The Five Stages of Spellcasting: Stage One
Stage 1: Formally defining the purpose of the spell.
Take your symbol that should be made of natural material, natural fabric, crystal, beeswax, dough, clay, flowers, herbs, twigs or metals.
Set the symbol in a dish or flat plate in the center of the altar (you can use a pentacle dish is you wish).
Raising the symbol dish in the center of the altar as you face north, name the purpose of the spell and the time scale, for example, “by the time the leaves are on the trees,” “by the next full moon or “within seven days.”
At the same time, define the person for whom you are casting the spell – this could be yourself.
If you wish, you can now, while you are speaking, pass the symbol on its dish slowly in turn over all four elemental substances, beginning in the north or east.
You may now speaking slowly and confidently, ask for any god or goddess or maybe an angelic power that could be helpful.
Put the symbol back in the center. Touch the symbol with your wand or with a crystal point or the outstretching tip of your index finger to make the connection between the symbol and the energies to be raised. Say:
Be filled with powers and blessings that _________(name) may be/ have/ do__________.
In a ritual you would announce the purpose of the gathering and draw everyone together in a initial chant or action during this first stage.