I was having a chat about Geomancy the other day with a Facebook “friend” who was interested to know if his magic worked. The ritual involved invoking a healing angel on someone. His reading said it had not, but the circumstances suggested it had.
The answer was to found in his question “Has my magic to heal b worked?”
The healing result was not the result of his magic but the action of the Angel he invoked. While he was a part of the healing story, it in no way could be said to be the result of his action. While this appears to be splitting hairs, it is an important lesson to the egos of would-be magicians.
Magic does not belong to you, it is never your curse or healing. You are just a conduit for forces who are using your ritual to carry out a shared intention. If it were important enough, and you were not around, these beings would do it themselves.
Had this person asked “did my ritual work?” he would have (and did eventually) a yes answer
This also answers come cases where rituals do not work. A person does the ritual, but the beings invoked are uninterested, or for them to intervene would break the lines of fate, which means that the ritual would fail.
However, it is possible for a magician through their own lower self-power to force it to happen. These results are often quick, but weak or unstable because the universe is against the rite.
So why bother with magic at all?
That question is a bit like asking a writer or poet why they write when few people will ever read their words. You do magic because you do and the universe uses your skill to make things happen. The more in tune you become with your Higher Genius, or contact, or the universe, the less time you are going to waste doing magic that has no chance of working. You have an instinct about what way it will go and the magic you do will help it happen. If you succeed it is not your success but that of the Gods and daemons you invoked in your ritual.