Avery Hart // The Traveling Witch

Welcome to The Traveling Witch! 

I write about my adventures on the road and help busy & nomadic witches find ease and confidence in their witchcraft.

Why Not All Of Your Magic Works & How To Fix It

Why Not All Of Your Magic Works & How To Fix It

Why Not All Of Your Magic Works & How To Fix It by The Traveling Witch

Let’s be real, we all have spells that fail. Yes, even witches who have been practicing their whole lives have spells that fail. It doesn’t matter how much practice, how much training, or how much power you have. Everybody has spells fail sometimes. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that!

Spells flopping is just part of the learning process and that process never ends. I still find things I’ve never even heard of even after a lifetime of being a witch. It’s all part of the fun!

If you’ve recently had a spell fail or if you’re suffering from chronic spell failure, this is the post for you. Today we’re going to dig into the biggest reasons why spells fail and what you can do about it.


Reasons Your Spells Fail

There are tons of reasons why your spells might fail but I find that most of them fall into 5 major categories.

1. You’re Trying To Do Something Impossible

This one should be obvious but I still get asked about how to do some crazy stuff on a regular basis so we’re just going to cover our bases here. If something is actually literally impossible, or even improbable in the extreme, no amount of magic is going to change that. You cannot physically change into a cat or a bat or a werewolf. You cannot shoot fire from your eyes. You cannot fly.

While those previous examples may seem flagrantly obvious, completely rational people still fall victim to this kind of thinking every day. Have you ever tried to win the lottery with magic? Or influence politics with magic? Maybe you’ve tried to turn a disinterested and dismissive partner into a loving, attentive one instead?

While all of these may be things that seem reasonable and possible, magic will very likely not have the effect you’re looking for. Why? Because these acts all require far more energy than one person has. While it may be possible to influence world events with an incredibly large group of witches working, it would be impossible as a single person and it’s important to remember that while there may be lots of people working magic for one outcome, there may be just as many throwing their energy behind the opposite outcome.

What can you do if this is what’s stopping your spells from working? Amend your expectations. It’s important to aim high and believe that you’re capable of affecting big change but some things are just going to be out of reach for anyone. Make sure that the spells you’re casting don’t require more than you have to give.

2. The Type Of Spell Is Wrong For You

A lot of times, when new witches start reading and researching the craft, they can become really overwhelmed. I mean, there are so many different ways to cast a spell, and so many different takes on how to do things “right”, and so many conflicting opinions! Inevitably, they end up feeling like they have to master every different type of spellcasting so they set about learning candle magic and herbal magic and bath spells and lunar magic and astrology and divination and elemental magic and green witchcraft and spells involving the ocean and, and, and…

It’s too much! Inevitably some of these spells are going to fail. Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to try a little of everything, I actually encourage people to explore the craft as much as possible before they settle into one style but most people DO end up settling into a style. It’s just natural to be better at some forms of spell casting than others!

If your herbal spells never work, then stop doing them. If you can’t feel the magic when you’re doing bath spells, then don’t do them. If you can’t seem to get divination to work for you, then you don’t have to do it!

When you identify types of spellwork that really work for you, it’s ok to stick with that type when you really need things to work. Experiment with other styles of spell casting when it’s not a hugely important spell but you should know your own strengths and weaknesses and make careful use of them when the situation calls for it.

3. You Don’t Actually Want What You’re Trying To Get

This is also known as having a subconscious block. There are some things that, no matter how much you might consciously want something, your subconscious will not allow you to have it. Essentially what you end up with is the two parts of your mind fighting each other energetically. And let me tell you, in this fight, your subconscious will always win.

Say you need a raise at work so you cast a spell. Consciously, you’re putting your energy into receiving more money. On a subconscious level, however, something very different is happening. You have some belief that’s preventing you from getting more money. Maybe you felt like a financial burden when you were growing up or maybe you’ve had your work devalued your whole life so you don’t believe you actually deserve the raise. Maybe you simply can’t imagine yourself being financially comfortable and that unknown is causing subconscious fear to hold you back.

Whatever the reason, your subconscious is not about to let you walk straight into what it believes is a potentially devastating situation. So your subconscious starts throwing energy at NOT getting that raise. Since the subconscious mind is a whole hell of a lot more powerful than the conscious mind, it always wins.

What do you do if you find yourself running up against subconscious blocks? Check out the three blog posts below to learn about overcoming your blocks.

>> How To Do Shadow Work In Your Magic And Why You Need It

>> How To Set A Clear, Powerful Intention & Why It's Important

>> Removing All Negativity From Your Life Is Bad For You And Your Magic

4. You’re Worrying Your Spells Into The Ground

If you’re a chronic worrier, you could be running your spells into the ground without realizing it. Worrying about the outcome of a spell a little is normal, everyone has the occasional nagging thought about “Man I hope this works” or “what am I going to do if this flops and X happens?” These occasional worries are no big deal.

If you’re the kind of person who’s plagued by regular anxiety and can’t stop your brain from running circles about the potential that your spell might fail, well, then you’re probably sabotaging yourself.

When you cast a spell, you’re loading the odds in your favor. You’re taking a whole bunch of your energy and you’re using it to move events in the direction you want. Think of it like casting a vote except all of the votes are cast by you and doing magic is casting a whole bunch of votes all at once. When you worry, you’re casting votes for the other outcome, the one you don’t want. You’re spending time and energy thinking about the very thing you do not want. In reasonable amounts, this won’t outweigh all of the “votes” you put down in your spell but if you worry a lot? You can absolutely outvote your spell, expend more energy on the unwanted result, and drive your own spell into the ground.

I know it’s easier said than done if worrying is a common state of being for you but you have got to stop worrying about your spells so much. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind from getting caught up in negative spirals around your spells, remind yourself that it’s up to the magic now, distract yourself, turn on really loud music, journal out all of those worries in a rush and the banish them, whatever you have to do to stop, do it. Your magic will thank you.

It’s important to note here that if you’re really plagued by negative thinking and worry, there’s probably a reason for it. Trying to simply “stop worrying” is not easy and often it isn’t even possible. It may be necessary to really dig into the root of these worries and see if you can transform your thinking by focusing MORE on your worries. I know this sounds completely backward but it really can work wonders. Check out the blog post below to learn why it works and how to make use of this technique in your life.

>> Removing All Negativity From Your Life Is Bad For You And Your Magic

5. It’s Actually Working, Just Not In The Way You Thought It Would

You know how in pretty much every TV show or movie involving a genie you know that the lesson is going to end up being “be careful what you wish for”? Yeah, that applies to magic too. Sometimes our spells can have unexpected results because magic can be very literal.

Thankfully, these results are actually pretty predictable when you know a bit about how magic works. Magic always takes the path of least resistance. Rather than doing something monumentally difficult to create the thing you asked for, it’s going to take the easy road and the easy road doesn’t always look anything like what you thought it might.

Take, for example, someone who casts a spell to make their lover more loving and attentive. As we mentioned earlier, this takes a huge amount of energy. Changing people is no cheap trick, some people can’t even manage to change themselves even when they want to! To change another person who might NOT want to is going to take some serious get up. And remember, magic wants to do things the easy way.

So what is it going to do instead? More than likely, it’ll wreck your relationship with the inattentive lover to make room for someone who matches the description that was used in the spell.

Imagine doing a love spell and then having your relationship collapse right in front of your eyes. That’s going to feel like a pretty big failure, huh? From the perspective of the magic though, it’s not! The spell is working exactly as it should, it’s bringing you that loving and attentive partner post haste. It’s just not the loving and attentive partner you thought you wanted.

So what do you do in this instance? Honestly, my best advice is not to do anything. If you do a spell for something in your life to improve and it falls apart instead, trust that that’s your magic telling you that was as good as it was going to get and it’s time to move on to something bigger and better. I know change is hard and losing things always feels bad but that dream partner, dream job, or dream life is absolutely worth a little heartbreak along the way. If it happens, accept that it’s for the best and roll with it.

Even knowing all this, you may still find that the occasional spell fails. It’s ok! Sometimes we cast spells when we’re not feeling great or when our minds aren’t in the right place. Sometimes we mess up in the middle of a spell and the break in concentration ruins it for us. Sometimes everything goes fine but for some reason, it still doesn’t work. It’s ok. Nobody has a perfect 100% success rate with their magic. Give these fixes a try and see if you can’t improve your rate of success but don’t beat yourself up over the occasional flopped spell. We’re all still learning and growing!


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