First, there's the basic spell-casting. There's no universal spell for such'n'such or anything like that. Actually, the only time you tend to get people who use the same spell to the same effect are people who work on creating a spell together, and people who are taught a particular spell by their teachers. Spells have to be spoken to work - but they don't necessarily have to be audible. Talented wizards have been known to cast spells simply by thinking them.
A very common tool used by magic users across the board is a Focus - a physical item that you channel your magic through, to help you condense and focus your magic towards your specific goal. (Get it? Focus?) Your focus can be a wand, or a staff, or a necklace, or whatever works best for you. But the best foci tend to be the ones that are hand-made by the people that use them. After all, when you make something you put a bit of your own magic into it, whether you realize it or not.
Potions, talismans, and any small-scale item used in sympathetic magic (think voodoo dolls - which are illegal, by the way) all run on the same principle: You combine ingredients that each have a specific meaning, toss in a little magic, and you create a physical item that can itself, essentially, cast a spell. It's kind of like a TV remote; the remote can have an effect on something (usually the television) by it's inherent ability, but has to have a battery to fuel it. Your potion/talisman/voodoo doll is the remote, and magic is its battery.
Ritual magic isn't quite as common as talismans and spell-casting. It usually involves circles and symbols and multiple people, all combining to cast some grand spell of some sort. This isn't something you do at home for fun. It's serious, professional, and can have heavy consequences if not done properly, and is usually only done by experienced Wizards and Mages under contract of the FMM. The only exception is Circles.
Circles, while technically a ritual magic, are commonly used. A circle made of, well, just about anything, given a little bit of a magic as a push, creates a sort of barrier that stuff just can't seem to get through. Protection and Shield magics relies heavily on circles because of this property - and that's why you'll see lots of shield bracelets, rings, and necklaces, but you'll rarely see a shield pin or hair clip. Of course, a circle is only as strong as its caster, for as long as magic is fed into it...
Faith magic is a really funny thing. You know that stereotype of vampires not being able to touch a cross? Well, it isn't the cross itself that burns them, it's the faith magic built up in the item. It's not really something that can be taught, like a spell; it has to be felt. And, while it's certainly the most common source, it isn't strictly a religious thing, either. Faith magic can spawn from your utmost faith in a certain truth, or in your closest friend, or even in magic itself. Wherever it comes from, it is always a protective magic that has some sort of negative effect on something that is doing you harm, and it always has a very distinctive glow to it that most other magic lacks.
Manage Your Items