the process that goes into most spellcasting can be summerized as:
– creating an item that represents the focus of the spell. various layers of symbolism are employed to establish a sympathetic connection between the item and the concept it represents. color, number, shape, material and the time its constructed can all be carefully selected to have a connection with the desired focus.
– once constructed the focal item is ritually acted on in some way to infuse it with spiritual energy and then activate that energy. the exact methods used to do this vary a great deal from tradition to tradition. but generally you can group them into a few categories.
– the item is displayed or otherwise placed in the area its meant to affect. similarly, the item can be worn or carried by the person its intended to work for.
– the item is consumed in its use. empowered food and drink qualifies as this. as well as other non-edible consumables like incense, candles, oils, potions and the like. many spells seen in popular media would probably fall under this category. as any components used in the spells tend to go up in smoke or are otherwise consumed. but in the real world we know things dont disappear unless we do something to make them.
– the Item expresses its magic through mundane use. many times an ordinary, mundane tool can be empowered as a vessel for magic. and when that tool is put to use, its power can activate the go to work. scissors, needle and thread, cooking pots, a fireplace, doorways and so on. if the mundane function of the item is symbolically evocative of the spells goal, so much the better.
along with the empowerment is a ritual command to “activate.” the magic. this boils down to a simple command from your mind to the energy stating “time to go to work.” sometimes this is purely mental, other times the command is given in a form of action or incantation.
a very common method of infusing an object with power, as well as establishing a strong symbolic connection between the item and the spells focus is to inscribe it with symbols, sigils and other words of power. the act of writing can serve to transfer raised energy, and the meaning of the words/pictures helps to program the intention. if the material your using as a vessel doesn’t lend itself to be written on, or you lack the supplies needed to do so,speaking the words over the object in such a way that your breath passes over it can suffice.