This is just a little introduction on how spells work. This way just made more sense than all the others, so don't hate too much if it isn't your way.
Story: You are sitting alone in your house, just got down with your work around the house and plus some. With nothing else to do, youre just too bored with the work you have done to even play your games or read a book. Then you had an idea, you can pass time to fine a spell to cast! So you grabbed one of your books and searched for a good spell.
This is normally what happens when we cast a spell. We are bored and want to do something. Of course, I am not saying we only cast spells when we are bored, sometimes we do need help and do cast a spell to ease that problem. But let us stick with that youre bored and you are looking for a spell. When youre bored any spell will really do to cure your bored, because you will have fun searching and casting the spell. Like we all should know, casting a spell when it really isn't needed is not really the best thing to do. The reason behind this isn't that it will go against you or anything; nope the problem is that it will be weak. You see, casting the spell has very little to do with the items you use. It all matters on the inside, even though that sounds lame. If you really need this spell to work then you will really focus on the spell and send a strong request into the universe. Alright, let us say the bored kid found the right spell for them self...
Story: You have found the right spell that will pass time and even help you in your problem with your job/school. You gather the candles, herbs, sigils, and wand/dagger*. You set up your own little space and cast your circle and start to cast the spell.
*Dagger is the simplest term to atheme, whichever word you prefer.
Good, you are on your way on casting the spell. But you are forgetting something important that most new spell casts ignore at times. It is all in the timing. What I mean is that some spells will be even stronger on certain dates and hour of the day. It will take a lot of time to fully explain them, but that is another time. The thing is, you do not have to cast the spell on that certain date and hour (It may be easier to wait for that hour than the day). So lets say the kid skips the required day and hour, he can still make a good spell work without it.
Let us say that the kid has the correct candles that are the correct color. Now colors have different meanings and it is important to follow those meanings. The reason is because there is a world spiritual meaning on the color of the candles. All the magick is within you but if you truly believe in that the color red is for love like everyone else then it will really become that meaning. For example, if only one believes in that truth then it is 1+0=1. But if another believes the same thing then it is now 1+1=2. So if you follow the standard color belief then it really does do what it means (In other words you will have less doubt in yourself if it really means what you believed in).
Herbs are very special because they really do what their meaning is. This is why they are used in hospitals today and have been for since a long time, also for spiritual stuff as well. Of course that is another story dealing with their spirits. Think of it like the matter does one set of things when the spiritual does a different whole set itself. Burning the herbs is a way to release that spiritual set.
Sigils are strange and weird really. They are a created symbol from other symbolic meanings, patters, and numbers. One of the ways to make sigils is with Magick Squires. But Magick Squires is a different story for another time. Sigils are used to keep that spell bond. So if you want to protect yourself for a long time (Magick circles will weaken and break over time) then find a way to create a sigil circle on paper. What the sigil does is that it puts together different symbols into one powerful one. Now if you knew you will need to understand what those smaller symbols used to make the sigil mean. This follows the same 1+1=2 theory.
The usage of wands and daggers are common and looked upon. There are many different things like those two but lets look at the main 4 people normally use. The first one they search for is the wand. Harry Potter I guess is the reason a lot of new witches look for a wand, but it could be another thing. The wand is Wind in usage, but in Tarot it means Fire. The usage of the wand is just holding it in your hand (Right hand or whichever hand you prefer) and focusing on your energy shooting like a beam out of the wand's tip. The most common use for a wand is to make a circle. Of course the type of wood you get for the wand matters. The Atheme, or dagger, might be the second most common tools you might be working with. The dagger is Fire Element for spell work while in Tarot it is Wind Element. So if you are elemental fire, the dagger will be your friend. It works just like the wand but some folks believe it is more into black magick because the dagger is sharp and was used in sacrifice in some cultures. Whatever might be the case back then, it isn't the case with today so please do not worry too much about the whole sacrifice thing. And if you do decide to get one, make sure it is the one that you will enjoy (the shape, where its origins, and so on). The next one is just using your hands. Yup you can just use your hand if you are unable to get a dagger or wand. But I will not require this to anyone new to magick because it requires a lot of focus and experience. It is best to practice with a wand or dagger before you go with your hands. Now that is out of the way I can tell you how they do it. All you do is point your finger out and focus sending your energy out of that finger onto the place you require it to be. Like casting a circle. Now the reason why it is better for you to use a tool than nothing is because tools are there to help you. You can hammer a nail onto the board with your own foot, but it might not be perfect or you could miss it a few times. That is why they use hammers to nail it to the board. But also, the hammer was design to make their work faster and better. Same with the Wand and Dagger. They, you can say, increases your energy flow.
The last is the famous Staff! It is like a wand but much longer. This is for the "master" magus (just to point how advance the person is). The reason why the staff is more powerful than the wand isn't because it is stronger. The reason is with the size. You see, with the wand you only have so much space to engrave your runes, sigils, and so on. But with the staff, since it is longer, you can have so much more and even add a larger crystal on it. Now this also means you have to understand what each symbol does and now how you can control them all together. With is the reason why only the advance group may use staffs over wands. Also the staff has to be the same height as you, but not everyone does that.
You see, that long page of words was all about the tools you use in a spell! And I didn't go in depth with all of them. What they all have in common is that you have to understand how to use them and how they help you. This is why people discourage others to go for a spell when they first go after wicca.
All right, let us say the kid understands what each tool does to aid the spell.
Story: He puts everything in the right order and spot, than casts the circle.
The circle is like a secondary spell to your primary spell. It helps to protect you from those bad vibes or bad energies. A lot of people have posted and wrote books all about the Circle, when the entire circle is a barrier. To your surprise, it is very easy to cast. All you need is salt (or black salt if you want more protection) and a dagger/wand. Even sometimes you do not really need a wand or dagger; just pour the salt around your workspace in a circle. Do not close it yet; just make a C for now. Make sure you have everything you need inside before you finish your circle (closing the circle). And hey, you do not really need to use salt. You can use plants, tarot cards, water, sand, and so on if that is what you really want.
Story: Then the kid begins the spell inside the circle.
For whatever spell you have, it will normally have steps on what you need to do. If you have a spell that does not have steps, then what you might want to do is, before you start the spell, break down the spell and make steps in it. Another thing you might want to do is to read over the spell a few 10 times so you have an idea what to do next, of course have a sheet of paper with you just in case you forget a step or two. Remember, do not rush. If you rush then the spell will be lacking energy. Let it take it's time, let yourself be relaxed, and foremost enjoy!
Story: You are finished with the spell and reopened your circle. You feel much happier and free.
When you reopen the circle, you basically killed it. The reason why I believe that is because that circle is a onetime thing. You will have to remake a circle if you want to do a different spell. This is why we do not make one circle and save it for 10 different spells. Once the spell is done, it will not happen right away. In fact that is very unlikely. The reason for this is because it takes time to ask and it takes time to receive. The spell is just your prayer, youre asking, into the universe. Now the universe just does not have a closet full of miracles waiting to be used. The Gods and Goddesses have to set up a certain event that will give you want you asked for. And in some cases what you ask will not happen until a year or so.
One last thing, there is this rule that I follow that has helped me keep a cool head. Do not talk about your spell for the next 24 hours. This gives it time to send your request. You see, when it is still sending, your emotions can still add to that request. So if you tell someone that you cast a spell for this and that you might think it will not work or have doubts in you. Or maybe the person will say that spell is fake and so on. Just forget about the spell (after writing it down if you have a spells of shadows) for the whole day.
If you have read this whole post, I give you grates. Not that many people have the will or interest to read this much.