Different Strokes for Different Folks
Witches and Wiccans approach magick in very personal ways — ways that can be incredibly complex or very simple. Kitchen and hedge witches, for example, generally practice pragmatic, uncomplicated magick, much of which originates in folklore. Hedge witches traditionally do not belong to a coven. Solitary practitioners, they depend on self-study, insight, creativity, and intuition for their guideposts. Hedge witches may be self-dedicated, but they are rarely publicly initiated. Similar to village shamans and cunning folk, they often provide spells and potions for daily needs. Their practice usually includes plant and herbal magick, often for the purpose of healing.
Others practice magick with more ritualistic overtones, drawing inspiration from various mystical and spiritual movements, such as the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism and magick). Ritualistic witches look at every aspect of a spell or a working as being part of a huge picture. Each piece must be in the right place for everything to work as it should. For example, the astrological phase of the moon during which the spell is performed should be suited to the task. Every part of the working should be carefully contrived to build energy toward a desired goal.
Shapes, numbers, colors, movements, objects, and sounds can all play parts in the construction of a spell or ritual. Each action or ingredient is considered to represent or embody a specific energy. The magician carefully chooses these for their symbolic value and how they relate to her intention.
A large majority of such workings have been used for a long time and are honored as part of the tradition the witch follows. This is not to say that a ritualistic school has no room for variety or improvisation. It's just that the improvisation usually happens within a set framework.