There are many trades, regarded as legitimate by almost all the world’s population, where a certain outcome cannot be guaranteed by the practitioner.
Doctors, lawyers, therapists, coaches, copywriters—all these people perform work with the expectation that they will try to help you achieve a certain result, but they don’t guarantee that it can be done. However, they do generally expect to be paid even if they fail to get the wanted result. No one says that a teacher was a “scammer” if his whole class didn’t get top scores, but a magician who fails any percentage of their clientele gets branded a scammer.
In fact, many people will brand a magician a scammer just for being a magician. Even some people who want to buy a magic spell, presumably because they believe in magic, will approach a magician demanding proof that what he does is not a scam. How many other tradesmen have to go through that?
Alas, I am a spellcaster.
I cast hoodoo style magic spells. I do this both for clients who pay me for this service, and for myself to use in my own life. I have been doing this for some years, with the internet being my primary vehicle for being found by those who are looking for magical services. Over time, I have come to realize the disconnect between what I offer and what is being expected by the average person who goes out onto the web seeking magic spells.
“Real Magic Spells That Work Fast” is a common Google search term.
It’s just a bit less common than “Real Magic Spells That Work Free.” These give some insight into what is being sought by your typical seeker of spells online. “Real Magic Spells” as opposed to fake magic spells—immediately indicating that there’s skepticism and doubt in the seeker’s mind about the authenticity of what’s on offer.
Now, I think we can all agree there are some scam artists who pretend to cast spells in order to con people out of money (these cases frequently make the news when they’re discovered) but, it’s doubtful that any such scammers would have ever advertised themselves as casting Fake Spells, or admitted to doing so if they were asked. Yet, with something as undefinable as magic, what constitutes a “real spell?” The answer to that seems to lay in the eye of the beholder, or maybe better put, the mind of the perceiver.
Magicians will have different ways of performing spells, even if they practice within a single spellcast tradition (and make no mistake, there are lots of different traditions.) Wiccan magic is not the same as Santeria which is not the same as Nigerian Voudou which is not the same as American Voodoo, et cetera.
Even in the strictest spellcasting traditions, a practitioner will usually have his own preferred tactics; and, as Zora Neale Hurston wrote, “all of the conjure masters have more than one way of doing every job. People are different and what will win with one person has no effect upon another.”
Those who seek spells to be cast on their behalf also have ideas about what a magic spell should be—and based on my interactions with clients, potential clients, and just with people talking about buying magic spells, the average person-on-the-street type seems to only think it’s a real spell if it works. No credit is given to how traditional the spell might be, or if it was actually performed: the only thing that counts is the result. Anything else is a fake. Thus, “Real Spells That Work” is a redundancy; a single thought.
When I was starting out, I used to try to sway people.
I’d be contacted by potential clients demanding proof that I was “not trying to scam” them; I’d give them some reassurances of my credentials or expertise, and we’d move along. Over time, though, I’ve learned this to be a waste of energy; for I have been finding that the person who starts out on this foot, is usually someone who cannot be satisfied; and even if they decide to buy my service they will become a problem client for me.
They’re suspicious of all magical practitioners—and I conceive that the reason is, most likely, that they believe the definition of “real magic” to be something that even most real magical practitioners wouldn’t claim to practice. Thus, they think anyone who can’t deliver is a conman. Furthermore, the only people who will probably claim to be able to perform their unreasonable demands are conmen.
It’s not that unusual for these clients to complain that they’ve already been scammed several times in the past, which really can be a red flag that this person, one way or another, has inappropriate expectations regarding spellcasts.
Another hoodoo worker has complained that people who don’t come from a culture where magic is practiced and used for day-to-day problems, will often have a warped sense of what magic really is and their understanding will have been formed from watching movies like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Their expectations are not grounded in any reality.
In Hollywood, spells produce unquestionable results instantaneously; but if magic could do that in real life, surely there wouldn’t be so much doubt as to whether or not magic actually was “real” or not.
This leads us to the final piece of the popular search.
People don’t just want “Real Spells That Work”—they want “Real Spells That Work Fast.” The necessity of entering this, suggests that the seeker is a person who is already aware that most magical practitioners will insist that a spell takes some time to manifest. This, however, is not what they want. They want that Hollywood spell—they want Aladdin rubbing his lamp, and with a poof, the Genie delivers whatever was wished.
So, how long does a spell take to work?
Speaking for myself, I’ve had things manifest as quickly as before I was even done burning the candles—though this is an unusual occurrence. Most things that work, I find, will work within one or two weeks, or a month at most.
This should be taken with the understanding that most of the spells I cast for my own self are not the grand schemes my typical client has in mind to have me cast on his behalf. If I were doing a spell for myself to become a multi-millionaire, I’d probably expect (given my current financial state) that hitting such a point will probably take a couple years at least, and might require more than one spell. I’ve never delivered news of this sort to a client and had them actually go through with the spellcast.
There is an unhappy linguistic contribution to these unreasonable expectations, in that the phrase “it works like magic” is generally used these days to indicate something that works reliably, instantly, and often with no effort or form of logical cause and effect. It’s of note that this phrase, which seems to date back to the 18th century, originally was used always in the specific context of creating an emotional effect on a person (“kindness works like magic” and so forth). One can wonder whether the phrase first changed its meaning, or whether modern attitudes changed the meaning of the phrase.
So—why use magic if there’s quite possibly no such thing as “Real Spells That Work Fast?”
My personal opinion, at this point in time, is that if you’re turning to magic for the sake of needing it to bring you a result, then it’s probably not appropriate for you to be using. “Does it work?” is not the right question. In fact, I would summarize the correct question as being, “Is it worth doing a spell about?”
For some things, the answer is no. For others, where the extra sense of hope is of value, where the extra bits of influence the spell might be creating are worthwhile, where the added energy might be helpful—that is when a spell is worth doing.
It’s not about the spell bringing you what you want; it’s about the spell helping to bring what you want.
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Ed: Dana Gornall
Photo Credit: Pixoto