Many new to magic become quickly frustrated when they cast their first spell and nothing happens. They then assume that magic either isn't real or simply won't work for them. In reality they just have yet to learn the basics of magic. Once they have learned and mastered the basics they can then move on to spell casting and so on. I have listed some of those basics here.
This is the process of forming mental pictures or images. In magic, it is used to form images of desired goals during spells, rituals, and so on. To practice this, I always liked to try picturing my favorite place. I close my eyes and visualize it as best as I can. I try to remember all of the details, from the smallest to the most important. I try to remember every aspect and feature of the location. What did it look like? What did it smell like? What sounds did I hear? Where their bird calls? Through doing this exercise, you will find that it is much easier to visualize things, which can often be key during spell work. How can you use a spell to help you reach your desired goal or intent, if you cant properly focus on it or visualize it?
This is the process of relaxing the mind and body, as well as achieving a higher state of spiritual awareness. To do this, find a quiet spot and sit in a comfortable position. Now, focus on the area around you. Allow yourself to block out the noise, if there is any. Now focus on the energy flowing within yourself and the area around you. Focus on it and picture it slowing down, picture and feel it calming down. Allow your mind and body to still. With a little effort you should be able to more easily do this every time you try meditation. You can also meditate on a candle flame if this form of meditation is easier for you, and helps you to more easily focus, clear your mind, and calm yourself.
When working with magic, belief in what you are doing , belief in yourself, and belief in your abilities are key. When casting a spell or performing a ritual you must believe and visualize that what you are doing will bring about a desired change. For example, if you are casting a spell for protection you must feel and believe that the spell will work, both while you're casting it and after you've finished with the casting of the spell. Also keep in mind that a spell will not work as soon as you cast it. The spell may take a few days or even weeks before you finally see any results.
To ground yourself when working with energy, sit with your legs crossed or stand (whatever you feel most comfortable doing), and your eyes closed. Feel and visualize energy flowing from the world around you and into your head and then into the rest of your body. When you feel yourself vibrating with this energy, visualize roots growing from your feet and going down into the ground or floor. As you do this visualize the excess energy flowing down into the earth.
To shield yourself you can use a very simple technique. You can either stand outside beneath the light of the sun or moon, this is entirely up to you and what you feel most connected with, visualize silver energy coming from the moon or golden energy coming from the sun. Visualize the energy of your choice coming down and forming a solid shell or sphere around you. Visualize, feel, and believe that what you are doing is working. The more you have worked with energy the easier this should be for you.
Shielding can be used to protect you from negative energies and things of that nature.
To do this follow the same steps ad with for meditation, but visualize and feel the energies within yourself coming to a balance.
This isn't really one of the basics, bit I felt it should be added here as well. I see quite a few ask questions about this.
To enchant an item you would charge it with the energy that you would wish it to have. For example, if you had a ring that you wished to be empowered with protective energies you would visualize and feel it glowing with that power/energy. It's also a good idea to cleanse the item before enchanting it.
The processing of charging the item usually only takes a few minutes, and you should be able to feel if it is or isn't charged. Most of my items that I've done this with tend to give off an energy.
Colors and Magic
Many will tell you that magic has no color, and while that might be true, labeling magic can help us differentiate between the types of magic we are discussing. There is nothing wrong with labeling magic. It is but a means to better identify the type of magic we are referring to.
White magic is generally seen as any magic that is positive or beneficial. Black magic is generally viewed as any magic that is negative or malicious. Gray magic falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, such as a binding.