Why Doesn’t my Spell Work?

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

This is not a question relegated to baby witches.  As many of you know, the very first spell you create and perform could be a winner… many times it is, and it gets you well and truly hooked into witchcraft.  Whether you were 5 years old like me at the time or 50 years old, if you are beginning your road to spellbinding and sorcery, you were a baby witch at some point in time… and if the first spell worked, no doubt you felt you had the knack and it would all be plain sailing from there. Eh eh. No. Not always.

So, why is it that sometimes, subsequent spells fall flat?


  1. Divining for the “go ahead” from the Universe
  2. Aligning with the right day and time for a spell
  3. Moon Void-of-Course

Television makes it all look really simple… you watch old episodes of Charmed or watch films like The Craft and it seems all you need to do is cook up some potions to throw at a problem in your kitchen or just do a lot of blood-letting and trying to be good when there is always that “one”…. But good really does win the day, doesn’t it? Not always. So…

1. Divining for the “go ahead” from the Universe

If anyone is going to send you the help you desire, it will likely come from the Universe.  One thing I try to do before I commit myself to gathering up a lot of things – sometimes expensive things – to work up a fabulous spell is to “divine” for the seal of approval from the Universe.  You can draw tarot cards or cast runes, or even dowse with a pendulum if you prefer.  Ask the Universe if this desire of yours is necessary to your well-being. You are looking for a yes or a no but sometimes you also get the reasons why it is or is not for you.  Take it or leave it, it is up to you. But if it is not in your best interests, and the Universe does not agree, it could be a good reason why some spells fail.

2. Aligning with the right day and time for a spell

So easy yet so overlooked.  King Solomon devised the well-known Table now known to all as the “Table of Planetary Hours”, which is related to the working of the planetary Spirits.  These planetary relationships he codified in the forms of magical squares, which represented the consciousness of their respective planetary entities, as well as their tiny conscious representatives known as the planetary spirits, whom have been actively performing their evolutionary work in the solar universe since an uncountable long time. So, each planet has a numerical value.  It is why Neptune’s symbol looks like a 2, Jupiter’s number looks like a 4 but the rest do not look like numbers at all, although they are each assigned a numerical value. Mars’ number is 5, Saturn’s is 3, Uranus is 1, the Moon is 9, Venus is 7, Mercury is 8, and the Sun is 6. Yes, I could have put these in order.

I won’t go into explaining the formula for the magickal squares, but there are books such as The greater Key of Solomon : including a clear and precise exposition of King Solomon’s secret procedure, its mysteries and magic rites, by Lauron William De Laurence [it is also on Amazon.com – I checked!] and reference sites to learn more about how to choose the right day and hour to do a spell.  For instance, any spell to do with wealth is best done on the day of Jupiter [Thursday] during the hour of Jupiter. Unless you are doing a spell for Business for which you would do your spell during a Sunday and the hour for the Sun.  And there is a perfect website to help you to quickly choose the right time and planetary hour day and hour to perform a spell

3. Moon Void-of-Course

Haha… no, the Moon does not disappear like some have thought. She merely goes for a little rest sometimes which can be as little as a few minutes to a few hours.  I’m not going to tell you that no spell will ever work during a Moon Void-of-Course but many witches’ having gone before me have written they think it unwise to do so.  We always like to practise on the side of safety when we need a spell to work, therefore, here is how you can check this little phenomenon before you settle down to do the business.

Now, for a few little things you might have missed…


How do you enchant your herbs, spice, flowers, crystals, and any other items you may be planning to use in your spell jar, mojo bag, or witch bottle?  Maybe “How do you?” is not the right question but “Do you?” is more to the point.  In days gone by, back when many the witch or cunning person was Christian, everyone sang psalms or litanies as they harvested their herbs or flowers for a spell or healing work. Often, they might even place them on the local church altar and pray over them.  There were also times of the morning, day, or night at which they were to collect their needs. Even to collect water for making mead had to be collected during a very early hour of a morning or it would not be worth drinking. So, I am told.

Witches nowadays may or may not go to this trouble, I do not know.  My Nana probably did to some degree but never made a big show of it.  But here in the 21st century, most witches do “enchant” their herbs and such before using. Personally, I just hold whatever I need to enchant in my power hand – right handed, me, and say my enchantment [mainly consisting of what the herb, etc is known to do best] to it to strengthen its power.  I don’t want the herb to forget what it is there for after all. Seriously, you do want to call to the Spirit of anything you wish to empower for its use and help in your spell work.  I say my enchantment nine times.

To Circle or Not to Circle

I am not much of one to cast a circle to do spell work inside of.  I do not knock it for others, but it seems a bit more Wiccan to me than I identify with.  Not to say that I have not cast the odd circle to perform a spell but if I’m honest, the one or two spells I did cast in a circle did not work.  Does that mean casting a circle could be your problem? Not at all.  It could just have meant in my case that I put too much emphasis on the ritual than the intention of my spell.  But I learned from this.  All you can do is learn from each time. 

Intention, Intention, Intention

You can do all the above, my darlings, and still fall flat on your sweet witchy faces if your intention is not strong enough.  We each have our own ways of building intention and I do not think that talking about how I do so will help you.  Still, I think we may all agree that to strengthen your intention could benefit from some of the following:

  1. A strong desire for a certain outcome
  2. Writing down what you expect and want
  3. Meditating on what you need and or want
  4. Meditating and listening to the answer you receive from the Universe,
  5. Focus more intention into your spell than fancy ritual

And, if all falls into place, you may have yourself a winner. Still, if at any time you receive a message, a feeling, anything that makes you feel it is not a good thing to do, it is alright to walk away from the spell.  You DO have the power to make things work, however, some things might be better left alone.  Have the wisdom to accept that and the courage to walk away. 

I hope this has been of some help.  Blessed spellcasting to you and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Do You Think You Need a Witch Bottle?

Originally posted on 20/07/2017 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

In long-ago times, healers or “cunning women” were sought out regularly by all, even the most devoutly God-fearing Christians, sought to be “helped” by one when some strange malady had befallen them or their families. Or perhaps some evil blight had made times hard for them…perhaps, even, they had reason to believe someone in particular wished ill-tidings upon them. When the cunning woman (or cunning man – although it was generally believed the Mister was the contact or go-between for his Missus and her clientèle) was contacted by the client,  they were often in need of a charm – a witch bottle – or a potion to help them rid the evil from their lives and give them protection for a time to come. Depending upon whether the need was related to health or just general protection, the cunning folk would usually tell the client to come back in a few days, in which time she would concoct the necessary remedy for their ills.

For health-related problems, most often she would make a tincture, potion, or charm to rid the client of their illness. But for need of money, love, or to ward away evil, she would most often create what is now called a witch bottle filled with what would bring to, or ward off, depending upon the need. Most likely in those days they were just called charms as no one wanted to say the “witch” word too loudly, lest they be hanged, drowned, or burned!

Because it is so literal and so beautifully explained, I am copying and pasting an excerpt from Wikipedia:

One of the earliest descriptions of a witch bottle in Suffolk, England, appears in 1681 in Joseph Glanvill’s Saducismus Triumphatus, or Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions:

“For an old Man that Travelled up and down the Country, and had some acquaintance at that house, calling in and asking the Man of the house how he did and his Wife; He told him that himself was well, but his Wife had been a long time in a languishing condition, and that she was haunted with a thing in the shape of a Bird that would flurr [sic] near to her face, and that she could not enjoy her natural rest well. The Old Man bid him and his Wife be of good courage. It was but a dead Spright, he said, and he would put him in a course to rid his Wife of this languishment and trouble, He therefore advised him to take a Bottle, and put his Wives Urine into it, together with Pins and Needles and Nails, and Cork them up and set the Bottle to the Fire well corkt, which when it had felt a while the heat of the Fire began to move and joggle a little, but he for sureness took the Fire shovel, and held it hard upon the Cork, And as he thought, he felt something one while on this side, another while on that, shove the Fire shovel off, which he still quickly put on Again, but at last at one shoving the Cork bounced out, and the Urine, Pins, Nails and Needles all flew up, and gave a report like a Pistol, and his Wife continued in the same trouble and languishment still.

Not long after, the Old Man came to the house again, and inquired of the Man of the house how his Wife did. Who answered, as ill as ever, if not worse. He askt him if he had followed his direction. Yes, says he, and told him the event as is above said. Ha, quoth he, it seems it was too nimble for you. But now I will put you in a way that will make the business sure. Take your Wive’s Urine as before, and Cork, it in a Bottle with Nails, Pins and Needles, and bury it in the Earth; and that will do the feat. The Man did accordingly. And his Wife began to mend sensibly and in a competent time was finely well recovered; But there came a Woman from a Town some miles off to their house, with a lamentable Out-cry, that they had killed her Husband. They askt her what she meant and thought her distracted, telling her they knew neither her nor her Husband. Yes, saith she, you have killed my Husband, he told me so on his Death-bed. But at last they understood by her, that her Husband was a Wizard, and had bewitched this Mans Wife and that this Counter-practice prescribed by the Old Man, which saved the Mans Wife from languishment, was the death of that Wizard that had bewitched her.”

The tale is supposedly true but gives me a chuckle to read it. However, witch bottles have been found with varying objects inside and through x-ray have been found to have needles and nails inside them in many cases. I should not doubt that someone’s urine may have once or still be inside a fair number of them. But truthfully, unless you simply want to create yours in this way, it’s not necessary.

london witchbottle greenwich
X-rays showing contents of the witch bottle found at Greenwich
(Image: Alan Massey/R. J. Bostock)

Was a time you may have sought me out to fix you up with a witch bottle to protect you from harm. I do make them, but in a portable size and I promise no urine. But nowadays so many are finding their power and making their own charms and witch bottles. If this is something you feel you need to do, only be careful to stick to naming what you wish for with no harm toward others or yourself. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, it is best to leave it to someone who does, however, if you are just learning and wish to make an effective witch bottle for home protection then what you can do is either buy a witch bottle from us or make your own out of a discarded jar with a lid. Put inside it:

Your fingernail clippings

Earth from your land/garden/path to your front door

Three rusted nails

9 dress pins

Oak bark




A little red wine

As you put each item or object into the bottle or jar, tell it what you want it to do. Your fingernail clippings represent you, so you ask that the bottle protects you. The earth from around your home represents your home and you ask that your property is protected. The three rusty nails, 9 pins, Oak bark, salt, and Obsidian are all items of protection and the Oak bark is also for strength, so you ask of each to protect and defend you and your home/property. The rice is for protection, luck, and longevity; therefore, you ask for those of the rice before placing inside. Take a sip of the red wine and don’t swallow it, spit it into the bottle. This seals it to you so that it does your bidding. Hold the sealed bottle in both your hands and carry to a pre-determined place around your home. If you live in a house, you can bury it in the farthest corner of your property or, as I did when I lived in a maisonette, I buried mine to the left of my front door. It is best to have decided beforehand where you want to keep it and have the hole already dug. Make sure you make the hole at least a couple of feet deep so that nothing can break the bottle. As you carry the bottle simply say, “protect me, protect my home, protect my family (if they live with your), protect my pets” – basically whomever lives in your home. Just carry on repeating this until you feel it working, until you feel it is ready to be buried. Then, simply bury the bottle and say whatever you wish…”amen”, “so mote it be”, “this shall be done” – whatever it is you would say at the end of any spell or prayer. The best time to perform this ritual is on the waxing full moon, best still to perform it on one of the three days of the waxing full moon closest to the actual full moon. As long as the bottle stays intact it will keep you protected. You may even dig it up to move house and bury it again once you’re moved into your new home.

If you should live in a flat/apartment with no actual land at your disposal to bury your witch bottle you can keep it inside your home but you must place it in an area where it won’t be a conversation starter or where anyone, including pets, can get to it lest it be broken. In the corner of a cupboard or even inside a wall would be best.

So, there you are. Your first witch bottle! May it protect and keep you from harm always. So may it be.

Sources: Wikipedia and my Nana

Do I Need A Wand?

First published on speakingofwitchwands.net on 21/10/2013 by Isabella

by Isabella @TheWandCarver

The answer is NO!! You do not “need” a thing, apart from a strong desire to learn, a few good books, and a shed-load of intention. The tools of Witchcraft are important, but you do not need them, per se.

However, many young Witches (does not necessarily mean young in age, just young in the Craft) do feel a need to have certain tools to help them, at the very least in the beginning of their Path, to direct their intention more strongly…or as a bit of a “help” in their Magickal workings. I’m no longer a “young” witch (in either sense of the meaning!), still, I will, nearly every time I work Magick, use my wand, altar paten, cauldron, Book of Shadows (Grimoire), and incense burner. I have an athame, but rarely ever use it. I don’t always use my wand, only when I am doing something very, very serious and want all the help I can get. I made my wand with a load of intention and it was, yes, a bit of hard work. You see, I’m a bit of a “luddite” when it comes to making items…I just can’t get the hang of power tools so the knife works well for me. Still, my wand works so well for me…because it is a part of me.

handle of my wand

The handle of my Yew wand with my handmade crow fetish

No, I didn’t use any body parts in the making of my wand, just my will and intention, some herbs in the tip and a powerful crystal. The same way I make bespoke wands for our customers. Of course, one would think that since I make their wand, all my intention will be in their wand and none of theirs. Not true. When I make a bespoke wand, if the customer asks for herbs in the tip, I will send the herbs and the crystal they order to go into the tip so that the Witch his or herself can enchant the herbs they choose, enchant their crystal and put their intention into their own wand. And of course, one almost always cleanses, consecrates, and empowers their tools before using as I would expect many would do with one of our wands. Your wand will well and truly be your own.

Of course, we also make pre-made wands as well, again, the Witch who buys the pre-made wand can certainly put his or her intention into it after cleansing, consecrating, and empowering. Many Witches (including myself when I was young) buy pre-made wands all the time and have great success with them, love them and wouldn’t use anything else. That tells me that they must work,

So, no, you don’t need our wands, or any wand for that matter. Although, if you feel you do, please see what we can do for you as you will no doubt look at many websites for pricing, etc. and please keep us in mind.

Thank you and blessed be! )O(