Where the Power for Spells Comes From
Where exactly does the power for your spell come from? Well, there are several possibilities, and rather than leaving it to chance, the spellcaster would do well to consider this question before operating and make a conscious decision. The first and easiest power source to access is you. You take subtle energy in all the time from the surrounding universe—it is called ki in japan, qi or chi in China, and prana in India, but the concept is the same. It is poor occult practice to use your own power reserves as a source, though. If you use your own reserves of energy you will feel drained and unwell at the end of the operation; effectively you have become a drained battery and will need to be recharged. In the long run, continued use of your own body’s energy for magick can lead to more serious conditions. Furthermore, it is a very limited source, and as a result not particularly effective.
The next source of energy to consider is elemental force, the neoplatonic system of earth, water, air, fire, and spirit. Depending on the spell, you may channel one or more of these forces, and they can be very effective. They are particularly useful for cleansing or blessing operations, which are often simple, localised events, and this gives a clue to their weakness, which is that these are pretty much “blind” forces. I feel that they are less effective where the spell is more complex, requiring an intelligent power source. Still, they are forces that every serious spellcaster should become familiar with and be competent in using.
Moving up the intelligence chain of possible sources of energy, we come to ancestors. But what do we mean by ancestors? Do we mean the other people on our family tree, now in spirit? Do we mean the people who lived where we do now? Or all the people bonded in some way by a common cause or set of beliefs? Actually, it is all these things….
— Spellcaster, pp. 79-80