While we may not have to fear being burnt at the stake, at least only in metaphor, there are those of us who cannot practice the Caft in the open. This may mean that they cannot burn candles, own books(other than those they can keep somewhere else, borrow, or read on the net), use herbs, or otherwise practice elements of the Craft be cause of some prohibition. It may be that you are a minor living at home with parents who would not approve, or you may be in a prison or in the military, or you may be sharing a residence with someone who would not approve of your practicing the Craft. It may seem to you that this is unfair and do a lot of rebelling and screaming and hair pulling, but you might also consider this a challenge and a true test of your desire to practice the Craft.
All of those things that we use, the athame, wand, cauldron, pentacle, are magic only because we imbue these things with our own magical energies.True, herbs, scents and candles are sources of healing and spiritual comfort, but if there is a reason for not being able to practice the Craft in a physical way, there is a mental way of practicng the Craft. It is more difficult to master and requires more spiritual discipline and concentration but it can be done. If you do not believe in your own magical powers, no amount of cauldron brewing, candle lighting and wand waving can give you power to work the Craft.
As with all magic, you must have an imagination. Being able to make images in your head of the magic you wish to perform is essential. It is essential in physical magical and essential in mental magic. Another thing you need is an understanding of the elements and the cardinal directions. Being in tune with the moon is also essential. Using the power and energies of the moon are crucial.
Being creative and spontaneous is great. Having some dramatic ability to make casting gestures is great, too. But most of all, concentration is the key.
Next time, I'll discuss in depth some scenarios where you can use mental magic.