Updated: Jan 10
Alright folks, I get it. When it comes down to it, this is why you're all here. You want to know how to get your most powerful spells. The ones that are going to get the girl/guy back, land you that job you want, work that healing for you, whatever it is right? I got you folks, no worries. I'm going to stress here that this is all about optimizing, and these are goals, not things you should expect to get right right away. Hell, some of this stuff takes time to develop. When it comes down to it, the way you get spells to work doesn't give a crap what your intention is, the techniques are mostly the same.
Understand your symbolism.
Learn your way around trance and altered states.
Cultivate relationships with Spirit.
Build energy and back the Work
Guard your secrets.
Symbolism for me is the cornerstone of magical practice. Everything else flows from that point. What do we mean by symbolism then? Symbolism for our context is using images, words, objects or other things with a deeper meaning or context AS a means to carry that deeper meaning. The hardest part to understand in how we do this for magical stuff is that a symbol without context is like a language with only one word. While your symbol SET can change from spell to spell, and can be built for the spell, they have to carry a meaning that ties together within itself. You can see that building of SETS of symbols in children at play.
Symbols in magical practice are things that hold space for visualization. When you build the layers of individual symbols, and tie them in to the greater whole (which we'll get to later), that symbol holds things that we then don't have to hold in our mind. THAT is the power of symbols. That's why we use all our props and stuff in magical practice.
Trance and altered states
I've written an article about this before, with most of the basic ways to get there in it. I think what's important here though is to discuss what we do with the trance when we find it. For me, trance allows us to step in a space magically that fixes our symbolism into place for a while, like a child picking up the rules for a pretend game. Done right, you click into almost another world. Honestly, you can to a certain extent click into that without deep trance work, but that can take a LOT of practice.
Cultivating the relationships with spirit.
People put a LOT of emphasis on this some times. They can think of this as some big, scary, dangerous thing. It's certainly not. Look folks, working with spirits isn't any different in some ways to working with other physical people. Each one is an individual, but in general, respect and honesty goes a LONG way. People make a huge difference about different pantheons, or different types of spirits. For me, that kind of stuff is kind of the equivalent of the spirits cultural background. It absolutely shapes things in the same ways.
Cultivating these relationships is about regular interaction. Coffee time is great for this. It's a quiet simple way to make friends, and learn to listen. Don't get too hard on yourself if it takes a minute.
This is for me the key to building things up. It can be very simple. The key here is that there's an upper limit. If you can hold it all in your mind, then it'll add effectively. If you can't, then the layers can actually make things less effective. There's a balance to find in that.
Building energy and backing the Work
This is 2 things really. This is about the concept of magical energy in a spellwork sense, but also about the concept of backing the work, or doing the things in the mundane world that reinforce the Work. I have a strained relationship with "magical energy". The thing for me is that this kind of energy is almost a placeholder symbol when you can't find anything else. To me it SHOULD be a measure of how much relevance a symbol has for you. What I see though is often it's used INSTEAD of a relevant symbol. To me, energy in itself is a way of making the symbol become important.
Backing the Work is actually super simple. Get off your ass, out of the temple, and make it happen. Follow up with the things that anyone that doesn't practice magic would do to accomplish the goal. I do want to add something specific here. Let's talk reconciliation spells and backing the Work. You will not actually reconcile with someone until you address the reason you split in the first place. Does this concept turn magical practice into a psychology hack? No, but it does add the psychological hack TO the magic.
I put these 2 together because the intentional way you back the magical with the mundane IS a way that you layer magical energy into the mundane things you're doing.
This is the dreaded "forgetting your spell" talk. So the idea here is that we're often so attached to the results of our spellwork that we put the wrong thoughts back into it. That can be killer for the Work. I already know how hard this one is, I can struggle with it too. There's some other ways to keep detachment, but the basic ideas here are all about keeping our negative thoughts and energy separated from the spellwork.
Keeping your mouth shut
This actually follows quite naturally from the previous points. In the same way that your energy can affect the spell, so can other folks. I'm not a believer that we need to not talk to anyone about any spell, but you'll want to choose your folks carefully. I usually don't talk spellwork with folks that don't believe for sure, and I'm also careful to choose folks that I don't think will doubt. While I don't have a hard rule, I generally don't talk about it
If you learn to do all these things, your spellwork will be way better. It's not about which style of magic is best exactly, it's about the simple principals that make any style or school work. Of course, it's not always easy to do, so you're welcome to snag some time with me and I would be glad to work through it with you.