This is a very magickal time of the year. Numerous secular, spiritual, and magickal traditions focus on this period as a time for change. Sometimes, perhaps without even being aware of it, we get stuck in the proverbial rut, including in our magickal practices. And when you’re in that rut, doing things by rote, you may not notice that slowly your success, or the degree of success, starts to fade. To spark your magick you need to change something—but what?
I remember reading about a famous musician who said that when his music writing became stagnant, he would learn to play a new instrument. Every instrument has its own characteristics, leading to new styles and directions. So the key here, in my opinion, is not learning something in an entirely new area, but in something that is associated with what you're doing and can result in new approaches that will make you even more successful. For this season, I'd like to suggest a couple of things you can try that may give new direction to your studies, your practices, your magick, and your life.
One of the things that is important for success with magickal rituals is the altering, even if only slightly, of your consciousness. Moving to such an altered state is a common practice in shamanism, many forms of Paganism, and in ceremonial magick (you didn’t think those circumambulations and incense were just for show, did you?).
One of the most ancient ways of altering consciousness is through hypnosis. However, most of what is "common knowledge" concerning hypnosis is simply wrong. You don't lose consciousness. You don't go to sleep. It doesn't let someone control you. It's not truth serum. It's simply a way for you to access the almost limitless powers of the mind. And you can use this to enhance your rituals, divinations, and more.
As one possible change, I suggest you consider learning hypnosis. A good place to start is with Hypnosis for Beginners by William W. Hewitt. This is a great introduction to hypnosis. It doesn't bog you down with tons of theory. Instead, it's filled with practical techniques and methods you can use to hypnotize yourself and others, experience past lives, change bad habits, and enhance your psychic abilities.
If you're simply interested in self-hypnosis but perhaps have failed in past with tapes, CDs, and MP3s, there's actually a reason for that: they weren’t customized for your needs. In Self-Hypnosis for a Better Life, Hewitt shows you how easy it is to make your own recordings to help you in any area of your life. Then just relax and listen to the recordings whenever you can. The changes, from understanding your dreams to getting more love, from greater success at work to smoking cessation, will come naturally and easily.
Another important skill for any magician is astral projection. Most spiritual and magickal systems encourage it, but don't explain why. It's because all magick takes place first on the astral plane and then manifests on the physical plane. Make changes there and they must occur here. If you can master the astral worlds, it will literally revolutionize all of your magickal practices.
I strongly recommend Mastering Astral Projection by Robert Bruce and Brian Mercer. This is a hands-on thirteen-week training course in a workbook format. If you've ever read a book or taken a class in astral projection and not been as successful as you'd like, or if you want to improve your skills, this book is the one to get. I also recommend the separate CD Companion set. This has six CDs with special sound effects that will help you project astrally. It's a great set by itself, but it has a synergistic effect with the separate book that has to be experienced.