Scrying the 30th Enochian Aethyr, TEX

I used the “natural” (i.e. non-GD) pronunciation of the “Call of the 30 Aethyrs,” inserting TEX in the appropriate place.  I recited the call once in English, then three times in Enochian.  By the third recitation, I could feel I had shifted into an altered frame of mind.

I closed my eyes and found myself in a stone foyer, facing three passages (like a 3-way split ahead of me).  The far left passage was dark and open as was the far right passage.  The central passage had a door with the name, “TEX,” inscribed on it in scarlet boiling blood, as if the letters were transparent containers set into the surface of the door.  I reached out to push the door open and instead found myself drawn through it as a portal.

Once through, I stood in an enormous grassy clearing (almost a vast meadow bordered by dense forest in the distance) at twilight.  The sky was blue and violet, punctuated with dark storm clouds, and there was white lightning on the horizon.  A cold damp wind blew in my face and the shin-high grass was soaked as if it had just rained.

Walking forward, I noticed that the grass had made my shoes wet.  And suddenly I had traversed the entire space and was entering the forest treeline.  The forest was dark but dry; though, I could hear water dripping through the leaves.  I followed a wide soft path of reddish pine needles and fertile earth.

Soon, I came to a shrine in a small clearing.  The shrine consisted of a gray stone pedestal with a stone box at the top.  The side of the box that faced me as I approached was open and contained a very large glowing emerald jewel.  I reached out and grasped it.

As soon as I did that, I became a tree.  I realized that all the trees in the forest were people who had grasped that jewel, but it was not upsetting.  What was upsetting was that I found myself extruded, upside-down, in a tunnel below my “tree form.”  It was as if I was born, hanging, from the roots.  I landed on the floor of the tunnel, naked, covered in dirt. 

The only thing to do was follow the tunnel, which opened on an enormous cavern.  I walked to the edge of a cliff beside a waterfall and watched the water go down hundreds of feet to the cavern floor.  All across the base of the cavern were naked people—like prehistoric humans, hairy, bearded, and dirty.  They sat on the ground in circles, around fire pits, with stone tools, grunting without a coherent language, and had random sex with each other spontaneously in the open the way animals do. 

I floated down to the floor of the cavern and walked among them, but none of them seemed to notice.  From above, came a booming voice.  As it spoke, the words were written on the air with white fire: Without your trappings, you are this.*

I accepted it as a statement of fact.  Without having to reverse my journey, I found myself back in my body.

* “trappings” being understood in the vision as meaning the “trappings of civilization.”

 

Notes:

Crowley’s apocalyptic visions of TEX in The Vision and the Voice are (again) very different than what I experienced.  Note also that Jonathan Back’s description of TEX in Spirits Walk with Me is also different; though, it is closer to mine than Crowley’s.  I suspect that everyone experiences the Aethyrs in their own way.

 

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Finding Cyprian

                                                                   Cyprian of Antioch

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to my need for more elemental balance in my magical (self-) work.  I did some simple hoodoo, using dirt from the backyard, and felt the groundedness, the hoodoo Earth power I love so much.  It had been a long time since I’d felt that.  So much moving and upheaval, so many changes of residence over the last few years and small unaccommodating living spaces, have made Air-dominant, spiritual magic far more usable.  And, in truth, I needed to polish those areas of Work for a while.  So I have no regrets.  

I’ve been working (almost) exclusively with spiritual beings and words of power for about three years.  It has been rewarding to develop my abilities in Air and Fire.  But lately, I have begun to sense an imbalance.  It is manifesting in my physical body, my emotions, my worldview, and my assumptions about life.  I’ve felt like “returning to Earth” in order to even these things out.  This means working more with dirt, washes, powders, oils and other physical materia.  Unfortunately, it’s still hard to do that, given my current living arrangement.  But I will find a way.

Yesterday (11 June 19), on a trip to London, I felt compelled to purchase The Book of St. Cyprian: the Sorcerer’s Treasure, translated and with commentary by Jose Leitao, which I found in the basement of Watkins Books.  I have wanted the book for some time.  It was more money than I intended to spend, but the book had a lot of energy (what I sometimes jokingly refer to as “fairy dust”) on it and I couldn’t deny that it was calling to me.

Walking out of the bookshop, not needing to be anywhere for a bit, I decided to stop in a cafe and do some reading.  As soon as I had that thought, I noticed the St. Martin-in-the-Fields crypt cafe and remembered that Cyprian is the patron of necromancers, among other things.  I went down the stairs, got some breakfast and a coffee, and settled in to read Leitao’s introduction, where I noticed the following, as if it, too, had fairy dust on it:  “[K]now that if you are reading this book then you are supposed to be reading it, that with it you invite the Saint and a legion of other spirits I cannot even begin to name into your life.  What his plans might be for you are not mine to know” (xxxv).  And “This is a book of the ground, of the dirt, it is not of the mind, it is not of the spirit, it is not of the heart, it is of the viscera” (xxxvii).  As I read that, a cold wave passed through me, which I have learned to recognize as the presence of magic in action.

A few hours later, walking on a London street with a friend, trying to describe this experience, I noticed some decorative ironwork over a grating in the shape of an “X.”  It was the third “fairy dust moment” I had that day.  This not only signifies liminality (the crossroads) for me and therefore is a powerful sign of hoodoo.  But it also communicates to me in the language of the Elder Futhark.  “X” is Gifu / Gebo, the Gift rune.  Blum writes that the rune is “an indication that union, uniting, or partnership in some form is at hand. . . . Thus Gebo, the Rune of Partnership, has no reverse for it signifies the gift of freedom from which flow all other gifts” (Book of the Runes, 71).

Every morning, I draw a Rune as an oracle for the day.  This morning, I drew Gifu again.  I believe there is an impending partnership being offered to me from this Saint of necromancers.  And I gladly accept.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Objectives in Magic

I started this as a thread on Studio Arcanis, but I’m going to include it here as a post because I think it may be of interest to the majority of people who visit this website.  If you want to talk about it, feel free to comment below. – Dr. M


I’ve been having an interesting conversation off-site with a novice magician who is having a hard time wrapping her head around the idea that you can use magic to change your entire life permanently and for the better. She’s talented, even though she’s a beginner, and she’s been able to pull in small amounts of money, romantic partners, call (a few) spirits, and protect herself. She’s got all the fundamentals. But her question to me was, in so many words, if I’ve got this magical gift, “How come I still live in a lame tiny apartment, I’m broke most of the time, and every love interest I bring into my life doesn’t last?”

It’s a good question. My first response was to ask what she values the most and where she is putting the largest amount of emotional energy and focus in her life. I talk about that at length here on my blog because it’s related and, as a public sorcerer, I get similar questions quite a bit: 

https://blacksnakeconjure.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/blood-from-a-stone-if-you-can-do-magic-how-come/

But I think there’s more to it in terms of what she’s wondering. And I think it comes down to short-term and long-term objectives. A short-term objective might be to get $500 to pay off a credit card debt. That is excellent. So you make a sigil or buy a “Money Get Into My Pocket” candle, do the ritual, avoid lust of result, and eventually money comes to you. Maybe $250 comes from a rebate, $100 comes from a gambling win down at Big Horse Casino, and you get $150 on Ebay when your Franklin Mint “Elvis in the Parthenon” plates finally sell. Is that how money magic can work? Absolutely. You take that money and pay off your credit card. The whole thing takes a few months and it doesn’t feel like Harry Potter magic. It just feels like a few good breaks in a normal life. Magic. It works like that.

But you then still have to use your credit card because you are broke enough to be living on credit part of the time. Okay. So you haven’t changed much. You are still going to accrue debt. You still have to shop at discount stores part of the time and forgo the daily Starbucks if you don’t want a headache at the end of the month. You need long-term change. Here is how to create that.

The basic principle is that long-term change is built from a chain of significant short-term changes aimed at the goal. Back to our example. You paid off your credit card. Good. Now you do a short-term money working to bring an additional income stream into your life. It’s not just you making more debt and then scrambling around to pay it off. It’s you adding more income while you make that additional debt. Pretty soon, you divert a little of it into a savings account. You keep on with this until you have a personal back-up fund that is big enough to, say, invest in a Bitcoin (yes, I know, crypto currency is very magical but unstable and it is just an example, not even the best one to use here—just go with it for the moment) or eventually purchase a rental property.* Then you’re playing with a degree of magical affluence that can increase and that ensures you have a long-term change. And you keep doing this, expanding, making more base affluence for yourself (and acquiring the knowledge necessary to do it again from nothing if you lose all your money).

In the meantime, you have done many short-term workings: to reduce small debts that stand in the way; to gain insight and knowledge; to acquire helpers; for luck (in a gambling sense and also in a personal networking sense); for magical mentors to help you work your magical books more effectively; and for a host of other short-term things, which are not one-shot workings as much as they are steps in the longer process.

The long game takes time, planning, and you have to be quiet about it because it will disrupt and upset those around you who like keeping you in your frustrated broke place. The point is that you can use magic to change your life permanently, but you have to be willing to put the work in over time. It might take a few years. You might be a different person at the end because of all the changes and the way people will be pulled into and pushed out of your life. 

So it also comes down to my question to this person: what do you value the most? If you can live with being broke but in love, you value love. If you think love depends on being financially stable enough to pursue it, you value money. If you can sit alone in a library, broke and unloved, and be content with your books, you value knowledge. Like most of us, you probably value all these things to some degree. But the thing you value most should be the object of long-term commitment for you. The rest will fall into place in a lesser sense when you get started on that central focus-point.

* There are many, many other examples and ways to draw that base affluence. These are only two and, as I mention above, not even the best two.

Regarding the Utilitarian Critique of Art and Magic

This writing was originally meant as a response to the argument that we shouldn’t care about the burning of Notre-Dame in light of climate change, global hunger, and other worldwide tragic problems.  It originally appeared as a response post on Studio Arcanis, which I help moderate.

Utilitarian arguments about art are always very easy to make.  Why should we have museums when children are starving?  Museums are expensive.  We could recycle the art and make homeless shelters instead.  Why should we study art history, philosophy, literature, or esotericism?  Those fields won’t give us job skills, won’t put food on the table, don’t have an efficient, profitable, commercial-industrial application. 

This is often an argument made by North Americans, since education beyond high school and health care in the USA cannot ever be taken for granted, efforts by one political faction or another over the years notwithstanding.  So reading philosophy for a Bachelor’s degree seems like a very risky prospect when there is no obvious way to translate that into a livelihood.  And no one wants to starve, which has been referred to as “the great American fear” at least since the Great Depression: ending up helpless, homeless, and unloved because you lost your job and couldn’t provide for your family or your health.

Moreover, anyone who has studied the arts and humanities at university has heard some chortling relative say, “What are you going to do with that?  Ho, ho, ho.”  The person who says it usually does so with maximum scorn because, supposedly, anyone can see how wrong it is to spend precious time and resources on something that will not support you in the future.  It’s a bad return-on-investment.  In the perpetually commodifying business sensibilities of the materialist West, it looks like professional suicide.

It has now become the same argument that says university itself is a bad idea, given that you can apprentice yourself to a trade and avoid both student loan debt and all that “wasted time.”  For many, this is no doubt good advice.  We need our skilled plumbers, electricians, and mechanics.  Some people neither need nor want so-called “higher education” and to force them into a 4-year general degree is both short-sighted and inhumane.  They are content to live fairly well and lead their lives with the satisfaction and comforts of being vocationally skilled—a contentedness that the literature student, even the (extremely lucky) tenured professor, will never feel.

Still, people seek higher study in the arts and humanities because they feel called to do so.  This is not something that can be easily explained to the sneering uncle who installs pools for a living and thinks you’re stupid for reading Beowulf in Old English.  At the family reunion, you simply have to change the subject because he is invariably stuck in his perspective, one that seems like common sense to him. 

No doubt, standing in church with everyone else on Sunday (because that is what is expected of him), he has often heard the famous verse from Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” but has never thought to question the doors he has left unopened in his life.  And so, with a closed mind that is highly conditioned by conformist culture, he holds those who are different in contempt.  If he ever wonders about the things he does not understand, it’s only a passing discomfort.

The arts and humanities student, however, lives in constant uncertainty.  It is intrinsic to the study (and production) of creative works.  Contrary to the stereotype of the artist somehow leading a charmed existence where the creativity just flows through him onto the canvas or the page, every step—whether the person is writing essays about Shakespeare’s tragedies, painting landscapes, composing a sonata, or teaching students how to read Homer—is fraught with trouble, effort, and self-doubt.  Finance, engineering, IT, medicine, sales, the trades, and even design are all things this culture more or less accepts and understands.  But the arts, the humanities, and even more esoteric things like comparative spirituality, occultism, and parapsychology exist in the wilderness beyond the safe and the secure.  Most people fear that wilderness.

It has always been this way.  Now let’s think of what sort of contemptuous comments magical practitioners might hear (that sound suspiciously similar to what the art student hears at Christmas dinner).  I will quote from Peter Levenda’s “Prolegomena to a Study of Occultism”:

‘It isn’t real, it’s all in your mind,’ is one of the first snorts of derision that anyone involved in occultism must suffer. ‘It’s nothing but fantasy,’ they say. They know this because they have been told that it is fantasy, that it is not real. They have been told this by their teachers, by pop scientists like Sagan on television, or by their friends. They themselves have not investigated the paranormal at all. Quite often, they are not equipped for such an investigation. What they ‘know’ is what they have been told. You will find that the dullest, most functionally illiterate mental mushroom has a very definite, very ‘scientific’ view on one thing: the impossibility of any kind of psychic phenomena. ‘There ain’t no such things as ghosts,’ might typify one of these brilliant scientific assessments of centuries of human experience. And anyone who ‘believes’ in ghosts is crazy. By linking the twin concepts of belief and the paranormal we arrive at a cogent example of the use of language to alter perception, for we either ‘believe’ or don’t ‘believe’ in ghosts, magic, God, the Devil. There is simply no corresponding approach to plane geometry, the square root of minus 1, or the genetic code. One never asks if one ‘believes’ in the Pythagorean theorem or in any Euclidean theorem (or, for that matter, no one is ever asked whether or not they ‘believe’ that the circumference of a circle contains exactly 360 degrees, even though that number comes down to us from Babylonian mythology and is not the result of ‘scientific observation’).

What they “know” is what they have been told.  Isn’t this always the case on some level?  And yet although people like this remain ignorant about what they have not been told, they often seem determined to give their opinion on it. 

So what can be said in response to a person who argues that the burning of Notre-Dame is not tragic when there is plastic in the ocean and children are starving?  Because he has not felt the beauty of such a place, because his sensibilities are utilitarian and primarily conditioned by the marketplace, because he has not developed a personal aesthetic, you cannot tell him, “Wait, Notre-Dame is a work of great art and high culture.”  He has no idea what that means because he has not been told what to think by an authority he can respect. 

This person should not try to study esotericism.  He should not try to study art.  He should avoid museums and should leave Shakespeare and Milton to the professors.  Instead, he should stick to the things that “everybody knows” because in that he is an expert.

Letters to a Young Sorcerer #2: Start with Modern Grimoires Like New Avatar Power, New Ishtar Power, and The Mystic Grimoire

Dear Young Sorcerer,

You have asked me about where to begin in the world of grimoire magic (and whether you should even mess about with grimoires in the first place).  My best and most sincere response to this must be: the modern grimoires are doorways to great ability.  Look to them first.  That is what the second letter in this series of posts is about.

Above and beyond all others, The Miracle of New Avatar Power by Geof Gray-Cobb is one of the most asked about modern grimoires on my website and on Studio Arcanis, where I moderate.  Over time, I’ve responded to questions about it individually and in more general teaching posts here on Black Snake Conjure.  On Studio Arcanis, we even have a complete sub-forum dedicated to it.  We admire it that much—and for good reason.  But before I go into a new discussion, I’ll provide a brief summary of what I’ve already said about this material (with handy links). 

I’ve talked about the hybrid nature of New Avatar Power in the sense that it functions as an instructive (and powerfully effective) intersection of Kabbalistic, angelic, demonic, egregoric, planetary, and divinatory magic, embedded in the overheated language of 1970s pop-occultism. It is, in a very real sense, a complete (and quite subtle) education in evocation and ceremonial magic. And I believe it is far superior to its more recent imitators, as much as I like and will recommend those in this post as well.

I’ve also examined the deceptive veiled language of these modern grimoires. In “Willpower and Manipulation in the Art of Spiritual Evocation,” I noted that

Gray-Cobb and his 1970s pop-occult contemporaries were real magicians who hid their knowledge in silly, rinky-dink, sensational books. Whenever you’re reading Carl Nagel, M. McGrath, Al Manning, Oliver Bowes, etc., remember to look closely at their sensational language and goofy anecdotes. These are blinds. If you can read between the lines (as an old Rosicrucian motto taken from Proverbs 20:12 goes, those with hears to hear and eyes to see), you will have access to some powerful techniques.

And some of you wrote to me, asking why they would do something like this.  No one can say for sure, but, as a public writer on the occult, I believe these writers used clever “blinds” because what they were offering was (and is) very effective. 

They didn’t want to mislead sincere seekers, but they also didn’t want to be responsible for placing power in the hands of those who would misuse it.  So they wrote in such a way that only the most sincere and dedicated students would “decode” what they were saying and therefore get results from the techniques.  Make no mistake, the knowledge in these books, once you know how to read them, can be egregiously misused.  These aren’t texts dedicated to “harming none.”

I’ve covered ways to use these grimoires (and even older magical books) to learn better techniques of evocation and other forms of magic, citing the very old practice of magicians calling spirit teachers and learning directly from them instead of from human teachers or, more recently, how-to manuals. I’ve talked about how the “spirit book” or Liber Spiritum was traditionally a very key component in this process; although, many practitioners either don’t know about it, don’t understand how to use it, or don’t see a need for it today.

Lastly, I’ve discussed (mostly at Studio Arcanis in the “modern grimoires” forum) why and how the Gallery of Magick grimoires and the GoM’s imitators seem derivative of the work of Gray-Cobb, Al Manning, and Carl Nagel in particular. And yet most of the GoM texts are quite useful and well done in their own right, if a bit narrower and less flexible than, say, New Avatar Power or New Ishtar PowerAnd there’s still much more to say.  If you’ve read my linked posts and have taken a look at the relevant fora on Studio Arcanis, you’re already fairly informed about what these texts are and what they can do. 

However, I felt inspired to write more on the subject when I got a very interesting email that asked whether it would be a mistake to start with something like New Avatar Power when older “more traditional” magical books are so readily available—essentially whether the real power was in texts like the Grimorium Verum, the Grand Grimoire, Liber Juratus, or even the Papyri Graecae Magicae.

It’s a tremendous question because it’s impossible to answer to any degree of usefulness.  The question looks for power in the grimoires instead of in the practitioner, which is a serious, if common, mistake.  So my first answer was that any book of magic can be effectively worked if the magician knows what he is doing.  But leaving it at that is neither fun nor kind.  So I will rephrase the question: what is the value of (or is there a value in) working with modern grimoires as opposed to the hard (and rewarding) study of older magical books?

Obviously, if you’ve gotten this far with me, you know I think there is an immense value to be had in reading and using modern grimoires.  But I would caution the beginner not to see a dichotomy here just because the older grimoires were published centuries ago and these came out beginning in the North American pop-occult boom of the late 1960s. 

Modern grimoires are always, to some extent (and often very much), indebted to older traditions of grimoire magic.  They use the same classes and individual spirits; though, they may call such beings in different ways.  They often rely on mantra or visualization to do the work that more concrete magical accessories and icons did for centuries.  And they may be written with modern lifestyles in mind—i.e. they may have very robust techniques for drawing money, exerting influence, and finding favor with those in power and far less about “making women dance in the nude,” causing displays of poltergeist activity or light shows, and affecting crops.  If we consider the modern redistribution of population from rural to urban, this all makes sense.

Overall, the modern grimoires offer a doorway not only to powerful accessible magic but to the older traditions on which they are based.  A great example of this is the “Magical Mentor” in New Avatar Power, a familiar spirit you can call to help you in all things.  What many beginners don’t realize is that when they call this spirit, they are also getting a powerful tutor who can show them effective ways to unlock the Lesser Key of Solomon or The Black Raven.  Learn to see all the grimoire literature on a grand continuum and so many more doors will open to you. 

I strongly advise young sorcerers to internalize Aleister Crowley’s dictum: “invoke often and inflame thyself with prayer.”  I would also recommend evoking often, that is, calling spirits to appear before the practitioner, not only to exert influence in the world, but to acquire knowledge.  What better way to start this than with books written in the language of modern magicians and therefore more readily accessible?  Becoming conversant with modern grimoires will make you a proficient magician and it will also pave the way to the older texts as well.

Like anything, grimoire magic takes practice.  So if you are called to the magical life, start today. It is a very long but rewarding path.

Letters to a Young Sorcerer #1: I am not special. Neither are you.

Fludd's Great Chain of Being

As I resume my spiritual practice with 4 new clients in the last 24 hours, the truth of this work, the “essential spirit” of it, comes back to me.  So my first “letter” to those just starting out in this field has to do with what the work really is and what it really isn’t.  In order to understand what I’m about to tell you, you need to accept one hard-cut truth: I am not special, even though I practice sorcery.  You are not special, either.

I’ve written about some of the hard lessons being a spiritual worker has taught me.  And I’ve pointed out more than once that conjure, divination, and sorcery are like learning to play the piano.  Most people can learn it to a competent degree if they work hard at it, but only a few will be brilliant.  If you are sure that you aren’t one of those brilliant few (and can you really be sure?), who cares

Who says that unflattering self-perception must stop you from doing what you love?  That is true for physics, coaching basketball, flying planes, teaching yoga, playing Texas Hold’em, investing, or seducing the innocent.  Being a mediocre practitioner of an art is still practicing it.  The only harm comes when you overstate your skill level.

Some plumbers are just more talented than others and do more impressive work.  Some poets write more resonant lines than others.  Some historians have more penetrating insights into the past.  But if you wanted to, you could start studying physics, coaching, flying, yoga, poker, investing, seduction, plumbing, poetry, or history and learn those disciplines well enough to identify as a practitioner.  Doing that will not set you apart from your fellow man or reveal you as some kind of messiah, genius, chosen one, or superhero.  It will mean you applied yourself, did the reading, learned, grew as a person, and became competent.

The same goes for magic.  Like anything else, it takes practice and dedication, no matter how much talent you may or may not have.  Some will be born with a gift for that particular sort of work.  But sorcery, like anything we decide to do, is part of what it is to be human.  As a human, you can learn it if you really want to.  We forget that sometimes.  If, as the chaos magician and farmer, Gordon White, puts it, “the universe runs on magic,” then I also suggest: you are magic.  In fact, we all are. 

Like the new age saying goes, you are a spiritual being having a human experience.  Sometimes the most challenging hurdle for a beginning sorcerer is accepting this.  Lingering Victorian materialism has taught us that magic is part of the SUPER-natural—that which is above and beyond the natural (or, for many scientists, that which is merely fantasy and does not actually work or exist in any meaningful way).  But other eras never saw a disconnect between the body and the soul, the magical and the mundane. 

It was all part of a continuum, a Great Chain of Being.  Most often, when we study the magical arts, we are learning the principles founded in those other eras, not in our current technocratic scientistic age.  Even the famous Victorian magical societies turned to classical antiquity and the Renaissance for inspiration and guidance, mining the great libraries and museums of Europe for grimoires and philosophical texts. 

So it is in our current magical schools as well.  But far too many would-be sorcerers and half-baked magicians turn to the occult because they want to escape reality instead of understand and engage with it.  They want magic to be SUPER-natural because the natural world of their mundane lives is boring and painful and they feel small.

They want to be special, chosen, sought after.  They want money.  They want sex.  They want to be the guru.  And when they advertise their services as sorcerers, they act like magic is a rare jewel that only the chosen few possess.  Maybe they even believe this.  But whether they know they’re lying or they’re just doing it out of ignorance, the fact remains that they are misleading others, obscuring the truth that sorcery can be taught to just about anyone.  It can even be self-taught.

This attitude comes as much from their damaged egos and need for admiration as it does from pop-culture.  Harry Potter is very special, you know?  But this sense of magic being somehow “out there” is false.  And it leads to deceptive marketing and puffery on the part of these lost souls who quickly go from wanting to be the guru to lying to clients about the occult and their own exaggerated abilities.  My first letter to you, young sorcerer, is therefore a warning: don’t be like this.

If you want to do this kind of work, you have to get over yourself and remember: you are not special; you are neither worse nor better than anyone else.  You have a certain skill set.  If you’re good enough at it (as with anything) people will pay you for it. 

If you want to work as a public sorcerer, if you want to get good enough that you can shift probability, call spirits to appearance, influence minds at a distance, draw money and love, cast and remove curses, perform blessings and cleansings, know the innermost recesses of the self, communicate with the dead, and understand the spiritual quintessence that underlies all nature, hard work and dedication is the only way.  Period.

Practice, study, mindful experimentation, and finding a magical community of peers with whom you can discuss these things is how you do it.  You have to develop the wisdom to know who is awake and who is still struggling in the chains of reductive materialism.  You also have to learn how to care for yourself because this road is long and unforgiving.

All of the above abilities and more are attainable, in whole or in part, by all but the most magically tone-deaf people (who are likely unnaturally gifted at some other things—the world tends to balance itself like that and I’d rather have a talented plumber fix my water heater than a spirit conjured from the Verum, wouldn’t you?).  And I don’t mean to seem inordinately harsh when I tell you that you need to stay humble and avoid developing a messiah complex.  But I also don’t write this letter to make you feel good.  

I write this because I care about the magical art and want it to thrive.  The only way that’s going to happen is if there is new blood, if the new generation of spiritual workers, grimoire magicians, witches, and psychics are real and not fake.  Those of us who have been walking the path for decades will eventually have to move over and let others lead.  It is the way of things.  And it is our job to make sure that when that happens, the young people who step up will do so with power, sincerity, wisdom, and truth.