For what is possibly the first time in my life, I’ve performed a least two spell a week for the last month.
It’s really made me flex my magickal muscle and challenge my skills to figure out the best spell application for a host of problems for various people. It’s also made me take a hard look at myself and my practice and think about what makes a spell successful and the additional work I’m doing.
I’ve had some of my work result in an outcome rapidly, and others that were either unsuccessful or that I just never heard back from the folks I was doing it for (which I take as unsuccessful). I’ve also had someone who asked me to affect an organization’s decision, only to realize it was likely finalized several days before I became involved. So in the end, my energy was a wave that crashed onto a coastal rock, and a big waste of effort. Despite the failures, I think I’m still on the positive side of chance.
I’ve also come up against things that have made me question what I’m doing. I am always upfront with people that what they are paying for is for my supplies, expertise, and the time it takes for me to work the magick. What they are not paying for is to get the outcome they want. This has so far worked well, but when I get the occasional messages from someone down on their luck with tight finances, I wonder if maybe they should be saving every penny rather than coming to me, even if it’s only saving them $5. In those cases, I usually work my magick a little longer than promised to try to get them a better result.
I’ve also realized that after I calculate the time, effort, and supplies. I’m not really covering my expenses, so in terms of business ventures, this is a bust. Even worse, this does not take into account the other unpaid part of the work, which is quite frankly the larger expense: talking to people about their problems.
Spellcraft is akin to being a card reader: the poor man’s shrink. After all, when you go to a card reader you get to talk to a person about your deepest concerns and fears and go looking for advice. The card reader then tells you (either through the pictures on the cards mixed with reading you in general) what you’re really feeling and affirms it or suggests additional advice on how to proceed.
I find that I instinctively do that with my work too. If someone tells me a story and I see it with a different perspective, I point that out with my spell suggestion. For example, they want a curse to destroy a relationship between a brother and his troublesome wife to fix related larger family issues. I then suggest that perhaps the wife is having a hard time navigating a new family and a curse would just hurt their brother more, so a family peace spell would be a better resolution.
The back and forth takes quite a bit of my time, and while I could retroactively add the cost of my time into the spell, I never do. But despite the lack of returns, I do get a satisfaction out of this that I don’t currently have in my professional life, so it’s been a bit of an overall boon for me. I think I will keep it up and keep trying to help people with their problems.