After suffering badly from Joyce's death, Dawn decided to perform a resurrection spell. After reading secretly from the History of Witchcraft and stealing from The Magic Box, she was eventually caught by Spike, who then promised to help her complete the spell. Spike brought Dawn to Doc, who, while skeptical at first because neither Dawn nor Spike were adept at magic, said that Joyce's DNA was strong enough for the spell to pull through. Doc helped them identify the missing ingredients for the spell. He also provided the incantation that must be recited, as well as the steps to follow to complete it, and in the case of any mistake, to reverse it. Dawn was apparently successful in completing the spell but eventually ended it when Buffy convinced her that the spell was not the right way to solve their problems, leaving it unclear if she performed it correctly.
Presumably based on the real person's memories, a cyborg duplicate of Roger Wyndam-Pryce told Winifred Burkle that his son Wesley, at age 7, tried to perform this spell to resurrect a bird who had flown into his windowpane.
The caster must then recite an incantation three times for the spell to take effect. The incantation is as follows:
- Taker of life, god of gods, accept my offering. Bone, flesh, breath. Yours eternally.
- Bone, flesh, breath. I beg of you, return to me.
Doc mentioned that the target of the spell would not appear immediately, but would come to the caster eventually.
The only way to reverse the spell was to destroy the image or picture of the person being raised.