Honestly, that is a loaded question. I have no simple answer. There are several requirements, many out of our direct control. You must understand what you are working with, how to work with it, and what consequences you might face if you screw up. Magick is energy and energy can move in a million different directions at any given time, it only needs a path to follow. It is very important to know what you are doing.
When the conditions and your mental state are right, you will reap the benefits of what you sow. Magick is a double edge sword and it will cut you if you are not careful.
Your responsibility is to ensure that your Magick has a direct path to follow, at the right moment of your working. At times, this will seem impossibly complicated. Other times it will be a breeze. It all comes with time, experience and knowledge.
Here are my 10 Tips for Successful Spell Work:
- A clear need or desire:
Having a need or desire is a given. If you are looking to perform a spell, you obviously have a need or a desire to fulfill. The issue I find most often is that the focus is not clear enough. The need/desire is too vague or broad.
“I need more Money”… okay… So this means the universe can toss you a nickel and in actuality your need, as you have stated, is fulfilled. Be specific. Emphasis as clearly as you can mentally and physically exactly what it is you want.
I had a friend who half-jokingly decided to chant a spell in hope of winning the Power Ball. It so happens that the same day she won a Power Bar. There was Magick present in her words, but her mental focus was obviously not as clear. So be clear, be specific.
Sometimes if your need/desire is large you will want to break it apart and take it on in segments. So take some time and really think about what it is you need/desire. Many times one discovers that what you thought you wanted really isn’t what you need.
Let’s go back to the need the “I need more Money” statement. Sometimes when we closely examine our needs and desires, we discover our needs are already being met. Sometimes we are misusing our resources out of habit.
So if I say I need more money because at the end of the week it seems like I have none, perhaps I should look more closely at my spending habits. Perhaps, I will have more money each week if I stopped buying my lunch every day and packed it instead.
This is just one example of how we should look closely at ourselves each time we work with Magick or decide we need or want something. It is a simple act of personal responsibility. We are accountable for ourselves.
If you are not ready for personal responsibility, you are not ready for Magick.
- A strong dedication:
If you want to obtain anything you need to be dedicated to it. Magick follows the laws of nature. Nature is pretty clear. She gives nothing, without receiving something first, i.e. a show of dedication.
Sometimes this dedication is shown through sacrifice, symbolic or actual.
Before you get your panties in a twist. I am not necessarily talking about bloodletting, although there may be a time and a place for this, depending on your beliefs and working.
In my practice, I firmly believe in equivalent exchange. If I want something I have to be willing to give something up. Yep, this is also connected to personal responsibility.
This is basic work = pay philosophy. You want a paycheck each week, you need to go to work and earn it. You need to demonstrate responsibility. The same goes for Magick. You’re asking the universe to provide you with something, this means you need to earn it. If the wolf wants to eat the wolf must hunt. Effort must be placed forward in order to gain something in return. Nature is not all the complicated. She lays her law out very clearly. Energy out and energy return. Just make sure you are not thwarting your efforts.
Here is another great example of energy out vs in, as well as personal responsibility. You’re formulating a spell for weight loss. So you get everything together and your do your spell. Then after your spell, you lay around on the couch eating potato chips all day, washing it all down with high-calorie soda.
First, you are not showing any personal responsibility. Second, you are not showing the universe that you are dedicated to your desire. Finally, you’re countering the spell work you just performed. Most likely you will gain a bunch of weight or best case scenario, you will remain stagnant.
- Organization for action:
Inside the realm of Magick, you must have a plan and you must be able to effectively execute that plan. Your plan cannot be overwhelming or unattainable. Organizing your thoughts and planning your working is an excellent way to get you focused and to gain the right might set. Sometimes you need to sit down and write out your spell. This might also mean you need to keep yourself clean and organized every day.
Sometimes a need arises and you need to quickly complete a spell. This is where being clean and organized is important. You can much more effectively and quickly gather your thoughts, ingredients, tools, etc. if everything you need is available to you and easy to find.
Take time to organize, clean and properly store your tools and supplies. Find a place in your home where you can store your items where they will be readily available to you when you need them.
This practice is taken further when we discuss the actual execution of spell work. You must be able to organize yourself during a working. This will help you maintain focus on your intent rather than trying to find your Dragon’s Blood. “Now where did that go? It was here a minute ago.”
Take some time and write out your thoughts, needs/desires, and create a plan. Make a list of all the items you need, and place these items within arm’s reach during your working.
Go through the cupboard, chest, or basket where you keep all your Magick tools. Make sure everything is clean and easily found. Make sure your herbs, incense, and oils are well stocked. Have your items ready when a need flies into your life. Make things prearranged so you are not driving yourself crazy.
- Keep it, Simple, Keep it Flexible!
What happens when something becomes overly complicated? You lose it. You lose focus. You lose interest. You may even lose your desire. Spell work does not have to be rocket science. So don’t make it so.
Know that you are already connected to the energies you need to use. What you specifically need may be mingled in with other energies you may not need this time. The energy you seek may also be mixed in with energies that hinder. You want to find your focus so you can locate and use the right energies for your working. This requires a little finesse and flexibility.
There are many ways to immediately connect with the right energies. Some use clothing, some chant, some wear specific sigils or stones, some use scent, etc. You find what works for you.
When you keep things simple you are likely to connect more quickly and leave room for flexibility when something is not quite right. Now I am not suggesting that you be lazy. One can never successfully execute a spell, when one is half-hearted in the working or not taking the process seriously. If you are lazy in your working you will get a lazy/halfhearted result.
Refrain from over complicating things by throwing too many elements that demand your attention and focus. Also, refrain from feeling like you have to follow a spell someone else created word for word, action for action. Be flexible and allow the universe to work with you.
If something does not resonate well with you or does not relate to your intent, remove it. Or if you have too many elements that may be related to your intent, try paring them down to only include the correspondences and tools you know and trust most. Adjust each working as necessary. It has to feel right or your efforts are wasted.
You must know what you are doing. Dabbling in Magick and playing with energy, is never wise. I cringe every time I hear someone say “Oh I was playing with Magick, and…”
I have rarely heard anything good follow these words. Magick is not a toy and it should never be treated as such. What you send out will be reflected back to you. It may or may not happen instantly. So mind your thoughts, focus, words, and intent, always know exactly what you are dealing with.
I highly recommend working under someone who is experienced and trustworthy. Find someone with several years under their belt and has a positive reputation in the community. You may want to become an apprentice or student under an experienced teacher for a period of time before you work with certain types of energy alone. I will go further into choosing a teacher in a later post.
It is dangerous to “dabble” or “play” with energies we do not understand. Spell work and ritual work must come from your core. You have to be able to connect with the right energies, at the right time, and in the right sequence to make your workings… work!
- Mental focus:
I think this is so important. During your workings you must, MUST, remain focused on your intent, aka desire or need. Visualize and feel the energy as it flows through and around you. See your desire coming to fruition. You need to be able to feel and/or even live your desire as you work with the energy. You should be able to experience the end result, even if only for a moment. It will be at that moment that you connect to the energy. It is at this moment that your seed is planted.
This also brings us back to having a clear picture of what exactly it is you want or need. If you are unsure, or you have not been specific enough, you will not fully connect with the energy. Your working will have a dull sensation. When you release the energy you raise, the energy will not know where to go. It is like an arrow being pulling backward on a bow. If you don’t have your target in sight, your arrow could end up anywhere.
Here is another REALLY important aspect you need to be aware of as you prepare and execute Magick. I mean a few things when I mention mindset. I will clarify any obscurity usually associated with this term.
You must be positive about the outcome, you must be confident in your abilities, you must be direct with your intent, and you must believe in the powers that will carry your intent.
Mindset is not everything, but I have to consider it to be the keystone that holds everything together. Your mindset is the beginning, middle, and end of any working.
You must believe you deserve the outcome you seek. If in the back of your head you harbor the thought that you do not truly deserve or need whatever it is you seek, the universe knows this. The universe will reflect this directly back to you. To the universe, you are an open book. You can hide nothing. This is why your mindset and mental focus must be precise.
Do you always feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick in life? I suggest you check your mindset. Perhaps you are emulating some sort of thought pattern you do not realize.
Desperation, Rage, Lust and the like are all disruptive emotions that will deflect and redirect the energy of any spell. When you harbor strong emotions, your intent could be clouded. Not to say spells imbued with this energy are not effective and powerful. These are powerful energies, all have their own time and a place. If you are not checking your emotions, they have a tendency to take over and do their own thing with Magick.
Sometimes we think we are serving justice, or that we are honorable in our purpose when instead we are sabotaging out own well-being. Nature is clear about her laws and she does not discriminate.
- The ability to let it go:
When we hold too tightly to something what happens? Seriously, let’s find out. Grab something soft or
hard, near you that you can hold in your hand. Something about the size of a piece of peach or a tennis ball.
Now, squeeze it as hard as you can. Keep squeezing. 60 seconds should do. If someone is near you, have them try to take it from you. Don’t let it go for anything.
What happened? If you chose something soft, it is probably a mess or completely destroyed. If you chose fruit, I am sure there is not much left of it, or it no longer appealing to eat. If you chose something hard I am certain that your hand and fingers are tingling, fatigue and maybe even sore.
Your grip on your Magickal workings is much like your grip on the object you chose to squeeze and hold. If you hold too tightly you either destroy your intent, or you waste the energy you raised by focusing too long on your intent. You also risk strangling the energy, stifling it and keeping it from circulating. Energy needs to move and flow in order to work.
Trapped energy will cause serious fatigue. You must have the ability to let it go. Some days this is easier to do than others. Some workings are big and some are small. Some are deeply rooted in our lives while others are fleeting. If you can’t let go then maybe it is too big and it should be broken up into small pieces. How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time.
A good practice after each working is to completely clean up after your spell and find something unrelated to do that will require your mental attention for a while. I’m a thinker so this is tough for me. I end up having to occupy my brain with a variety of tasks. Playing a game is a great way to do just that.
This one I know some of you have a huge issue with… I used to as well.
First, you are not the center of the universe. Sorry to break it to you, but you’re not. No one owes you anything unless you first work hard to attain it. So when you expect that something should come to you without you first making an effort to earn it, you will be sorely disappointed.
Yes you are part of the universe, and yes you are directly connected to all the energies and yes you access all the power that the universe has to offer. So am I. So is everyone else in the world.
Ultimately, the universe calls the shots. We are all connected to the same web, living separate lives that perhaps intertwine as the universe sees fit. We are able to influence what we can as much as we are allowed. Don’t get me wrong, we have tremendous sway when it comes to our own lives and personal universal power. Things just don’t always work the way we think they should. Why should they? We cannot even pretend to know all there is to know about the universe and how it works.
With all that said. Our expectations must be in check. We must put our expectations of time frame, outcome, process, and the like, to rest. This is where the ability to let it all go, plays a second role. If you know in your heart that every aspect of your spell was perfectly aligned and executed, you will have something wondrous coming to you. There is no doubt about that! Just don’t expect it to all happen exactly as you imagine it should happen. I guarantee the universe has other plans.
This is another BIGGIE!! Sometimes a series of occurrences have to take place before your needs and desires can be fulfilled. You cannot rush things that need time to mature. And again, sorry to break it to you, but you are not the center of the universe.
Look at it this way. You want to grow corn. You gather your seeds, you prep your soil. You plant your seeds, then you feed and water the seeds. The very next day you go out and dig up your seeds expecting to get a nice juicy ear of corn. What you will get, is not what you expected. You will have only dug up a dirty corn kernel, and you will have destroyed all your hard work and efforts. Why? Well, you did not give your seed enough time to grow and mature.
Have you ever driven by a corn field several weeks after planting? As you examine each of the neatly formed rows, you will notice that some corn stalks seem to be taller than others. It was all planted at the same time, so why does some corn seem to grow faster than others. There are many factors as to why this happens. The same goes for Magick.
Magick is the seed you plant in the universe. Every seed grows its own unique plant because every seed is unique. Everything must properly align for your workings to mature, fruit, and ultimately ripen. If you demand that everything comes to you instantly, you are not being realistic.
Take a breath and relax. Have a beer or glass of wine and find something else to fixate on for a while. Trust me obsessing over your Magickal working will kill it before it has a chance to start.
Stay lighthearted. Not all Magick happens through a complicated sequence of events and planning. Sometimes Magick is beautifully simple and seemingly organic. Other times it is beautifully intricate.
As you will it. So mote it be!