Sometimes magick goes awry. Your spell doesn’t work the when or how you expected it to, or maybe it works too well and you have the experience of “be careful what you ask for you just might get it.” Maybe nothing seems to happen, or worse yet, the opposite of what you did the spell work for is your result. Here’s an informative article about what might be happening when your magick doesn’t work like you wanted it to, or thought it should.

Side Effects:

Often as not a ritual may produce side-effects, usually something similar to, though not exactly the desired goal. If the true goal is delayed (as sometimes happens) we may see the side effects first. And if for some reason the goal is not achieved at all (‘missing the target’) the side effects may be pronounced.

For example: You use magick ritual to hurry shipment of an anticipated package in the mail. Side effect – the next day an unexpected package (the wrong one) arrives instead.

Here’s another example: You use magick to cause a certain person to phone you. Side effect – for several days all sorts of people phone you.

When Nothing Happens:

We may say with certainty that “something always happens” when we perform a magick ritual. But like everything else, magick follows the ‘law of results’. This means that results often require effort of some kind. And if you don’t put any effort at all into the desired goal, you may not get any results. And, of course you can help your magical results by working on the physical level toward your goals. Don’t expect them to fall into your lap by themselves.

Difficult goals have greater resistance (magical inertia) to overcome. If the ritual doesn’t produce the desired results there is a good chance that the reason for the failure is within ourselves. It is important to be certain there is no contradiction between your inner model and your magical goals. Sometimes self doubt and mental contradictions (wanting and not wanting at the same time) may interfere. If this is the case, you may want to rethink your goals or do some inner work before recasting the spell.

Time Displacement:

A peculiar quality of magick is time displacement. Results of a ritual are not usually instantaneous. There is often a delay of 12 hours or more. Difficult tasks or weakly performed ritual are more likely to be delayed. In most cases a slight delay is alright, and it gives us time to get used to the coming changes. And sometimes the effects of a ritual appear to extend to before the ritual was performed!

When Magick Backfires:

Because of the way magick works, a ritual may create an emphasis in what is sought, and a de-emphasis in everything else. Balance is therefore important here. Once the magical result is achieved it may be ‘bound’ to you and difficult to get rid of should you later decide to do so.

For Example: You use a magick to help you find and buy a new house. Years later when you decide to sell it, you are unable to do so.

Consider your magical goals wisely so you don’t get stuck with something you don’t really want. Note that theory says you can always unbind through ritual what was bound to you…theory says.

The Opposite Occurs:

Sometimes the environment appears to react against the magick after the results are achieved. This is particularly noticeable in using magick to affect the weather.

For example: Your performance of a ritual to produce a sunny day produces a sunny day. The next day is sunny, alright, but the rest of the month is cold and overcast.

Here the weather seems to react to the magick in the opposite way to re-establish its natural balance. It is something like pushing a pendulum to one side and releasing it — the pendulum swings to the other side.

This effect can also occur if you have a belief system in the “no pain no gain” theory of life, or that to “win some” you have to “lose some.” To quote Emerson – “For everything you gain you lose something…” This does not have to be true in magick, however, it is a scientific truth that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So be cautious when effecting magick for large changes and remember the importance of balance.

That being said, it might also be true that circumstances in your life have to change before the desired magical goal can take effect. A house cleaning of sorts is required, it’s out with the old before the new and greater good can come in.

For example: You do a ritual for harmony in the home and the next day your husband (or wife) asks you for a divorce.

Weird Experiences:

Finally, magick ritual (or any magick or occultism) is very dangerous for the mentally unstable. If you should somehow ‘get out too far’, eat ‘heavy foods’ such as red meat and cheese, ground yourself by connecting with the earth and nature, and use your religious background or old belief system for support. But remember too, that weird experiences are not necessarily bad experiences.

By Phil Hansford

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