Why Rituals Fail

Another one of those early questions about spells and rituals. Spells and rituals can fail, or appear to fail, for any number of reasons and although I seriously doubt this list is exhaustive I hope it can give you pause to consider your ritual and evaluate what might be wrong.

1) You were not specific enough.
You’ve performed that awesome abundance spells, all the components were spot on, you slaved over your invocation and spell and your bank balance is still looking a little thin. The flowers in your garden are blooming in abundance. In most cases you cannot be too specific when performing spells and rituals. Whether you are working with natural forces which by nature go their own way or capacious spirits liable to do the same it is necessary to give the forces called on as much information as possible to work with so they are clear what your intent is.

2) Your rituals are more focused on changing the world around you than changing yourself.
The rituals that have the most visible success are those that are introspective, focused on changing oneself. Rituals for world peace are a high ideal but the results can be less cut and dried and performed on a personal basis can have little impact. As an alternative a ritual looking at how you can bring peace within your own spheres of influence, such as home, work, friends etc, would be a step towards brining a greater sense of peace to the world around you.

3)You had no focus.
Your mind was all over the place either because of external distractions or internal ones. Intent and focus are key to any spell and ritual and if you find yourself interrupted by unwanted thoughts worrying about getting the housework done tomorrow, or by your granny ringing on the house phone your ritual is going to suffer. Review what things you can and can’t control,  such as turning off your phone for the duration of the ritual, and if you’re troubled by unwanted thoughts practice simple meditation and after you’ve found something that works for you work out how to fit it into your ritual.

4)Your ritual was directed towards a deity you have never interacted with before.
You wouldn’t walk up to strangers in the street and start making demands (well you might, but generally its not the done thing) and the same is true with deities. Spells and rituals will always work better when you have a working relationship with the deity petitioned. If you find that your request is not suitable for your patron/ness and you are working with someone new take time to get to know then factually and ideally ritually beforehand. You should also take a little time to work with them, making offerings and devotions, for a period of time afterwards.

5) There was no sense of sacrifice in your ritual.
You rarely get something for nothing in life and ritual is exactly the same. However it doesn’t have to be the priceless antique heirloom or anything of great monetary value. It could be giving some time as a volunteer or ensuring that you make a donation of objects or money to a charity related to the deity being petitioned. It could also be giving up the time you’d normally give to a favourite tv show and using it in devotion. Obviously if you offer an object then the onus is upon you to dispose of it in some way or the ritual may fail.

6) It worked, but not the way you intended or wanted.
Sometimes we ask for an outcome and the spirits, who have a wider perception of the world than our own narrow mundane understanding, decide that what you really need is something a little different. The ultimate outcome is on the same theme but wasn’t what you expected or wanted, for you’re able to get to work on the new bus route now but didn’t quite get the new Mercedes that you asked Mercury to help with.
Usually when you get something completely at odds with your request you’ve received what you needed. In this your ritual hasn’t failed, it’s just …

7) … hasn’t worked – yet
Just as the spirits can decide that the outcome is going to be different They can also decided you don’t need a thing as quickly as you do. There is no set timetable for a response, even if you attempted to specify one in your ritual. If you feel something is happening far too slowly try repeating the ritual, maybe a month / moon or two later or performing some divination to get an idea to the timescale but really sometimes you just need to sit back and let deity work at their own speed.

8) Your request was unreasonable/unnecessary.
Going back to the car example above, do you really expect to get a Mercedes when its completely out of your financial reach? Ok you can try your luck and enter a competition but I don’t suggest holding your breath. Really this covers two reasons. Firstly the unreasonable request, you’re expecting too much in return for your ritual and frankly the Gods are laughing up their sleeves. Try and be realistic, you need a new car and that new Merc is a great ideal but anything that goes from A to B with as few mechanical problems as possible will do. Secondly, your request is unnecessary, you’ve asked for a lottery win to help pay for a second holiday but really you’re income is sufficient that with a bit of organisation you can afford to pay the bills and the holiday. Really you already have the means at your disposal so what need has deity to bring you extra income. Sometimes it is a good idea to ask for inspiration on how to help yourself as well as for magical aid during a ritual which leads me to the last reason a ritual can fail.

9) You did that ritual, and nothing else.
I consider this to be the first thing that people new to any form of spell casting overlooks. My personal maxim, which taken in the original Greek form “Hermes will help you get your wagon unstuck, but only if you push on it.” or more simply put “the Gods help those who help themselves. ”
Magic is no quick fix; just as you won’t win the lottery unless you enter your spell/ritual will fail if you fail to act on the energy raised by it. If you have an out come in mind then you need to act upon it. You want to make your business a success then you need to push your product/service and build a customer base; you want to see a little extra income so as well as entering the lottery you could also consider selling some extra belongings at the local car boot. If you sit back and wait for things to come to you be prepared for a long wait.


About knotmagick

Weaving Magick and Crochet in the madhouse I call home. I am a devotee of Hekate and a follower of Pan.
This entry was posted in Magick, Pagan Blog Project, Witchcraft and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Why Rituals Fail

  1. I find, too, that if you cast a spell ands then obsess over it while it is doing its work, it has a higher chance of fizzle.

    • knotmagick says:

      That’s very true, most of the time its best to cast and forget almost. Spells and rituals turn things over to the higher powers in a sense so its best to let them do their work.

  2. I find mine takes a while at times… have learnt to leave it be.. and let it weave it’s way… I like the magic I make when I am cooking for special occasions, cake, sloe gin , jam making etc… and I am rather fond of poppets, they seem to work very well for me 🙂 …

  3. Pingback: Do Witches Cast Spells? | Knot Magick

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