Today’s Ask A Witch question is a really great one. It’s something that I think all beginners need to think about a bit before jumping into doing spells and ritual; am I asking for too much and doing too many spells? It’s also something that brings us to another important consideration that we often have to think about as we get further along on our path; when should we cast a spell?
I’m hoping you can help me because I’m not sure if I’m doing this right.
I’ve been practicing Wicca for almost a year and it seems like the more I practice the more stuff I need to ask the Gods for. It’s getting to the point where I end up casting two or three spells every time I do a ritual. I don’t know if this is right or not and I haven’t been able to find anything in any books about it. Is this normal to feel like things are getting worse? I feel like ever since I started on this path I’m realizing more and more things in my life that are off and I end up with more and more things I need to ask for. But what I really want to know is if I’m doing something harmful by casting all these spells. They don’t seem to work real well. In fact, I’m not sure I’m doing magick right at all because I haven’t really seen any spells work out the way they are supposed to according to the books I’ve used them from.
Any help or advice you can offer would be nice.
Hi Ash…thanks for you questions.
First let’s address the root of the problem, the feeling that things might be getting out of whack and that you need to ask for a lot of help. When you’re starting out on a new spiritual path, any spiritual path, things are going to go a bit topsy turvy for a while. Some people get pat this after a few months while others might need a few years to get things sorted out. What’s happening is your view of life and the world around you is being refocused. You’ve basically adopted a new set of parameters to live by and your world and your view of the world around you has to adapt to them. Things that didn’t concern you before may now turn into major issues of concern that keep you up at night. This is perfectly normal; you’re changing and everything around you will need to be reexamined at some point or another on your new path. Just hang in there and take it one day at a time, as they say.
With all of this it isn’t at all unusual either that you feel like you have a lot of “stuff” that you need to ask you. You may be feeling like you need a lot of extra support along the way now and you may feel like you have to cast a spell for all of these needs. This is where we need to stop and pause.
Not everything needs a spell but everything needs work in the real world. When you cast a spell that doesn’t mean you no longer have to do anything in the day to day world to make your desires manifest. For example, if you need a job and cast a spell seeking employment you still need to go and fill out applications, submit resumes, make phone calls, and so on. Sure, you could sit home and wait for a job to just appear; a friend could call one day out of the blue letting you know an opening has come up at their place of work or a discussion with someone in a store about your need for work could suddenly garner an unexpected offer of employment. But the chances of that happening are extremely slim and are more likely to be seen in a movie than in real life. Casting a spell is going to help to move energy around, get things out of your way, and clear out blockages to your success; basically it opens the door but you still have to get up and walk through it.
Now, at the same time, consider why you’re casting spells. Are you casting spells for really simple, everyday sorts of things that you could easily do yourself if you just took the time to do them? Are you casting spells for things that are really out of the realm of reality (like casting a money spell to win a million dollars)? Think about the spells you’re doing and why you’re doing them. Spells really aren’t meant to be the first step in getting something you need or want but rather the opposite. Casting a spell should be the last thing you do once you have exhausted all your mundane possibilities and you need that magickal boost to get things on track. Again, that doesn’t mean that you wont have to still do your part, but it just means your part might go smoother the second time around.
To answer your main question, are you being selfish, it’s possible. In my opinion, and in my experience, the Gods and the spirits are less likely to help us if we aren’t willing to help ourselves. So if we cast spells constantly for things that we aren’t working toward in our daily lives then we can’t expect them to move heaven and earth, so to speak, for us to get what we want. At the same time we need to ask ourselves why we’re asking for so many things. Are these things we want or things we need? If we need them why do we need a spell to get it? If it’s something we want, can’t it wait until a time when other more important issues aren’t needing attention first? Even with magick and spells we have to prioritize.
As far as casting two or three spells per ritual, this is something that I personally think is a bit extreme. I tend to find that one spell per ritual and only one or two spells working at a time is best. Remember, spells are more than just lighting a candle and saying an invocation. You have to put a lot of energy into the spells to get them to manifest. If you’re not putting the time and energy into your work both in and out of the spell casting process, then it’s no wonder you might not be seeing results. It would also make sense that you might not see results when your energy is spread so thin that it’s trying to focus on three things at once. Think about when you’re driving a car while trying to text on your phone and change the radio at the same time. You lose focus and you risk running off the road and crashing into something. It’s sort of the same thing with doing three spells at once. Nothing has focus or clear direction and nothing to drive it toward its goal.
The last thing I’ll comment on is the issue of doing spells straight from a book. Since you’re just getting started I completely understand using the books as your source for spells and rituals but take these spells and use them as learning experiences. As your learning the Craft learn about what it takes to structure a spell, how they are written, how they are constructed and then start to create your own. The spells in a book are no more potent than ones you’ll create yourself; in fact I would debate that it’s just the opposite! Those spells were written but that person either just for a book and ever actually used (which, unfortunately, is often the case) or they are spells that they wrote for themselves to suit their needs at a specific time. That doesn’t make them perfect, special, or better than something you create. It makes it right for them but it might not be right for you. This is why it’s important to learn the how’s and why’s of spells if you’re going to work with them so you can adapt things when you need to. Also, never ever expect that the results someone talks about in their books will be the same for you. No spell is 100% guaranteed and results will vary not only from person to person but each time the same spell is cast by the same person.
Hopefully this gives you some insight and some stuff to consider. Do I think you’re being selfish? Maybe. But if you’re asking yourself the question to begin with I would only wager that you’re feeling some sort of guilt and there is no room for guilt in the Craft. So if you think you might be acting selfish, then you are.