Hello everyone! I will post some of the general basics that people use, and will add some links to the public forums where some useful threads are posted. The basics are not the same for everyone, first and foremost. This is not something set in stone and has to be done this way. Everyone learns differently, and everyone practices differently. Take in as much knowledge as you can, and expand on it to make it your own.
Here are a few things that can get you started:
Grounding -The best description of this I have ever heard was from a lady named Zeb. She said, and I quote "go outside, sit at the base of a tree, and connect with its roots". These words describe pretty well to me what grounding is.
Meditation -There are many different ways people describe this, but I think it is a generally speaking, clearing your mind to prepare for the spell/ritual/ceremony you intend to do.
Elements -The elements are just as you think:Earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. You will learn to utilize these in your work.
Energy -Energy work is very important here. You have to be able to pull energy from other sources and send it back out when you have completed your spell/ritual/ceremony.
Visualization -Just as it sounds, you will need to *see* what you are doing. Picture it in your mind, and bring it to fruition.
Belief -You have to believe that what you are doing, is going to happen. Not that it might, or may, or could. But WILL happen. That is a big part of having success.
Correspondences Days of the week
Monday - A day for the moon, peace, dreams, emotions, travel, fertility, wisdom. Color: Silver, white, and blue. Deities: Diana, Artemis and Selena.
Tuesday -A day for courage, victory, success, strength, conviction, rebellion, defense, wards, and protection. Color: red, black and orange. Deities: Mars and Ares.
Wednesday -A day for communication, the arts, transportation, change, luck, gambling, fortune, chance, creativity. Colors: purple, and orange. Deities: Mercury and Hermes.
Thursday -A day for abundance, protection, prosperity, strength, wealth, healing. Colors: blue, purple, and green. Deities: Thor, Jupiter, Juno.
Friday -A day for love, birth, fertility, romance, gentleness, pregnancy, friendship, passion. Colors: pink and aqua. Deities: Venus, Aphrodite, and Freya.
Saturday -A day for banishing, protection, wisdom, spirituality, cleansing. Colors: Black and purple. Deities: Saturn and Hecate.
Sunday -A day for success, promotion, fame, wealth, and prosperity. Colors: gold and yellow. Deities: Brigid, Helios, and Apollo.
Colors *White can be substituted for any color in candle work*
Make sure you have open windows for the smoke to escape, and make sure you have something to catch the embers or extinguish the smudge stuck when you are done. Many people have different ways they cleanse the home. This is one way, and can give you ideas on how to come up with your own. First I make a smudge stick. I like to grow my own herbs, but you can use what you have on hand as well. Some ingredients to use: white sage, rosemary, lavender, pine, cedar, or whatever you are comfortable with. If you can get full stems of these, even better. Tie them together using yarn, or twine. As you wrap them, chant a blessing that you have created for this. As you light the end, imagine the smoke wrapping around any negative energy in the house. Walk through each room and chant while cleansing, visualize that the smoke is wrapping around the negative energy, and escaping out the window back into the universe. When you are done, extinguish the smudge stick for future use. You can use this to cleanse items as well, tarot decks, books, stones, jewelry, or anything you use for your work.
I will say this a thousand times, or until it is heard. You really shouldn't ask or accept anything into your home that you do not know how to get rid of. This is one thing I am constantly saying over and over to new people on the site. I have had people tell me various ways to get rid of things over the years. From banging pots and pans, or simply asking it to leave, and then the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I like to be sure something is gone when I feel the need to banish, so this is how I go about doing so. First meditate (as you would with any work you do) and concentrate about what you are going to accomplish. I use rain water, or snow that I have gathered to use, but you could consecrate or bless some water for use. If you work with any deities or spirits, you ask them to join and aid you in the banishing or protecting. As I am walking through the house, I sprinkle the water while saying a chant to banish this home. Do this in every room, while saying the chant to cleanse and banish any unwanted guests or energies that are within. I also use the water to draw a pentagram on each door/window throughout the house for protection. I tend to combine cleansing/banishing/protecting into one session or practice. This gives you a general idea of how to start. You can look into the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, but I do not get fancy every time I do this. Each day requires different needs in the practice, so I use whatever is necessary at the time. Shielding This is done just as you imagine it is. Put a bubble around yourself (this would imaginary) and visualize the shield in front of you, your home, loved ones, or whatever you are wanting to shield. Magic can be complicated but not every aspect has to be an elaborate work that takes hours to complete. Of course we do rituals and ceremonies that do require some time and a lot of tools. If you are just beginning, remember to not overcomplicate things. That just junks up what is important for you to learn.
Spells and Magic Crystals, gems, stones, and whatever else you want to call them have a variety of uses. They can be used for healing, works of magic, and much more. How can crystals do all of these things? It is a common belief that crystals and gems vibrate with their own, natural energies. They are believed to be able to store it, channel it, and balance it. Unfortunately, they can do this with both positive and negative energy so it helps if you clean your crystals regularly.
I pass my stones through the smoke of an incense stick and then place them in the sunlight for a few days. When you pass them through the incense some, it helps if you visualize the smoke burning away any negative energy that might be attached to the crystal. Be careful not to leave them in the sunlight for too long. It can cause certain crystals to fade. I found this out the hard way with my amethyst. I personally tend to use the sun a lot when charging crystals, since it's more convenient for me. I found the more exposure to the sun the amethyst had the more the purple hue to it faded.
Because of their abilities to channel energy, it's a common belief that crystals can be used to channel healing energies as well. One method that can be used is to visualize the stones surrounding you in a golden, healing light. Visualize this light spreading healing.Keep in mind that stones aren't going to heal you immediately and if you have a serious injury or medical condition you need to see a doctor a.s.a.p. I have also heard of people using them during Reiki healing sessions to help with the healing process. I personally use them in my healing practices and will place a stone over each of the chakra points. I then run my hands along the length of the individuals body. If I feel any fluctuations or disruptions on the energy, I will use my selenite wand to help correct and direct the energy flow.
You can use stones to increase the potency of spells or rituals. The crystals can be used to amplify the energy. I use clear quartz. It's an amazing energy amplifier and I use it for just about everything. I usually have mine on my altar or in my hand while I'm doing a spell. If you are doing a ritual, you can sit some of them up around your ritual area or your circle (if you use one.)
Crystals for the Beginner Witch
I recommend quartz, amethyst, agate, turquoise, and obsidian. Quartz is a good all-purpose crystal, amethyst is good for dream magic and psychic awareness, agate is good for healing, turquoise is good for money drawing and lick, and obsidian is a good choice for protection.
Crystal Colors & Correspondences
These can also be used for candles, charm sachet colors, and so on. Again, this chart is of my own design and one you are welcome to use as a reference guide for your spell work.
I have used Scott Cunningham's books, Witchipedia.com, and authors like Janet and Stewart Farrarfor guidance, and gathering this information for my own charts and guides.