9 Reasons Why Your Spells Are Failing

Ok, let’s get something out of the way right up front. Spells flop ALL the time. I mean it. Every witch alive has experienced a failed spell or two (or twenty). Even experienced witches sometimes have spells going belly up on them. It’s frustrating and can be discouraging, but you don’t need to worry yourself too much about it because, on occasion, it’s normal.

A spell falling flat does NOT mean that you’re a bad witch!

A handful of failed spells scattered throughout an otherwise successful magical life are likely to just be a matter of circumstance. Sometimes things just don’t go the way we want, no matter how much magic we throw at it. If you’re getting failed spells more frequently, though, it might be a sign that you’re a little rusty on your magical theory. Today we’re going to dissect 9 of the most common reasons why spells fail and the theory behind these pitfalls so that you can cast with more confidence and greater success.

1. You aren’t giving it enough time

I know, it’s annoying being told to have patience, but sometimes that’s just the way things are. You would not believe the number of people I get asking why the spell they cast yesterday hasn’t been successful yet!

As much as we all want magic to solve our problems in a flash, sometimes things take a while. Most of the time, magic works through the most convenient channels. Sometimes all the necessary pieces take a little while to fall into place. Sometimes the universe is waiting for just the right moment to spring your spell, and sometimes unknown elements can cause delays in our results. The point is, you have to give your spells enough time to work. If you want to get a raise, it might take a few weeks or even months for the magic to work on your boss and your workplace to prime the situation for that raise. If you want to fall in love, it might take a while for that perfect person to find their way to you so that your magic can orchestrate the perfect meeting. Be patient!

2. You don’t actually want the thing you’re casting for

If your heart isn’t in it, you’re not likely to get what you were asking for. Think of it this way, say a friend goes through a breakup. They’re not happy about the breakup but secretly, you always thought their ex wasn’t very good for them, anyway. When they come to you for a spell to get their ex back, you might cast it but it doesn’t matter how intricate or well planned that spell is, if you don’t want them to get back together that spell will never even get off the ground.

Magic is a culmination of emotion, imagination, and will. For a spell to work, you must have all three aspects in alignment with each other. You can make do with only one or two aspects if the other two are neutral, but if any one of them is fighting against the others? Your spell will not work. Even if you can visualize the desired outcome and you can pour your will into the spell, if your feelings directly contradict the outcome you’re trying to get, the spell is not going to go anywhere.

3. Your intention isn’t clear

This one is pretty straightforward. If you don’t know what you want, how is your magic supposed to make it happen for you?!

Think of it like this, you cast a love spell, but the intention is pretty generic. It’s just a love spell, plain and simple. You’re not really sure what kind of love you’re looking for, what your ideal relationship would be like, or how you would even want to feel in a new loving relationship. There are SO many ways to interpret the word “love”. If you aren’t sure which interpretation of that word you’re looking for, you’re likely to get nothing at all. And even if the spell DOES succeed, without some working parameters, the love you get could be miles away from what you actually wanted (creepy stalker anyone?)

4. You’re trying to shove too many intentions into one spell

I see lots of new witches doing this. They get so excited about casting spells and getting their witch on that they throw as many intentions as they possibly can into one spell. A single spell will have intentions for abundance, wealth, love, luck, and protection all rolled up into one. Let me tell you, this approach does not work at all.

When you overburden a single spell, the issue is not with the spell or the magic, it’s with you! Your mind isn’t capable of truly focusing on that many intentions at once. Instead, your mind will bounce from one intention to the next, trying to “focus” on all of them while in reality only achieving fractured and confused attention. When this happens, your ability to direct magic is at its lowest. Magic relies on clarity and focused attention to know what you want it to do. If your attention is all over the map, your spell won’t have a direction to move in, and so it just won’t move at all.

5. You’re casting even when you don’t feel like it

Sometimes we just feel kind of blah. When this happens, using magic can be a great way to beat the doldrums, but it’s not going to be successful 100% of the time. If you cast a spell while you’re feeling down and you still feel pretty down afterward, your spell is more likely to fail. When you’re depressed or feeling out of sorts, your mind isn’t in a good state to raise energy and direct that energy with focused attention. More than likely, you’re going to struggle with raising energy, focusing, and sometimes even mustering up the energy to perform the spell in the first place. 

That’s ok! You don’t have to be on your game all the time. If you feel like working some magic will help your mood, go for it but if you’re just not feeling it or if you try the spell and it doesn’t feel like any magic is happening, then it’s ok to just put things away and wait for another day. Even if you complete a spell in this state, it’s sometimes a good idea to go back and recast the spell when you’re feeling a bit better. 

For all the spoonie witches out there, you’re likely well-acquainted with this struggle. Chronic illness can take a huge toll on your life and your craft. If you struggle to ever feel up to working magic, focus on ways of working magic that don’t exhaust you. Below are some resources that are perfect for witches who are struggling with illness, depression, and exhaustion.

6. You’re nullifying your own spells

Stress, worry, and nagging thoughts can all nullify a spell if they’re present in excess. This is particularly relevant in love spells and money spells, when loneliness and financial worries are likely to plague you consistently. 

A spell is a tool to help you focus, hold, and release a specific energy into the universe. This can elicit very powerful changes, but only if that energy is not being drowned out by conflicting energies. When you cast a money spell and then spend the rest of your week worrying about money, you’re spending a lot more time and energy on that worry than you did on your spell. This is almost certainly going to eat into the efficacy of your spell work.

Combatting this problem is not easy and if it’s a common problem with your spells, it won’t be quick. You’ll need to develop trust in yourself and your magic and learn to release your worry. One exercise that is particularly good for releasing these worries is journaling. Any time you notice yourself spiraling into these conflicting thoughts, stop to write them all down. When you’ve finished, take the pages you’ve written and burn them to release the worry. 

7. You don’t believe that what you want is possible

This is a very specific kind of nullifying your own spell. If you cast a spell for something that you don’t think is possible, your will won’t be behind the spell. Even if the emotional part of you is truly invested in it, if you don’t think it’s possible, you won’t be able to manifest it with magic. 

Say, for instance, you cast a spell for $500,000 but you don’t think you could ever really have that amount of money. You might WISH you had that much money, but deep down you don’t really believe it’s possible. Or even worse, you think people with money are all crooks! Your mind and your magic cannot and will not allow you to do something that directly contradicts your beliefs about the world, and they certainly won’t allow you to become something that you think is inherently corrupt! It’s ok to dream big, but if your spells start not working well, ask yourself, “do I really think I could have this?”

Keep in mind, if the answer is no, that does not mean that what you want is actually impossible. Working on reshaping your beliefs can go a long way toward making that sort of magic possible for you.

8. You’re casting for something that’s actually impossible

On the flip side, sometimes things ARE actually impossible. Turning into a werewolf, being able to breathe underwater, lighting things on fire with your mind, and teleportation all come to mind. (yes, I have been asked for spells for every single one of these things)

If the magic you’re trying to do directly contradicts the physical laws that govern the world we live in, it will not work. You might be able to get away with magic like that on the astral planes where reality is more malleable, but here on Earth, we have a little thing called physics. If your magic tries to break these physical laws, it will fail. Work with the reality of our world and your spells will be far more successful.

9. Your spell was too specific

Sometimes, people get incredibly specific with their magic. While being specific is helpful to a point, there is such a thing as getting way, WAY too specific. If you’re trying to micromanage every little piece of the puzzle, there’s a good likelihood that somewhere along the way your magic will hit a snag and come to a halt because it has no wiggle room. When you try to control everything from the exact thing that you want to happen to the way it happens, the things it’s NOT allowed to do, and every step in between, you squash all trust in your own magical power. 

Instead of just deciding on an outcome and trusting that your magic will get you there, you’ve tried to plot the whole route, the pit stops, and the destination. This might seem like a good idea, but there’s one major flaw. We’re human! There will always be things we didn’t account for and roadblocks that we couldn’t have known about. When you leave no wiggle room for these inevitable hiccups, your spell is bound to simply stop when it reaches a problem, and then your spell will never succeed.

Too many people content themselves with magic that feels good but doesn’t actually DO anything. Let me be straight with you. Your magic should get you results. Real tangible results. Money in your pocket, better jobs, happier relationships, solving problems kinds of results. If your magic isn’t changing your life in real ways, then your magic simply isn’t working.

It’s time to stop playing at being a witch or magician and start doing magic that allows you to take control of your reality and create the life you want. I get it, magic is fun and we all love it but it should love you back. If you’re ready to start getting more success from your spellwork, then The Coven is for you.

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Updated on July 16, 2024 by Avery Hart


  1. I’ve failed due to #2 far too much, but never really put my finger on it (and #4… and #7 eep!). Love this post – I’m printing it out and keeping it as a daily reminder.

  2. I am so incredibly excited to come across your pages and I want you to know that I appreciate your devotion to helping us all work magic!! Simple, precise, and honest instruction, what more could a new witch-to-be ask for!!! Thank you, thank you , thank you!!!! May you be blessed always❤️

  3. I’m a left hand path practitioner who found my way here and I’ve got to give it to you, you’ve got an excellent command of the fundamentals most people never get. You’ve got the mind of a left hander from your tone. You’d do well for yourself outside of wicca. Good stuff, a lot of people in my conclave would do well to master some of these. Power to you

  4. This is good, number 1 for sure. I have to restrain myself and remind me that It takes times sometimes and to give it just that..time.
    #3, sometimes, I have trouble focusing on the intentions clearly, I will work on that for sure.
    #7~ Yeah, Sometimes I have to remind myself, I do deserve what I am asking for, and that I believe it is possible.

  5. Number six and seven nullifying spells makes me wonder, purely out of “academic” interest, if those feelings, concerns and beliefs could be projected outward or otherwise used to mess with someone elses spells, probably more likely when used on the person building the wall of nagging thoughts or disbelief.

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