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What is the definition of a spell?
"Spells are a formula of preferred elements that are consciously and emotionally charged and connected and then employed to fulfill a need or desire by focused direction."
~Arijah Ankh Khalid-Zyn

There is a difference between a spell, a pathworking and a ritual.
A spell is what I've defined above.
A pathworking is a bit more like a meditation, only with guided or prescribed elements to acheive a goal.
A ritual is the combination of preferred and agreed upon elements, conditions and outline which is done more than once; either by celebration as one does with the seasons and moons
and ancestral work or for a defined period of time, to acheive a goal.

If you want to increase your ability to study for a test, you might consider a spell.
You would gather herbs and stones that may help you with focus. You might make yourself a tea and meditate. You may light a candle and recite some preferred words, poetry or mantra in
addition to taking care of yourself by eating right, getting plenty of rest and hydration.
A spell is an addition to something you're already doing to advance an energy. It's like a vitamin supplement to either jumpstart or add to a program.

If you are trying to deal with a particular emotion, then a pathworking might better suit your need. You would write a script of ideas, like an itinerary
and step by step work toward understanding the root of the issue. The pathworking would be using your subconscious mind to transfer answers symbolically to
your conscious mind by employing music, sounds, smells, and other elements that the witch deems appropriate.
Pathworkings are seldom done alone largely because:
1) Emotions can be painful.
2) Memories are sometimes repressed.
3) Safety is assured when someone else is on watch.
4) You may require a note taker.
5) A partner can assure proper privacy.
6) A partner can help you with guided meditations. aka: your "itinerary".

Of course a partner is not always going to be available, and you can absolutely do a pathworking alone, as long as you are of sound mind and body.
This is especially important when doing "shadow work".
If you want to honor an ancestor on a particular day, you would be most likely interested in a ritual. This would be a set guideline that you would choose to follow time and time again.
You could add or detract elements from that outline, but it would mostly stay the same such as a recurring date or time; perhaps a favorite flower or photo is always used to
acheive a direct connection to the deceased.
If you want to do a New Moon ritual, you would have many elements that you always go to. You may always find comfort in a favorite place to do your majik. Perhaps a black candle or a black
globe or a particular chant or meditation or a favorite incense is always used. Repetition generates familiarity which creates connection in rituals. That's why people do it.

As an example of a spell we do, this is one I wrote for a Hexxennacht Full Moon:

This is the soundfile in video

Ravynmoon's Online Book of Shadows: Hexenriit

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