I've spent a while chasing mermaid spells and impossible dreams. If you look at my history, barely any of my spells are even possible. I've just reached the due date of a fantasy spell I did, and I've decided that, if I'm so interested in magic that won't work, I should try the things that will. If I do a real working spell, won't that be interesting enough? And even if it's not spells, magical workings will probably be very helpful in my life if I learn how they really work and how to use real magic.
So, can you help me? What is a good way to set myself on a better magical path? How do I start, and what should I do first? I'm okay with not doing any spells until I'm better. How does a new practitioner learn real magic and try to stay away from the fake stuff that enticed them before?
It's great that you have come to the realization that fantasy spells are just that.
I would recommend looking into what magick is and isn't real, that way you can find something that draws your interest.
Beyond that, it is just about expanding your knowledge of the basics: there are some great forums such as: Starting Out and The Basics Expanded that you can look at. Meditation is a great start but isn't necessarily necessary, then centering, grounding, visualzation, etc.
Well, if you're serious about learning how to do magic and with starting from the rock-bottom then you don't start out by casting spells, you start out by learning how and why magic works.
You see, there is no such thing as an "easy" spell or a "beginner" spell. One either understands how magic works and has mastered the basics...in which case the magic will work..or you haven't done that sort of work..and no spell will work no matter how "easy" it seems.
Casting a successful spell involves much more than finding some spell on the internet or in a book, saying some words, lighting a candle, waving a wand of any of that sort of thing. In order for magic to work you need to understand how and why it works in the first place. Grounding and centering, visualization, focus and intent, energy manipulation, etc are all necessary first steps to even begin to have a chance at a spell actually working...and more importantly to prevent a spell from back-firing on you.
So, my advice for anyone who is truly serious is to start by reading a few books and practicing the exercises those books will give you. Once you have mastered the basics you won't need anyone to give you spells, you'll be able to create your own spells that will be far more effective than anything you find on the net. Here's the books I suggest:
"Before You Cast a Spell" by Carl McColman
"Spells and How They Work" by Janet and Stewart Farrar
The only spells that I found not really fake or fluff would be creating psi balls spell to find your spirit animal and possibly creating your spirit animal. Some of the healing spells actually work but DONT actually heal a cut to make it disappear. It's usually just to subside pain. Such as a headache