Beginners, Merry Meet and welcome to the site! I just wanted to throw out some information to really help the beginners. So let's get started!
First off, magick isn't a game. Magick can be very serious if used in the wrong way. It isn't a toy and should be treated with respect.
Regarding the different types of magick, such as black, white, grey, or any other color or type; they all boil down to basically the same thing. They all boil down to using your will to affect yourself and reality. In my opinion, magick doesn't have a color. True magick is good and bad. It's balanced. Everything in the universe has an opposite and balance. If one thing happens, something else will surely happen to balance it out.
Responsibility is a huge aspect of the Craft, just as it should be in daily life. You need to be able to take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. Your thoughts all have energy. Everything you do has an effect on this earth, no matter how small. One of the most important things to know when doing magick is that it does work, and regardless if you see your desired results, there will be results of some kind. And you have to take responsibility for these actions. Just as everything has a balance, so will your spell have a balance. When you do something, nature will have to balance it back out. Think of it as a pendulum. You swing it, and it comes back. You have started it, and there will be a reaction. Nature must balance it out. Therefore, be careful what you ask for when doing magick! You may get what you desire, but the after effects can really be not worth it!
Now that you know real magick isn't a game, and it has consequences, I'll get to the rest.
What really is magick? Well, magick is basically using your will, emotions, intentions, concentration, visualization, and thoughts to create change. A major point is that after you cast your spells, you forget them. If you don't, then how are they going to manifest? You need to let the energy leave your mind to go into the universe to manifest!
That's the basics of spell casting and magick in general. While many different cultures have different ritual practices, it's all the same principle.
Protection is a huge part of magick as well. You need to have protection if you are going to do magick. Some use the "Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" while others, including myself, use the "Magick Circle". These are obviously for protection. They guard your magick from unwanted energies and focus your magick to make it much stronger. Personally, I believe a witch should have a amulet of protection. An amulet is basically used to banish things, such as negativity and basically anything. However, I would suggest getting a piece of jewelry you really like, or making one out of something, cleansing it, and charging it for protection. This is done during the waning moon. You can search for ways to do this in books or online. Also, this is just a suggestion. I find it gives me peace of mind when doing magick.
I would also highly suggest not doing magick to harm others. In fact, it is probably a good idea to include in your spells the phrase "harm none" somewhere. Everything you do will return to you. Whether it be times three, or times whatever, it will come back. There are many cultures and documents which suggest this, and plus you can see it in everyday life. While you are obviously free to do your will, I suggest not taking someone else's will from them. It is dangerous, wrong, and will come back to you! This includes love spells to make someone love you!
Now that you know the basics of magick, I suggest you pick up some books, and start reading. Reading is a great way to learn about magick, but also remember that the practice of it is where the real power comes in. You shouldn't just sit around and expect someone to tell you everything about magick. First off, nobody knows everything about magick anyways. So read about it and teach yourself! If you want to be successful in the art, then study and prove that you desire to be successful!
This site really is a nice place to meet other magick folk and such. It is a good site to find relatively descent information. Just read, study, and follow the rules on here! I also suggest not pretending to be somebody or something that your not. Your only fooling yourself, and you will get nowhere with magick if you can't even be honest with yourself.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. Sorry if I sound snobby, but I am very diligent in this study, and I feel anyone who even thinks about doing real magick should really understand what it is and it's consequences. You can practice whatever form you like. There are many traditions, and not one of them is fully right or fully wrong. Magick is magick. Pick a path you really feel you are drawn to, and study it. Be diligent, and seek the answers. You will be successful if you truly want to be, and if you truly put the time and effort in!