Once you start practising witchcraft, you have to deal with learning spells. This can be a bit of a chore but it shouldn't be too difficult. Some really easy spells will only have a couple of steps and few words to learn. Longer spells can be more complex and there can be long pieces of dialogue involved.
Now before we go any farther, just remember that a spell read from a book is still better than no spell at all. Don't feel that you have to avoid doing spellwork because they seem too hard to learn. Your mental focus will be better if you can run through the spell without a book though so you should try to learn as much as possible to go from memory. But having to read the words or peek at the next step is just fine.
If you first understand why certain steps are being done, you'll have an easier time remembering all the actions. Same with the words. Think about what they mean and what you are hoping they will accomplish for you. It's easy to remember when there is a better understanding of the steps.
For those longer spells when you just can't seem to get the words straight in your head, use a cue card rather than the entire book. A small slip of paper is less distracting during the spell and will still help you get through it without a mistake.
Get your supplies together ahead of time to reduce your distraction level during your spell. If you are checking ingredient lists while you're supposed to be concentrating on something else, that's not a good sign. All your tools, materials and supplies should be gathered and measured before you sit down to make your magick. That way you can do everything straight from the book without it impacting the outcome.
I don't think you have to worry about learning spells for the long-term either. As long as you have it all straight for the moment you need it, that's good enough. If you expect to need the spell again in a few months, you can look it up again. But if you already feel you will need to cast it again before you even start, that's probably not the right attitude.
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