In Modern Magick I describe three general types of magick and equate them to the concepts of white (spiritual), black (negative), and grey (practical). If you follow the system in the book, you’ll learn that these are only descriptions about the results of the magick. The techniques for all three are similar or the same.
When many or most people get into magickâ€”influenced by the fictions found in fairy tales, novels, comic books and moviesâ€”they are most often focused on grey magick: making actual, observable changes in their lives and the lives of others. Some think that if they merely mumble some ritual in an arcane book that a pot of gold will suddenly appear, the family dog will get better, and enemies will be turned into rats. If that were true, every book on magick that is available in the U.S. would be collected and locked up under the Patriot Act! I’m sorry to disappoint, but it just doesn’t work that way.
There are three things that are necessary for practical magick to be effective. They are:
The Necessity of a Positive Attitude
This is the first of the three necessities. If you donâ€™t think that your magick will work, it wonâ€™t. This should not imply, however, that magick is nothing more than mental techniques. There are many cases of the techniques of standard allopathic (Western) medicine being overpowered by a negative mental attitude. This is not because the medical treatment was nothing more than a placebo. Rather, it is because the mind and body are intimately connected and one cannot be cured if the other is not cured. Similarly, if the mind is not positive toward the magick you are doing, it can defeat your practical techniques. It is impossible to be successful as a magickian if you are not positive your magick will work.
The Necessity of Knowing How to Generate and Control Magickal Energy
Although the first necessity is challenging (it can be hard to control what you are thinking both consciously and unconsciously), many people struggle with this second necessity. Generating or raising magickal energy can be achieved through any of a variety of techniques, ranging from visualization and breathwork to physical actions including repeated patterns with magickal tools such as wands or moving around in certain ways within a magickal circle. Once you learn how to generate this energy (and I use that expression to describe raising it from within, from without, or from both sources), the next aspect of this two-part necessity is to develop the ability to control and direct that energy. With practice, a magickian should be able to send out anything from an enormously broad torrent of power to a laser-like pinpoint of directed energy.
The Necessity of Knowledge
The third necessity is the knowledge of what to do with the energy once it has been raised and can be controlled. Knowledge is not merely information. The information of what to do with the energy can be obtained through numerous books and on-line sources. The knowledge of what to do with the energy means that you need to know on a practical basis how to put it all together and then actually accomplish it.
In my opinion, any good course on how to do magick needs to include all three of these necessities (whether they’re described that way or not). Some spell books give information on what to do with the energy, but don’t share how to generate or control that energy. Some magickal books give exercises that can be used for raising and directing energy, but don’t tell you that you need to work on this and develop these skills. Other books ignore that you have to knowâ€”not just believe or hope, but knowâ€”that the magick will work. I contend that to be an expert and successful magickian you need to excel with these necessities.
If your attempts at magick have failed, which of these three necessities have you not mastered? Do you think something else is needed for successful magick?