The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Although witches practice many arts, the one most associated with them is spell-casting: the casting of magic spells. Popular fiction, movies, and television programs suggest witches cast spells by wiggling their noses or repeating stock phrases like “Hocus Pocus!” or “Abracadabra!” Real magic is more complex.
The most basic theory of the magic spell depends on the concept of magical energy. This concept suggests that everything that occurs naturally radiates some sort of magic power. Different things radiate different powers of varying potencies. Plants radiate power, as do animals, minerals, metals, people, and you.
A magic spell is a formalized, conscious attempt on the part of the spell-caster to harness and manipulate this power for the purpose of achieving a goal. Every culture on Earth possesses some sort of magical tradition incorporating spells. Magic spells come in an endless variety of styles and forms. The simplest spell may involve nothing more than standing under the light of a full moon and making a silent wish, vow or affirmation; complex spells may take weeks to accomplish and require a battery of priceless ingredients.
Spells may be cast for any purpose. Among the most popular types of spell-casting are candle magic, image magic (see page 607), and spirit working (see below).