It’s no secret that intent means the difference between a bad spell and a good one. Intent can change the entire meaning of your ritual from one that will conjure up bad karma to one that will benefit everyone involved. Intent can even make the difference between a spell that works and one that fails.

We don’t often talk about the necessity of focus, though. Most of the time, it’s just assumed that you know exactly what you’re looking for – that’s why you’re doing magick, after all. There’s little mention of what happens if you’re secretly looking for something else, or what you can do to train your mind to tell you the best way of achieving your goals.

Then there’s the effect of action on helping the universe manifest what you’re looking for. Few people would argue that magick alone will give you the same results as magick plus a determination to do whatever you can to help it along.

Knowing what you need
In any area of life, from your career to your love life, the ability to know what you need will go a long way. You might think you need more money, when what you’re actually looking for is a new car, a more loving relationship with your spouse, or better health.

When you set out to perform a spell or ask someone to do it for you, you can’t just do the first thing that comes to mind. You might end up getting more money – but through an insurance claim when your home is damaged, for example!

Don’t settle for the first goal, then. Ask yourself at least three times: “but why?” For example:

“I want to get an extra $1,000 this month.”
“But why?”
“I want to buy my loved one something expensive and tasteful.”
“But why?”
“I want to show my loved one that I care about them after our fight.”
“But why?”
“I want to make amends for arguing and resolve to show affection more often.”

Now you have an entirely different spell that gets to the heart of the matter. This will make it far easier to take action on it. If you had gone with the original resolution, perhaps the universe would have given you the opportunity to take on some overtime during the holiday season so you can earn extra money. While you would have earned extra money, you would have seen less of your loved one and it would have taken a month of spending less time together to show them that you love them!

Instead, you can do a spell that promotes healthy communication, a harmonious household, and increased romance. Your end intention will be fulfilled much faster and more directly.

Focusing on what you need
Now that you’ve figured out what it is that you’re really looking for, you can focus your intention upon it. The exact way you do this will depend on the type of magick or consciousness-raising exercise you’re doing, but there are some commonalities.

You can always rely on visualizing – a mainstay for business executives and new age practitioners alike. See your need in as vivid detail as possible, with as many concrete anchors as you can put into the scenario. If we’re working with the same need, you might see you and your loved one cuddling up under a blanket and watching a movie, feeling close to each other. You’re eating popcorn and you’re holding your loved one, or perhaps giving them a shoulder massage. Fix the image in your mind and focus on it. Don’t make it seem too abstract or impossible; it’s better to think to yourself, “This is happening,” rather than, “I want this to happen.”

You can meditate on this visualization or simply call it to mind at least three times per day – the more, the better – for a minute or two each time. Similarly, you can incorporate it into a ritual or spell, raise energy in a magick circle, or act it out in a lucid dream. There are all kinds of ways you can get your subconscious and unconscious selves to act on this intention.

Acting on what you need
Finally, now that you’ve focused your magickal or energy work on your intention, you need to manifest it in reality. Don’t just sit back and wait for the universe to call you and tell you that you’ve won a couples’ retreat vacation getaway. Instead, try to set aside some time along with your loved one. They can pick the movie while you make the popcorn. If you need to, ask a friend or family member to babysit. You can make this happen with a little help from the energy you raised!

At the same time, keep your eyes open for opportunities that may come your way that seem oddly timely. You might hear from a friend that there’s a discount on cabin rentals for a weekend retreat close by, and then find out that your loved one has the weekend off work. Stay alert to these opportunities the universe is creating for you, and open your mind to other ways of achieving the goal you’ve set. If you end up going indoor rock-climbing together to feel closer, you still have the same end result.

Intention is a very powerful thing, and you need to be sure you’re acting with full self-knowledge. Don’t just stumble blindly through a spell because you think you know what you’re looking for. Take charge of your desires and you’ll get much further in reaching for your goals.

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