One question I hear a lot is “Why didn’t my spell work?” and while there could be many, many reasons why a spell didn’t work my answer is generally not about any of those reasons. Unless there is clear evidence of a spell backfiring or flat out not working for some identifiable reason I assume that a spell has always, on some level, worked.
Even if it did not result in the desired outcome.
I know, it sounds a tad absurd but bear with me. It’s time for a little magic theory.
How The Odds Affect Your Spells
When we cast spells what we’re doing is increasing the probability that the particular outcome that we’re seeking will happen.
What does that mean?
To take a common example, say you want to win the lottery so you decide to do a spell to help you win. Who doesn’t want to win the lottery? And you’ve got the magic to back it up! It’s a sure thing, right? As much as I would love for that to be the case, it’s not so.
Your chances of winning the lottery without the help of magic is 1 in 175 million. Pretty terrible odds, huh?
So you do your spell and if your spell is just insanely effective and it full on doubles your chances of winning you’d still only have a 1 in 87.5 million chance of winning. Those are still really terrible odds and sadly, you’re still not going to win.
So of course, you don’t win and you think your spell didn’t work when in fact your spell was quite effective!
This concept applies to all magic and often it’s necessary to take this into account when deciding how to pursue a desired effect.
You always want to play your odds right when using witchcraft.
There are two ways of doing this. The first is through boosting your odds.
If you’re looking to produce a desired effect but your chances of this effect occurring naturally are slim to none? It might be time to find a way to supplement the magic.
What do I mean by that?
If, for example, you do a spell to get a job but don’t put yourself in a position to be offered a job your chances of getting that job are basically zero. Sure, you could just so happen to meet that one person who’s looking to hire for that one position that you’re perfect for but in all likelihood that’s just not going to happen.
Instead you supplement the job spell by going out and applying for jobs, chatting with potential employers and so forth. This gives you a reasonable chance of getting a job and allows the magic room to work. Now the spell has a whole slew of avenues to use and your chances of getting a job start looking way better.
The second way to play your odds right in your spell work is to be unspecific.
Now this flies in the face of a lot of magical advice so let me be clear, this is not a good method to use for everything. If the spell could potentially cause unwanted effects or leak out onto people you didn’t intend it to affect, being specific can be a lifesaver.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s the only ethical method available.
Love spells are a particularly good example of this. Many witches consider love spells that are meant to make a specific person love you highly unethical. Essentially this is overriding their consent and forcing them into an emotional state and potentially a relationship that they don’t want. In this case the ONLY ethical way to go is to be unspecific!
Being unspecific allows you the major advantage of having many available paths for your magic to take.
When not directed otherwise a spell will always take the path of least resistance.
Being specific narrows the field of focus, occasionally down to a single path, and if the probability of that path leading to the result you want is very low to begin with your chances may not improve enough with magic to give you the result you want.
A less specific spell means that your spell has many paths to choose from! In all likelihood, one of these paths will have a much higher probability of resulting in the desired effect and that is the path that your spell will naturally seek out.
Due to this the results of spells will often seem rather mundane. Occasionally you will find yourself with improbable results that are clearly the work of your spell but more often than not (especially for beginners) your spells will have a clearly defined logical path that may not seem much like magic at all!
Often if something can be explained logically then any magical involvement is discounted. This assumption is overlooking one of the primary constraints on the reaches of magic though:
Magic must obey the laws of our universe.
You cannot defy the laws of physics with magic. We can’t make things zip across the room. We can’t create something out of nothing. There will always be some sort of logical explanation as to how something has happened.
Does that mean that it isn’t magic? Of course not!
The presence of scientific explanation does not invalidate magic. It simply means that your magic works hand in hand with the world around you to create the outcome you were looking for.
This is a GOOD thing!
As magic becomes more improbable it starts to require more and more energy to function effectively. Forcing a person to act entirely against their nature is hard, it requires a lot of magical coercion and a whole lot of your energy.
In contrast, if your spell is designed to find a person who is already willing to take the actions you desire and just start that ball rolling it would be significantly easier and require a far more manageable amount of energy output on your part.
Each of these aspects helps create a complex system of things to consider, choosing how you navigate all of the choices involved in balancing these concepts can be overwhelming at first.
As you practice and gain experience you’ll find that you develop a natural sense of how you like to make use of the various ins and outs of magic but for now here’s a quick recap to keep in mind when you’re doing spellwork.
- Play to the odds. Either improve the odds of your magic working by supplementing your magic with mundane actions or by being unspecific with how you’d like the outcome to be achieved.
- Being specific in your spellwork is BAD when it encroaches on someones free will or requires a huge amount of energy to accomplish.
- Being specific in your spellwork is GOOD when you want to confine the reaches of the spell so that it doesn’t affect people you don’t intend it to or have unexpected results.
- Magic can’t break the laws of our universe.