Where to start with magick – Part 2 Getting things sorted

In my last post I mentioned what I think of as the three phases of the magickal career. I think you should really start with messing around – don't have a particular goal, just experiment and see what happens.

There's no time limit on this – the point is to build up experience, see what works, see what doesn't, see what you enjoy. Above all to realise that you're dealing with a reality that includes weirdshit, spiritual forces, and magick that actually works. Flipping over your sense of reality is essential – and may go through a few phases, some of which may be a bit embarrassing.

However, you've messed around, maybe for a few months, more likely for a few years – no time pressure. What comes next?

In my experience what comes next is getting things sorted. And by things, I mostly mean yourself. Although, as an extension to this, I mean your life, and beyond that your skill set.

We are all, to a greater or lesser degree, broken. We have issues, ego problems, psychological problems, emotional damage from childhood, false beliefs and misunderstandings about ourselves and others. This is perfectly fine – growing up is hard, being incarnate is hard, and no one does it without picking up some damage and confusion along the way. But… that damage is going to get in the way of spiritual progress and magickal ability.

I think this realisation comes naturally to most magickians. One of the main questions we will ask ourselves over and over is "Why do I demonstrate seemingly god like power somedays, and utter, complete, abject failure on others?" Asking this question over and over is, I think, one of the most important parts of 'messing around'.

One answer that we frequently come to is that there are areas of our life in which we display wisdom and insight, and those where we are confused and in pain. Funnily enough the former area is generally where we find most success at magick, and the latter the least.

I generally divide life into three parts when considering magickal efficacy – those areas that I demonstrate insight and understanding, and which generally don't require any magickal operation. Those areas where I am so blocked, and lost, that magick almost certainly won't be effective anyway (and which I probably don't know what I need anyway), and the area between the two, a sliding grey area, where things aren't how I wish, but magick can help push in the right direction.

The point of the 'Getting things sorted' phase is to increase your insight and wisdom, and decrease your confusion. It's the time of working primarily on yourself – build skills, overcome blocks, face your demons and work towards stability, happiness and personal strength.

There are many approaches to this and it is the start of the spiritual path proper. It's time to start seriously looking at the state of your life and the way you treat people. It's time to notice your weaknesses and begin work to overcome them. Where are you a failure, what are you not able to do, when does fear overcome reason, and anger block out love? You can't ignore this anymore, it's time to do the work. It's time to start to heal.

This work is wonderful, in that it pays dividend almost immediately. It simply leads to being happier, more content, more success, having better relationships with yourself and the world, and, generally, it will help you thrive. Sadly, however, it's not easy. But working with others makes it much, much easier.

Find friends who are also committed to self development, who are prepared to challenge themselves and work to be better people. Find a spiritual group who emphasise self insight and personal progress. Work with a good therapist if you are in a position to.

This is also the time to develop your magickal skills – become competent at the things you've messed around with, develop confidence in your abilities, know where your talents lie and learn a set of techniques that are effective.

You need to have skill, stability, knowledge and understanding before you push ahead – soon it'll be time for the ascent.

Good ways to get things sorted – Therapy (it can be hard to find a good therapist, and hard to afford one, but trust me the work repays itself in so many ways); initiation (if you resonate strongly with a particular path, being taken through initiations by a knowledgeable, compassionate, group can bring terrific self insight and growth); meditation (time to go deeper); divination (go deeper – find where the problems are); talk, really talk, with friends and loved ones – everyone who loves you wants to succeed, learn from them.

Bad ways to get things sorted – decide you're perfect just the way you are (no, that's your ego talking, listen to what other people are saying about you), decide you are stuck just as you are (no, you may feel blocked and stuck, but you can achieve amazing things – messing around should have showed you how complex and strange the world is, there's help for you everywhere), practical magick for success (a bit now and again is helpful and fun, but it can be a crutch – develop your powers in the real world, get good at living, and magick will be needed less and less).

One Response to "Where to start with magick – Part 2 Getting things sorted"

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