Spellwork: Are you specific with your intentions, or do you leave the door open?

(This is a slight detour from the great question about setting intentions asked by @Mary25, so to avoid drifting off topic there, I opened a new thread here)

When you set your spell intentions…

Do you think it’s better to be VERY SPECIFIC? Or do you prefer to LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN and let higher powers (deity, universe, your unconscious, etc) guide you to the best possible outcome, one that you may not currently be able to imagine?

For a long time, I thought it was important to be very specific about what you want (and don’t get me wrong, I still feel this way about a lot of outcomes- such as money spells!) but recently I’ve been considering how sometimes the image of what we think we want may not actually be the best possible outcome.

You know what they say about 20/20 hindsight- there are things going on on a much larger stage than we are sometimes aware of. Is there value in leaving an open door to allow something (a higher power or level of consciousness) in your practice step in, so long as you specify that any alterations must be for your best interests?

For example, is it more important that you get the exact new car that you want, or that you have a vehicle that you can use that makes you happy? Do you really want to be with this one person in particular, or do you actually want a fulfilling relationship with your soulmate (who may not be the person you currently have in mind)? :thinking:

Perhaps there is benefit in trying to word spells in a way that allows for a better option if there is one that we cannot currently see- such as bring me the best outcome that yields the most happiness.

I’ve always been in the school of thought that wording is very important in spellwork, but now I’m considering that perhaps what I once thought were safety measures (aka being very specific in spell wording) are actually limiting the spell, and not allowing it to expand to its full potential- something beyond what my conscious mind could currently ask for?


Well, this quickly turned into another lesson of Spell Theory 101 (You’ve created a monster, @Undomeher- now I can’t stop thinking about magickal theory! :joy:) Forgive me for rambling, I’ll step down and let others take the podium! :laughing:

So, calling on the brilliant and talented minds of Infinite Roots:

I would love to hear what everyone thinks- do you value strict specificity in spells, or do you like to leave a door open? :blush:

Blessed be!

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I ask for what I say in the spell, BUT I always leave the door open a crack so my Goddess can make her will known, as SHE wants it. It’s much less agonizing that way, I did not fail, my Lady either said, No, or did not present it as I expected.
Garnet

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I try to leave it open, because a lot of the time, I’m not sure how it’s going to be done. Like prosperity. Will I get extra food stamps which would help my pocketbook or a surprise check from somewhere? If I’m too specific, the Gods may think I’m too picky.

It’s like that old joke about the Christian on a roof in a flood, two different guys with boats and a helicopter come by and offer to save him, and he says no, God will save me. He ends up drowning and gets to heaven and is like, what’s the deal God? How come you let me die? And God says, hey, I sent two boats and a helicopter, what more do you want?

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The Source (the universe, deity, higher power or whatever your belief is) will do as it will, I think. I focus on making my intent known and avoiding unintended consequences, i,e, harm to others, and leave the details for the Source.

That said, I am specific about phrasing my intention in the present tense, and building in either a time limit (usually a moon or so) or some means of reversal (“this spell hold sway until I say [encantamentum delet (or whatever)].”

But I definitely avoid being too specific. For example, targetting a specific person for a love spell or a specific source for money, or anything that would violate others free will. On the other hand, you could ask to be guided into the presence of someone specific, and then let whatever is going to happen, happen.

So in general I do get specific, but so much about the exact method or outcome, if that makes sense.

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Ron, 4,622 Garnet :heart: for that sage advise.

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Miss Amethyst, you have no Idea how much I need that needle in the haystack of wisdom today,
Love ya

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Aww, love you too @Garnet! Thanks for the compliment! :kissing_heart:

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Oh, another wonderful and thought-provoking question! I’m in two different schools of thought here and they both depend on whether I’m asking a Spirit for help or if I’m working magic on my own.

If I’m asking a Spirit for help, be it a deity, familiar, ancestor, etc., then I will almost always leave the door open for interpretation as long as I trust the Spirit I’m working with. When it comes to things like this, I’m approaching a Spirit because I don’t know how to handle the situation myself or it is something that is entirely out of my hands. It may require a big transformation, the movement of large obstacles, or I just can’t see the path ahead. When I put those issues into the hands of my Spirits, I’m entrusting them to guide me to what’s best for me.

I have an agreement with Brighid, for example, the She will not interfere in my relationships or my mental health without my consent. Sometimes this means me dealing with an issue on my own. Sometimes it means coming to Her and asking for assistance. In these cases, I’m asking for Their help for a reason and I would never dream of telling those Spirits exactly how to help me.

On the other hand, if I’m working my magic on my own, I am always specific. I don’t leave the door open because I don’t want the outside interference of any other Spirit, even if they mean well. These are for those moments when I know what I want or need, I know what the outcome needs to look like, and I know how to get it. For example, I don’t ask for assistance with my money altar. It’s set up in a specific way for a reason, it’s worked on a specific day for a specific time with specific ingredients. This intention is just specific enough to work the way I want.

So the tldr version is → it depends!

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Thank you so much to everyone for your very thoughtful responses- you have all given a lot to think about! Hearing your own approaches to casting and the extent to which you specify/leave room for higher intervention has been really helpful :heart:


@Garnet That sounds like a really good balance between speaking your wishes and allowing your Goddess to guide you, Garnet!

@Amethyst That’s a great point about allowing the spell to unfold on its own- especially when the spell is calling for something in general (like prosperity or abundance) :+1: And oh! That’s a great quote- I’ve heard that one before and it does make sense. Sometimes the spellwork does work and we get what we asked for, but if we have a fixed version about the outcome it can make it hard to see the actual manifestation. It seems like spellwork benefits a lot from keeping an open mind! :grinning:

@Undomeher It sounds like you have found a comfortable harmony between specifying (both what you want and what you don’t want in an outcome- which is also an important barrier to set in place!) and leaving room for the spell to find the best path to follow. It does make sense and you worded everything very well and clearly (as always!) so thank you, that was insightful! :pray::blush:

@MeganB As someone who tries (but is not always successful lol) at trying to keep things mentally organized, I really like the idea of sorting specificity into two categories- working magic solo versus when a higher power is involved. I can also see how spellwork can work differently when working with deities/spirits that the caster has a deep bond/understanding with, as opposed to leaving the door too open for unknown entities to possibly interfere with- all very good things to consider! :star_struck:


Thanks once again to everyone who has commented so far- I really do appreciate your replies! :two_hearts:

If anyone else would like to share their own thought process and techniques for setting specific/general intentions, please feel free to jump in! :blush:

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I had a thought about this that might seem obvious to others, but hit me like a revelation. When you know what it is that you are trying to achieve and you’ve got it all perfect, go back and make sure you are writing the intention about yourself. You are the one person you always have consent from, and doing some “intention wrangling” so that the spell is actually being cast on you seems likely to be more successful.

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Personally when i do occasionally cast a spell, i feel a strong shift of energy which to be honest does not allow me to fully focus on one specific intention i.e.- if i was in need of a little extra cash i should be specifically asking for a big hand out or to win the lottery, but rather i leave the door open and visualise me being happy due to my money issues being resolved instead of the actual source. So really i visualise the outcome not the source and boy do my intentions almost feel real to the point i have too remind myself these are my intentions and am yet to see the outcome.
Like they say, if you believe it is real then it is… :blush:

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This makes sense :+1: And sometimes it is the things that seem the most obvious that are the first ones to get lost in the details! There’s a lot of value in going back to the basics/fundamentals :blush: Thanks for this!

You worded this really well! Using a wider lens and looking more at the big picture rather than the little details along the way when it comes to casting seems like a popular (and for good reason too!) way to go with casting. Thank you so much for sharing your spellwork thought process! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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No problem anytime :blush:

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