The question comes up in many forums and other communities. People do a spell and follow the instructions as they are given, and either they don’t work or don’t work as intended. Sometimes it’s that they don’t work in a timely manner, and then by the time they do work, the spell caster wants to reverse them and doesn’t know how. So here are some tips to make your spellwork more dependable.
Regardless of which belief system you adhere to, even if you’re agnostic or atheist, you must actually spend some time worshiping or contemplating the deities or forces you wish to work with. This is of extreme importance in spellwork because when we do a spell, we are acting as conduits or conductors of energy. Just as regular plastic doesn’t conduct electricity and is not magnetic to metal, a person who does not have awareness of and comfort with love can’t conduct the energy of love properly, or draw loving energy. So their attempting to do a love spell is not going to work very well.
The same goes with anything else. Someone who is not a warrior must actually do some work to understand warriorship and create a sufficiently effective amulet to protect a warrior or help them be a better one. For this, they need to be cool with their warrior deities or energies, and this way they can be a good bridge. That isn’t going to happen overnight. If they ignored the war deities all their lives until it was time to do a spell, it is not going to be as strong as if they were more aligned with that energy.
Different belief systems have different schedules of sacred days and holidays. In most, each day of the week belongs to a particular deity or type of deities, or corresponds to a legend or point in the cycle of a legend. Then various days of the month or year are holidays. Most people practicing at a priestly level seriously, do some sort of daily observance. Laypersons often do a weekly or moon phase based ritual or observance.
Being observant also enables you to tell when to do what spell. Sometimes there is a published standard ceremony or recipes that fit the situation, but sometimes there isn’t. It’s a very common mistake to try to make a situation fit a spell instead of the other way around. This is when mistakes are made, and there is either no result or an unintended one.
Do lots of research and if needed, ask around. If there isn’t a spell that covers all of the plausible angles, then you may have to design your own spell. This leads into the next bit of advice.
There is nothing wrong with getting advice or help from other witches. Most are happy to share information, experiences, and tips. Witchcraft is an extremely old skill, and there are many elders in it with tons of practical experience and spiritual perspective. We all need their counsel from time to time.
Also, there’s a reason other than just liking the company, that people form covens and houses. Not every spell is meant to be done solitary. The solitary style has been very popular recently, but this is for people who are particularly introverted or have no other choice. Some of us are from traditions where things were kept very secret and only among family members, so I know it can be difficult to open up and allow others into your world. However, even back in the old days, when someone had the option and met people who could be trusted, they joined forces. This is a good thing.
When you do this though, be very aware of social dynamics. As soon as there is more than one person, social concerns are added to your list of issues. You have to know how to work with others without losing your personal sense of connectedness with the deities and forces of Nature. Even if you are a member of a very big, powerful coven or house or community, you are still responsible for your own journey. Be ready to let go of people who are toxic or stifling…but at the same time, don’t expect everybody to always agree with you and approve of everything you do. Balance.
Don’t do a spell and toss some offerings at the deity or forces of Nature, and walk off taking the praise and forgetting about others. If you do that, the good results will not last. The backbone of spells, more than the right ingredients, words, or talismans, is the connection. Connection is how the spell gets from you to the target or goal. When everybody in the chain is flowing in the same direction, and the ways are wide open, you get good results. Blockages and ways closing reduces the flow to your target or goal. Diversions and misdirections create unintended and often negative results.
Blockages happen when flows are cut off or neglected and allowed to dry up. When people or other beings or forces who helped you are forgotten and no longer benefiting in any way from their contact with you, this makes a block. When you do something to harm them or disrespect them, it creates a diversion. This is one reason why many belief systems have recommended offerings that are given to deities. This is also why it’s very much okay that traditions vary, and adjustments are made based on culture and availability. The important thing is that someone made the effort to be aligned to the best of their ability, and is showing appreciation. This keeps the flow.
On the internet, we are used to things being fast and instant. We’re used to gathering information and running off. This may be okay and not a disaster if you’re just looking for a recipe for chocolate cake, but even some of those people doing something relatively mundane, show appreciation for the information that gave them culinary pleasure.
As witches, we must do better about showing appreciation to people who take the time to post information online. As those of us who’ve been online awhile know, many sites that were very useful died of a lack of feedback and other support.
So if you got a spell or information from a website, and it worked for you, show appreciation by remembering them, giving feedback to them, linking to them, and donating to them if you can. You will notice that I do a lot of linking here on Witch University. This is because I want the site to survive, and because want the Universe to support any way that I use the information. I understand that this keeps the way open. The site is benefiting from my having visited and read it, so if I cast a spell or make a recipe using the information, that positive energy is flowing, and it will be more effective.
Offline, you can give gifts or help people who help you. In Vodun, Obeah, and other African and diaspora belief systems, we also usually believe that you can give to a deity by giving to their children or people or other beings who that deity is in charge of. For example, for Eshu, we will give sweets to children or cook or do nice things for the elderly. For Oshun, we may tip our beautician a bit more than usual. There are various way to show appreciation to people who have helped you directly, or the forces who have helped you through humanity.
Handmade and thoughtful gifts are the best. If someone taught you how to do something, then a gift using that skill would show them how well you’re doing, and stock their supplies with a bit more. Gift baskets of things they like are also wonderful. Take them out, help them out with things they actually need, and do what you can to keep the blessings fresh.
Some things may look as nice as the original, but they are not made with the same energy. Cultural sensitivity aside, there is the simple matter of something’s purpose needing to be “woven” into the item. As an example, anyone can make a dreamcatcher with good intentions, but the only way to truly give full respect to those whose traditions birthed them is to buy them from their descendants. When you really want your spellwork to be effective, as best as you can, you need to get the real deal.
Speaking of the real deal, if something is within your ancestral traditions, and you have the ability to make an item, you should make it with your own hands. All witches should have basic knowledge of crafting, and not outsource things to others unless one is led to, or you know someone else has a better talent in something than you. Sometimes you will just need to do certain things for yourself…and sometimes even though physically you can do something yourself, metaphysically you need to let those with a blood and traditional tie to a particular craft of style do things.
Even if we do our best, sometimes mistakes are made, or not all the angles were covered, or for whatever reason, things turn out badly. For this reason, you need to know how to correct situations.
It is often said that one should not do a spell that one does not know how to undo, and I am going to echo that. If you don’t know how you will fix it if something goes wrong, don’t put your hands on it until you do.
Some things will require more than a reversal spell. In the last section, I told you a couple of ways to create blocks and diversions. You can use the same principles to do that on purpose. I am NOT saying delete links or disrespect people to create blocks. What I am saying is that you can tell the person you got the information from, the basics of what happened so that they can agree with you that it’s messed up and therefore block the flow.
Try to do this as respectfully as possible if we’re talking about online comments or feedback. “I did this…it worked but I no longer want…” Something like that. They will also tell you if additional things need to be done for reversal.
You should also give additional offerings to the forces of Nature you called to let them know that you really want those doors closed. As they carried things one way, they can carry them another. You just have to show your sincerity about it.
Sometimes though, some things that are done cannot be undone, and you just have to take responsibility and accept the situation. Awareness of these things before you start however, will make your spells more powerful. Being decisive, ready to do what it takes, and being responsible will take your spells to higher levels.
Blessings and Ashe!
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Blessings and Ase!