Some Gen. Info About Diff. Types of Magical Spellworkings

I thought I would write about the different kinds of magical spell works you can do. This isn't a complete list of information but should help you get started and develop your own style. First thing you should understand is the definition of magic. It is the manipulation of energies for a wanted or needed intent. However, how you achieve this goal can vary in a multitude of ways. Most magic that Wiccans do is sympathetic magic. That generally means that the act or method of the spell working symbolizes what is wanted to be achieved. Just remember that while you make each item or do each spellworking you should keep in mind your intent so that you are infusing your intent into the objects you are making or the spellworking. Also never dispose of your spellworking items in the trash. Either bury it, store it in a safe place, send it to the person it's intended for, toss it into a river or other moving body of water or if appropriate, burn it and then properly dispose of the ashes as mentioned above.
First, lets look at Cord magic. Like most magical methods, it is done a couple of different ways. First you use either a string, thread, cord, yarn, ribbon or even a rope, though that can be a bit cumbersome. Next knots are usually made in the cord, usually with words said while you tie them. One type of cord magic is to tie 9 knots in a certain order with a couplet for each knot. Also you concentrate on the purpose of the spell and at the end of tying the knots you might voice a phrase that seals your intent. You then save the cord by either carrying it with you or put it away where it will be safe or even bury it if the spell calls for it. 
Another type of cord magic is what is called a Witch's Ladder. With this you also tie knots but at the same time you are tying objects into the knots, like feathers, stones, and other things that will fit and stay within the knot. Words are also said as the knots are tied. This object is usually for protection but you can make it for anything you wish. You then usually save the Witch's Ladder and either hang it up or put it in a safe place. 
And another type of Cord magic is where you use a cord to either tie yourself to a person or object or to break ties with said person or object. It's quite simple really. You tie a knot on each end of the cord to represent yourself and the other person or object and then to break ties you fold the cord in half and cut it, while saying words to first indicate which knot is for whom and then as you cut it you speak your intent to break ties with the other person or object. Then the side of the cord that was the other person or object is either buried or burned and the ashes either buried or scattered and you save back the half that is you. To tie a person or object to you, you would start with tying knots at each end again specifying which is you and the other person or object then with words you tie a knot in the middle. You would then save the cord in a safe place. This particular spellworking is not suggested for most Wiccans as it is usually going against a person's freewill. There are endlessly ways you can use cords for magic. Just use your imagination. That's what magic is about anyway.
Next, lets look at Poppets. These are essentially dolls that are made out of various materials, wax, clay, sticks, roots, but usually for Wiccans they are made out of cloth.You can buy ready made poppets or you can make your own. I suggest making your own. Basically you cut out a doll shape out of the cloth. I suggest you make a pattern so that both halves are identical. Then starting at about halfway down the head you sew the two sides together until you reach the halfway point up the other side of the head. Thus you leave the top half of the head open. You generally don't create a neck on this poppet but do leave room to be able to stuff things down it into the rest of the body. Now you will stuff the poppet. This is done with a couple different things depending on your intent and path. Most will stuff their poppet with herbs that represent the intent. For me that can be a lot of herbs so I will usually stuff the legs and arms with cotton. Cosmetic cotton balls are very cheap and they are a natural fiber. Then I will start stuffing the main body with the herbs. You can include with the herbs, stones, charms or such that represent the intent. Next, you would want to personalize the poppet with either a picture of the person, nail or hair clippings of the person, a personal item of the person, or simply write the name of the person you are intending the poppet to represent on a piece of paper or parchment. These items are put within the body of the poppet with the herbs so you generally don't want them to be very large. Now you are at the head and you can either stuff it with more herbs or more cotton. Now you can further personalize the poppet by adding yarn or whatever to add hair the color of the person, draw or stitch eyes the color of the person's eyes and a mouth. You can go so far as to dress the poppet. All of this is up to you. Just remember that the more you put into it, the more of your intended energies are being put into it. Also, for the body of the poppet, you can either use cloth that is the general coloring of the person or you can use the color of cloth that represents the intent of your spellwork. Now your poppet is ready for you to do the rest of the spellwork you intend to do. There are many different things you can do with a poppet.
Next is probably one of the most common and popular type of spellworking, Charm Bags. You can buy ready made bags to use or you can make your own. I prefer to make my own. These bags can be small or large. It all depends on you. They are usually about 2 to 3 inches square and are tied at the top when finished. The color of cloth you use is up to you but usually it represents your intent. Some people prefer to use natural fiber cloths, where others will use whatever is handy and still others will use leather. Like the poppet, you stuff it with herbs and other items that further promotes your intent. So you could use charms, herbs, stones, wood, animal parts or whatever you wish. Most Wiccans won't use animal parts. These items can not only represent your intent but also the Deities you want to help you with your spellwork. I usually burn a candle, that represents my intent, while I'm making my charm bags and there is usually some wax left over. I will take a bit of that soft warm wax and shape it and add it to the bag. Once the bag is made and your items are within it, then you would tie it up at the top with a cord or ribbon. This is where you can also add a bit of cord magic when tying up the charm bag. The color of this cord or ribbon can represent your intent or could be a more neutral color like white or black. It's up to you. Now, finish your spellworking by consecrating and infusing it with your intent and it's ready to use.
Now lets look at Candle magic. There is some controversy as to whether to use only beeswax candles or soy candles or petroleum based candles, which is what most candles you see in the stores are made of. Money may be the issue for some people. I personally prefer to use beeswax when I can but quite frankly can rarely afford them, so I usually use the petroleum based candles. Next to consider is the color you wish to use. This is usually based on your intent or what you have available. White is the universal color and can always be used no matter what. But there are some that say that if your intent is strong enough, then the color doesn't matter. Now, shape can be a factor in your spellworking. Candles do come in quite a variety of shapes and sizes. So choose what works for you and of course what fits your budget. A simple taper candle will always work for anything. I do suggest that you avoid pillar candles unless you are doing a spell that calls for it to be burned for several different days. I like tealight candles as they are small and generally inexpensive and can come in many different colors. Votive candles are nice too. Remember that you are not suppose to reuse your candles, unless the spell you are doing calls for you to use it for several different days. Next you might be carving on your candle. These could be words or shapes that further direct your intent. And of course you consecrate your candles with an oil that also symbolizes your intent. This oil can be an essential or or a homemade oil. It's up to you. Finally there is the lighting of your candle. This can be done a couple of different ways. Some will say that you always light your candles with a match or from another candle like your goddess candle. Others will light their candles with whatever they have, which is usually a lighter. It's up to you which you prefer to do. Now, concentrate on your spellworkiing and your intent as the candle burns. Remember fire safety. Don't have your candle near something that can catch fire, and never leave a lighted candle unattended. 
Next lets talk about Amulets, Charms and Talismans. An amulet is basically an object that provides good luck and/or protection to the holder. It is usually small and worn as a pendent or such. It can be anything from a stone to statues and coins as well as animals and drawings. Some amulets can be a symbol of a religion or deity.
A Talisman is also an object with magical powers. However, it's power is thought to be of greater magnitude and that it is magically charged and would then transmit it's powers to it's owner. More work is involved in it's creation being a carved or engraved figure and having magical inscriptions on it, sometimes in gold, etc. It is generally carried not worn or kept near the object it is to benefit. It can be connected with a spell to increase it's potential though it will work well on it's own.
Charms are usually considered a part of folk magic and is usually objects like a horseshoe or rabbit's foot. The word charm is also used sometimes instead of the word spell.
These are just a few of the types and objects of magic that is available to you. There are many more. Again your imagination and intent are the keys to your magical success. Explore and enjoy your magical practice. Pay attention to what you are doing and concentrate on your intent but don't be afraid to do what you wish to do. As Wiccans, we strive to do no harm and recognize that we are responsible for what we do. Have fun.

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