How Do Spells "Work"?
A "spell" is no different from a wish or a prayer. They are exactly the same thing: merely focusing your mind, your energy, on something that you want very much, as hard as you can.
Some people say that they do not know how to pray or cast a spell. But they have wished upon their birthday candles from the time of being small children, and know well the feeling of wishing so very hard for that new bicycle with the cherry red sparkle finish. You instinctively know how to do this, but perhaps never took it seriously. There is reason to take it seriously, and to regain that lost habit of your youth.
In every day life, thoughts flit through our brains continually. We carry a diffuse cloud of measurable thought energy around us everywhere we go, awake or asleep...like the halo of a frosted 25 watt light bulb ~ softly, dimly, glowing. Wishing, praying or spell casting requires us to focus our thought energy. To concentrate on only one thing with intensity. Compare the power of that diffuse 25 watt light bulb with that of a laser light beam that is so sharp, you can perform surgery with it. That's what you must train your mind to do. Hone your thoughts like light becoming a laser.
Why? Because there's a lot of hubbub in the world. The Earth is congested with diffuse random thought energy, radio signals, the hum of machinery, etc., and if you want your message to be heard, and transmitted around the world, you need to strengthen your signal. And when you can do that, alone or with a assistance, that's when your wishes, prayers and spells come true.
Focus. We have to train our minds to focus, and hear past the white noise of this industrial world. In much the same way as whales used to be able to hear each other across whole oceans, now the noise of machinery drowns their song, but it's still possible to separate the sound of thought from the sound of a modern world. We just have to learn.
Your laser of thought cuts through the din of the world and spreads your desire throughout the aether. And like a logarithmic falling of dominoes, your thought energy bumps into the particle next to you, and the next, and the next, and the next...outward and outward...and your message is conveyed far and wide, and answered by the universe, by particular people, who hear, who respond to the stimulus you have initiated.
What you put out there will eventually return to you, so take care that what you wish for is positive in nature.
Some people do this without even knowing that they do - for good or ill. Most of us need to learn to concentrate. This is where the tools of ritual come in...
Quite frankly, they are mostly unnecessary - these wands and crystals and candles and incense and cloaks - in the grand scheme of things, they are there only to help you concentrate and focus. Many people simply enjoy the trappings and beauty of ritual and use them to bring them into a meditative state conducive with intense focus and concentration. In the case of working with a group, casting or praying together, it can serve to help settle everyone down and get them into the proper state of mind to perform the task. But if you are a lone practitioner who has trained yourself to concentrate and meditate, you might need nothing at all, or maybe just the flame of a candle or glint of a crystal to 'hypnotize' yourself into centering your thoughts.
I will explain this further elsewhere, but it's important to understand that thoughts are TANGIBLE. They are a measurable energy source. Once you understand THIS, you can use the power of your own brain energy just like poking a stick into a stream and diverting the water as you desire. Then you begin to understand why and how spells, prayers and wishes work.