If a style of spellcasting worked every time then everyone would use it and no-one would doubt the power of magick to effect change in shared reality. However even the most powerful mage doesn’t get the results they aim for each time they cast a spell. There are many reasons for this, poor timing, aiming for the wrong outcome, lack of emotional content, belief, and inner blocks to name but a few. Doing your best to make sure that you have addressed these issues you can significantly improve the chances of the spell will have the results you intended.
Aiming for the wrong outcome
This is a common problem with beginners and medium level magickal practitioners . The number of money spells cast to obtain money for money’s sake, or to obtain money to buy something are legion – as are the times it doesn’t work. The reason that this happens is because the target – money - was the wrong one. It would be far more effective to enchant for the item that the money was to pay for than the cash itself.
Several times when I have done this the money came to me to buy the item even though the spell was for the item. The most dramatic example I ever had was when I was working as a taxi driver and wanted a walking staff to take to Australia. I did a creative visualization spell for the staff and, a few days later, got a £10 tip from a £3 fare because of the help I was able to provide to the passenger. In this instance it was the most effective way to obtain the staff at the time. This result sticks in my mind as the usual result would be to be given a staff no-one wanted, or to find one in a situation (such as being washed up on the beach) that clearly showed it had no owner.
By casting a spell directly for something you are opening far more channels for the item to come to you than just by getting the money to pay for it. Money has so many associations that, for many people, it is one of the most difficult targets to achieve without considerable inner work first. Even successful gamblers, who subconsciously learn how to put pressure on the inner planes for short runs of luck, lose most of it unless they know when to quit and not chase after losses.
The best way to design a spell for the best outcome is to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. The use of this type of logical approach can frequently enable you to see openings and approachs that you might not have been aware of before and are well within your magickal or practical experience . The confidence this brings can greatly enhance the appropriately slanted spells arising from this exercise.
“A small spell in the right place is usually more effective than a full ritual in the wrong place” was a favourite saying of Jim, a Mexican Brujo (Wizard) friend of mine. This was a common comment of his when I, or some of the other magickal practitioners we knew, tried to use magick to get out of a situation that had become so big/serious that even strong spells might not have any effect. What he meant was that a small enchantment earlier while the situation was developing would have probably resulted in a more positive outcome.
Many Pagans develop a real fixation with the actual timing of spells, including waiting for the exact phase of the moon or the right planetary hour before doing magick aimed at a specific outcome. This tends to inhibit the creative thinking that can find a way around a perceived problem. For example; it’s common knowledge that the money spells – spells of increase – are best done in the waxing, increasing, moon. Thus many Pagans only do money spells during this time, regardless of how badly they need avenues of extra income to open up at other times. Few think to use the waning influence of the moon to open up these avenues by using its energy to banish blocks to income. By thinking in a holistic manner, without preconceived limits, you can spot ways to use different timings to get the results you want
The main driving force behind most spells is the intensity of the emotion going into it. The 20th century Pagan saying “A witch must learn to curse, before she can bless” refers not so much to the idea that so-called ‘negative’ magick is easier than the ‘positive’ type, but that for many people anger is one of the easiest high-intensity emotions to contact. Once that level of intensity has been reached it is then a case of learning to reach the same level of passion in other spells
Too often these days beginners in the ‘Arte Magickal’ are used to a push-button approach of doing things with minimal emotion. When doing a ritual or spell the same mindset seems to be applied with a subsequent lack of success of the spell. The calm demeanour of advanced practitioners of most of the branches of magick is frequently remarked on by people who meet them for the first time, even before they know who they are or what they do. This calmness, to a very large degree, is the result of the practitioner being all too aware of the havoc they could unintentionally wreak should they lose their temper.
Traditionally Craft and Ritual Magick Lodges would spend a considerable amount of time teaching meditation and self-analysis techniques to entry level students to teach them how to contact various aspects of their emotional makeup safely and manage their emotions. This meant that when spells and ritual were introduced later on these emotions could be evoked, focussed, and then calmed as the ritual or spell demanded. One of the most spectacular successes I remember from my time in Mexico was one of my friends who belonged to a Magickal Lodge, managing to summon one of the most powerful entities from the Gotia – a magickal grimiour - to help his favourite schoolteacher get her stolen hubcaps back.
He did this as part of his test of ‘evocation to visibility’ where an entity is summoned, then made visible by use of a particular ritual, usually using incense for the being to condense and make a temporary body. By engaging his feelings during the ritual not only did he pass the test, but was able to send the being to help other people actually on the streets looking for the thieves. His Magister Templi was so impressed by this that he moved him up two grades instead of the usual one. Needless to say the teacher got her hubcaps back.
Next instalment: Overcoming mental blocks plus working within - and expanding your area of acquisition.