Due to Internet, spellcasting has been popularized in recent years but since there are so many websites and books that teach spellcasting, people become lost. Many people think that it's necessary to follow a religion like paganism or wicca that supports spellcasting in order to cast spells. But of course that is a misconception. Spellcasting is the art of utilizing energies for the benefit of one or more people. It is also not necessary to believe in a certain philosophy. It is just like martial arts, all you need is a lot of training that is done in the right way.
When you are starting out, you will find lots of information on websites and it is important to use common sense to sort the wheat from the chaff. Rituals are made for beginners to get in the right mood and activate the part of the brain that will make it possible to cast the spell. However rituals and the objects that are used don't have power themselves. For example, if you want to cast a love spell, a spellbook may tell you to get roses and heart pictures etc but you have to keep in mind that they only help you to get in the mood and after gaining enough experience, you won't need them. It is even possible to start casting spells without any objects or rituals but that makes the task a bit harder in the beginning.
After working with and helping so many spellcasters(both beginner and advanced), I've come to the conclusion that personal spells usually work better than spells of other people. It is better to decide what you will do during a spellcasting to send energies to someone or the universe for a specific purpose, than to copy a ritual that you found online. Because you know what gets your artistic and emotional side going better than anyone else.