general concepts when designing a spell can fall into three broad categories. though distinct, the lines between them are not absolute, many forms of spell can borrow ideas from 2 or even all three.
First: Meditations and visualizations: guided meditations and imagination exercises meant to help raise, shape and release energy for a given purpose. tend to be purely mental in nature with little or no outward action. also forms the basis of more complex spell casting using the other two methods.
Second: Intention Displays: in which an item, act or other such thing symbolizing the intentions and goals of the caster is crafted and charged with spiritual energy. tends to use a variety of symbolism to help communicate the intentions of the caster. can use the voice, action and gesture, and physical items to help deliver the symbolism. examples include: candles, knotwork, petition, sigils, chants, dance, talismans.
Third: Direct application: in which objects and substances are applied directly because of they’re inherent physical or spiritual properties. a mundane example is white willow bark. it has chemical properties that make it work as a pain reliever. in this instance, the bark is not a symbol of another thing, like with an intention display, but is being used for its literal, physical properties. slightly more abstract is when an object is used for more spiritual but still literal abilities, such as rose quarts attracting love. “useable talismans.”
– Law of Contagion
– Law of signatures
– Law of Proxies: one thing taking the place of another.
– Law of Sympathy
– Metaphor, Simile, Analogy and comparison
– Charging objects
– energy movement through visualization
– Meditative and trance states
– Distillation: transferring the spiritual/physical abilities of a magical substance into a medium that’s easier to use. potions, oils, powders, and so on.