“Will this ritual or spell really work?”

There are really only two possible answer to this question: “No” or “I don’t know.”

There are some rituals and spells that have no rhyme or reason to them. They don’t work. Or at best you get something out of them in spite of the ritual. So in some cases, the answer as to whether a spell or ritual will work is simply, “No.”

But there are other instances where the spell or ritual is well designed and has worked for some people in the past. Logically, it should work for other people, but many times it simply doesn’t work. And that brings me back to the original question. The truth is, nobody cares whether a ritual or spell will work. What they really want to ask is, “Will this ritual or spell really work for me?” And the only honest answer is that “I don’t know.”

  • I don’t know what your background in magick is.
  • I don’t know what your skill level at magick is.
  • I don’t know what influences are going on in your life that might have an effect on your magick.
  • I don’t know what other people are doing that might affect the result.
  • I don’t know if your heart is into it and if you really want to achieve this magickal goal.

As readers of my blog and my books know, I consider magick to be an art and a science. From the scientific point of view I’d have to say there are just too many variables to give you a positive and rational response that any particular act of magick will definitely work for you.

All Other Things Being Equal…

So let’s narrow down the variables. Let’s say you have several years of practice at magick and you really want to achieve the goal of the ritual. Let’s also say that everything seems to be done correctly—from the design of the ritual and the performance of a divination, in this case using the Tarot, before the ritual (and getting all positive cards) to having all of the correct magickal tools and performing the rite during the appropriate magickal hour. Is it now possible to say, “Yes, the ritual or spell will really work for you?”


Two people could eliminate all of the variables and the magick might only be successful for one person and not the other. It’s unfair. I know. But why does it work for one person and not for the other? I call the answer the Hidden Factor of Magick.

Realization of the Nature of the Hidden Factor

Years ago, I was having some terrible problems with my neck. It was causing lots of pain. Every time I turned my head it sounded like a bowl of cereal going snap, crackle, and pop.

At the time, a friend of mine, I’ll call her “Bianca,” was living at my apartment. Bianca had been in an abusive relationship and I was providing her a place to stay until she could get back on her feet. She had previously received her 1st Reiki attunement and, seeing the pain I was in, offered to help me.

I sat in a chair and she placed her hands on my shoulders near my neck. That’s all. She did not tell me to expect any particular experience. In fact, I was somewhat skeptical about Reiki.

In a short time I started to feel energy flows moving up from the bottom tip of my spine through my neck and out the top of my head. It was as if there were a roaring waterfall flowing up. I started to perspire heavily. This went on for the fifteen minutes or so she worked Reiki on me. At the conclusions I was much better. After two more treatments I was fine and have not had any problems with my neck since.

Now, consider this. If someone simply put their hands on my shoulders, there is no reason to expect that there would be any change. In fact, I’ve had people put their hands on my shoulders and nothing like my experience with Bianca has occurred.

Something other than the use of the hands had an effect on me. And I think that the answer is, something was going on in her mind.

Putting hands on the shoulders didn’t cause the change. Rather, it was the ritual action combined with mental activity that resulted in the change.

I contend the same is true with magick: wand waving and reading bad poetry using mispronounced foreign words—as I’ve witnessed far too often—is only bad theater. Performing powerful ritual actions with accurately spoken/vibrated/chanted appropriate passages is good theater. It is only when something in the mind links actions and words that the result is powerful magick.

The Hidden Factor Revealed

So what is this Hidden Factor that combines with actions and words to make magick happen. At first look, it would seem like passion is the factor. If you don’t really want your magickal goal, if you’re not passionate about it, the magick doesn’t work. As it says in book II, chapter 13, of  The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage:

…commence your Prayer with fervor, for then it is that you will begin to enflame yourself in praying, and you will see appear an extraordinary and supernatural Splendour which will fill the whole apartment, and will surround you with an inexpressible odour, and this alone will console you and comfort your heart so that you shall call for ever happy the Day of the Lord.

So it’s not just the passion (praying with fervor), it’s what results from the passion (being enflamed). So what happens when you become focused on one thing and are praying with fervor? You achieve an alternate state of consciousness (ASC). This particular state is currently referred to as a peak experience, which Wikipedia defines as “a kind of transpersonal and ecstatic state, particularly one tinged with themes of euphoria, harmonization and interconnectedness.”

There are a variety of ways to achieve this ASC. Dancing, chanting, drumming, breathwork, exercise, meditation, sexual activity, and more may all achieve this ASC. May.

The problem is, sometimes they will help you achieve an ASC and sometimes it’s just a dance.

There is, however, a way to achieve this particular ASC every time. It’s through the use of hypnosis. There’s just one small catch…

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Most people, especially thought who don’t get in-person training in hypnosis (or are trained by someone who actually was never properly trained) learn the type of hypnotic “induction” known as Progressive Relaxation or Progressive Muscle Relaxation. The technique is very simple: you progressively tell your body, starting at the feet and moving to the head (or vice versa), to relax. It takes a long time to do this properly, over 20–30 minutes or longer. And at the end of it you are…deeply relaxed.

There’s nothing wrong with being deeply relaxed. It’s a good thing! But being deeply relaxed is not the same things as the ASC known as the hypnotic state. And the truth is that many people who believe they have been hypnotized have only been in a relaxed stated.

In fact, although hypnosis is most often accompanied by relaxation, it doesn’t require relaxation at all. The deep relaxation resulting from this exercise can be used as a means to lead someone, including yourself, into a hypnotic state, but it’s not hypnosis. In Modern Magick I describe it as the “Relaxation Ritual.”

It’s Only Natural

Although real hypnosis is an ASC, it’s one of the most natural things in the universe. We all go in and out of hypnotic states many times during the day. Television induces a hypnotic state. That’s why advertisers will pay so much to have you watch the same commercial on TV. It’s literally putting a post hypnotic suggestion into your mind. Reading a good book, listening to great music, or watching an exciting movie cause you to become absorbed in those activities: they put you in a hypnotic state.

So the question is, if that usual, “Let your toes gently relax” induction doesn’t necessarily result in hypnosis, what can you do? Well, you can go to a good hypnosis training. They range in price from under $100 to several thousand dollars. Alternatively, you can read some of the books listed HERE.

Hypnosis is not the only ASC or only way to achieve an ASC that changes actions and words into magick. However to my knowledge it is the only one that has been well researched and can achieve an ASC quickly and effectively on a consistent basis.

By the way, I also support getting trained in person if you want to learn Reiki. However, there are some great books you can get to help you begin to learn Reiki. You can find them HERE.


Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...