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Spell Working: Do spells work? Why didn’t they work?

Following on from my previous blog post What is a spell? I would like to share some of my thoughts about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of spell working…

Do spells work?

In my experience, provided they have been thought through, worked out and performed properly – yes!

You do have to consider that the universe can be a total git and often has a habit of interfering. Spells also tend to work in unexpected ways, so just be prepared.

Why didn’t my spell work?

If you set a spell in motion and it doesn’t seem to have worked there may be a number of reasons. Occasionally it just doesn’t – even the most skilled spell caster won’t have a 100% complete success rate.

  • Maybe your spell worked but not in the way you wanted? The universe does like to interfere or maybe you weren’t specific enough. Make sure you are clear and concise.

  • Are you familiar with the techniques used? Maybe you didn’t fully understand the working or you might just need more experience. Start from the beginning.

  • Were you really committed to the outcome? Or were you perhaps a bit half-hearted about it?

  • Did you set any time frame? If you didn’t specify that you needed the spell to work quickly then it may take it’s time.

  • Did you ask deity or the universe for something? If you did, remember that a request can also receive the answer ‘no’…

  • Did you request assistance from deity, the divine or angels? Particularly if you don’t have a relationship with them or didn’t give an offering in exchange or your thanks they might not be interested in helping.

  • Was your desired outcome realistic? Working a spell to become a real live princess ain’t gonna happen…

  • Did you raise a good strong amount of energy? Was it a tornado of power or a gnat’s sneeze?

  • Do you doubt your skills? Did you send out conflicting messages?

  • Be confident in what you do.

Take responsibility

A little side note on the term ‘an harm to none’. This is often used at the end of spells as a disclaimer. For instance, if you cast a money spell but you don’t want to gain the money by someone dying and leaving it to you in their will you could use ‘an harm to none’ as an escape clause. However, bear in mind that although this does reduce accidents it can also neutralise the spell in some cases. You are telling the magic to work but also restricting it. I don’t mean by stopping it from killing people (coz that is wrong, definitely wrong) but by curtailing the energy from causing anyone inconvenience. Properly put together and well thought out spells should not back fire in any way so you shouldn’t need to cover yourself. If you work a spell to gain more money and you get given overtime instead of your colleague then the spell has worked, but someone else lost out in the process. You must take responsibility for that, it is a cruel world sometimes and you need to decide whether you can live with it.


This will depend on your own personal feelings. The suggested guideline is: Do not cast spells to alter the will of another or to cause harm. Also, to never cast spells for others without their permission even if your intent is pure. But…and here is the thing, you are the one deciding to cast the spell so it is your choice to make. You may feel that the need is justified to cast a bad luck spell on another or even a curse, it’s not my place to judge or to tell you what you can and can’t do. Just make sure you think it through properly and be mindful of any return. It also pays to bear in mind if you do cast a curse or a hex be aware that if the person you are sending it to realises where it came from they may very well send it back…


For me this is key to any good spell, you need to have solid intent for the magic to happen. And by intent, I mean the determination, intention and purpose to make this work. You also need to have the will; that pure resolve, drive and motivation to back it up.

Originally posted on Beneath the Moon, Patheos Pagan - 23.5.18


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