On Magick and Effort

There are many magicians nowadays, both authors and members of forums, who insist that magick does not bring you results without you putting in your own effort. And they insist that if you do not work for what you have done a working for, you will not obtain it. This is pushed by magicians who have a more common idea of magick but this is also often pushed by magicians with the odd materialist-psychological philosophy that there isn’t really such a thing as magick but rather you’re just tricking your subconcious (and it’s unlikely modern psychologists would agree with their particular definition of subconcious) into certain beliefs and feelings of strength or power so that you can accomplish what you want through completely mundane means. So, basically a sort of confidence trick.

However, regarding effort, my experiences have often times been contrary to that insistance. I have done much magick without putting any effort into what I asked for and still recieved it. Even from my very first magical result, I did not place any effort into it, and yet it was simply given to me the very next day I did the ritual. I have done much magick since then without any personal effort (or, concious effort) placed into it was still successful. In fact, I’ve done magick on broad areas of life where I did put effort into, but then still recieved results from a different pathway that I did not put any concious effort into rather than the pathway I was focusing on.

This insistance on effort may be helpful to beginners, because they’re going to do magick on large things and be impatient and eager to see if magick works or not, but this idea of the necessity of effort should not be insisted on so heavily. It should not take the wonder out of the magick, or the blessings of the spirits, as often we recieve our gifts simply by the goodness of the Gods and the Spirits (Depending on the spirit).


I’ve made this point myself in the past, but it basically boils down to folks projecting the way life works onto the way magick works. In real life, there generally are no free lunches. Once you become an adult and leave the nest, you’re basically on your own and people have grown accustomed to the idea that if you want something, you need to earn it in some way or fashion. Where magick is concerned though, those rules are flipped on its head. But people can’t help but revert to their conditioning, which is where you see this need for assisting the magick by mundane means. This is especially bad among American occultists, because this idea of there being no free lunch in life is heavily pushed over there.


I think you guys are essentially right, but lets elaborate a bit.

Last night I was talking with someone I do magick for. She was quite happy because of her new job and told me that I made everything happen. And I truly didn’t. She did her part. She went to college for years, studied, paid the classes, send the resume to the new company, etc.

And while all of that is directly related to the sphere of availability, is still a group of things she had to do to make it possible.

And also, if I’m going to say something about it to anyone, I’ll tell them to roll with the idea of doing the mundane work. Because magick won’t work when people shoot themselves in the foot and I’ve seen one too many shooting themselves in the foot. Self sabotage is a serious thing and rampant among magicians. For some reason. Or maybe is just my own impression?


Excellent point! Come to think of it, this attitude is especially present when the topic is wealth magick. So, hustle culture likely also plays a part in it when it comes to wealth magick.


When it comes to performing a working on something that does require effort, like becoming fit or prowess in the gym, then naturally effort is required. So, I did not intend for this to be directed at that, although magick can give the person the motivation to do it in the first place.

Rather, I am thinking more in terms of wealth magick and love etc. The pathway needs to be open (most of the time, arguably), but beyond that, often times things can simply come to you. This is not true for everyone, and some magicians may need to put in effort for most of their workings, while others may not need to put in much effort at all.

I can’t comment too much about this, but I can understand how it would be fairly common. For beginners and those new to magick, or someone I was doing a working for, certainly I would also advise them to put in work if I felt it would be needed or good advice for them.


I guess it depends on what your definition of “work” is. For example, some years ago i did a working to acquire about $4000. At the time, I had no source of income, so I really didn’t know where the money was going to come from. Ended up coming from a woman I had befriended on an online website…a woman I never even met before who was a single mother. She ended up giving me the money “just because.” I didn’t have to do anything for her, didn’t have to provide her any value whatsoever. She just made herself available to me in that moment in time. You could say that I had to “work” by making sure my paypal was set up to receive the money, but you would be hard pressed to find someone that would consider this event anything other than a free lunch.

I think what magick permits is the acquisition of material goods/comforts for only a fraction of the mundane labor/cost normally required to get it. A permanent 50 to 99% discount on the luxuries of life.


That’s my point: something needs to make it available so results can come.


I would agree most of the time. I say most, because even then there are some cases of highly miraculous and “strange” things occuring. By that, I mean cases of magicians simply waking up with knowledge they did not have before, or simply gaining it. I’ve met one person who seemed to be very skilled at that, if what they said was true.

Otherwise, cases like @Verdo’s also occur, where sometimes there is a pathway and something just about miraculous occurs, or other times the pathway opens itself, so to speak.


Yes, also there is the concept of blind faith (maybe not the right way to call it), where people, anecdotally, get thing without any sort of path.


@Dankquanicus @ReyCuervo I think for this discussion, it’s probably more beneficial to debate over what constitutes as “work”…because this really is what the discussion is going to hinge on. Since we live in a physical world, practically anything we do outside of sleeping could be labelled as work. For example, if I do a working for some cash, and four days later I get handed cash from a friend/relative as a random gift…well what “work” did I really have to do there? Well, I suppose I had to spend some joules of energy to walk/drive over to my friends house, and another few joules to lift my hand to physically take the cash. But in the context of this discussion, I don’t think this is the kind of work people are really referring to.

For me, I define “work” in this context as being made to do something that costs more in time/money than I’m normally willing to pay for it. So using my $4000 dollar success story as an example, there was nothing that really occurred there that I would classify as “work”, because nothing that was required of me really cost me anywhere near my maximum limit of expended effort. Saying that I had to put in work to simply check if my paypal was still working after years of inactivity implies more effort than was really made. For me, the 4k was too cheaply acquired for me to really say I had to “work” for it. However, if I wanted a specific job, but the only way magick could get me that job was if I had a particular certification first that I wasn’t super keen on having to get…then this would constitute as work to me within this context.


Yes my definition of work is much like your own, I like how you describe it. In addition to it, I would describe it as things simply falling into your hands. You’d need to extend your hand, but everything has been done for you and given to you, if that is sensible analogy.

In college, a similar case I would say would be if you go through it nearly “effortless”, that is, you retain what you study well and have the ability to put it to good use. When this happens, even that can be rather effortless.


If only this applied to the development and refinement of spirit communication skills and clairs.


For some people, they simply wake up with the ability after a working. For others, they perform a working, and are relaxed about it, and notice themselves simply obtaining the ability over time in ritual, without putting effort towards it. So, for some it certainly does work that way. However, as I said earlier, magickal results without effort do not come for every magician. It will be true for some, but not so much for others.


This is the kinda discourse I LOVE! <3

The Boulder Theory

I sometimes wonder (just me musing out loud) if the reason some have to “work for it” vs. others that don’t could be something related to the factors stacked against them–I.e. all those terrible “get my ex back” posts that are scattered across the internet.

You have the boulder that, from gravity, wants to “fall”–your ex doesn’t want you back and the misc. factors that led to the breakup.

You’re trying to keep the boulder from falling to where it naturally wants to go, so depending on how heavy that boulder is, you may be smacking a rock or making like Sisyphus.

I also have some belief that there are certain things that just can’t happen. I haven’t entirely combed through this idea yet, as it’s tied to an idea I’m exploring in an almost-thesis-type form… I may inadvertently prove my hypothesis wrong, but just throwing it out there.

I use the “get my ex back” examples because they are so easy to pick apart–I realize these same hypotheses may or may not hold water in other areas…


Literally Me



I would say opposing factors is certainly going to be an issue for most magicians. There will be some magicians who are able to simply rise out of a bad situation with magick, while for most, it will be a slower process of working through the difficulty and overcoming the obstacles.

Now, with exes, I’ve noticed in everyone’s natal chart who comes to magick to get an ex back or for love that I’ve observed were born with Venus severely afflicted. That’s not always going to be the case, because reality is complex, and the full art of astrology reflects that, so a single factor like Venus is not always going to point towards this, rather then it will be shown in the 7th House and their Lord, but most people with Venus afflicted have love troubles.

It’s similar for other areas of life. If someone is very fearful, Saturn was likely afflicted at birth. If they seriously struggle with wealth, Saturn and Jupiter were likely afflicted, and so on.

I’ve also noticed that just about every time someone has had a bad experience with a spirit or negative after-effects of a certain magickal working, a Planet of the same nature was afflicted when they were born. I’ve even been able to successfully predict (I don’t think that’s the right word, but perhaps my vocabulary is not large enough for this) a Planet being afflicted during a person’s birth just based off of this.

A certain very wise Medieval Sage has suggested that a working comes to completion quicker and more powerfully if the Planet of that same nature was well dignified in their nativity.

Philosophically, that can mean a few things depending on how you see the Stars. If you follow Al-Kindi’s view of the Stellar Rays, that the Stars and Planets (And in fact everything) sends forth a spiritual light that has the power to affect things, that may mean that you have been afflicted by malefic rays and so your magick in that area of life is going to suffer. If you have more of a Platonic view, then the Stars and Planets themselves do not necessarily cause misfortune, being entirely good, but there’s a more complex reason (everything being part of a complex chain of sympathy) as to this signifying your struggles with that area of life.

So with that, I’d argue it may come from some sort of conflict between the spirit and nature infused in a person at birth and the area of life they are pursuing. We see that some magicians simply rise above some obstacles, while others have to slowly work through them. There is not always a mundane reason for why they did not rise above them with the same ease.


That’s a possibility. Certain situations and goals will indeed demand more work to keep that boulder from falling. The question is, who does that burden of work fall on…the operator or the operation (ie. the ritual magick)?

This is a subject matter I’ve given thoughts on in the past, and I came up with a little theory of my own that I called The Baneful Principle, which I’ll outline below:

You ever notice how within most areas of magick, if you ask for a lot, people are quick to say, “whoa whoa whoa…you got a route for all that cash to come that you’re asking for?” Or “whoa whoa whoa…you sure you have the looks to ask for a supermodel?” But if you ask to wipe out a workplace of assholes, you’ll never hear anyone interject with, “whoa whoa whoa, have you left bear traps on the front lawns of your targets before asking for their death?” It’s interesting to me that what most magicians would consider to be the hardest thing to do in Magick…to kill another person…requires the least amount of mundane “assistance” by the caster. But things that you see all the time, like a hot girl with an unattractive guy…the expectation is for the caster to bust his ass in order to help the Magick out. If baneful magick is the hardest magick to pull off, and requires no mundane assistance to succeed, then easier forms of magick at best should require the same level of mundane assistance, which in this case is zero.

If killing wasn’t illegal, my guess is that baneful Magick too would be riddled with people putting a cap on expectations. If it were legal, it likely would be quite common to hear occultists say things such as, “if you want to kill x, you need to do your part by putting iodine poison in their orange juice, then let the magick do the work of influencing her to take a sip.”

Baneful Magick sets the precedence of magick being able to accomplish difficult things without the mundane help of the operator, and I extrapolate what I coin as “The Baneful Principle” throughout all areas of magick. So if one wants a new girlfriend for example…he has permission to be unconcerned about making the mundane changes to himself to help the Magick out. Essentially, you are treating all magick equally to the way everyone treats Baneful Magick: Set it, then forget it. No need to help it, as it does not need our help.


This is a good point.


Best laugh I’ve had all day - more so because it’s absolutely true.

Lots of great stuff said here and this is an elephant in the room topic, for sure. One that I suffer from, but am getting better at.

In my case, it stems mostly from mundane success prior to starting my evocation (and other ritual areas) journey. I will bleed for it was how I did it, hard work and slow, methodical progress. So, I took that mindset into this.area, too, reinforced by my early learning materials - demonolatry, where blood is typically given in ritual. So, what do we see a lot of in my rituals? Blood.

But I have been making the subtle shift where I’m not paying for the working as I am donating for the cause. Truth is, I know that I don’t have to give it at this point, for most I work with. Sometimes, it is asked for, but it isn’t required.

In the same way I sing to those I work with without being in ritual or expecting anything, they will act the same - if I let them :joy:



I agree entirely with these. Outside of the doing magick itself, I think what’s most important is knocking down any barriers (especially anything resistant to the magick). It’s my view that resistance is something that can, when you’re feeding it, impair magick’s ability to function.

This is put very nicely!

That is really interesting!!!

Woah! This is pretty awesome! I love reading your posts, you just drop astrology in so casually and it’s great.

@Verdo, thanks for the laughs and insight on The Baneful Principle.


You, sir, have a damn fine point here. You’ve given me sooo much to think about. Thanks a lot.