Almost everyday, i encounter the question "what are the basics?". To clear up some of the confusion behind this, i have decided to post this in the forums. Enjoy.
The basics are a set of skills all practitioners should know before doing any magickal working. It is important that you know these inside and out. The basics are:
-Correspondences (moon phases, herbs, symbols)
-Grounding (centering, too)
-Spiritual path (optional, but recommended)
Once you have got most, or all of these down, then i feel you are ready to do spell work, and you should feel ready too. I will give you a little bit of explanation about the basics below, just to help you out.
You need to know what herbs symbolize, and what moon phases symbolize in a magickal energetic sense. After you familiarize yourself with correspondences made by others, you start to create your own correspondences based on how the herb/moon makes you feel.
It is important that you learn to meditate. Clear your mind, open your senses. Your third eye (the place between your eyes and on your forehead) needs to open. It is very important that you meditate, and that you find a way to meditate that works for you.
Grounding is a good way to learn how to balance your energy. There are many different techniques and styles to this practice and i suggest that you look for some online. It is important you know how to do this.
Visualizing energy is a must have skill in magickal practice. If you cannot visualize your energy flow then you cannot direct it into the desired destination. There are many different techniques online that you will find about visualizing energy. Try and find the best one for you.
For many witches starting out, and even for seasoned and more experienced witches, they all pick a spiritual path to follow in their magickal practices. These spiritual paths are often called religions. The reason we call the spiritual paths is because the belief system is designed to help you find your inner self, as well as the higher self, and even a god-like figure. I suggest that you follow a spiritual path to begin with, and if it really works for you, stick with it. There are many magickal spiritual paths that you will find, so choose the best one that you think will work for you.
I hope all of this helps. If anyone has anything they would like to add, a comment even, feel free to post below.