There has been a troubling trend of late in popular magic circles to perform magic completely divorced from spirits - or at least that's what these folks think that are practicing these spells with nary a mention of supporting spirit to be found within the spell. Well, they got it wrong. Even without spirits being mentioned, they are very much present. You see no spell would work without a great quantity of spirits in the background of these spell component items, spirits behind natural and physical forces, etc and so on. The animists have it right - there are spirits in literally everything. If something did not have a spirit, it would not exist. Even when an object has been completely destroyed, the spirits of those objects still remain, often rooted to the very last place they were before their object was destroyed. You see energy is never lost, it merely changes states, and thus whole ghost forests in the middle of a city can still be seen if you have the sight to see it. Nothing is truly lost, all is preserved and we will see these things again! Yes even to be realized in the physical again at some point. But I digress.
It is by the interactions of these spirits with each-other that a spell gains its powers and acts upon the rest of the universe, like small flaps of a butterfly's wings makes a hurricane around the other side of the world. Everything is connected and entangled together. There is literally nothing that does not touch ultimately upon on another. Realize this and your spells will become far more effective. Of course there is another aspect of this that needs to be emphasized. Harvesting the herbs yourself after growing them yourself, and doing so at the right time and with the proper thanks. Having built that relationship between herb and yourself is truly the best route to go when sourcing your herbs for a spell. Of course this isn't often possible, but when your climate and your growing spaces permit you to grow the herbs and other plants you need for spells and cooking - you should grow them! Form these invaluable relationships with plants. To learn more about the various methods of doing this purchase this book, "Verdant Gnosis: Cultivating the Green Path," published by Rubendo Press. http://www.rubedo.press/portfolio_item/verdant-gnosis/ and for purchase here: http://www.rubedo.press/shop/
Likewise, animal components and rocks, minerals - everything you might use for your spell. It is best to have formed a solid relationship with all these elements - all these spirits. Yes they are conscious and they all speak in their own way. Learn how to connect with them, and your spells will only grow the more efficient and powerful and act in the positive ways you intend - also with a finer understanding of each spirit you might learn that one component is interfering with another and what substitution if any is required, or if merely the timing of the harvesting or when the component is added will provide the necessary deconflict.
Moving even beyond these spirits within these ingredients, you have spirits of the grimoire, these daemons and old gods that will add further intelligence and motive force to your spell. Forming relationships with these is always beneficial. Additionally, observing the right astrological timing in harvest of spell components, their additions together, and the launch of the spell itself - all will benefit from being at the most beneficial planetary day and hour and phase of the moon which matches your spell's purpose. Again all is connected, and so the proper observances of these critical times for specific actions is absolutely essential to a strong effective spell.
Put all of this together, and you'll have spells that are truly 'magical' that do what you want them to do and will amaze you with their efficiency and effectiveness. So make friends with spirits because they are in everything, from the spell materials to the gods and angels in the heavens and the daemons in between.
Have a blessed night.