I found a CD at the library the other day by the band Gjallarhorn and I love it! The Cd of theirs was Ranarop (Call of the Sea Witch) and it has a bunch of Swedish/Finnish folk songs on it. It's really beautiful and I highly recommend it.
I finally decided to kick my butt into getting iTunes again (since getting the new laptop I hadn't bothered yet) so I can get a bunch of the pagan podcasts back. So there I was, downloading a bunch and one came in from Pagan Living called Ethics of Spellwork (All of their pods; ethics was done on 22 May 2006) and I thought they brought up a valid point. At what point do you cast spells? Do you do everything you can first before casting said spell or do you spell upfront and then put in the work.
I've always been more of a spell-now-work-later kind of witch myself. But I can see how some people would try doing everything themselves first. That way if you get the job/partner/object then you know it's you who's done this, not Spirit. I always viewed magic as a way to enhance my chances to get what I wanted though; from jobs to luck to helping me spiritually. Even when it comes to gardening, I'll do a bit of a blessing/spell before planting things rather than waiting until everything has grown. I see as it a way to help me so I don't have problems casting spells.
I even consider rituals for the different Sabbats as spells. Sure you're not getting something physical out of it, but it's a formal prayer to your deities and isn't that what we do in spells? To me spells can be one of two things, which could even be both in some cases. Spells are formal prayers to your deity, asking them to help with this and that. Or spells are ways in which you manipulate your energy to direct to a specific cause, deity or no deity involved.
For most of what I do I rely on my own energy and direct it with or without help from a higher being. So in that respect I see it as another way to working towards my goal. It's my own energy that I'm working with so why shouldn't I try to use it to reach my goal?
Like I said, I'm more of a spell doer than a spell thinker. Don't get me wrong though, I don't cast them all willynilly but I would consider it for what ever it is I need.