Top 10 Reasons Your Spells Fail (& How to Fix Them)


by Naia Moonbrook


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Have you ever tried to cast a spell only to have it completely fizzle out and not work? You put all of your intentions out there, you gathered up all of the ingredients, you timed it right, said all the right words, and performed the right rituals. And then you waited. And waited. And Nothing happened. OR the complete opposite of what you were wanting happened! When it comes to casting spells there could be many reasons for why a spell fails. That’s why I have decided to list the top ten reasons why your spells fail PLUS how to fix them below!

Ten Reasons Your Spells Fail

You Forget to Follow-Through

Something that I’ve noticed a LOT of in recent years, particularly in the online magickal community is people who will attempt to cast a spell or perform a ritual armed with nothing more than their intent and then simply wait around for their will to manifest. All they do is sit and wait and then wonder why their spell didn’t work. Then they write to me and ask if they can do the same spell again expecting the initial intended result.

My question for these casters is this – have you followed through? Have you sought to fuel your magick in the PHYSICAL realm as well as the Spiritual? But what do I mean by this?


Well, you can perform a spell to find a new job but if you don’t follow it up with actual footwork like filling out applications or networking then how is the universe meant to help you land that new job? Intentions and energy in the spiritual realm MUST be mirrored with intentions and energy in the physical realm. As above, so below.

You’re Not Being Clear/Specific Enough

When casting spells or performing magick of any kind it is incredibly important that you do so with Clear Intentions in mind.

You see, sometimes we cast spells for vague or generic intentions and that spell might actually work, but it might also backfire in some way because the intention that was set wasn’t clear, to begin with. For example, once when I was a young (and very naive) little witch I tried to cast a luck spell for abundance.

Well, it worked. For the rest of the year, my family experienced the abundance I had asked for in nearly every aspect of our lives: an abundance of money (yay!), an abundance of opportunities (double yay!), but also an abundance of illness in the family (oh no!) and an abundance of various other issues (yikes!) all throughout the year until the spell’s end.

A far more clear intention for my spell would have been: grant my family financial abundance this year so that we may pay our bills and have extra money for a vacation. It seems a bit excessive I know but, you have to be very clear and concise when you write your spells and when you cast them.

Not Raising Enough Energy

Okay, so this one kind of goes along with number one because sometimes not enough energy is raised during the ritual or spell casting process. For example, how many times (honestly) have you made a wish, blown out the birthday candles, and had that wish ACTUALLY come true?

Yes, there is energy with the thought in your mind and then in the action of blowing out the flames, but is that really enough to set magick into motion manifesting a big life-changing wish? Not exactly, but stick with me and I’ll teach you how to fix this problem at the end of the article.

Other Wills at Work

Christians have an explanation for why God doesn’t always answer their prayers: “It wasn’t His will.” You see, they believe that it’s not that their God doesn’t hear prayers or that their prayer didn’t work—rather it’s just that God’s plan, his will, is stronger.

Witches have a similar understanding. We know that just because our magick can help us to get what we want doesn’t mean it will work 100 percent of the time. If you don’t believe in a Divine then, you can think of it in terms of natural laws.

For example, you can tug and tug hard as you can at your prize, but sometimes, another person is in a better position to tug harder.

Ever wished you could fly? Well, I’m sorry to say that all the blue jay feathers and Air invocations you can manage are ever likely to reverse the effects of gravity. As might be said about your failed working, “It simply wasn’t meant to be.”

Attracting the Wrong Sort of Energy

The fact of the matter is – there are entities out there that are attracted to magick. It’s like a warm glowing light and they’re a bunch of moths.

Don’t let those moths get into your sacred space! This is why, I always try to remind people that cleansing, sealing, and warding practices should be done on a regular basis.

If you’re casting spells and not cleansing before and sometimes after, you may end up attracting the wrong sort of energies and they can really mess with your magickal results!

You Don’t Feel Worthy

A lot of the time when spell castings fail, particularly those regarding the manifestation of something life-changing such as when asking for love or money or that big promotion, it is because somewhere deep down in your heart of hearts you don’t feel like you deserve it.

You see, it doesn’t matter how much you say you want something. If there is any part of you that truly believes you are not worthy of whatever blessing you’re asking for, then you’re simply setting yourself up for failure. After all, our expectations shape our reality!

And if we’re secretly expecting someone to stand us up or pass us over, then that is exactly what is going to happen.

You’re Self-Sabotaging

We all self-sabotage sometimes. You know, like when we say we want a healthy relationship but go for the bad attitude, semi-unemployed guy instead of the sweet coworker who actually seems to care about us. Or like when we say we want to lose a little weight but then think nothing of scarfing down a whole bag of Doritos on the couch.

And when it comes to magick or spellwork, self-sabotage is a clear indicator that you are not in proper alignment. It means that your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are all doing different things! So you can’t really blame the Universe for being confused and causing your spells to fizzle. You’re sending out very mixed signals!

You Keep Second-Guessing Yourself

Not knowing what you truly want and casting a spell or performing a ritual for “what you truly want” is a great way to have absolutely nothing happen. Or worse, to have your spell backfire and do the complete opposite of what you were “wanting”. Make sure that you know what it is you actually want before attempting a spell to acquire it.

Unsuitable Substitutions

White candle, elderberries…hmmm, I don’t have either one of those things. Can I just use my black flashlight and some Craisins instead?”

Every witch knows that energy and intent are far more important than all of the whimsical tools and toys in his/her spell cabinet. And yet, specific colors, plants, gems, and other magickal objects do contribute their unique powers and energies to the success of a spell.

However, all of these ingredients and tools can prove quite expensive at one’s local metaphysical shop (assuming of course that you are lucky enough to even have such a shop in your town).

That’s why I love to encourage young witches and those beginning their craft to branch out from the default “witchy shops” and get back to Nature for their supplies and magickal needs! That said, it is important to bear in mind that some magickal materials do not have an exact substitute, and swapping them around all willy nilly can prove magickally futile if not dangerous!

It’s Just Not the Right Time

The last reason that your spell could be failing may be a bit of a disappointment but it is true nevertheless. Sometimes, you can do all the magickal things and say all the magickal words just right and yet still see no results or wind up with different results than you anticipated.

This is why many witches, such as myself, take into account the timing and alignment of celestial bodies such as the position of the Sun or phase of the Moon, in order to help give our spells the boost they need to succeed.

However, in the end, regardless of all your planning and efforts, the universe, your guides, your gods and ancestors, – all the forces at work in and around your life – are looking out for what is best for you. And sometimes, what you WANT to happen isn’t what you NEED to happen in your life at this point in time.

Try to be patient and trust that good things come to those who wait; when the time is right.

Top 10 Reasons Your Spells Fail by The Mystic Corner

How to Fix Your Failed Spells?

An elaboration of how to address these common reasons why spells fail.

1. You Forget to Follow-Through: Whenever you cast a spell or set any magickal intentions out into the spirit realm/cosmos it is vital that you also match that same level of energy in the physical realm. Looking for a new lover? Put yourself out there!

Go to social events, sign up for dating sites, actually talk to other people, and be willing to take the leap and let them in. Don’t forget! “As above, so below.” If you want the universe to help you then you have to be willing to help yourself!

2. You’re Not Being Clear/Specific Enough: I went pretty in-depth with this one above but it is such an important step that I feel it deserves to be mentioned at least once more (for good measure).

Before writing or casting a spell, make sure that you know what it is you truly desire (what are you asking for?) and be specific! Have you ever noticed how in movies or books whenever someone asks a Genie for a wish it always turns out scrambled if they aren’t incredibly precise with what it is they are wishing for? It’s pretty much the same principle when it comes to spellwork. The universe is vast and unbiased.

A spell request for general “luck” could result in lots of luck both good AND bad so be careful and choose your words wisely!

3. Not Raising Enough Energy: The level of energy required for a spell’s success is directly in correlation with the size of the spell you are attempting to cast. Earlier, I mentioned Birthday wishes and in most cases, simply holding a wish or intention in your mind and then blowing out some candles is not exactly enough cosmic energy to effect life-change on any sort of large scale.

However, energy can be found in many forms. It ebbs and flows all around us just waiting to be harnessed for our magickal needs.

So, a few excellent ways to raise some additional energy for your spell could be to recite chants or prayers over and over, or to clap your hands, play an instrument or musical singing bowl, raise your own voice in song, or jump up and dance! Just get creative!

Have a little fun! As for me, whenever I feel that the energies around me or in my home are in need of a bit of a pick-me-up I love to throw on some of my favourite music and dance all over my house!

It really helps to get my heart pumping, improve my overall mood, and really energize me for whatever spell I’m wanting to cast. You should definitely give it a try the next time you feel that your spells or mood need a magickal energy boost! (Oh yeah, and did you know that raising the energy surrounding a birthday wish is part of why we all gather together and sing “happy birthday” – often while clapping and cheering? Makes ya think doesn’t it?!)

4. Other Wills at Work: As witches, we should strive to accept that although our will has immense power, it is always interacting with that of other beings. After all, if your will can effect change, it’s only logical that other wills can, as well.

Magick and counter-magick, fears and desires, laws of Nature, actions of humans and animals, Gods and Spirits—it’s all part of the vast and swirling ecosystem that connects all of us together.

But what can you do if there is an opposing will fighting your spell? Gather up all of the information that you can about who or what got in the way, try to figure out why and, where possible, change their mind or raise your personal energy further to try again!

If your spell still fails check that there aren’t other contributing factors such as another one of the reasons off this list or, when all else fails, refer to reason #10 and try again some other time.

5. Attracting the Wrong Sort of Energy: This is why it is so incredibly important to set up a regular magickal maintenance routine for yourself and your home. “Magickal maintenance” should be performed at least every month and typically includes: cleansing of every room in your home both physical and spiritual, sealing of thresholds, and warding or recharging wards around your home and property.

Whenever you channel your magick to cast a spell or perform a ritual, you should make sure to energetically cleanse your sacred space and/or alter area and then set up some form of magickal protection such as a positive energy shield, casting a circle, or calling to your spirit guides/ancestors/guardians, etc.

Otherwise, you run the risk of attracting the wrong sort of spirits and their energy.

6. You Don’t Feel Worthy: As witches, magick users, and spell casters it is imperative that we remember that “our expectations shape our reality!” Just as magick requires us to be confident in our own abilities in order to succeed, so too does it require us to be confident in our own self-worth. As I said before, the universe is vast and unbiased.

If you believe in your heart of hearts that you do not deserve to be loved or to have that new promotion at work then no amount of half-hearted wishing will make it so. Believe in yourself. And remember, “whether you think that you can or think that you can’t – you’re right!” (-Henry Ford)

7. You’re Self-Sabotaging: You might be noticing a bit of a theme here. Magick and therefore spell casting success is all about believing in yourself, knowing what you truly want, and having the courage to actually reach for it! Have a little faith, put in the hard work, and watch as your dreams come true!

8. You Keep Second-Guessing Yourself: If you find that you tend to second-guess yourself often, then it’s time to take a closer look at what motivates you and what it is you want not only from your life but for yourself and the people you love. So stop. Take a deep breath. Meditate. Write down your life goals. Start with the big picture and work inwards until you reach your center.

Do you really need that new car you cast for? Maybe you do, and if that is the case then go for it! Really truly go for it with all that you’ve got! Devote all of your energy to making the changes you want to see in your life and then try your spells again.

But if not, if you find that you don’t actually need that new car, or you discover that you only wanted it because your coworker or brother or whoever has one or whatever the reason then you need to just let it go. Let it go and instead focus all of your energy – your power – on the things that you DO need.

Sometimes our second-guessing ourselves is our higher-self’s way of trying to tell us that we are directing all of our energy at something that we don’t really need or even truly want.

9. Unsuitable Substitutions: Ah, substitutions, as someone who adores cooking, baking, potion-making, and pretty much all things alchemy, I am all too familiar with the art of substitution and improvisation when it comes to my recipes and my craft.

That said, it is always good to remember as a general “rule of thumb” that substituting ingredients or magickal materials in your spells is a lot like baking oatmeal cookies. If you’re out of cinnamon or vanilla, you can probably get away with skipping it.

If you’re out of oatmeal however, it’s probably time to try a different recipe. Witches from all over the world have been making magick with what they have on hand for centuries. But, too many substitutions can end up muddling the energies you’re trying to assemble and ultimately alter the final results of your spell.

Try to keep your substitutions reasonable, or get creative and craft a more suitable spell based off what you have access to.

10. It’s Just Not the Right Time: If you have tried everything that you can think of to achieve success with your spells and exhausted all of your options on this list, yet still your spell fails then perhaps it is time to accept that, at least for the moment, it is simply not meant to be. Timing is vital when it comes to most spells, especially really big ones!

Celestial timing can amplify a certain spell type as can the time of day, the time of year, the time in your life cycle, or even the timing surrounding any current events unfolding in your life.

Magickal energy weaves like a massive web all around us. It consists of the very threads of fate and connects each individual soul to one another. It is these threads that we tug on every time that we cast a spell.

Sometimes we are successful and the thread gives way to our will. Other times the universe and all the powers that be, might have other plans for you or even just for that thread. Just try to remain positive and remember that although you can’t always see the grande picture or hidden purpose, good things really do come to those who wait; when the time is right.

Well, there you have it my lovelys! The top ten reasons why your spells fail and how you can fix them. I truly hope that this post helps you along on your magickal journey and that it brings nothing but good vibes and blessings your way. And remember, as long as you believe in yourself and refuse to give up, you can manifest the life of your dreams!

Until next time!

Clear Skies & Bright Moons,
Naia Moonbrook

Naia Moonbrook

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