As I said before, there may be times that you cannot do spells in the open. This may be because of living situations or problems of acceptance or even situations where you may need to whip up a little protective magic and you can't get to your sacred space or altar. Magic isn't just about the things we use, sometimes it is simply the power of our intentions.
There are many times in life when just going through the motions are not enough but in magic, sometimes going through the motions are just enough to send magic out on the spot. If you have been working with your wand, then you know what hand you use to work with it. For the sake of this dicussion, I will simply say wand hand. The other will be called your opposite hand.
When I need to use a wand and I have only my finger, I use one finger, my index finger, to be my wand. Remember when your mom or dad told you it wasn't nice to point? This is why, I think, because people believed that not only do witches use wands to cast, but they can use their index finger too, and they were right. To symbolize the athame, I use two fingers. If I need a cauldron, my opposite hand is the cauldron, cupped and ready. Simple gestures and seeing the brewing, casting and cutting in the mind are the only things that you need for mind casting. Imagine the simplest herbs, oils and flowers in your cauldron. If we believe that all things have a soul, then we can call upon the soul of our herbs and flowers and the four directions and the sun and the moon to help us at a moment's notice.
Can we cast this way? Yes....all you have to do is believe that you can, through the powers of God or by whatever way you define the creator, the elements and the magic around you at all times. If you do not believe in all of these things then you are just a potion maker or fortune teller and you are no witch. The Craft is about absolute belief in your ability and your place in the magical world around you. You are magic, and if you don't believe that then you you cannot work the Craft. No amount of reading or casting will work for you.
It is said that magic doesn't work if you don't believe in it and I believe that is true, whether you are a Christian Wicce, or a Wiccan or Pagan, whether you practice dark magic or light magic. This is a real test of who you think you are as a witch. Are you are a fashionable shopping center witch who looks the part, but doesn't really know what you are doing? Or are you a person people would never know was a witch who goes along quietly through life and studies and gathers knowledge to help others. Are you fortunate enough to work with a great study group or coven. Or are you plodding on alone and in secret to learn as much as you can?
I've said it before, Craft is about dedication and study and hard work, not fashion. Regardless of the tradition you embrace or whether you are a solitary or a covener, you have to discover, embrace and enrich the magic inside yourself, the great inheritance from God, your ancestors, the heavens and the earth. It is not something to play with or abuse.
Don't ever doubt the energies that each of us have and always think of the energies you create with each casting or ritual. Study all of the time. Even if every book you get says mostly the same thing, you will find some small tid bit. Understand not only that potions work but why they work. And always thank the spirits for the things you do. Even the most learned of us sometimes need to take time and thank God or the Creator or the ancestors and nature and the stars and the planets for their help.
Next fall, I shall be dedicated at the third degree and I will in a few years be considered an elder and after so much study and thinking and practice I am still learning my Craft. Keep learning and studying.