If magick worked every time, without fail, for everything, we’d have world peace by next Tuesday. But I bet you know that magick doesn’t always work. And instead of that being a miserable little disappointment, it’s a fascinating and useful mystery.
When you know why magick works, and why sometimes it doesn’t, you get better at magick, and then you get more of what you’re looking for.
Before I get into the realms of, ‘OH NO, the ritual didn’t work, help!’ it’s important to remember that magick works most of the time, even for beginners. This still amazes me. You can skip the next bit if you want, but the lovely little quotes that follow are really important. They are a reminder of magickal reality.
These are from the past week or so, on just one Amazon site, which gives you a small sample that hints at how much success people are finding with our magick:
‘All the magic is easy to follow and useful, whether you have practiced magic for 20+ years or are completely new to this realm.’
‘Bought the book today. Made the notebook and performed the ritual today… just found out 500.00 will be deposited in my account.’
‘The magick in this book really works!!’
‘I have seen wealth increase and will keep updating.’
‘I have seen instant success with Sigils of Power and the mere fact that it works is a life changing revelation.’
‘The only thing I can say is WOW. There are so many powers available here, and so much info that discards all the mumbo jumbo we have been taught to believe, that if I could give this 10 stars I would.’
‘What you get is a well-developed practical system that you won’t find published or online anywhere.’
‘Awesome books. They work, like really work.’
‘This book changed my life, it may sound extreme but it’s true, thanks to these rituals I was able to take control of my life again, thanks Gallery of Magick!’
‘Perhaps, THE easiest way in which to bring desired change into your life. I have always used simple magic but this book takes you mentally to a new level. Bravo.’
‘Excellent work. Detailed, and highly effective. The Stillness ritual I have found useful to apply to a number of other workings.’
‘I have been working with the Magickal arts for a little over 10 years ( in theory and practice), and I will say that this work would make an excellent addition to any true pure hearted occultist’s library.’
That’s a tiny sample of what’s going on with magick, this week, but it’s inspiring. What I like best is that these are clearly absolute beginners, and old-timers who know magick well. There is good stuff in this magick.
And, you know, we also get the crazy people saying, ‘Don’t use this magick, it’s full of Satan.’ Yeah, well, not much we can say to that except that you’re wrong. And then there are some who say, ‘It’s too complicated,’ and all I can say to that is, you’re wrong.
When it doesn’t work
But then there are some people who say, ‘I tried and it just didn’t work. I wanted it to work. What went wrong? I read the book thoroughly and I read all the posts on the website and still nothing. ’ This is not great. This we want to solve. Even worse, some people find things get worse than before they started, and they think the magick has backfired or punished them in some way.
OK, we want to get magick working, and we want you to feel safe, confident and that you have practical occult tools in your possession that can bring the change you need. Magick works. There’s no doubt. And I believe it can work for anybody, so when it doesn’t work, or when things get worse, what’s going on?
Only Cars Backfire
Firstly, magick doesn’t backfire. It’s a myth. Yes, magick can go wrong or fail to do anything, and sometimes you don’t like the result you get. But this idea that magick somehow bounces back off a karmic mirror and punishes you for asking goes against everything I’ve seen and heard. Between us, the members of The Gallery of Magick have over 700 years of magickal experience. Sound’s weird, I know, but there are seventeen of us, some working since the seventies and earlier, most since the eighties. And if you add in the experience of people we’ve met and worked with along the way, that’s over a thousand years of magickal observations. And nobody ever found that the magick bounced back and slapped them in the astral face.
Then why does it sometimes seem worse when you start a ritual. Well, it’s true that a ritual can stir people up. Your partner is being mean and you do a ritual to calm and soothe and stop the arguments, it should just work, right? Mostly, yes, but some people will fight that feeling of being soothed and get meaner. Your job is not to go, ‘Oh no, the magick failed.’ Your job is to go, ‘Ah ha, a more cunning solution would be to bind or weaken.’ You see how this works? If one approach isn’t working another might.
It’s also true that things can seem to get worse because the magick has to reverse the momentum before it can make things better. Your project is losing money, and you perform some magick to save your business. Cool! Except that for the next three weeks the business loses more money. Stay confident. That downward momentum will take time to reverse. The changes that are going on behind the scenes are the important ones. What matters is that two or three months from now you’ve saved your business. The downward momentum can continue in any situation, and then it’s easy to say, ‘The magick made it worse.’ Don’t lose your cool. Stick with the magick and watch it turn things around.
When nothing happens
But what if nothing seems to happen? Have you done something wrong? Sometimes there’s not much you can get wrong. Books like Words of Power and Magickal Protection are so simple. But even when there’s a full ritual, all you have to do is call the right spirits, ask for something that’s just out of reach (rather than impossible), let go of your desperation, and allow it to come in any old way it likes. Magick does most of the work for you. But, yeah, let’s say it’s pretty clear by now that a lot of people rush through the books, rush through the rituals and mess things up. But let’s say you got everything right, what then?
Remember that we’re dealing with the delicate gossamer of archetypes, thoughtforms and powers that shape our lives. You are not baking bread. You are bending, shifting and coloring reality with the power of your intent. That’s a very big deal. If you do bake bread, you probably know that it works out great most of the time, and then that pumpkin and chia seed loaf collapses into a yeasty mess and you wonder whether baking is really for you. Meaning that magick is dealing with something deep, fundamental and far more esoteric than bread-baking, so you can’t expect a 100% hit rate.
What I see is that it works most of the time. Put the whole ‘backfiring’ thing out of your mind and go through this checklist:
Did you give it enough time?
If you demanded results today, tomorrow or within five days, you might be making it more difficult for the magick to work. Let the results form in the most appropriate way, and the magick will actually find the quickest way for you. If you try to make it work instantly, the magick might give up and go, ‘Nah, impossible.’ If you give it enough time, magick finds a way. Impatience is the enemy of results, and the more patient you are, the slicker and quicker the results. Don’t assume it’s failed just because it didn’t work as fast as you wanted it to.
Did you ask for improbable or impossible?
If you seek for the improbable you can get it, a lot of the time. If you ask for the impossible, like levitation, or to never pay taxes or to make your enemy drop dead within seconds, you’re asking for the impossible. There are lots of shades of possibility between improbable and impossible, and you should get a sense of what can work for you and what can’t. But also, it’s worth knowing that if you use magick for something that’s just out of reach, it works almost every time. You want magick for the miracles, I know, we all do, and you get them, but you often get them by pushing reality just a tiny bit, over and over.
Were you desperate?
It’s OK, we all get desperate for results, but if something stubbornly refuses to shift when you apply your magickal ritual, you should check to see if your desperate need is holding off the manifestation.
Magick done with great energy and enthusiasm for a genuine, heartfelt need will always be more effective than magick you perform dispassionately. But the key is to put that enthusiasm into the magick, and not let it bleed out afterwards, because enthusiasm sublimates to doubt and lust for result if you’re not careful.
If this is a problem you could read the book again, and the posts on the website, to see how best to tackle lust for result. Or, one of the best ways to solve this is to use Step 4 from Sigils of Power and Transformation. It can be adapted for use in many rituals.
If you weren’t desperate, did you actually care enough?
There’s a balance, as always. If you’re desperate you can stop things working, but if you don’t really want it, then in might not happen. This is a big one. Often, you have a semi-conscious desire for something else, and so you subconsciously feed your magick with a strong desire for the ritual to fail. Example – you do a ritual for a job you don’t really want and, guess what, you don’t get it. Sometimes you do get the damn job, when you don’t want it, and that’s even worse. This happens with all kinds of magick, and sometimes it comes from guilt. If you have money issues, your money magick may be tainted with that feeling of, ‘I don’t really deserve money.’ The cure? Focus on what you’ll do with the money and how good that will feel. Get past the whole issue of money itself. See the next question in this checklist for more hints on dealing with this.
Is it an area that brings up resistance for you?
This gets covered in the books, but if you have any guilt about money, doubts about a relationship, fears about a career, and so on, your magick can amplify those fears and make sure you don’t get what you’re actually afraid of or guilty about receiving. The solution is to use The Angels of Alchemy or The 72 Sigils of Power to find out who you are and what you want. Do this, and you might not need much magick at all. Things just fall into place. Of course, doing rituals to find out about your inner self just isn’t as exciting as a fast cash ritual. But if the fast cash is too slow, you might want to go deeper.
How were your emotions during the ritual?
Magick should not be performed quivering with fear that it won’t work, but with bold confidence. Also, if the magick requires you to transmute your emotions in some way, make sure that you do. Doesn’t have to be a major change, but you can’t skip this part.
Have you read up on all other aspects of magick?
You might be thinking, Hey, I bought the book, isn’t that enough? Yeah, mostly. But if not, scour this website. There’s so much information here. If your magick’s not working, it can and it will if you keep looking for a way to get it working. The website FAQs and the posts on this site are a goldmine of information.
Did you try to get too far in one go?
Often you have to get where you’re going with small steps. Not always; if you feel that promotion is just about yours, one simple ritual can seal it for you. But if you’re on the lower rungs, maybe you need a targeted strategy where you use rituals to help with your appearance, charisma, how people see you, your projection of authority, your actual ideas, skills and ability to do the job. Sometimes, what you’re aiming for is close to manifesting anyway, and it only takes the tiniest magickal nudge for it to bubble into reality. Other times, it’s going to be something that takes many changes, and if so, you have to decide if these are changes that are worth making.
Did you use the right magick?
If you own several books, don’t throw every ritual you can at a problem, but if one kind doesn’t work, try another. We all resonate best with different kinds of magick at different times. A hint: the book that most people have found to work most often, most easily is (I am delighted to say): Sigils of Power and Transformation by me. If nothing else works, try that.
When it Works
If a ritual doesn’t work, it’s rarely because you did anything wrong, unless you asked for something too impossible, or really stuffed up the instructions. It’s usually because what you asked for is too many steps away. Find out the steps needed to get there. Work on those aspects of yourself and your life.
You won’t create world peace, but as you get used to making magick work most of the time, you get better and better at judging when and how to use magick.
And your abilities improve. Every ritual, whether it works or not, connects you to magick and improves your power to bring about change. Look back in a few years, and you’ll wonder what you ever worried about.
– Adam Blackthorne
Why no new books right now? Please see Making Space for Magick.