If I had to pick one question that I get more than just about any other it would have to be “how do I know if I’m doing witchcraft right?” I must get this question a dozen times a day, it seems every new witch has this question. And it makes sense! Of course, they want to be expending their effort effectively. Nobody wants to feel like maybe they’re just going through the motions for absolutely no results because they don’t know how to tell whether they’re doing it right or not.
I’m always struck by how to answer this question. I mean, how am I supposed to know if someone is doing witchcraft “right”? And what is right in witchcraft, anyway? Today we’re going to dive into this question so that you can learn to tell for yourself whether you’re doing witchcraft right or not.
How Do You Know If You’re Doing Witchcraft Right?
So how do you know if you’re doing it right? Who decides what right is in witchcraft, anyway? It seems like everybody has a different opinion on what correct witchcraft actually is. One person says you have to do things in this way and the very next one directly contradicts them. And they’re both saying that their way is the only right way. Nobody can seem to agree!
Is the witch who believes that blowing out your candles negates your spell correct? Or is the witch who believes that blowing out your spell sends the energy out on the power of your breath correct? Is the witch who uses black candles for manifesting wrong? What about the witch who uses white candles for everything? Is tech Witchcraft the wrong way to do witchcraft? What about pop culture witchcraft? What about witches who don’t use herbs? Or witches who only use the written word to cast spells? How can witchcraft exist in so many forms without some of them being right and others being wrong?
Get Rid Of “Right”
The best thing that you can do for your witchcraft right now is to get rid of the idea of doing witchcraft right. There is no right and wrong way to do witchcraft. If there were a right way and a wrong way, we would never have developed the staggering number of witchcraft traditions that we have today. From hoodoo to Wicca, from Feri to traditional witchcraft, from chaos magic to grimoiric magic, there are so many ways that you can work magic.
If we were to accept that there is a right and wrong way to do magic then we would expect that some or most of these magical methodologies would be completely useless. We would expect to find spell failure consistently in some of these methods and not in others. That isn’t the case though. There are very effective magicians who work in all of these very different traditions. You can work a spell using a sigil, or using a candle, or using herbs and achieve results through any of these methods. How is it that magic can work in so many ways if there is a right and a wrong way to do it?
It simply doesn’t make sense to label some magic right and some magic wrong when we have evidence that many, many types of magical methodologies produce effective results. And that is the real crux of the matter, results.
What Really Matters: Results
When you boil it down the only thing that tells you if you’re doing magic right is whether you can get the result you want or not. That’s it. If you get results, you’ve done magic right. If you don’t get results, you have not done magic right. This should be your only criteria for whether or not you are doing your magic correctly. It’s time to stop worrying about if you’ve got the right candle color or if you said that word exactly right or if the lunar conditions were perfect. If your magic works then you did it right.
Who am I to tell you that you’re doing magic wrong if your magic is still working for you? How hypocritical would that be? If you get results and your magic changes your life in the desired way, then you have done completely effective magic. That’s what magic is! It is a method of changing your life. You cast spells to achieve something. Whether that’s gaining more money, drawing love into your life, protecting yourself from psychic attack, or any of hundreds of other things that you could achieve with magic, you are doing magic in order to obtain a result.
There is no witchcraft test that you have to pass. Nobody is going to be looking over your shoulder grading your magic. There’s no grand committee waiting to take away your witch’s license. There’s no oversight at all. That’s one of the reasons why magic is so liberating, nobody gets to tell you what to do. Witchcraft is a way for you to take back your power and that means also taking back the license for you to make your own decisions and work magic in a way that really works for you. That means without oversight, without worrying about what other people think about your magic, and without worrying about whether or not you’re doing magic right.
If you’re doing witchcraft and you’re getting results, then you are doing magic right. Nobody gets to tell you otherwise.
Prioritize Your Results
What this means is that it’s time for a re-prioritization. Rather than worrying about doing witchcraft right or wrong, I want you to start worrying about whether you’re getting results from the magic that you’re doing or not. This will allow you to adjust your magical practice in ways that give you more consistent and more effective results over time. You’ll need to become a bit of a scientist about your magical practice. Here are a few steps to help you make results a focal point of your practice.
1. Keep a progress journal
The first step to prioritizing results in your witchcraft is to start tracking everything. You need to be keeping a progress journal. If you’d like, this journal and your grimoire can be in the same book. I keep my grimoire journal-style anyway, so I often combine these two functions. If, however, you are keeping a more organized, formalized grimoire than I would suggest getting a separate journal for jotting down notes, keeping track of impressions, and recording your progress.
You’ll want to keep track of just about every part of your practice in this book. Keep track of what spells you’re doing, when you’re doing them, what methods you’re using, when you try something different, how you felt after the spell and during the spell, your notes on what occurred during the spell, and how you felt in the days after your spell. You will use this information in the coming steps to determine whether or not the spells you are using are working for you.
2. Track results
The next thing you will need to do is track results. My preferred way to keep track of all of this information is to have sections of my notebook devoted to individual spells. I might start by writing down the spell itself and then any diagrams, images, or sigils that are associated with that spell, followed by a page or two for my notes after the completion of the spell, and then a page or so for tracking any potential results that may come about as a result of that spell.
Then in the coming days and weeks, or perhaps months if this is a particularly long-lived spell, you will want to track what occurs in relation to the subject of your spell. For example, if I’m casting a spell to gain more money I might track the inflow of money that happens over the next couple of weeks after my spell. This includes anything from a raise I might receive, to a gift I might have been given, to a quarter I found on the ground. I will keep track of all of these occurrences after the spell so that I can judge how effective the spell was. When the time frame for the spell has passed, I will jot down a sentence or two noting whether or not I felt the spell was successful and how successful I thought the spell was.
3. Review your data
You will want to keep your progress journal and track your results for several months before moving on to this next step. After you have collected a significant amount of information on the spells that you work and how effective they are, you can sit down with that information and begin to review and analyze the data. What this means is that you are going to start sorting your spells into categories based on whether they were effective or not. From here you will look to see what the spells that failed had in common and what the spells that succeeded had in common.
This will tell you several things about your magical practice. The first is what kinds of magic you are good at and what magic you are not good at. Now, don’t think that this means you cannot practice types of magic that you are not good at. It simply means that you need to troubleshoot this particular type of magic and find ways to achieve the results that you were looking for in these areas. For example, I am not very good at love spells. I, for the most part, don’t do them. However, in the instances that I have decided to do love spells I’ve made sure that I have done everything in my power to use the most effective form of spell casting for me personally. Since love magic itself is not my forte, I will use things like herbal magic, candles, sigils, and written word to lend the spell power where it might otherwise falter.
The next thing that this review step tells you is what forms of magic, tools, and ingredients you work best with. I personally never work with basil. I can just about guarantee that any spell that I put basil into is going to fail. This allows me to avoid a whole lot of spell failure by simply not using basil. Basil and I are not friends! This is okay, I found ways to replace basil in my spell work to achieve the results that I want. You can do this with any form of magic, tool, or ingredient that you might use in your magic.
Look for any similarities and trends between spells within the categories that you have sorted them into. This step can take some time and it does work best if you have more information. The more data you can collect on the effectiveness of your spells, the better. This means that the amount of detail that you go into in the previous steps will directly affect how accurate this review step will be. I’m a bit of an organization nut so I like to use a spreadsheet to organize this step but you could also simply sort your notes into piles and look through them that way, use sticky notes to mark pages in your notebook, or any other analysis method you like.
4. Adjust your methods
After you have completed your review process, you can now begin to adjust your future spells based on what you have learned. As mentioned previously, I learned through doing this process that I don’t work well with basil so as a result, I stopped using basil entirely. You might find that candle spells work very well for you while sigils do not. You could respond to this by either using sigils far less often or working to become more effective with sigils if you particularly like this form of magic. Just because you are not currently good at using a particular form of magic does not mean that you cannot learn to use that form of magic effectively.
After you have tracked your notes, reviewed the information, and then made adjustments accordingly you can continue with your progress journal and tracking results. This is a process that I recommend you do indefinitely. Keeping track of your magic in this way long term allows you to build knowledge about yourself as a witch and about your practice in such a way that you cannot help but become more effective and have better results from your magic. And that’s the point, right! You want effective magic. You want magic that gets you results.
This process has the potential to catapult your magical learning. Rather than simply fumbling about hoping that what you’re doing is effective, you can ensure that your magic is more effective every time you practice it. By keeping notes on your magic long-term you will have all the information necessary to create a truly powerful magical practice for yourself that takes advantage of your individual strengths while navigating around all those weak points that might otherwise spoil your spells and prevent you from getting the results you truly desire.