What is magic, and how do spells work?
Although magic comes in many forms, and spells use different types of magic, ingredients and incantations - the same principles of power apply to all kinds of witchcraft and sorcery. The form of witchcraft and the tools that wizards use differ from type to type. A sangoma may throw the bones and use herbs and plants, while rune magic uses rune stones, and a witch uses a wand and incantations - they are all drawing from the same energy. Even the eastern disciplines of meditation and levitation, and such practises as iching, numerology and feng shui, draw from the same well of power and knowledge. In fact most practitioners of the occult do not focus on only one aspect of magic, but study across several disciplines. A psychic healer, for example, may also use tarot cards and a pendulum for divination. The pendulum, or the tarot cards hold no magic. A witches pentacle, although a powerful symbol, has no intrinsic power of it's own - it is merely a tool in the hands of a witch, and if the witch herself is powerful, the pentacle will help to concentrate that power. Asking how does witchcraft work is the wrong question - how does true power work is a better one!
Magic, or supernatural powers, are nothing without the medium. These energies swirl around us, waiting to be formed, focused and manipulated. Our reality, or perception of reality, does not allow us to see, or work with these energies. Someone who has studied the occult is exposed to these energies, and in turn taught to manipulate them. "What is magic" changes as mankind's common perception of reality changes. What may have been magic 200 years ago is no longer magic, because we understand it now, and accept it. Once something is understood, or accepted, it falls into the mundane, something that can be logically understood - and it no longer seems like magic.
While studying the occult, whether that be through Wicca, or voodoo, or any form of witchcraft, may be seen as a way to access this power - it is not the power of magic itself. It is a path to magic. The real path is within - every person has access to this external power and energy - it does not hold favorites and can be equally dangerous or powerful to everyone. Whether you access this power through religion (like Christianity), or through a medium like a clairvoyant - it is still the same energy (although Christians, Muslims and Jews may disagree vehemently).
Human beings are extraordinary creatures, and we live in an extraordinary world. Little do we know that! Dogma, in the form of religion, and in the forms of witchcraft, have had the biggest influence on how we see ourselves. They have actively worked to fool us into being smaller and less powerful than we actually are. This has led to a concentration of power in the hands of a few people and groups, and led to a numb, dumb population, who always seek their power through another.
Magic is really just a line that society has drawn between what is known and what is unknown. We have been taught that the 5 sense are what defines reality, if we cannot sense it - it does not exist, or it is magic. The swirling energy around us is interpreted by our 5 senses, and we presume that we have seen it everything - this could not be further than the truth. The energy stream contains and is home to much more than we could ever imagine with our limited perception. With a little delving in to, and creaking open of our perceptions, we would quickly see far more - life forms, sometimes called spirits, and energy forms that would blow our minds. Magic is on the other side of the line - and that line moves as society changes.
What are spells
Spells are methodology of manipulating or controlling pats of this energy. It serves as a tool to access the incredible power that floats around us. While we may think that a powerful sangoma is something special, or gifted, we all have the same power. We all have the ability to access the energy stream, and we all have the free will to use it for good or for bad.Whether you choose to access it through meditation, witchcraft, religion or personal power, it makes no difference to the power - the power is the same - no matter what lens you look at it through. The craft is just a lens.
What is the key to this power?
Immediately when seeking power, most people look to others, and to objects. They will seek out a sorceress or will go and look for a powerful crystal, believing that the power is in that person or object. This is wrong thinking. The power of magic is in will - your will. It is woven into intent and action. It is tempered by persistence and knowledge. The place to start looking for power is within. The seeking can take any form - through the marshal arts or the study of the bible and also through something as mundane as gardening. The path does not matter - the will and the intent matter. First the self, then the opening to higher energies. The path to power is through your own mind and heart. The access to true power and magic is a personal journey and experience - it cannot be found outside you.