Words are power; the ancient Greeks believed that the world was created and activated by the sounds of vowels. Words, once spoken must be heard immediately, or they are forever lost on the winds. The written word is placed in the physical realm, transmitted across time and space, a tangible token of thought and intention. Magickal Grimoires and Books of Shadows are infused with power by the words written within them. Writing is a magickal gift from the Gods and must never be taken for granted.
There are many magickal scripts that can be used in paper spells. The Nordic Runes and Celtic Ogham were designed specifically for magickal and spiritual use. The Theban and Enochian scripts along with the Script of the Magi are most often used. Sigils derived from angel’s names or from the stars can communicate with miraculous entities. Angelic sigils are written on paper or engraved on metal. Each Angel has a specific sigil that is used to summon them.
Special writing systems can keep your texts and spells secret.
You can create lasting amulets and charms from paper. In China, paper charms are written in red or cinnabar ink on red or yellow paper using a special script called “Celestial Calligraphy”. The special characters weave the magick into the paper creating a powerful magick spell. The spell can be activated by anyone by setting fire to the paper and holding it while the characters burn. The fire unlocks the magick by releasing the spell stored on the paper. Sometimes fire and water are combined: the charm is burned first and then the ashes are mixed in water or tea and drunk. Some forms of Celestial Calligraphy are not burned, they are placed as a charm over a door, on walls, worn in the hair or carried in a medicine bag.
A written spell can be inscribed on clay or wood, then shattered or burned to release the magick.
Written spells can be drawn on the ground, particularly to invite, invoke and honor spirits or God/desses. Materials commonly used are flowers, flour, cornmeal and special rangoli powder. Rangoli the women’s spiritual art of India uses rice flour with flowers and spices to create patterns. As the Earth’s tiny creatures eat the rice flour, they carry embedded prayers into the Earth’s womb. Pulverized chalk and herbs can also be used to draw magickal words and sigils on the ground.
Not all written spells need actual words. Hand drawn pictures, various colors, collages, numbers etc. are also used to create sacred power.
To invoke the aid of a particular God or Goddess, write the name in gold ink on red paper and post it on the wall.
The most common paper spell is The Release Spell, used to release something that no longer serves you. To perform a release spell you write down on a piece of paper the thoughts, words or feelings that you no longer wish to carry. The paper is then burned in a cauldron or bowl, the flames burn away that which no longer serves you. The ashes are buried in the earth, scattered to the winds or poured into a river or stream.
Sources: Taoist Talismans by Wilson Yong
The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells