Any witch in the public eye gets asked for a lot of spells. These spells fall into a few predictable categories; curses, protection, and love spells are always in demand. The most common of these is the “get your ex back” spell. This kind of spell needs very little introduction, it’s all right there in the name. This is a spell that is sought after by people who have gone through breakups that they want to reverse. They regret how the relationship ended and they would like to have the relationship back.
This is a classic case of “be careful what you wish for” though. “Get your ex back” spells are often the most damaging spells that you can cast. They often destroy the happiness of not only the person that the spell is being cast on but also the person who has cast the spell! These spells are a recipe for misery and discord in your life. Today, we’re going to look at why these spells are so damaging and what you can do instead if you find yourself considering a “get your ex back” spell.
Why You Should Avoid “Get Your Ex Back” Spells
There are very few categories of spells that I will wholesale warn my students away from. There are plenty of situations that warrant curses, hexes, love spells, and most other types of spells that witches typically avoid. “Get your ex back” spells, on the other hand, are always a hard stop for me.
To begin with, any magic that seeks to control the will of another person in direct contradiction to what they want is going to be difficult to cast successfully. I talk about this a lot when we get into the subject of magical theory, but magic is always easiest and most effective when the magic is allowed to take the path of least resistance. A “get your ex back” spell is inherently the path of most resistance! Not only have you shrunk the potential avenues of success down to a single person, but your results depend on your magic being able to overpower this other person’s conscious desires. That not only takes an enormous amount of energy to accomplish but can be difficult for even a very skillful spellcaster to manage. Most spells are intentionally left with a fair amount of wiggle room in how the results can manifest so that the energy you pour into the spell can be used in the most efficient way. Spells that are designed to get your ex back do the exact opposite.
Magic is supposed to make your life easier and happier. In this instance, however, it does the exact opposite! Using magic to solve a breakup is the highest effort, highest chance of failure way to go about addressing this problem. One thing that I encourage my students to always be thinking about in their craft is whether magic is an appropriate solution for their problem. Sometimes, a simple conversation is enough to solve a problem that would otherwise require an enormous amount of magical energy. In other cases, magic is an excellent solution. When it comes to “get your ex back” spells, using magic is doing things the hard way.
Even if we ignore the fact that using magic for this kind of situation is almost always more effort than it’s worth, the chances of this type of spell producing satisfactory results are slim to none. And this applies even when the spell technically succeeds! The reason for this is quite simple. Any spell that bends another person’s will takes a significant amount of energy and willpower to continuously fuel. Any lapse in either energy or willpower can lead to errors in the spell’s hold. What this means is that you will start to see leakage where the spell is no longer holding this person in the desired state. Even a little doubt on the part of the spellcaster can cause the spell to unravel in places. Rather than holding this other person in the state that you wish them to remain in, their genuine desires begin to fight against your spell work. This leads to emotional outbursts, resentment, arguments, anger, and in extreme cases even violence. Once this process starts, it progresses quickly to the point of imploding, almost always resulting in the relationship ending all over again.
This kind of spell work is essentially holding another person prisoner, and maintaining that kind of magical hold on another person is incredibly difficult. I’m not even going to bother getting into the ethics of this kind of spell work. It’s obvious that forcing another person into a relationship against their wishes is entirely unethical, and no justifications about knowing what’s best for them will actually make this kind of spell an ethical decision.
Finally, while this kind of spell will make your ex miserable and requires inordinate amounts of energy and magical prowess to pull off, it will also make YOU deeply unhappy. We can even ignore the magical and energetic aspects of this situation here. If the relationship in question was making both of you happy, it wouldn’t have ended! Good, happy relationships do not end in big blowout breakups. Even if you were happy at the beginning of the relationship, everything that has happened between then and your present situation has created a relationship that does not actually make you happy. While relationships end for a large variety of reasons, nearly every breakup is caused by the same core problem, incompatibility. This is the root cause of every argument, disagreement, and annoyance in a relationship. Incompatibility is simply two people wanting things that conflict with one another. These kinds of incompatibilities are usually unmanageable! If the incompatibility was workable, it would not have resulted in a breakup.
Keeping a relationship that is built upon incompatibilities is signing yourself up for a relationship with a person who will never be what you want and need out of a partner. This means giving up on all hope of finding a person you are actually compatible with who makes you happy. You are sentencing yourself to a life of incompatibility, of never being understood and valued for who you are, and never experiencing what true compatibility in a relationship feels like. Is that what you want?
What Do You Want?
Ask yourself what you really want. What is it you are hoping to get out of rekindling a relationship with your ex? How are you trying to feel? What are you trying to avoid? Are you afraid of change? Are you afraid that this break up means that no one will ever love you? These are important questions!
What you will probably find if you dig into your own reasons far enough is that your ex isn’t actually what you want. They may simply be the vehicle for what you want. For example, you may find that what you want is for somebody to give you a sense of worthiness by choosing you as their partner. Once you realize what you truly desire, you then have the power to meet that need some other way. Once you are aware that, for instance, you are looking for a sense of worthiness, you can find other people and other ways to give yourself that sense of worthiness. I guarantee that your ex is not the only person who could make you feel that way! In fact, judging by the fact that your relationship ended, there are probably a great many people out there who will do a much better job of that than they will.
This is no small step. Finding your authentic desires and learning to meet those desires is not always a straightforward process. I can just about guarantee that it’s going to be a lot easier than pulling off an ill-conceived “get your ex back” spell though. If you’re struggling to figure out what is behind your desire to rekindle your relationship, use the questions below as journal prompts to investigate your own mind.
- How does this break up make you feel? What would be the opposite of this feeling?
- Instead of what I am feeling right now, I would like to feel…
- I want my ex back because they make me feel _____. Why do I want to feel this way? (You can continuously ask yourself “why” until you reach the root desire, uncovering it layer by layer)
- “I want a relationship that is ______.” Compare this fictional relationship to the relationship you actually had with your ex.
- Sometimes it helps to get yourself grounded in reality again, breakups can lead to polarized thinking and give you the sense that your ex was better than they really were. Create a pro-con list that explores what your relationship with your ex was like. You must have at least 10 items in each column! If you are struggling to find any negatives about the relationship, I guarantee you are putting your ex on a pedestal and ignoring all the bad and annoying parts of the relationship.
Once you’ve identified what you really want, you’re able to look at the situation with a much more reasonable eye. Is your ex actually the best way to get what you desire? How else could you go about meeting those needs? For some people, this can be a great place to start a conversation with your ex! Just because a relationship has ended does not mean that it is fated to be over forever. Many couples break up and get back together and have perfectly happy relationships after they have dealt with the incompatibilities that cause the break up in the first place. Knowing yourself and what you really want is the first step to figuring out what path forward might be right for you.
What To Do Instead
Now that you have interrogated your own feelings and have a better idea of what you really want, here are a few ways that you could proceed that don’t involve a “get your ex back” spell.
1. Love spells that are less specific
As I’ve said, I am not against love spells. I have cast plenty of love spells myself in the past, and they can be useful when going through a difficult breakup. The key thing to remember when you’re trying this kind of spellwork is that love spells work best when they are not directed at a specific person. Rather, they should be specific in terms of what you want, i.e. telling the spell exactly what kind of partner you are looking for and how you want to feel. This allows the spell to take the path of least resistance!
Magic is always more effective when you allow it to work through the simplest channels. Frequently this means being very hands off and not worrying about how your results show up. The ideal love spell should focus on how you want to feel in a relationship, not on the person you want to have a relationship with. This way, the spell can go about finding a person who can fulfill your specifications and make you feel the way you want to feel, who not only is capable of doing this for you but who actually wants to do this for you. That is, of course, the path of least resistance! It’s always easiest to get someone to do something that they already want to do.
2. Spells for healing from a breakup
Some people may prefer to take more time to heal and move on from a recent breakup. There’s nothing wrong with this! Spell work and ritual that is designed to assist in the grieving process can be incredibly healing. Venting your feelings, get things off your chest, and explore the intricacies of your grief in ritual can be a beautiful process. These kinds of spells can be undertaken whether you are solitary or part of a group.
The important thing to remember about these spells is that you are not trying to get rid of your emotions. Bottling up your emotions, whether magically or otherwise, will always lead to interruption later. The goal is to process, examine, and really feel all the emotions that have come up as a result of your breakup. This is truly the fastest way to find happiness and healing from heartbreak! When it comes to this kind of pain the only way out is through, you must go into the emotions to understand them and let them go. Any spellwork or ritual that you use for this end should keep this guiding principle in mind. This is a time to treat your emotional state and your body as sacred, not as something to be rejected or hidden away.
3. Spells focused on your happiness and growth
Another avenue that you might consider are spells and rituals that are focused on your own happiness and growth. Just because a relationship has ended does not mean that you should immediately focus on another relationship, romance, or finding another person to make you happy. You are allowed to make yourself happy! In fact, you will do a much better job at making yourself happy than anyone else ever could. Taking time to yourself after a breakup to learn how to make yourself happy and to use spellwork to facilitate your own happiness and growth is one of the best things you can do for your own well-being and to increase your chances of finding a happy relationship in the future. After all, if you can teach a future partner how to make you happy, then your chances of finding and keeping a happy relationship increase exponentially.
Not sure how to do this? Focus on spells that are designed to facilitate friendships, spells that assist or involve your favorite hobbies, spells that improve your finances (because we all know that the saying “money can’t buy happiness” is fake), and spells that help with mental and emotional struggles like anxiety and depression.
4. Shadow Work
This last option is actually my favorite one. The period immediately following a breakup is the perfect time for doing shadow work. Shadow work is the witch’s way of exploring their own subconscious. Becoming familiar with the subconscious mind means familiarizing yourself with your own beliefs, your desires, and your needs. It is the key to becoming proficient with magic as well as opening you up to greater joy and happiness in your own life through a deeper understanding of self. I won’t lie to you, the shadow work process is not always fun, and it is not easy. It is one of the most potent ways to change your entire life for the better though.
After a breakup, we are experiencing an enormous amount of emotional volatility and these emotions and thoughts that are bubbling up to the surface can be used to uncover the root causes of our suffering. When we dig these parts of ourselves up, we can heal and transmute this pain into understanding and potential for new happiness. Shadow work is a huge topic and not one that I can dig into in-depth here; however, the questions I suggested you answer above are a kind of shadow work. If you don’t know where to start, start with those questions.
Breakups are never fun, and regret is a very common and natural part of the process. It’s okay to feel like you want your ex back. It’s okay for you to even try to get your ex back if you think that will make you happy! A “get your ex back” spell is almost never the answer, though. If you value your happiness and the happiness of the people you love, avoid the misery that these kinds of spells create and use your craft and your emotions to foster love and happiness in your life in new and far healthier ways. You deserve a life that is happy, full of joy, and full of people who will love you not because you have forced them to love you but because they choose you. Witchcraft can help you achieve this, but not with a “get your ex back” spell.