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13 Reasons Why A Spell Fails

13 reasons why a spell fails

First things first: Spells fail. It happens. Don’t get hung up on the thought that there is something “wrong” with you because your casting doesn’t result in your manifested intention 100% of the time. It’s impractical to believe there is a practitioner out there who hasn’t experienced spell failure over the course of their magickal practice.

There are times that no matter the amount of magick we cast, things do not work out how we want them to. However, if you feel your spellcasting has turned more lemon than lemonade, it is possible you’re a bitout of practice. No need to worry! By doing an audit of your practice and taking a closer look at these 13 conceivable causes, it will help put things in perspective so you can make your way back to confident casting.

Let’s get started.

Your spell failed because it’s not in your best interest

Sometimes there are things in this life that we truly believe we want. We get it stuck in our head and think that this one thing will make everything right. We want it so badly we can feel it burning in our chest, like heartache. So we plan and we cast and we wait and then…nothing.

In times like these, it’s hard to think that your spell failed. “Why didn’t it come to fruition?” “What did I do wrong?” “I followed all the steps!”

If you are going to continue casting along your magickal path, I highly suggest you switch up how you look at spellwork. I changed my view on this roughly 15 years ago and ever since I’ve been much more at peace with my workings. This shift is:


The Universe knows better FOR us than we do. If your spellwork does not align with your Higher Self, it is quite possible it will not come to fruition. And while in the moment you may feel like this is unfair or cruel, most likely you will come to realize that it was a blessing in disguise.

Your spell failed because it was too specific

Have you ever been micromanaged before? I have. I find it detestable. Now imagine trying to pull that with the Universe. When your spellwork is too specific, this is exactly what you’re doing.

To imagine that you understand the intricacities and all of the working pieces of the puzzle of life enough to be on the same level as the Universe is laughable. It’s no wonder your spell failed. When you try to figure out the how and plot the entire journey of your casting from the infancy of your intention to the desired outcome coming to fruition, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

When you get too specific, you take the trust out of the equation. You remove the necessary wiggle room the Universe needs to pivot. Hiccups and roadblocks are inevitably unaccounted for and when they pop up, your spell is dead in the water.

Let up a bit and find trust in yourself and the Universe. Work from an open heart and see the difference that makes in your spellwork.


Sitting on the opposite of No. 2, your spell was not specific enough. By leaving your spellwork open to interpretation, your results could manifest in ways you deem as failure. For instance, let’s say you cast to win the lottery. Instead of a windfall of easy money, you end up with late nights at the office and little free time. Both avenues bring money your way, but not in the way you intended.

Your spell failed because you were not clear enough

If you don’t know exactly what you want, how are you supposed to cast for it? When spellwork is not backed by clear and precise intentions, how is the Universe supposed to interpret your true desire?

It won’t. Your spell failed before you even started.

Everyone goes through times of confusion. We don’t know what we want. We lack direction. First things first, you have to figure out the answers to these simple questions. The fog will lift and you will find direction again.

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”


Figure out who you are and getting clear on your intentions will come much easier.

Side note: If this describes you and your recent magickal frustration, it is possible you could do for a bit of shadow work. Dig a little deeper into your shadow self (the unconscious facet of the personality that your conscious mind/ego does not recognize in itself) to learn more about you. Google ‘Shadow Work Journal Prompts’ to get started.

Your spell failed because you didn’t give it enough time

Our timeline and Divine Timing rarely aligns. To expect a spell to manifest in a matter of hours, days, or weeks is not our decision to make. Once you fully commit your mind to this adage, your casting will get much less frustrating. Patience is a virtue and also an aspect of hope and belief – both necessary for any type of spell.

Beyond our contribution as practitioners, there are multiple moving pieces that are out of control. Putting in a request to the Universe through our casting is the only thing we actually have control over. By giving the Universe time to work in tandem with your magick, you’re saying, “Take the time you need to make my intention happen.”

We all know that one annoying relative or friend who asks, “Are we there yet?” on a roadtrip. When it comes to spellwork, don’t be that Witch!


If you are following a spell you did not write yourself, it could be possible that you did not complete it. Disposing of spellwork remnants is an imperative part of casting. Things like melted wax, candle stubs, leftover herbs, charms, fabric, poppets, jars, papers, etc. need to be respectfully discarded in accordance with the spell. When you fall short on properly finishing a spell, it could leave it open and incomplete.

Your spell failed because you weren’t flexible

Let us imagine: You have lost your job. You loved this job. This is the only job you want and the only company you wish to work for. The circumstances surrounding your dismissal has nothing to do with your performance or ability. You were let go due to an overall downsizing initiative.

Upon your discharge, you were informed that you could be rehired. You were not given a specific timeframe that this could happen, but it was insinuated that you are a top candidate. You cling to this implication with full belief and hope for your happy return.

In the meantime, you call the hiring manager relentlessly. You send out 10 emails a day to the HR department inquiring how long until you can start work again. Simultaneously, you cast multiple spells on the daily to get rehired.

You do not, in fact, get rehired.

This is not spell failure. This is suffocation. You have not given your spellwork the flexibility and the trust it needs to work. Desperation is not cute in any realm. And it’s definitely a turn off to the Universe!

Your spell failed because you did not believe in it

Reason No. 8 takes your determination out of the magick. If there’s no determination or will behind your casting, then there is no magick at all. You’re basically saying, “I don’t believe this can happen, but I’m going to try anyways.”

Regardless if the other components are there, your actions are pointless. Whatever rests deep down inside, if you don’t truly believe it can happen, then it IS impossible. At least impossible as far as your current belief systems go.

Let’s say you cast a spell for your perfect partner, but you believe you are not worthy of love. That belief could be buried from trauma that happened a long time ago or as a result of a soured relationship where you internalized emotional abuse. Just know that magick cannot happen where your beliefs contradicts it.

When your spell fails it could do you good to ask, “Do I believe I can have what I am casting for?” If you answer no, this doesn’t mean that what you want is really impossible. It just means that you have some work to do surrounding your current belief systems. It is possible to reshape your views and credence to help support the success of your magick.


Opposite to No. 8, there are things that we want that aren’t really possible. Things like morphing into a mermaid, the ability to fly, teleportation, etc. – there’s a reason these are all subjects of comic books and fairytales.

Magick works when it’s cast within the laws that govern the world in which we live. Spellwork that contradicts this rule will fail. And while it may seem unfair as a practitioner, I highly suggest working with reality and not against it.

Your spell failed because you cast when you weren’t feeling it

I know I’m guilty of this one, for sure. For instance, I’ve felt pressured by an upcoming astrological event and even though I didn’t feel like casting, I did it anyway. Knowing my powers can be supercharged with the help of planetary attributes is a temptation that is easy to succumb to. Other times I’ve just felt out of it but used spellwork as a way to shake it off.

Regardless of the reason for casting when feeling out of sorts, the results are always the same: FAIL.
At least in my experience. Over the years, I have learned to recognize the appropriate time to cast and the appropriate time to call it quits.

If you happen to be a practitioner who struggles with mental health or chronic illness, I suggest reading this article by Luna Luna Magazine:http://www.lunalunamagazine.com/blog/spoonie-witch-magic for some wonderful suggestions in terms of practicing your craft.

Your spell failed because you don’t really want what you cast for

It’s all too possible that you go through a ritual, follow the spell, and work every step when deep down, you don’t really want what you’re casting for. You’re just going through the motions. This can happen for a lot of reasons; however, this can also be the culprit of spell failure.

When your heart is not in it, you know and the Universe knows.

While magick may seem fickle, I believe it to be rather orderly. When you break magick down into determination, imaginative faculty, and emotion, it’s easy to understand that you need all three components to be successful.

It only takes one missing piece to negate spellwork. You may have the imaginative falculty to visualize the outcome and the determination to cast the spell, but when you’re missing the emotion, it’s just not going to work.


This one ties directly into reason No. 4: THE INTENTION WAS NOT CLEAR ENOUGH. It can be hard enough to boil down one intention, let alone five or six. Spells that combine love, protection, abundance, luck, psychic visions and dreamwork are nothing but doomed from the start.

As previously stated, spellwork is used to direct and focus your energy so that it may be communicated to the Universe. You aren’t writing a novel to convey all of your wants and desires at once. It’s too much. There is no need to complicate things. Keep it simple and focus on one thing at a time.

Your spell failed because you revoked it

Excessive worry and stress takes their toll in more ways than one. Not only can it have an affect on our physical bodies – high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes – but it can also affect magickal abilities as well.

For instance, when you are plagued by fretting over money troubles, that prosperity spell you cast most likely will be overridden by fear and canceled out. The same goes for any type of spell. The whole point of spellwork is to direct and focus your energy so that it may be communicated to the Universe. When said energy is drowned out by louder energies, what do you think is going to happen? Spell failure.

If you find yourself constantly worrying over the problem you cast a spell for after your work is complete, it could be a sign of distrust. Explicitly, distrust in yourself and your magick. While this may feel like a never ending cycle you go through, there are ways to get yourself out of this rut.

When you feel this seemingly inescapable pattern start to crop up, try aromatherapy. I would go with citrus essential oils in your diffuser to incite joy and happiness. Or maybe burning a lavender scented candle for some relaxation might just be the ticket.

Another method to use for breaking the cycle could be what I call “Journ and Burn.” Journ is short for journal, where you do a brain dump of all that troubles you. Anything that comes out, needs to come out. Once you feel like you have nothing else to say, burn the pages to release the worries.*

If it suits you, you may wish to formulate a daily ritual involving the techniques described above. This could help you regularly release excessive fear, worry, and stress that blocks your magick from manifesting. When you rediscover trust in yourself and your practice, everything else will fall into place.


Spell failure can take a real toll on your confidence as a practitioner. But if you flip the script and see it as a way to improve your casting, there’s the silver lining. If you find yourself plagued with a rash of failed spellwork, take it as a cue to audit and realign your magick.

Always take care when burning things. Using fire-safe receptacles to burn items outdoors is always recommended. Candle Cross Coven is in no way, shape, or form responsible for any loss or damage that occurs from actions taken regarding the content presented here. This site is for informational purposes only.

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