I’ve been a witch for more than a decade, but I still remember the early stages of my path. First, there’s the rush of excitement and the whirlwind of confusion as you’re confronted with so much information. You try to take it all in huge swathes and find yourself a bit overwhelmed but nonetheless still excited. I focus on that initial stage of learning the craft a lot around here, but there’s another important stage that comes just after that first jolt of wonder.
Everyone hits it at a different point in their journey, some may take a few months, others a year or more but eventually we all hit a point in our learning where we feel like we KNOW a lot but we don’t feel like we quite have a grasp on using what we’ve learned.
At this point in the learning process, confidence can wane and lead to a lot of questioning. Are your spells working? How can you tell? Is there something missing or is this just what the craft is like?
This crisis of confidence can be frustrating because the shift in mindset can impact your magic, leading to less effective spellwork, less feeling in the craft and even having spells flop more than you’re used to. Talk about frustrating!
If you’re stuck in this confidence trap, don’t worry. Today I’ve got four secrets to more successful spell casting to get you out of the doldrums and back into your power.
Secret #1: Stop worrying that it’s not going to work
I know, easier said than done.
I’m serious though, that constant worry about whether your spell is working and wondering if you screwed something up isn’t doing you any favors! Think of it like this, magic is the application of energy through intent. When you cast a spell, you’re performing actions and saying words that help move energy in the direction of your intention. If you spend all of your time after the spell worrying, though, that energy could interfere with your original intent.
Say you do a job spell to help you out in your hunt for employment. You’ll spend maybe 30-45 minutes focusing your energy on the spell. Now, this energy is coupled with your intent and willpower, which makes it more potent than errant, everyday thoughts, but if you follow that spell up with four days of nonstop worrying which idea do you think is going to get more of your energy? I would just about bet it would be the worry.
The solution is simple: cut it out! Learn to trust yourself and your magic. And even if you aren’t quite to a place where you can trust that your magic is going to get you where you want to go, remind yourself that worrying is counterproductive. Any time you catch yourself worrying over the result of a spell, just tell yourself to knock it off. The magic is working and you don’t want to go disturbing it before it’s really had time to do its job.
Secret #2: Don’t stress about the fine details
Have you ever stumbled over an incantation or realized at the last second that you’re out of almond oil and had to substitute olive oil? These little details can seem overwhelmingly large in the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re generally inconsequential. Again, magic is about directing energy through intention. Every action, every tool, and every step involved in a spell is simply a way to solidify your intention and channel energy.
Olive oil might not be quite as aligned with your intention as almond oil might have been, but if you pour enough focus and energy into it, it’ll get the job done just fine. While substituting can be tricky in more complex spells or when working with herbs, you won’t learn what works for you and what doesn’t in the realm of substitutions until you start tinkering with it. So don’t sweat it! Try the substitutions and see how your spell comes out. If you don’t like the results, then you know that particular element doesn’t work for you!
Likewise, stumbling over a few words in an incantation or forgetting what you were supposed to say and having to check the instructions mid-incantation isn’t going to be a world-ending mistake. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have a stutter. It’s slight and not generally noticeable to other people, but I definitely notice it and it used to drive me absolutely mad trying to get through an incantation without getting stuck. And when I did inevitably stumble over a few words, I’d get frustrated and feel like the whole spell was ruined because I couldn’t make the incantation sound like the poetry I thought it should sound like.
Eventually, I realized something. These little mishaps weren’t actually affecting my spells all that much. Even with the moments of frustration and disappointment that followed my stuttering, my spells were managing to work just fine. That’s when I realized, like every other part of spell casting, incantations are about intent. As long as you’re focused on your intent the whole time, you could be saying a string of nonsense syllables and it would still work.
So give yourself a break where the small details are concerned. You can always strive for more finesse in your spell casting, but you shouldn’t let “imperfect spell-casting” become “no spell-casting” because you feel you can’t get it just right.
Secret #3: Give yourself enough time to get into “witch mode”
I don’t know about you, but it takes me some time to switch gears. It takes time for me to switch from errands mode into work mode, from work mode into time-off mode, and from everyday mode into witch mode. This transition time isn’t always convenient for a busy, modern life, but trying to override these transition periods can have consequences!
When we try to skip straight from one activity into another, we’re denying ourselves the necessary space to really come into our most proficient self for an activity. The skills I use for my hobbies aren’t necessarily the right skills for my work and likewise, the skills I use in the rest of my life won’t be the ones most effective in spell crafting. As much as the modern world would like humans to function like highly efficient computers, we’re just not built that way. The mind needs time for task switching, to change between your social skills to your work-related skills to your spiritual skills. Give yourself the time it takes to make the full transition before trying to cast spells!
If you’re impatient or have a hard time with this sort of transition, I would suggest creating a transition ritual. Give yourself a set of activities that you perform before spell casting every time you go to do magic. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you need, from 5 minutes of meditation and a self-cleansing to a full bath ritual with candles and music and the works. Whatever it is, make sure it’s the same every time you go to cast a spell. Your mind will build a connection between this ritualized transition and your spell casting and you’ll be able to make the transition much faster in the long run than you would be able to normally. This method does take some time to implement so in the meantime, remember, give yourself adequate space and time to get in the zone for working your magic!
Secret #4: Get theatrical about it
Spellwork is a highly personal endeavor and for a lot of people, the standardized methods can just feel incredibly flat. One way to move past this flat feeling is to start utilizing psychodrama. This is basically the process of theatrically “faking it”. You dress up, put on witchy music, set up the space to look witchy. You get into character as the witch you want to be and then you perform your spell. It’s all about setting the stage and getting into the right mindset. You want to create an environment where you feel as witchy as you possibly can.
In the beginning, it might feel really dramatic and fake. Over time, you’ll hone in on what aspects of your psychodrama really produce results (the right music, the right environment, etc) and you’ll end up with a personalized sense of how to pull magic out of yourself in this way. It’s a key factor for a lot of people in silencing the nagging doubts that can ruin your magical efforts.
When you’re in character and in-scene this way, you can really lose yourself in the process and often you’ll come away with far better results from your spells! And you definitely don’t have to stay within “conventional” ideas of what’s witchy, do what makes YOU feel witchy. I meditate to rap music and use electronic music in my rituals because the fast-paced beat just works for me. Choose things that make you feel in a general sense; choose music that elicits emotion, outfits that make you feel awesome, etc. It doesn’t matter what kind of theatrical elements you use as long as they get you into the right mood and mindset.
You may not be able to ensure that every spell you cast is a success, but you can give your spells the best chance of working in your favor with these four tweaks to your spell casting and mindset.
What do you use to boost your spell success? Tell me about it in the comments!