Have you ever cast a spell, waited for a result, let a few days pass, and then wondered “how long am I supposed to wait for this?” If so, you are not alone. Spell timing is one subject that confuses a lot of witches. Often we feel like we’re casting spells, throwing our energy into the ether, and hoping that the results come in time. Do you wait days? Do you wait weeks? How do you know when you’ve waited too long? And is there a way to control the timing of your spells?
If you’ve ever wondered about any of these questions, then this post is for you. Today we’re going to be diving into the intricacies of spell timing and answering these questions so that you can make better use of timing in your craft.
How Long Do Spells Take?
One reason why this topic gets so confusing is that there’s no one answer to how long a spell will take. Even if two witches cast the exact same spell, one spell might take a week to produce results while the other might take a month or more to produce results. The individual spell caster, the ingredients used, the type of spell, and the complexity of the situation itself all have an effect on the speed with which your spells can work.
In this case, magic is much like baking. You can take the same recipe and when made by two different bakers in two different locations the cake might take more or less time at the same heat to produce the same result simply because of imperceptible differences in things like altitude, humidity, and the ingredients. This means that, like a baker, you have to learn to familiarize yourself with the process of spell work and the ways that a variety of conditions affect your results and the speed with which they manifest.
I won’t lie to you, it takes time to build up that kind of familiarity in your spell casting! That said, there are certain aspects of your spell work that you can focus on to build familiarity a bit faster.
The first aspect to take note of is the ingredients used in your spell. Some ingredients are “slow magic” ingredients, and some are “fast magic” ingredients. For example, yarrow tends to be a slower, more constrained herb while something like ginger or cinnamon has a bit more get up and go. By picking and choosing your ingredients with a mind to the speed that the herb prefers to work at, you can influence the amount of time it takes you to get results. This means that if you need protection right this moment, yarrow is not the herb to use. Yarrow should be used in spells of long-term protection. Likewise, if you are trying to cast a love spell designed to draw your true love to you over the next year, cinnamon would not be a good herb to include in the spell. Cinnamon would encourage the spell to prioritize speed over finding the exact right person for you. You would probably end up with a relationship, however, it might not be the quality of relationship that could have been attained had you chosen an ingredient that was less focused on haste.
It’s also important to consider the relationship that you have with the ingredients you’re working with. When working with herbs, crystals, and other natural items, the spirit of the item is what you are actually working with. This all goes back to animism as a root part of magical practice. You can read more about animism here. If you do not have any kind of familiarity or relationship with an herb that you are using in a spell, then that herb may or may not choose to work with you. This adds a lot of ambiguity to your spell work! If you are going to work herbal magic, it’s important that you learn about, build a relationship with, and work as allies with the plants that you use in your practice. The more familiarity you build and the more this plant spirit comes to know you, the more willing it will be to work with you, help you, and give you the results you desire in a timely manner.
2. The situation
The next thing to consider is the situation that you are trying to alter with your spell work. How difficult is it going to be for your spell to achieve the results that you want? In some cases, it isn’t difficult at all. If you cast a spell because you need an extra $20, then it can be very easy for your spell to achieve that. Perhaps someone gives you too much change and you don’t notice it until you get home. Perhaps you find $20 lying on the ground. Perhaps your great aunt decides to send you a card out of the blue because she can’t remember when your birthday is.
In contrast, some things are far more difficult to achieve. Say you cast a job spell to get a job at a certain company. This specificity narrows the pathways that your magic can take to achieve your goal. This inherently raises the difficulty of the magic. If you needed a job quickly, then you would be better served casting a general job spell and taking the first thing that you could get. If instead, you are set on getting that one particular job then you have to realize that the pathway to that job may simply take longer than taking the first available option. Perhaps the company has a long hiring process. Perhaps the company is intending to leave the applications open for a month or more before they begin responding to applicants. Perhaps you will interview with this company and then find that they would rather place you in a different division or position within the company, necessitating further applications, interviews, and time to achieve your goal.
This is not inherently a bad thing! Sometimes it is worth the wait to get the precise results that you want. You simply need to learn to judge the situation at hand in order to predict the difficulty of getting the result that you need. When an especially fast result is needed, it is generally best to work less specific magic with a more general desired outcome to maximize the number of ways that your spell could achieve your goal.
3. Personal involvement
Personal involvement is a tricky subject in spell work. In some ways, personal involvement can enhance your magic greatly. In other ways it could completely stall your magic and prevent the outcome you are trying to manifest.
Personal involvement can enhance your magic through the emotional power that the situation holds for you. If, say, you are casting a banishing spell to get rid of somebody who has been harassing you, then the anger and frustration caused by this person will probably make ample fuel for this spell. Using these emotions, or any emotion that allows the spell to move forward, adds willpower and surety to your spell casting. This is very likely to speed up your results. When you are very emotionally invested in the outcome of your spells, the amount of power that you have to draw on is far greater than if you were ambivalent and simply didn’t care about the outcome.
Alternatively, sometimes being emotionally invested in your spell work can serve as a roadblock. If you are excessively worried, anxious, or fearful about the situation that you are trying to change, it can cause your spell to fail. Think of spell work as a sort of seesaw. On one side of the seesaw is all the energy that you pour into the spell and your desired outcome. On the other side of the seesaw is all the energy that could be negating your spell work. Constant worry, fear, and anxiety can outweigh the energy of the spell itself.
In some cases, this can cause outright spell failure. In other cases, this can simply delay the results. Oftentimes what will happen is a person will cast spell after spell after spell trying to achieve the same result with seemingly no success until suddenly one of the spells takes and the situation changes drastically and very quickly. When this happens, usually it is because the person has done so much spell work that they were able to outweigh the worry and anxious energy that they have been piling onto this metaphysical scale. If you are prone to worry, anxiety, and fear surrounding your spell work then I would suggest reading this blog post.
4. Powers used
Finally, it’s important to consider the powers, spirits, or gods that you have called on in your spell work. As mentioned previously, spirits can choose to either work with you or not. Having a good relationship with the spirits allows for a more amicable working relationship. This applies to many other beings as well!
Some entities are inherently better for working quickly. Saint Expedite, for example, is a figure often called on in folk Catholicism, Hoodoo, and root working when you need particularly fast results in a certain situation. The practitioner would pray to Saint Expedite asking for whatever it is they need and praying for Saint Expedite to bring it to them quickly. They would promise Saint Expedite some kind of offering in return, and upon receiving what they had asked for, they would make this offering.
Other entities can be fairly slow-moving. Many types of tree spirits would fall into this category. Because they are so long-lived and slow-growing, their timetable is usually much longer than ours. They are best called on when long-term or lifelong results are desired.
Determining how fast or slow the entities that you work with are can take some trial and error. It’s important to look at the lore connected to the spirits and entities and the type of entity that you are working with, in general. You may be able to find quite a bit of information about these entities that can give you a clue to the speed at which they work. It is also possible for you to negotiate with some spirits about the speed of your work. Not every spirit will be open to negotiation on this matter, but it’s worth a try.
To Wait Or Not To Wait
Now comes the tricky part. How long do you actually wait for your spells to manifest? The answer to this depends on your needs and the spell itself. I would suggest deciding on the time limit of the spell before you cast it. Some spells will have a very obvious limit to them. For example, if you are doing a money spell to draw enough money for you to pay rent this month, then your term lasts until it is time to pay rent. You should design your spell with this time period in mind, and you should wait only until the prescribed date for results. If results do not appear by the end of the term, then your spell has failed.
Other spells are less cut and dry. If you are casting a love spell to draw an ideal husband to you, it may be best to leave a very long or possibly ambiguous time limit for your spell. This can mean a lot of waiting! It’s up to you to decide how urgent your spell work is and how comfortable you are waiting for long periods of time. Not every spell with a long or ambiguous term date will take the entire term. It is entirely possible for a spell like this to produce results in only a few weeks. The term date is simply a marker for your own use so that you know when it might be necessary for you to consider the spell a failure and try again.
Speeding Up Spells
It is often necessary for witches to be able to speed up their spell work to suit their needs. Here are a few things that you can use in your craft to speed up your spells.
- Crushed red pepper
- Cocoa powder
- Black Tourmaline
Speed It Up Powder
This powder can be added to any spell to speed up the manifestation of results. Combine cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, and powdered lemongrass. You can use this powder to dress candles, fill sachets, or otherwise amend your spell work.
It’s All About Results
Your results must speak for themselves. Your magic may take more or less time than another witch’s. The only way to build a working knowledge of how your magic functions is to practice, take careful notice of your spell results, and keep good notes on the entire process. I say this often but it is so important if you want to progress past the beginning and intermediate stages of witchcraft that you treat your witchcraft as a skill that you can monitor, adjust, and improve until you have it honed into a precise tool.
This process teaches you about magic and yourself in an irreplaceable way. No book can give you that kind of knowledge. You must learn these kinds of things through trial and error and careful watching and recording of your magic. With enough care and attention, you can develop an understanding of spell timing within your practice so that you never have to worry about when your results will manifest again.