Spells are one of many ritual activities that many Wiccans engage in. Not all Wiccans cast spells; they are a matter of personal preference.
Spells can be designed to attempt to either harm or help others. Thus, there are both evil spells and healing spells. The same magickal processes are used for both.
Wiccans are prohibited by their belief system from engaging in spells or other activities which harm others. This is a logical result of Wiccans' belief in the three-fold law, and their commitment to follow the Wiccan Rede -- their prime rule of behavior:Three-fold Law: "All good that a person does to another returns three-fold in this life; harm is also returned three-fold." The Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what thou wilt." (In modern English: "Do whatever you wish as long as it harms no one.") More information.The Rede obviously prevents a Witch/Wiccan from doing harm to themselves or to others, or attempting to manipulate others, taking harmful drugs, etc. Thus, many activities that have been traditionally attributed to Wiccans -- from the laying of curses to conducting love spells -- are strictly forbidden to them.
"Evil Witches", according to the early Christian church, never existed. But by the 15th century, the church had changed its mind. They taught that Witches did exist, that they sold their souls to Satan, flew through the air on broomsticks, were capable of shifting their shapes to resemble animals, and that they dedicated their entire life to harming and killing their victims. This fictional belief was used as justification for the churches subsequent burning at the stake of hundreds of thousands of religious heretics of all types. In reality, few if any evil Witches existed in the 15th century; they do not exist today either, in any significant numbers. Some individuals portray themselves as Witches for monetary gain and offer to cast evil or healing spells at a price. But they are rare and should not be confused with Wiccans. Such "witches" are not bounded by the Wiccan Rede or Threefold Law. so, they feel quite free to cast evil, manipulative spells and curses.Christians sometimes pray to their God with the intent of obtaining God's help to change their life or to heal friends and family. Some light a prayer candle in their home or church. Such rituals have many parallels with Wiccan spells. What some Christians call prayers, Wiccans may call magickal spells.Followers of other religions also cast spells. "Not all witches cast spells, and not all spells are cast by witches. There are many magical religions out there, wicca being one of them." 3 Most Satanists, for example, cast spells. Their rules of behavior are different from the Wiccan Rede, since Satanism is a separate religion from Wicca. Satanists are not prohibited from casting evil spells on their enemies.
Wiccans are prohibited from doing harm to others. This is generally interpreted as forbidding any spell that seeks to dominate, manipulate or control another person without their expressed wishes. Consider a love spell as one example:
A Wiccan could design a spell to make a specific person fall in love with her/him. That would be a negative spell, because its intent, goal and effect would be manipulative -- to control the other person for the benefit of the spell caster. A Wiccan cannot ethically perform such a spell. 10A Wiccan could design a general spell to make a specific person more open to love in their life. That again is excessively manipulative. The target person could be trying to avoid romantic relationships at this stage in their life, for whatever reason. However, this type of spell might be allowable, if the Wiccan first obtained the permission of the target of the spell.A Wiccan who is desirous of starting a romantic relationship could cast a spell to make themselves more open to love in their life. That would not manipulate anyone else; it would not harm others; it would not harm the spell caster. 4,8 It would be acceptable under the Wiccan Rede.Before performing a spell, Wiccans carefully think through all the possible repercussions of a spell to make certain that it does not have a manipulative component. Wiccans believe that spells alter the course of the universe and are not to be entered lightly without thoroughly considering all of its possible effects.
There are probably as many types and designs of Wiccan spells as there are Wiccans:
Some spells are very simple, consisting of only a few phrases and actions. 4The spell may complex and may involve a full Wiccan ritual, including casting a circle, invocation of deities, statement of purpose, working of the spell, meditation, thanking the deities, and closing the circle. Silver RavenWolf recommends a sequence of tasks, including 4 main steps: to know (yourself, what is to be accomplished...)to will (belief in yourself, Divinity, your sills, practicing)to dare (to change circumstances, to change your environment...)to be silent (before the spell, and afterwards...) Many Wiccans believe that it is not important that you follow a spell precisely. Spells may work better if you modify them to match your personality, thoughts, and the specific situation.