I was asked by someone why magic he was doing for himself was less effective. He told me that that until recently the magic done for himself had worked fine, but that then suddenly became less effective. He wondered if it was because he had put a shield up or if the magic was less effective because it as an attempt to avoid self sabotage. Finally he asked what could be done when your magic seemed less effective.
I don't know the specifics of what he was trying to do with his magical work, but some thoughts did come to mind, based on my own experiences and helping other people diagnose issues they are having with their magical practice. I find that when a person isn't getting a result or their magic is less effective, its usually because they are self-sabotaging in some way. They may not really want what they think they want. Or they may not feel they are worthy of what they want. Additionally there may be some internal resistance because what they want goes against some moral or ethical code.
In such cases, what this really means is that the person hasn't spent adequate time defining their result and understanding what that result and the consequences are. Yet on some level they know what they want isn't right and so as a result they self-sabotage to avoid getting the result or they get the result and then it goes away shortly after.
The remedy in such a case is to do internal work on what you really want and why. When you understand yourself and what you want this will inform everything you choose to do or don't do. And a lot of times you'll discover that what has made your magic less effective is that self sabotage on your end, because some part of you was resistant to the result you wanted.
What if it isn't self-sabotage?
Now it could be that it isn't self-sabotage. Maybe someone's working against what you want. Maybe there's a variable you didn't account for that screwed up your working. Those things can happen and if you've eliminated the possibility of self-sabotage then it's useful to look at those factors.
Let's say it is a person who is working against you. Why are they working against you? Is it a case of wanting them same thing or do they just dislike you and have it out for you? The former is less likely than the latter, but both are possibilities. So what do you do?
I suggest first that you don't make what you're doing public knowledge or even semi-public knowledge. Keep it to yourself until after the work is done. Also make sure to set up protection for what you're doing and yourself, so that if someone is trying to screw with you, you've got it handled. You may even want to deploy counter-measures, so think that out and do so.
And if it's a case of someone fucking with you, do what you can to make peace or cut off all contact. Why keep a toxic relationship in your life, after all? Even doing that may not stop the attempts of the person but it can certainly help to minimize such issues, especially if you're doing what you need to do on your end to protect yourself.
What if it's a variable I didn't factor in?
Sometimes we don't consider all the variables. Sometimes something happens out of left field and it throws everything off. The truth is that when you're doing a magical working for a practical result, you are trying to line fate in your favorite, to stack the deck to get what you want. But no matter how much you anticipate or plan for there can always be that wild card that throws everything off.
In such a case the best thing you can do is learn what that variable was and factor it in next time with your workings. The way I do that is that I look at the actual result that was achieved. When you do a magical workings, you always achieve a result It may not be the result you want, but you can learn a lot from the result (or seeming lack of one) that can help you figure out what is or isn't working in your magical process as well as identify whatever else may be effecting the working.
Carefully review every action you took and take stock of what happened or didn't happen. See if you can determine what went wrong or just didn't happen and learn from it. If you track what you do in your magical workings, you can learn a lot from your mistakes and from whatever else you didn't consider. And that kind of review can make a significant difference in your magical work, whether you're doing it for yourself or someone else. Most important be open to making changes. If something isn't working repeatedly, its time to figure out what it is and make some changes. Then test and see if the changes make a difference.
I find that if magic seems to become less effective it is an opportunity to stretch yourself. Maybe its less effective because you've started to take what you do for granted. That's an opportunity to spice things up by trying some other magical practices or reviewing what you do and figuring out what you're taking for granted.
One of the reasons I periodically re-read and redo practices I know is because even if I think I know those magical practices, I also know a good review of them can help me go deeper and learn something new. Your magic being less effective may be a call to action for you to go deeper with what you know by approaching your practice with a humble attitude and a willingness to learn, even if you think you already know it. Speaking of which, if you want some help. check out my free e-book below.