Whether simple or complex, all spells involve focusing the power of intention to produce outcomes. Your intention not only provides the fuel that energizes a spell, it also colors the spell. As discussed in Chapter 1, your motive for doing a spell determines whether it's “white” or “black” magick, or somewhere in between.
There's nothing wrong with doing “gray” spells — most spells, in fact, fit into this category. It's not incorrect or selfish to use your magickal talents to improve your lot in life. However, a wise witch always examines her reasons for casting a spell before she takes any action. Sometimes the only difference between a gray and black spell is your intention. Let's say, for example, you want a certain job. It's logical to do a spell to improve your chances of landing the position you desire. But if your spell intentionally causes someone else to lose the job so you can take over, that's black magick.
Black magick doesn't always involve the ritual of casting a spell. Many people perform black magick without even realizing it. If, in the heat of the moment, you curse someone or wish something bad to happen to him, you're doing black magick.
It's also important to feel good about the spells you do. Witches have different opinions and preferences when it comes to working magick, and although certain practices may not be wrong, they might not be right for you. For instance, some witches engage in sex magick, but it's not for everyone. Stay within your own comfort zone.
Witches subscribe to a few general guidelines that constitute morally responsible spells. Here are the basic spellcraft “don'ts.”
Don't design a spell that might harm another person or interfere with his free will.
Don't cast a spell that includes components or methods that violate your own personal taboos or ethics.
Don't work with languages or symbolic items that you don't fully understand.
Don't do spells if you are ill, angry, or otherwise off-center, as this can affect the outcome dramatically.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you'll avoid the problems, pitfalls, and unpleasant ramifications that can sometimes accompany spell-casting.