Other than basic knowledge of witchcraft, your path, and your goal, I think these steps are things you should look into to learning if you are new to magic.
1. Meditation: This is the most key aspect of all Occult craft. You need the focus and the energy channeling that come with meditation do be able to cast a spell successfully.
2. Belief: In order for a spell to have a chance at being cast successfully you need to believe 110% that you cast the spell and it will work. This where most people fall into serious problems with spells because they always doubt themselves. Just like sometimes you will hear beginners brag about having their spells work because they just tested it out. They didn't doubt that it would work. They just wanted to see if it would.
3. Casting Circle: Now most people don't always agree with this but I find it's the difference between my spells working and their failure. Always have your casting circle drawn. Always make sure you have closed the circle when you are done casting the spell. This is to prevent anything from contaminating or perverting your spell. Never cast without a circle. You do not know what is looking at you beyond the veil that wants to do you harm.
4. Steps: Always follow all instructions to the letter. If you don't follow all the steps like they are laid out how can you expect the spell to work? There are not shortcuts in witchcraft.
5. Discipline: This is where your prep work and meditation pay off. Some spells require a lot of effort if you want to pull them off. How well you have done with your easier tasks and how often you meditate as well as how well you prepare for what you are doing all factor into your discipline. How much self control you have over what you are doing. This is mostly needed for my summoning and bindings but factors into everything else as well.
Re: Outline of the basics By: Hatsv / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Feb 16, 2018
I'd like to share my input on this.
1. I agree with this point the most. Meditation and its many forms can really help out with your rituals and spells.
2. Belief is good, but a little doubt is also fine.
3. I completely disagree with this. I almost never cast circles and I've been practicing for 12 years. Circles are fine if you want to use them and they can give some benefits, but they are not a requirement and may not be necessary or even practical for ever working.
4. This is also something I disagree with to a point. It all depends on what kind of spell or working you're doing. If you're following a specific type of working where details matter, yes it is good to try to keep to the instructions. Your typical "low" magic spells are easily adaptable. A lot of spell ingredients, use, and beliefs were regional so you will find difference across cultures because of this. Generally, you can alter and customize workings to fit better to how you do your witchcraft or your region.
5. Discipline is the difference in being an active witch, occultist, etc. and becoming an armchair occultist that does nothing but read. Having the discipline to continue your practices daily is important if you want to improve. If you're following certain systems like The Golden Dawn or a year and a day type curriculum, you have to keep doing it and do it at the pace specified. Skipping ahead or rushing could hinder your understanding and experience of the lessons.