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Witchcraft: My Spell Didn't Work . . . What Went Wrong?

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Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.

Why didn't my spell work? How to cast a spell that works.

Why didn't my spell work? How to cast a spell that works.

7 Reasons Why a Spell Does Not Work

A common complaint from beginner witches is that their spells don’t work. They swear they followed the instructions to the letter, but their results were disappointing, to say the least. There are several reasons why spells don’t work and easy ways to put them right.

1. You Forgot to Express Your Intention

More often than not, this is the number one reason why a spell fails. The new witch must be clear in their intention. This means you must know the desired result. It’s no good just wishing for a better life, more money, or increased love. You have to express your intention succinctly.

You need to get specific. If you need an extra $100 by the end of the week, that’s what you need to focus on. Asking for one million dollars sometime in the next five years is a little too vague and probably asking for too much. Too much? Yes . . .

2. You Asked for Too Much

Experienced witches understand there are limitations. Not limitations in how much the universe can deliver, but limitations that are built into our own belief system. The best magick works with the path of least resistance. In other words, your desires should follow in a logical step-by-step way based on where you are right now because that’s how life works for most of us.

For example, going back to the million-dollar request . . . it’s unlikely that you can see yourself as an overnight millionaire. You might well have vivid fantasies about living it large, but deep down in your consciousness, you can’t see it happening. Therefore, it makes much more sense to focus on your immediate needs. You can probably imagine receiving $100 quite easily. So manifest that first sum, and then go on from there.

Another example might be someone trying to attract their soul-mate. They will find it easier to manifest a new acquaintance, who may or may not turn out to be a soul-mate. Small steps bring better results.

3. You Lacked Belief in the Spell

For the duration that you are working the spell, you must believe in it completely. Never mind if you hold doubts about whether magick works; for the few minutes you are casting the spell, believe in it wholeheartedly. If you feel doubt, then you might as well stop because it’s not going to happen.

4. You Forgot How Emotion Becomes Energy

The whole premise behind magick is the manipulation of energy. And you manipulate energy with ‘charged thought’. And charged thought is nothing more than emotion. You have to feel your desire as though it has already manifested. So, imagine what it will feel like to repay that debt. Or to get that job. Or to fall in love. Feel it deeply. At some point during the spell, take a moment to raise your emotion in order to move the energy in the direction you want it to go.

5. You Used the Wrong Ingredients

Actually, this is never a reason spells fail. The tools and ingredients don’t make a ha’peth of difference to a modern witch’s spell. It’s cool to use them as part of the structure of the work and to get your own energy moving, but the real preparation is in making sure the above criteria are met. If it helps to use a green candle for a money ritual, then great, go for it. However, the universe doesn’t care whether you light a candle or switch on your cellphone torchlight. The magick happens in the feeling of it.

6. You Tried to Go Against Someone’s Will

Attempting to manipulate a specific person into taking action causes nothing but problems. It’s possible to do it—I’m ashamed to say I’ve done it myself, but pretty soon, I realized I had to lift the charm because it was actually working too well.

When your desire conflicts with another person’s, my advice is, don’t do it. For example, trying to make someone fall in love with you when they don’t feel it in the first place will result in heartbreak all around. They won’t be able to explain why it’s not working for them, but at the same time, they’ll be unable to break away.

7. You Overthought the Method of Delivery

This is another problem that plagues beginner witches. They think that the way their desire is delivered is important. It isn’t. As long as you always add the caveat, “And let it harm none,” to every spell, your job is only to formulate your desired outcome, cast the spell, and then, and this important, let the universe get on with its work. If you keep thinking about it or try to repeat the spell too soon, you are, as a spiritual teacher, Mike Dooley says, “messing with the cursed hows.”

For the duration that you are working the spell, you must believe in it completely.

For the duration that you are working the spell, you must believe in it completely.

How to Find Out Why a Spell Didn't Work: Quick Analysis of a Spell Gone Wrong

  • What forces were you attempting to manipulate? Another person? An unlikely event? The laws of physics?
  • Would there have been a better way to achieve your goal? Like actually studying for the exam.

Remember that a good spell works with the current, just like a small boat. You will get much better results if you think of magic as a nudge in the direction you want things to go, rather than a full-on reversal of natural laws. However much you would like to levitate your cat, it’s not going to happen.

How to Cast a Successful Spell

Before you begin to construct the spell:

  1. Spend some time considering the objective of the spell.
  2. Do you believe this result can happen for you?
  3. Does it involve manipulation of another person's thoughts, feelings or actions?
  4. Would you be happy if someone worked the same spell on you?

When deciding what form the spell should take:

  1. Formulate your intention clearly.
  2. What kind of emotion will it require? Will you be able to feel it when the moment arrives?
  3. What ingredients and equipment will help you to focus?

When casting the spell:

  1. Express your desire clearly without any ambiguity.
  2. Raise the appropriate energy/emotion.
  3. Let it go to the universe without ‘messing with the cursed hows’.

Example Spell

Would you like a hundred dollars? That would be helpful, wouldn’t it? Treat yourself to something nice or maybe clear a small debt. We’ll follow the steps above.


OK, let’s formulate the intention to receive $100 in the shortest possible time. Think about it for a few minutes. Visualize that $100 in cash. See yourself holding it. Tucking it into your wallet.

What’s the strongest emotion you think you could attach to it? Perhaps it’s to buy a special gift; if so, imagine the process of purchasing it and the pleasure of giving it to someone special. Maybe you owe someone money. Just imagine paying it back and the feeling of relief that you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Now, what ingredients might you need? Personally, I’m going for a beeswax tea-light. If you want to choose a colored candle, then go for green to represent money. I’m also going to use pen and paper as I find writing my spells down to be a powerful way of making them work. If you want to set up a working altar, you can place items that represent the elements, like a stone (earth), a cup of water or wine (water), an athame (blunt knifeair), and a wand (fire). It’s great to have those things to help you focus, but I shan’t bother this time.

Working the Spell

Make sure you choose a time when you won’t be disturbed. Turn the lighting down. Create a conducive atmosphere, if possible. Perhaps light some incense or a couple of candles (not your spell candle).

I’m keeping it very low-key, but you can go the full casting a circle ritual if you like. I have instructions for casting a simple and elegant circle on “I Think I’m a Witch: What Are the Next Steps?” You can adapt it any way you wish. But for now, we’re just going to get on with it.

  • Sit for a moment and run through the visualization of having the $100 in your hand. Feel it, smell it. Pass the imaginary notes from hand to hand.
  • Now write down these words:

One hundred dollars are mine for the asking
To the universe I delegate this tasking
Don’t make me wait too long for my money
Deliver it soon, I’m in a hurry.

  • Read the words out loud three times, and as you do so, raise the emotions surrounding your request. It might be a tough ask depending on your need but do your best. Feel joy as you imagine the money being given to you. Or relief as you pay that debt. Or excitement as you notice an extra $100 in your bank account. Doesn’t matter how you do it; just get that emotional energy going for a few minutes.
  • Now light your candle slowly and with deliberation. Fold the paper and place it safely under the candle holder. Now say:

As I make this request and my candle burns, so must it be and let it harm none.

  • Sit still and allow the emotional energy to drain away. Whisper a little ‘thank you’ to the Universe to acknowledge that the money is yours, close the spell, and let it go. Get yourself a drink and something to eat.

Don’t think about it anymore. Go about your daily life. The Universe is taking care of it.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: I cast a weight loss spell during the waning moon and it didn't work, is there anything I can do to fix it?

Answer: The thing with weight loss spells is that they won't work unless you are also reducing your food intake. If done correctly the spell is in place to help strengthen your resolve and to give you the confidence you need to keep going. It's the same with any spell... for example, a love spell requires you to go to places where you will meet other people. If you stay at home, the spell is less likely to work. You need to take steps towards your goal in real life; the spell is there as rocket fuel.

Question: I cast a my first spell to stop unwanted contact for my best friend. It didn’t work. Her mum had just passed away and family (who’d known she was ill for months) came crawling out of the woodwork. My friend did not want it so I cast my spell, full of intent to try and help. Please can you tell me why it was unsuccessful?

Answer: Firstly, this situation is way out of your control and you shouldn't be interfering in other people's family dynamics. One of the first rules of witchcraft: no interference if you do not understand the consequences. Secondly, your first spell should be something 'low grade'. They should be simple spells like protection or to have a good day. You have attempted to manipulate the actions of multiple people, so of course, you are going to struggle with that.

It's possible the spell will work, It's also possible there could be ill-effects. Please don't do any more spells that involve the manipulation of other people.

What you can do, with her permission, is a spell to give your friend strength and courage to be able to deal with her situation.

Question: Why are my 'call me' spells not working? Am I being too controlling with my spells? Am I not putting enough intention into my spells?

Answer: The simple answer is right there in your question - 'spells' plural. One spell for a desired outcome is usually enough. However, if that person's energy is not in alignment with your desire that they call you, it will not work. So instead of trying to manipulate another person's actions, your efforts should go into attracting love - not from a specific person, but from one (unnamed) who wants you as much as you will want them. You will have much more success if you work on generating love within yourself than by manipulation.

Question: Every time I do a spell it never works. I read this very carefully. Am I not trying hard enough?

Answer: You are probably trying too hard, and perhaps expecting too much too soon. No-one can really say a spell didn't work because it can be an ongoing process. You have to have faith that the universe is dealing with it for you. Also, sometimes, your desire doesn't happen because there is something even better lined up.

Question: Why does it take so long for some witchcraft spells to work? I follow all the instructions, but I am still waiting for the result. Is this the same for all witches?

Answer: The key is to work your spell and then stop thinking about it. If you keep saying to yourself, "Where is it?" "Why hasn't it happened?" you are actually keeping it away. You have to trust that it will happen all in good time. So do your spells then forget about them and get on with your life. If it is meant to be, it will come to you.

Question: I said out loud for witchcraft to make it so that the majority of people see my art as good, and the smaller majority of people to see my art as bad. I'm scared now because I realized that people will only see my art as good/mediocre and not really as good/amazing. I just don't want my art to be affected at all. Is there a way for the spell not to come true?

Answer: You didn't cast a spell, you simply uttered a wish. It's unlikely to have any effect whatsoever. There's no such power as 'witchcraft'; witchcraft is a lifestyle choice and a craft that is practiced. Spells involve preparation and a chosen method to enable them to work. There's no reason to be scared. Your art, and other people's appreciation of it will be as before.

Question: I cast a focusing candle spell. Yesterday, I got four assignments done. Today I could only do one using the same spell. What went wrong with my spell? Did I not put in enough emotion into my focus spell?

Answer: Nothing went wrong. You got another assignment done. Just because your energy levels were not the same as previously doesn't mean the spell didn't work. Help the spell by pacing yourself and not expecting off the scale results.

Question: What happens if I cast a spell on a wrong day (Tuesday instead of Friday)? Could something bad happen, or will the spell just not work?

Answer: There's no wrong day. The idea behind making use of specific days, times and moon phases are as spell boosters. So there's nothing negative or bad; nothing will happen but you won't have that energy boost. Personally, I think intention and emotion can easily outweigh the day of the week.

Question: Does it matter that when I said my spell out loud, I had a lot of concentration and desire and was very emotional at the time? Could that mean I cast a spell?

Answer: It's true that when you put a lot of feeling into a wish, a prayer or a spell that the universe 'hears' it. However, if it is no longer your intention that the words you spoke should have a result, then you can put your emotion into what you do actually want. You could create a little ritual - I recommend a written spell - in order to 'override' the original mistake.

Here's how to do a written spell:

Question: Is there any spell by which I can know my guardian angel?

Answer: Several years ago I wrote an article for another site with suggestions how to find your spirit guide aka guardian angel. I don't have any spells as such, but that doesn't prevent you from designing one of your own. Anyway, here's the article:

Question: Can a spell no longer come true if you stop believing it will?

Answer: If you put the required feeling and energy into the spell, then it is working. To counteract a spell you now regret, you may have to cast a counterspell or find a ritual to neutralize it. Remember, you will need the same amount of feeling and commitment to make it work.

© 2018 Bev G


Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on November 19, 2019:

Hi Samantha, I think the answers that you need are in the article.

If you need more clarification, have a read of this one:

Good luck, and have fun with it.

Samantha Turner-Fields on November 19, 2019:

Im hsving trouble - not thinking about the spell i cast - i hve been practicing for a year now i started with jus tburning candles - then i gre into spell casting with water candles herbs oils - i have to say some spells work better than others and some i may say dont or just taking the time that the universal has - but i get so inpatient and sometimes doubt myself - how can i remove that energy and have more faith in my spell work and relax that my intentions are being worked on?

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 11, 2019:

Hi Chris, sounds like you both had too much attachment to the outcome. She may have done better had she gone into it with the intention of having fun, doing her best and not worrying about being placed.

ChrisBGirl on July 11, 2019:

I had candle magic done for my daughter to place in a dance competition she was nervous about, and I also did a couple of candle spells and prayers....she did not place:(

My intention was you think I did too much? It was for that specific competition...


Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on March 05, 2019:

Hello P3, it sounds like you are doing everything just fine.

I would stop thinking of it as a wish, as in a hope, and instead KNOW that it will happen, That is key. Knowing you will get your outcome.

Finish the spell and leave it to the universe. Don't think about it, other than recognising signs that are related to the outcome. Just tell yourself that the universe is dealing with it so you don't have to.

P3 on March 05, 2019:

Hi Bev G

When I am doing a wish spells I put a lot of different intention in the wish and use visualization with emotion what the outcome of all the different wish in the spells I want to happen. I believe very hard all these wish come true am I doing this right what else could I do to help the spells/

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on February 06, 2019:

Hi Sarah. It won't work. Sorry. Perhaps, you should work an acceptance spell to love your body just as it is?

Sarah on February 06, 2019:

Hi can you help me please. I did this spell to enlarge my breasts to a plump C or D breasts size and it’s something I’ve been trying to achieve for years. I want to know what I need to do to make this spell be successful I’ve been trying to practice self-love and self-care for myself. But I don’t know what that means in Tarot reading and spells. What do I do to make this spell Body Transformation work as I have desired for years for it to work and as I visualize the change so much. I’ve been manifesting this almost everyday since I casted the spell Feb 1st was the first day of the spell to start taking effect on my breasts to increase and I want to know what more I can do to make this spell work no matter what. But I checked with online tarot app and now it says no to it working on my chest. Please give me some guidance I really need this to work I’ve been for years.

EMSS on July 19, 2018:

Hi Bev G

Thank you for getting back to to me and letting me know I am on the right track. I will read the article link you sent.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 13, 2018:

Hello Emss, it sounds to me as if you are doing really well and are already on the right track.

I have another guide here that explains what I mean more fully:

EMSS on July 13, 2018:

Hi Bev G

I find your article very good and helpful it give me information. I have a question on Emotion as Energy when I am doing a spell I try to visualization what I want for the spell to do i would like to happen I try to put more feeling in the spell am I on the right track? could you give me any more ideas. When I am doing spell I do feel pulses of energy like my hands and it goes through my body..How did you learn to control you Belief and thought raising energy I put my emotion in to it.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 28, 2018:

RoadMonkey, so sorry I missed this. HP marked it as spam - the very idea!

A spell may well do the trick. Also try Switchwords.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 22, 2018:

Oh I do like a bit of chaos magick. I don't think you have to call yourself anything to work a little magic.

Thanks so much for reading and for your kinds words. xx

Lyrical Reverend on June 22, 2018:

Thank you for this lovely article, Mrs. G! I have been wanting to practice magick for a long time, but I was never equipped with this much clear, and concise information before now.

I may not practice Witchcraft in-particular, as I'm more into Chaos Magic. But your article has definitely, put me in the right direction.

5-stars + 2-thumbs up!

Draco from United Kingdom on June 14, 2018:

I enjoyed reading this article. I have no idea about witchcraft but it has always fascinated me. Whether I will give it a try is another question but your article is direct and very informative.

RoadMonkey on June 12, 2018:

It sounds very like the visualizations that athletes use to improve performance. I have been trying hypnosis for weight loss but it isn't working, maybe a spell would be better because it would be MY feelings and thoughts and needs!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 11, 2018:

Thanks, Ralph. I'm all for keeping it simple :)

Ralph Schwartz from Idaho Falls, Idaho on June 11, 2018:

This is a very direct and no-nonsense checklist that beginners (and maybe some experienced folks who have lost their way) can follow - I'm glad that your first point was intention. Far too many people allow themselves to get distracted or have their minds full of "clutter" when they are casting.