The internet is flooded with spell advice. Now more than ever you can get easy access to information on almost any kind of magic imaginable. I suspect that one of the reasons that professional rootworkers stay in business despite all this free information is that people try to do the work and it doesn't, well, work. Or more commonly, they see all kinds of tantalizing signs: coincidences, synchronicities, even the beginnings of a tangible result but it slips away like sand through their fingers. For instance, you may cast a job spell and it seems to be working, hooray! You were getting no responses to your job applications and suddenly after the spell there is a flood of interview prospects. You go for a ton of interviews and they all go perfectly but nobody hires you.
Or, you are besotted with Jim and are working that love juju day and night. Three times a day you meet someone new called Jim. Every time you switch on the telly there is mention of someone called Jim. You are driving along the highway and you notice there is an aircraft high up doing skywriting and it's spelling out, can you believe it, J-I-M. Yet, your Jim takes you on one date, kisses you passionately on the doorstep and never calls back.
You could call this phenomenon teflon magic. The spell doesn't stick. Something happened, sure, but it wasn't a lasting result. I prefer to call these events magical effects, personally, rather than results. People can get caught up in magical effects very easily, since they can be strange and interesting but ultimately they fizzle. Magical effects are not without use, however. They show us that something, indeed, is happening. They are inspiring. Often they are cool. But in order for us to mature as practitioners we need to move beyond magical effects or we will end up frustrated and disillusioned with magic.
The real craft of magic is not creating a change - that's the easy part. It's doing magic that sticks.
Here are some ways in which you can start doing more magic that sticks:
Treat both the cause AND the symptom
If you are doing spellwork to get more money and nothing sticks - it could be you are only treating the symptom of the problem and not the cause. Maybe money isn't your actual problem, maybe it's your crappy job or your spouse's spending. Or, if you are a business owner it could be your employees or your marketing. Think carefully about the issue. Are you treating only the symptom? If you are in fact only treating the symptom magically you are going to have an endless stream of teflon results. Always identify the cause and do spell work to resolve both the cause and the symptom of your problem.
Remember: if the cause is resolved the symptom will disappear.
Sometimes all this requires is facing up to the facts, and applying old fashioned common sense. Sometimes, however, the underlying cause won't be as obvious as we might like. It could be that we are blind to it due to our own psychological hang-ups, or simply, that we just don't know. What then? This brings us to my next point…
Great magic is 99% divination and 1% conjuration
Before you cast a spell, or light a single candle - carefully divine. Take your time with it. Sharp divination should not only give you a new perspective on the situation it should also direct you to the root of the issue (as apposed to the symptom). Which either means the reading will confirm what common sense has dictated all along, or more likely, it will point you to something that you were totally blind to. Along with that, a good reading should, ideally, suggest a map for moving ahead. Sometimes, when a reading is excellent, the shift in perspective alone can create a positive outcome! Like magic. If you don't read for yourself and you want to do magic that sticks, then you had better learn how, and soon. That or you need to find a reader whom you trust, someone who is at least familiar with magical work, and see if you can work with them. An accurate reading allows you to strike like an aikido master; in exactly the right place, using the least amount of force to create the greatest result.
Work on the need AND the want
Technically this is part of my first tip but it deserves its own treatment for clarity. Sometimes what we think we want when we devise a magical strategy does not address what the underlying need is, which is to say, what we really want. If we do magic to bring the thing we think we want, and its not well and truly what we need (or really want), then teflon results are what we get. This may be because it's completely misaligned. Also, your heart isn't in it, now is it?
I get this a lot with female clients who want to do spell-work to bring a man back but they hate him. And I mean a fiery loathsome hatred. All the water in the pacific ocean could not wash him clean of his sins. They will spend an entire hour telling me all his faults, what a no-good, low-life, pathetic waste of space he is. But they want him back! How could they want him back and hate his guts so much? The conclusion I have come to is this: it's not this man that they want back. Sometimes, what they really want back is that time when things were exciting and romantic (need: romance), or, when they had someone to talk to about their day (need: companionship), or, that steamy love-making (need: good sex). That's what they really want back, but it has got tangled up with the idea of this man who they now, in fact, hate. As all professional workers know all to well - this goes nowhere fast.
Similarly, you may find for instance, that you think you want a bigger salary but if you dig a little deeper you discover that what you really want is more free time to write your novel. You have the belief (not necessarily true) that more money will give you the opportunity to write. It may be true that more money will allow you to write - but can you be sure? Do spiritual work to manifest both the need (more free time to write) and the want (more money). This can involve two separate workings focusing on each area or a cleverly crafted working that incorporates both into a single spell. My preference is for two workings, since it allows one to disentangle those two aspects and bring a result that is not only something that you will be happy with but is nice and crisp and will stick. Sometimes you may discover multiple needs, one layered beneath the other. Work on each need progressively, or simultaneously along with your want.
Remember: if the need is met the want will take care of itself.
Combine your spell with practical work on yourself
For each objective issue in our lives that we want to change with magic there is an accompanying personal issue that needs work. If that personal issue isn't addressed in some way, then magic simply won't stick. This could be something relatively small like a misguided attitude, or a bad habit, or something much bigger like some sort of life-long phobia. For instance, I suffer from a fear of public speaking. The thought of speaking to a relatively small group of people keeps me awake all night. Yet, as I moved along in my career I realized that I wanted to work full-time as a rootworker and reader, and for that I needed more exposure. I did spells to bring that result. As that work bore fruit, I eventually had to face the fact that it would mean talking to groups of people, speaking at conferences, giving workshops, appearing on radio-shows or podcasts etc. Not easy for someone who has that particular phobia.
For my magic to truly bring a result that would stick, I knew I had to work on the public speaking issue. So, for every spell I cast for success I listened to an audio book on public speaking. I practiced delivering speeches to my empty sofa. I prepared outlines and talking points. I had to get comfortable with the sound of my own speaking voice (which is harder than it sounds). If I didnt combine my spells with some personal work on this issue then all the opportunities for exposure in the world are worthless. Additionally, a block of that sort would seriously sabotage the likelihood of a magical result even manifesting. The reason is that while I was outwardly conjuring for my own 'success and exposure' I was also implicitly manifesting a terrifying scenario that would necessarily be part of it: speaking in public. Without facing up to it, the dissonance would never have resolved and no amount of magic would have stuck.
There is no need to be paralyzed by the prospect of having to deal with all your psychological drama in order to get practical magic to stick. You will find that a simple willingness to address some personal issue related to your outcome with tangible action can act as a powerful catalyst for lasting results. For instance, a client was having trouble with intimate relationships. His spells wouldn't stick and his sex life was at best awkward for him. He knew that this had to do, in part, with self-confidence and how self-conscious he felt about his body. We agreed that as an adjunct to all new spell-work he would commit to swimming and working out at least twice a week. He did so (at first) to humor me, and to show that he was willing to combine working on himself with magic. Well, before long his love work started to stick. The strange thing is the result came before he had been at the gym long enough to see any noticeable change in his body!
Use a different technique
If you keep casting sigils and are getting teflon results - for the love of all that is good try another kind of spell! Seriously. Similarly, if you are burning a zillion candles and nothing is sticking maybe it's time to conjure up a spirit, or make a talisman or try a spiritual bath. This one is simple enough to explain, but hard to grasp, especially if you are attached to working in one way and one way only. People can be stubborn (myself included). Different techniques work in different ways, some more optimum than others. The thing that works today may not stick tomorrow. Better yet: combine different techniques in parallel to get better coverage. Just don't keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.
Go to church
This one is going to be a hard sell. I'll start by saying that this is a conjure blog and conjure is a form of Christian folk magic. However, the idea has much wider application. So far I'm not entirely able to fully articulate why. Nonetheless, I have consistently noticed that clients who attend church get results that stick. I'm talking about attending the occasional service and spending some time on consecrated ground, nothing more than that. It seems to work in different religious contexts too. I have a jewish client and initially results for his case wouldn't stick too well. He hadn't been to a synagogue since he was boy and his family were not particularly observant. I suggested he try attending a few services to see how it would work for him. He was reluctant but decided to try it. Lo and behold his work began to stick. As a bonus he reconnected with something that he found, to his surprise, meaningful. Maybe it's because it shows a little faith and respect, or maybe it is because of the holy ground, or maybe it pleases your ancestral spirits - heck maybe it just makes God happy! I can't say for sure but from I can see it well and truly helps makes the magic stick. Try it and see for yourself.