Spiral Nature Letters, Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD - Il Penguino, with additional work by Psyche
Spiral Nature often receives letters from our readers looking for more information on certain subjects, or sometimes even for a place to begin. This query came in via our newsletter:1

At this point, my main struggle is how to know when you are ready for spellcraft. I focus on the outcome, meditate on the process needed for the result, proceed accordingly, and then don’t see any results in a timely manner. I don’t expect instantaneous results, but I do expect to see results within a month. I do not accept that no result is an answer in itself so what must I do to ensure the outcome?

–Ready or Not

Well, Ready or Not, it depends, but ultimately, I would say that if you’re asking this question, you’re probably ready.

You haven’t indicated what tradition you’re working in, but I’m going to assume you have some background in magical theory, and have at least made some basic attempts. It sounds like you’re results-oriented with an interest in practical magick, which should make it easier to determine when you’ve had success.

Set SMART goals

It can help to set strategic or smart goals — goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Know what you want to achieve (the desired outcome of the spell or ritual), that results are measurable (did it definitely work, or only kind of work, or is it impossible to tell?), achievable (is what you’re looking to accomplish even possible?), realistic (can it be accomplished with the means at your disposal?), and time-bound (a definitive deadline lets you know whether or not it was a success).

You probably have at least a vague idea of something you’d like to accomplish; perhaps you’d like to buy a house, learn Enochian, or simply provide a continuous fund for that book addiction. Now that you have a framework, it’s easier to determine whether or not your efforts have netted results.

(For more on this, see Psyche’s essay “Strategic Magick” in Manifesting Prosperity.)

Enchant for success

Once you’ve identified what you want to do, you need think about how. Whether with candle magick, sigils, evoking a spirit for aid, creating a servitor to carry out some task, there are tons of methods to test. Find a one that appeals to you, and make it work.

(My chaote bias may be showing here, if anyone has further suggestions, I’d love to see them in the comments!)

Follow through

So you’ve set a goal and done some spellwork, now what? Chop wood, carry water.

Once you enchant, there’s nothing strategic about crossing your arms behind your head, kicking back and waiting. You have to take action and follow through. Take practical steps to ensure that you place yourself in a position to receive the benefit you’re seeking.

Good luck, Ready or Not! Let us know how it goes!

Send in your questions

We’d love to hear from you!

Spiral Nature has been around for just about 14 years, so chances are we might have something buried in our archives that might answer your questions, and if not, you’ve helped us identify a gap we’d be happy to fix.

Image credit: Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD – Il Penguino, with additional work by Psyche

  1. When you sign up for our newsletter, we encourage you to send in your most pressing queries to see how we can help. []


  1. It may not be to everyones liking, but an excellent primer on spellwork for women was written by Anton LaVey called The Compleat Witch. The title has now been changed to The Satanic Witch… however distasteful one may find the title or foundation, the information contained in this book is invaluable to all female practitioners of all traditions.of ritual magick…not so much ceremonial.
    It has been my experience that if i attach the working to something already manifest, that it has a higher success rate, such as; i need money, (always), and i have an art project or an idea for an art project in mind, or in some cases even need an idea, if attach a spell for money, success, attracting others or something that can be practically attached to the project, you create a sigisl of the work itself and when the ritual is finally completed, aside from the ritual working, the entire project has become a working magickal operation. This obviously is combining elements from ceremonial and other sources, but the benefits are notable. The additional focused energy put into what would ordinarily be a mundane task, has been transformed into a spiritual and magickal operation of a different order.

    • I can’t recall if I’ve read that one by LaVey. So much of what is written for women magicians (especially by men) seems to be heavily gendered. Either way, it may be time to take another look.

      Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. 1.
    Read “The Sorcerer’s Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick” by Jason Miller. The book focuses explicitly on manifesting practical results, and it provides an ideal foundation for any sorcerer who is serious about accomplishing their will in the real world.

    If you can pray and/or meditate, you can perform sorcery. In fact, if you are interested in sorcery, I suggest starting right away. Like anything in life, sorcery is a skill that can be improved with practice and experience. The only way to get that experience is to go ahead and do it.

    if you are a beginner, be realistic about where you are. You wouldn’t expect someone who has never used a paint brush to paint like Picasso.

    Also, sorcery is about shifting probabilities in your favor. A sorcerer is not necessarily a miracle worker. Now, I will grant the possibility that there may be saints and adepts capable of performing miracles. However, unless you can honestly claim that you have reached the same level of gnosis as Buddha, Lao Tzu, Moses, or Jesus, you should let go of such expectations. And if you ARE on their level, you already know how to manifest results, and you certainly don’t need my advice.

    If magic is about shifting probabilities, then you must realize that without setting realistic goals, and taking every possible mundane action to reach those goals, your enchantments aren’t likely to do much. In my experience, when sorcery works, the overall results appear to follow directly from your mundane efforts. However, there will be subtle changes, surprising little synchronicities, and unlikely events that occur to let you know you are on the right path. After you’ve been practicing effective sorcery for a while, you will simply wake up one day, and realize that you are achieving many more of your goals than you were previously.

    In my opinion, and that of many other sorcerers, the missing key from a lot of spell work is the practice of making offerings. A good place to start is with your ancestors, as the ancestors are interested in your well being and spiritual development.

    Of course, this might present a problem if your model of magic does not allow for ancestors and spirits. I suggest making offerings anyway. Do your best to imagine such things are real, at least for the duration of the ritual. I know of many people who have added offerings to their practice, and there is a strong consensus that it improved the efficacy of their sorcery.

  3. Thank you for the link to the old Sigils article! I love that it is still kicking around!

    My suggestion to the original question is: You just start. And get very serious (not straight-faced and morose or anything, just serious about using) material bases. If what you are after is a change in the material world, the more solidly you can link your work to it, the better the result in my experience.

    Aidan who was Fireclown

  4. […] Keep in mind that for magick to have a sustainable effect, the intention should follow the rules of SMART goals when making your ask. Also create an action plan. You can write this on the back of your sun […]


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