Here at Isis Books and Gifts we often receive emails with questions regarding all kinds of spiritual and magickal matters. Here's one which we feel many of you out there would like to ask:

Question: Why don't all of my spells work? I'm not exactly a beginner and I think I know what I'm doing, but sometimes my spells work right away, sometimes they take a while and sometimes they never happen. Am I doing something wrong?

Answer: Spell work can be a tricky business and there could be several reasons why a spell doesn't work. I'm assuming that you are planning your rituals by the moon phase and doing them on the correct planetary day, using the right candle colors, herbs, oils and all that. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are you performing your spell with complete concentration? If you allow your mind to wander or if you are doing it at a time when you are distracted (sad, mad, or tired) you can get results that are disappointing. Do you feel rushed when you do the spell, expecting someone to come home and interrupt you? You need to be completely "in the moment", gathering all of your thoughts, emotions and energy to focus on your desired result or it probably won't work.

Are you undermining yourself by thinking in the back of your mind "this isn't really going to work"? Unless you really pour your positive thoughts into what you are doing, you can get in your own way. The successful trigger for all energy and spell work is the cooperation of your subconscious mind with your focused conscious mind. If you have doubts or fears about the spell you are doing, you probably won't get a result.

Are you doing things that are designed to make someone else do something for you or act in a certain way? I'm sure you know that ethically this is forbidden - you should never use your powers to make someone do something against their will or without them knowing that you are working on their behalf. If you are, not only will you have problems with your karma, but also you may be pitting your will against the stronger will of someone else who is blocking your influence.

Some things are not meant to be - the Universe often knows better than we do the path that is right for us. If what you are working toward is really not in your best interest, it can sometimes be blocked by the Universe.

Are you clear on the result that you want? If you are confused or hazy about exactly what you want to have happen you won't have the proper focus for your energy and the result you get will be just as confused or hazy as your thoughts or your ritual.

Are you following through on the physical plane? Oftentimes beginners think that their magickal work and their mundane lives exist independently, but for successful magick they go hand-in-hand. If you do a spell to find a good job but then don't look in the want ads or don't show up for interviews you are undermining the energy you put out in your ritual. If you do a ritual to find your soul mate and then sit in your living room rather than getting out in the world, you're making it really hard for your soul mate to find you. Magick is not like it's depicted in the movies - you don't just wave a wand and poof! it happens. You put the energy and focus out there through your ritual and then follow up by creating opportunities for successful results by your actions on the physical plane. Good luck!