How to Sabotage Yourself

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

Prepare yourself for some painful truths.  I'm in the mood to lay it all out for you and I won't spare the hot sauce.

Sabotaging your own magic has become as commonni the magical community as a pentacle tattoo.  Most spells that fail are ruined before they're even truly cast.  I see these patterns played out again and again--and each time to a most baffled caster--not multiple step processes.  But to follow through with them is definitely a challenge to many casters who have found that playing at witchcraft is fun as long as no one expects results.
though their remedies are surprisingly easy.  Well, when I say easy I mean that they are

So here's the simple/hard work I'm talking about:

  • Minimal changes in perspective 
  • Deliberate and confident actions
  • Discard some golden calves

Can you do this?  If not, enjoy your online coven's sympathy about your painfully low success rate.  For the rest of us, let's press on.

We'll start with perspective.  What you say about your magic, how you describe yourself and your practice, and how you explain your ups and downs can have a huge impact on how things actually turn out.  After all, words are the outward expression of thoughts and our thoughts are the stuff of our reality.  By using your thoughts and words in disparaging ways, you keep your mind set on lack and luck--two things that should never factor into your witchcraft.  Here's some of the worst saboteurs:

Say that spells are prayers

Sure, this sounds like a thing.  When you say it ou can instantly get folks of other religions on board with what you do.  Prayer is also a semi-logical part of many people's lives, whereas spells are not, so linking the two together makes things seem comfortable and normal.

But the truth is that magic is not normal.  It's not supposed to be.  It was always special.  It was always the work done by those in the know and the rest of the people went to them for it.  I do believe and often say that magic can be done by anyone but only will be done by a few.  That's because it takes something extra to pull off, something that not everyone is capable of giving everyday, every time.  Prayer, though, is simple and often impromptu in scary situations, sometimes even by non-religious people.  It takes very little--just a wish and someone to ask.

Even so, spells would still not be prayers.  To pray is to ask for help from an outside source--a deity, spirit, or ancestor.  To cast a spell is to ask no one.  You assemble powerful things and use powerful words; you make it happen.  If things go wrong, you--and no one else--messed it up.

To say spells are prayers is not only saying that you have to ask permission, it's also explaining away failure as an over-ride by the greater being to whom the request was made.  On both ends you have given up on your ability to solve your own problems and accept what happens as a result.

Sadly, too, this makes the work of others seem less.  Nothing is ever our doing, our success, or our responsibility.  Don't you dare speak for me and what makes my magic work!  I know it's all the labor of my own mind and my own back.

Tack on a Bunch of Riders at the End of Every Spell

Now we're into actions that work against you.  I'm talking about the modern practice of finishing every spell casting by adding stuff like "May the moon and stars be right for this working" and "for the good of all, with harm to none."  This may seem like harmless pieces of instruction to guide a spell into doing what you want, but they're tearing down your work nonetheless.

First, the wording itself makes it seem as though without the inclusion of these statements, that the opposite would happen--the astrological signs could easily be so wrong as to ruin your spell, the wickedness you haplessly wrought could bring harm to those around you.  Is this really what you think of your work?  Are you this careless about your magic that you must have a safety net at all times?  I should hope not.

If you time your spells according to their purpose, why would you worry about improper alignments?  Timing is a tool we use to increase the value of our work; it is not the make or break of a spell, but a useful enhancement.  Time by anything and everything you can--the moon phase and sign, day and night, day of the week, rising of an important star, or even the direction of the winds.  This can only help your magic if you do it with understanding of its influences.  To go against these alignments will make your job harder, but it can still be done.  Know with certainty what you're working under but don't sweat it.

And the notion that you might accidentally ruin someone's life with your spell seems wholly ridiculous to me.  You see, I'm a witch who has actually worked at ruining an enemy or two and it's damn difficult.  It can be done but you have to really mean it.  Are you expecting to be the magical equivalent of the Incredible Hulk, tearing through everything in his path like tissue paper?  Unlikely.  So give it a rest; you don't need to protect the world from you.

Second, this kind of makes it seem as though you don't really try to make your spell right the first time.  Don't rely in a rider to make sure you have timed your spell--time it properly yourself before you even begin.  If you don't then you must prepare for what comes of it, not simply add a P.S. to your work and call it a day.

And last, I can't help but notice that this part of the spell comes long after the important stuff--raising and directing power.  So basically you're making a phone call, telling the person on the line what you want them to hear, hanging up, and then whispering  at the receiver "Nothing bad will come of me calling this person, right?"  How effective is that going to be?  If you want to make sure the spell goes well, focus that intent while casting the spell, not after.  

Give Others Power Over You, Sight Unseen

And now we turn out of the pasture some sacred calves that I'm sick of hearing bawl.  You know the stuff: 

  • Those who don't believe in magic can't be affected
  • The Universe can override any magic that is wrong
  • Strong-willed people can't have spells cast on them

What blather!  You're doing yourself a great disservice if you repeat this stuff, let alone believe it.  To list all the ways that magic won't happen is doing you no good whatsoever.  Not only do you need to focus on what will work, you also should never impose such limits on yourself.  

You won't really know if a person who doesn't believe in magic can feel the effects of a spell until you try.  I have, and yes, they felt it.  Some didn't know I was casting a spell, some did, but each saw its outcome.  

Same goes for strong-willed folks.  It might be a little harder and you might have to be a little more sneaky, but who cares?  That only improves your resourcefulness for next time.  You should always be willing to stretch your abilities and see what you can accomplish.  Don't put yourself in a box.

The Universe thing, well that's a tough one.  To me, folks who say things like this are secretly just hoping that no one can ever do bad things to them--or their loved ones--with spells.  "The Universe (or whoever) simply won't allow it!"  Don't figure, either, that just being a good person will protect you from ever getting hurt by someone else's magic.  You could piss off the wrong person on the wrong day and feel the brunt of it with a quickness.  Instead of hoping on the greater forces keeping you safe, do it yourself!  There is no shortage of protection spells, talismans, and charms in the world for you to enlist to keep harmful magic away from you.  And if you think it might have happened already, there's lots of ways to take off a curse, as well.

To my mind, the worst of all these habits is that they give the caster an easy out if
their spell fails.  "It just wasn't meant to be", "I guess the Gods didn't want that to happen", "My target suspected I was casting on him and he shut it down."  No--you just failed.  But that's okay--trying means screwing up sometimes.  It's not about getting it right, it's about never quitting.  So don't give yourself convenient explanations that wash away a mistake.  Accept it, learn from it, and then try again.  

And the same goes for all the other saboteurs here.  Drop them--drop them today--and you will have a chance to come back again stronger, wiser, more humble yet more secure in your knowledge that you can make this happen.  It's all you; own that power!  Now get out there and make something magical happen! 

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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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