The casting of spells is an art that has been practiced the world over since the beginning of civilization, and is very much alive and well in the twenty-first century. We may not all use the same tools or honor the same rule book, but if there is one thing that unites modern witches, it's that we all cast spells. Sometimes spells fizzle before they have a chance to manifest, sometimes our results are less than ideal, and sometimes things happen as a result of our magic that we weren't expecting.
Here are the seven best-kept secrets when it comes to effective spell casting.
- Plan each step in the evolution of your magic. No, we can't always know every detail, because when it comes to magic, we are often dealing with the mysterious. We can, however, map out what needs to happen on our end. Energy follows the path of least resistance, and more often than not there are very real blocks in the way of your magic that simply lighting a small candle and having a positive attitude aren't going to fix. Do a bit of research, see what all your options are, and think critically about what it is going to take for your working to move from the spiritual realm to the physical. Which brings us to number two.
- Use your divination skills to get the details and project the outcome. Divination tools like tarot and oracle cards are excellent tools to assist us with the casting of spells. Not only are they loaded with symbology and etheric connection, but they offer insight into the often unknown elements of life—which are extremely helpful when mapping out our magic. Before you cast that spell ask your preferred system A) what you need to know about the situation that you don't already know, B) what method of spell casting would be best for the situation to get it to work out in your favor, and C) what the likely outcome of that working will be. If you don't like the answer to C, then ask what you need to do to get a favorable outcome. The answers may surprise you.
- Work with your spirits all the time so they are there when you need them. No matter who you work with or how you do it, you want to make sure you are taking time to build your relationship to your allies. No one likes a friend who only shows up when they need something. Even more so, we don't necessarily trust new people who come into our lives and instantly start taking. Our spirit allies are people, too, and working with them is about partnership. If you take time to develop that partnership regularly and treat it with respect, chances are you will be on the receiving end of daily guidance and powerful aid when in need.
- Strengthen your magic muscles. The more your practice, the stronger your magic becomes. A lot of people think of spells as one-time shots at changing something, but to effectively work magic in that way requires a lot of training. If you only shoot an arrow when you need to, you are going to have more misses than bullseyes. If, however, you practice the skills of archery on a regular basis, you are likely to hit your target when you need to! Magic can do the heavy lifting, but it can also do a lot more. Take a look around your life and see what you feel needs improvement. Relationship? Family? Career? Use magic to improve the little things that weigh you down or keep you from being at your best. Often the big problems we face can be divided into smaller ones and handled with more ease. Which brings us to number five.
- Don't assume every problem can be fixed with one working. Magic is all too often the last resort for people, even witches. By the time we get to the point where we need magical intervention, there is often already a giant mess that has to be dealt with. We assume doing one big working will take care of that giant mess, but that is almost never going to be the case. The best defense is a good offense. Ideally, we are doing little things to help ourselves steer clear of issues that can lead to that giant mess but when it comes to cleaning up that mess, the same principle applies. Whenever possible, instead of taking on the whole of a problem with one big working, chip away at it through smaller, direct, and intentional workings that will alleviate immediate pressure and help you plan for the best course of action. If that isn't possible, then consider doing a longer working that can address different aspects of the problem individually. For example, if you were working magic for financial stability, you might consider doing a spell to bring clarity and insight about your situation and how to find a way forward, one to remove blocks getting in the way of you moving forward, and another one to attract money. How you do this is up to you, but it in my experience it helps to divide our troubles so that we may conquer them.
- When it comes to your magic, think critically. Metaphysics is a school of philosophy, which means much of it is theoretical and no one has all the answers. Let's face it, if we knew how it all worked and knew all the secrets of magic we would be living radically different lives. It is okay and perfectly normal to question our methods and to reevaluate them from time to time. Once you know a spell didn't work, think about it critically and see what other practioners have done in similar circumstances. This information can be found all over the internet and social media. The trick, of course, is to not doubt your magic once it has started, so only do a critical deep dive once you know that it didn't work, otherwise you risk jeopardizing your magic.
- Do not underestimate the power of selfcare. Selfcare is something many of us still see as a luxury, but I believe it is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves as witches. I also think we can easily incorporate magical practice into our selfcare regimen. Meditation, affirmations, a good soak in the tub, yoga, a healthy diet, etc. are all things that can add to our magical prowess over time and can be enhanced by magical practice. Do a beauty spell when you put on a mud mask. Enchant the food you eat so it attracts the properties you seek to add to your life. Go for a walk in nature and use the time to psychically tune into the environment. Sometimes the wickedest thing we can do in life is to love ourselves and to take a few minutes to make ourselves a priority.
Our witchcraft is always evolving, and there is always room for improvement. Keep yourself challenged and think about the small pieces of a working just as thoroughly as you think about the larger aspects.