A few examples of traditional spells, I did and what I counted as successes:
7-day success candles dressed with homemade success oil and set on papers with the desired results written overlapping my name written seven times for luck. I had been applying to jobs for 9 months, and I had gained employment using other job spells before but they were bad jobs that only held me over for a bit. The during the 9 months of unemployment I had unsuccessfully attempted to find work a number of times, and there was no work, hardly any listings. I then did a working to improve the job market in my field—how could I get a job, if there were none. After doing a large druidic style community working for more jobs for the whole local field with my coven, then when there were a number of listings, I reattempted my job spell. I got another short term job that was unsuitable for me. This last time, I did a more specific spell, for me to be happy in my job and paid well. Then I got a call from an employer I had not applied to—because the last guy who had fired me recommended him to me. That is freaking magical!
Defensive magic. I have had, in several instances, falling outs with other magic users. In a few of those cases, I was sensing affects on my person from those break ups or perhaps psychic attacks from those people. In those instances I have used traditional witches bottles and balls with the addition of personal gifts from those people included as the decoy item. In these cases, either any magical attack was prevented or in the cases where they had already begun, they were reduced and then ceased.
Money Magic: I very much wanted a certain expensive grimoire. It was $200. And I could not afford it. I did a traditional money drawing spell with a money drawing 7 day candle and home made money drawing oil and herbs. A month after doing the spell, I received an unexpected refund from the dentist when I had been expecting a big bill from them. Not only was it enough to buy the grimoire, the check date was a significant Sabbat date, which was cool because the grimoire writer is always mailing their ads for their books on significant Sabbat dates too.
Love Magic: I made a traditional Cornish love powder using special hard to locate ingredients, including a red rose found in the middle of winter. Shortly after sprinkling the love powder on my beloved, he asked me to move in, which certainly took our relationship to the next level, and it had been something I had been secretly wishing for him to ask.
Health Magic: Everyone around me, all my coworkers, my boyfriend, my friends had this awful flu. I was determined not to get it. Not sure why, I think I had a special event I wanted to go to. Anyways, I brewed up a disgusting potion of a bunch of different vegetables and herbs. I cast a spell over it to prevent the flu and choked the whole thing down. I did not catch the seemingly inevitable flu, despite having sex with an infected person quite a few times!
Spiritual Magic: I made a hag stone cord, it was made so that in my dreams I would hedge cross to various otherworldly locations. I made the stone in a traditional West Country out door initiatory ritual. When I got home with it and began sleeping with it, both myself and my then husband had vivid dreams including the locations I had focused on. He had been entirely unaware of the purpose of the stone and the locations I had designated!
Those are just a few examples, of what I define as successes with my magical work.
Here is a failure: My then husband (a sorcerer in his own right, but an ill tempered one) was trying to pass a very difficult test. This test was a career maker. Although my husband was a top student in his class and very good at things, he was very nervous about this test. So I prepared a 7 day success candle for him and dressed it with home-made success drawing oils. My husband lit the candle anytime he was studying. One day while he was not studying, the candle fell and broke all on its own in the basement. The cat was no where near it, but in someone’s lap when the commotion was heard. My husband failed the test. And I did not do any further workings on it, because his intent to fail the test was so strong that he not only sent energy to break the candle, but the second he started his test he blanked. He was more comfortable the second time he took the test because he had seen how the test worked and everything and passed with very high scores. He didn’t need told to understand he had ruined the spell and had set himself up to fail. The next time we did a similar spell he kept his attitude neutral at the very least if he couldn’t be outright positive. With the improvements, our next joint working, to get him a new job, worked.
Another half failure: A friend was very concerned about an upcoming hearing, she was worried that she would lose and the plaintiff would win. The plaintiff was fraudulent, lying about an injury that was a previous injury not from the recent collision. She asked me to do a spell. I chose a keep the law away candle with home made success drawing oil, in retrospect, that was a bad choice of candle. Rather than the hearing going her way, it just wasn’t held, the whole thing was snowed out! I recast the spell more specifically, and the plaintiff dropped her suit.
These are just several examples of my many successes and a couple failures out of a few. I am successful by my own measures more often than not, and most of the time, I can identify pretty obviously what when wrong with my failures.