected but will not earn any friends from the teacher. You might have come from an environment where you mother did everything for you, but helping put out the chairs, making the coffee, washing up is more likely to attract attention from any teacher.  I don’t mean glamourous stuff, like conduction a lecture or volunteering for a ritual role – I mean the shit jobs.

10.  Never challenge the leader. If a group is bad, having you mouth off about it is not going to help.  If you are unable to quietly take your concerns to the leader then you have to leave.  Even if you take your concerns to the leader, be aware that you might be announcing your own exit. The problem is that when you are young you are going to get hurt and diced by magical group politics by people who are a hell of a lot more clued up than you.  Remember that in games like that, you are just there to make up the numbers or be cannon fodder of more mature and politically clever people – it always ends badly.


Younger people seem more likely to want to change stuff. That would be ok but a lot of it does not need to be changed. If you review all the articles written by those who think there is something wrong with the Lesser Banishing (sic) Ritual of the Pentagram they will usually be under 30.

The desire to change stuff “to keep it fresh” is a good thing, however it cannot happen as fast as younger people moot. In this I include myself because I had the urge to change stuff slowed by Chic Cicero who handled me in a very interesting way.

I had been reading Dion Fortune’s diaries where she said that a lotus wand consecration was a bad ritual because it mixed too many forces in one place. She said this broke the rule of not mixing forces in a ritual. She made her lotus wand, consecrated and never touched it again.
I pointed this out to chic and suggested that maybe the ritual needed to be changed…. perhaps it should be broken down into 12 separate rituals to keep the energy pure as DF suggested.

Chic didn’t say don’t be stupid, or the tradition is sacrosanct. He just said to do the ritual both ways and write a paper comparing the two systems.
So I did 13 versions of the rituals (12 using my new and improved workings) and came to the conclusion that DF was wrong. Not only was it desirable to mix force there was a dynamic which was missing in the shorter more numerous versions that I could not duplicate in my “improved” workings.

The point here is that by being forced to research and make a comparison I discovered that the tradition was correct. I also learned that you had to be careful what you changed because sometimes the baby came out with the bathwater.

Now I was a little older at that point than most of the young occultists I have dealt with, so I was ok about admitting I was wrong. However as a more mature adult I actually have made changes to MOAA which takes it out of the GD framework.

In the GD changing things in one grade can break things further up and no matter how clever you are as a young occultists you can’t predict what will happen further up the tree. As a result most of my changes have actually been additions rather than deletions. On the rare occasion that something was removed it was replaced by something similar.

But this is a tricky business and some of the things I would like to get rid off have had to remain because they hold a pivotal part in the complete system. Some of this is down to the actual order contact saying “NO” and if you think that dealing with old farts is bad, you should see what it is like dealing with centuries old contacts.

Websites related to witchcraft


Miss Mango’s Secular Witchcraft Tumblr Resource Masterpost


Spells, Spellcasting, and Sigils

natural-magics’ online spell index

callenfir’s list of spells and guide to spell writing

wrathspellbook: a tumblr dedicated entirely to spells

saltwater-phoenix’s list of sea witch spells

auntiewitch’s spells to soothe anxiety

wrath-fire-ice’s spell index

natural-magics’ what is a sigil post

spellbookofwitches’ guide to casting a circle

spellbookofwitches’ spell directory

bookofthedarkmoon: another tumblr dedicated to spells

Crystals and Herbs

natural-magics’ online crystal index

natural-magics’ online herbal medicine index

diviningdusk’s list of herbs that can be grown indoors

pomegranateandivy’s post on herbs to avoid during pregnancy

herbalriot: the tumblr of a professional herbalist/aromatherapist

paganstudies’ herbs on a budget post


asksecularwitch’s guide to tasseomancy (tea leaf reading)

asksecularwitch’s guide to using pendulums

alannastarot’s tarot spreads and readings tag

what-witch’s list of free methods of divination

what-witch’s guide to fire gazing

witchcraftings’s guide to scrying

childishtarot’s tarot spread masterpost

satdeshret’s wheels of the machine tarot spread

natural-magics’ list of different types of divination

tree-hugger-74’s guide to using a candle flame for scrying

Spirit and Astral Work

chaoticwanderings’ ghost tag

psychrph’s resource post on hauntings (originally intended for roleplaying, but can be useful otherwise as it is based in reality)

natural-magics’ post on discovering one’s power animal

storiesandconjure’s spirit work tag

storiesandconjure’s safety tips for spirit work beginners

storiesandconjure’s guide to creating space for spirits

callenfir’s charm bag to see spirits

storiesandconjure’s aids in spirit communication post (a bible, a candle, and water)

thetwistedrope’s astral link guide

spiritscraft necromancy tag


natural-magics’ elemental associations page

stormgarden’s post on storm witchery

thepaganstudygrouppage’s post on fairy faith

hearthmagic’s definition of a domestic witch

callenfir’s advice to new witches tag

natural-magics’ reference and helpful post tag

pomegranateandivy’s list of things learned relating to spirit work, easy kitchen remedies, and self confidence

natural-magics’ reference post on chaos magic

thedruidsteaparty’s post on green witchcraft

mothensidhe’s post on ethics and safety in bloodcraft

mothensidhe’s tag for sangomancy

the paganstudygrouppage tumblr (full of all sorts of resources)

asksecularwitch’s sideblog dedicated to calling crappy “new age” books out on their shit and also books to avoid

asksecularwitch’s reference page

casting-shells’ sea witch resource page

paganstudies’ new to paganism/witchcraft post

paganstudies’ resource master list

natural-magics’ free beginner’s reading list

natural-magics’ FAQ

This post was last updated on 5/23/2014. Most resources are from blogs who state that they are here to teach, but if for any reason a post of yours appears here and you do not want it here, please let me know and I will remove it. I am not an expert, a professional, or a doctor of any kind. I do not promise that all this will work for you 100% of the time. I myself am still learning, but thought I would compile a list of resources I have found to be particularly helpful. (

Anonymous asked: Could you please recommend any good books on witchcraft apart from those written by scott cunninham?

windvexer answered: Yesss. Yes.

Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson. It’s basically a modern staple – read it. This book is more ceremonial than some prefer but don’t disregard it.

Witchcraft for All by Louise Huebner. I believe this lady has the right attitude about witchcraft. Enjoy.

Neolithic Shamanism by Raven Kaldera and another author who’s name escapes my memory. This book is about heathen shamanism, not witchcraft. But they have some very great concepts about energy work, dealing with spirits, and a complete ‘path’ instead of just spells and learning. It significantly evolved my craft.

Practical Sigil Magic by Frater UD. He literally wrote the book on modern sigil magic. The school of sigil magic has evolved since then, but this book is such a fast read and you can easily find it online.

Psychic Self Defense by Dion Fortune. She is an occultist, not a witch. But this book I think presents fair realities of the dangers of occultist magic (and by extension, witchcraft). Don’t put this one high on your list but read it when you can.

The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook by Robert Bruce. This is a dense book, and not a quick read. But by god he’s done his research and he doesn’t pull any punches.

Protection and Reversal Magick: Beyond 101 by Jason Miller. I highly recommend for any novice witch or those looking to improve their protection skills. A quick read, full of tons of practical information. I am a Jason Miller fangirl. Really if you had to buy any book I would recommend this one first.

The Sorcerer’s Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick by Jason Miller.Basically a book of practical magic – the title suggest that a “sorcerer” is anyone who does magic, not just witches. So it is not a witchcraft-specific book. Great though.

Financial Sorcery: Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth by Jason Miller (yes I love his books so sue me). He gives not only money spells, but explains how to use magic to hold on to money. As many witches have found, money is easy to conjure but hard to hold down.

The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells (Or, the Elemental Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells – they are the same book sold under different names) by Judika Illes.The intro to this book has great information on real modern magic, and any beginner would learn a lot from it. I find the actual spells are best used as a point of brainstorming for your own magic, although some of the formulas are very nice to have.

Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Illes. I got this book for $3 on Kindle but the price has gone up. It is an incredible reference but it really doesn’t teach you much as far as practical magic goes.

Pure Magic by Judika Illes. It is her book about spell-casting. I don’t recall anything mind-blowing about this book but if you don’t quite know where to start, give it a try. If you have read her encyclopedias you will be disappointed to find that some of the material there is just copied over, so you may not get as much new material as you would have liked.

Complete Guide to Psychic Development by Cassandra Eason – to be clear, this is a New Age book. Like, every ritual uses at least 6 candles and if any problem ever arises she recommends imagining pink clouds to take it away. However it does have solid information on different psychic abilities and clear, easy-to-follow exercises to learn and expand on psychic talents. Just cut down on the candle count at your own discretion.

As far as herbs go, hit up your local library. There should be several books on herbal medicine, gardening, and identification. Pick up on on the chemical (medicinal) properties of the plant and research!

I hope this list helps. It is very basic but I think good for a beginner.

Educational Pagan Posts Written by Yours Truly


Why Do People Keep Telling Me I’m Not Wiccan?

Authors to Avoid

The Rede and What It REALLY Means

Christian Bashing: How to Not Be an Asshole

Self-Initiation vs. Self-Dedication

Simple Ways to Connect With Your Religion Daily

Witch on a Budget

How to Start a Book of Shadows

Tips for More Fruitful Studying

Need a Coven? Dying for a “Wicca Teacher”?

How to Tell Which Books are Good

Wearing Your Pentacle in Public

Misconceptions: The Burning Times

How to Become and Eclectic Pagan Witch

“In the Broom Closet” Altar/Shrine

Black vs. White Magic

Spell Writing 101

Books and Resources (Paganism, Witchcraft and More)


This list has been updated over the years and will continued to be updated over time. If you re-post this elsewhere, kindly credit me because it’s taken a long time to compile what I feel are useful resources on the following topics. The very basics are covered in my FAQ.

Last updated: 8/24/2014


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Meditation and Yoga

Botany and Gardening

Rocks, gems, and minerals

Not the real thing, but


Astral Projection, Lucid Dreaming, Out-Of-Body-Experiences & Dream Yoga

Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel – William Buhlman

Astral Dynamics: The Complete Book of Out-of-Body Experiences – Robert Bruce

Astral Projection for Beginners: Six Techniques for Traveling to Other Realms – Edain McCoy

Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment: The Out-of-Body Experience, Astral Powers, and their Practical Application – Joe H. Slate PhD

The Astral Projection Guidebook: Mastering the Art of Astral Travel – Erin Pavlina

Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming And Mindfulness Of Dream And Sleep – Charlie Morley

Dreaming Yourself Awake: Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga for Insight and Transformation – B. Alan Wallace

Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light – Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

Dream Yoga: Consciousness, Astral Projection, and the Transformation of the Dream State – Samael Aun Weor

Explorations in Consciousness: A New Approach to Out-of-Body Experiences – Frederick Aardema

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming – Stephen LaBerge

Far Journeys – Robert Monroe

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics – Dylan Tuccillo

Journeys Out of the Body – Robert Monroe

The Llewellyn Practical Guide to Astral Projection: The Out-of -Body Experience – Melita Denning

Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life – Stephen LaBerge

Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self – Robert Waggoner

Mastering Astral Projection: 90-day Guide to Out-of-Body Experience – Robert Bruce

Meditation, Transformation, And Dream Yoga – Gyatrul Rinpoche

Out-of-Body Experiences: How to Have Them and What to Expect – Robert Peterson

Realities of the Dreaming Mind: The Practice of Dream Yoga – Swami Sivananda Radha

The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep – Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Ultimate Journey – Robert Monroe

A Witch’s Travel Guide to Astral Realms – D.J. Conway