Practice Makes Perfect

By Jason Kitchen

In my experience, magick is one of the most highly misunderstood subjects of the day. It is judged unfairly, and without the slightest hint of knowledge and understanding. It has the ability to turn many heads upon its entrance into a conversation, but it also has the ability to raise awareness and questions in the curious mind.

Most people fear what they do not understand, and a lack of understanding is only due to a lack of exploration.  How can one judge something, for his or her own opinion, without proper and reliable knowledge and comprehension of that thing? Without it, the opinion will only be made up of gross assumptions from whatever rumor or hearsay that has been collected over time.

I would gamble that a lot of people on this fine planet have wondered at some point in their lives about the effects of magick and metaphysics, but perhaps laziness or not wanting to read that book that they bought from the bookstore, or even fear of the chance they might just raise a "demon from hell" by saying those words in that funny language, has kept them at bay. And I can assure you, if that is the case, you cannot get wet if you do not get in the water. And you also cannot truly speak as a magickian if you do not practice like one. So no matter how many books you read or how many magickians you speak to, you cannot be one yourself unless you stop wondering and start working. You may sling around all of the occult terms and jargon that you like, but knowledge of the thing does not give you the thing itself. A lot of practice and study combined is required to truly understand the art of magick. And if it is fear that is keeping you from your exploration, then it is the subject of psychology that you need to delve in to, not magick just yet.

I myself was lucky enough to find out that magick and psychology mix very well together. You really cannot have one without the other. Magick requires very powerful concentration and visualization skills. It requires one to have the ability to go from one state of consciousness to another in a split second. And it also requires the ability to build psychic energy within the sphere or aura of the body, and to know how to direct that energy toward the task at hand. And to be quite honest, none of those abilities are easy to learn. You cannot just mumble a few words and expect something magickal to happen. It just does not work like that. It takes a whole lot of experience to accomplish any of those things, and the only way to get experience is to train and practice. So if you have an interest in the art of magick, I would advise you to not only get your hands on some good information from a reliable source on the subject, but also to learn, and put all the things that you learn to good use.

Another misconception in the practice of magick is that you must have possession of all kinds of different and elaborate tools to use in your practice or your work will be ineffective. But to believe this is a big misunderstanding. It does help the practitioner to have tools of the trade and robes and candles, to give the feel of being out of the ordinary and to help motivate the mind in the matter. After all, it does help when you feel like a magickian, wearing the robes and brandishing the tools of magick, but it is not necessary. You do not have to go out and spend a boatload of money on supplies just to practice the art. Really the only thing you need is a little knowledge, understanding, and an open mind.

When I first began the practice, I too was under the impression that I would need all of these things to get good results from the work that I would put in, because I had paid attention to way too much media and pop culture. Every time I looked at the television or read a book that was based on a character involved in magick in some way, I would see wands, daggers, candles, and all sorts of other items that were associated with the myth of magickians. And just as a child believes most popular opinions of the media and our culture, so do adults to a fair extent. So, in the beginning, I spent most of my time trying to collect all of these strange items instead of trying to practice the techniques that were really important. But after a while, I began to see that deep down the association between magick and its use of weird instruments was only an external appearance to the magickian, intended to raise the mind to the state of awareness, so the mind could feel the weirdness and know that the operation it was about to take part in was of a special nature.

I do understand that all who practice magick and metaphysics and anything else that is occult will have their own opinions on the subject, and that is a good thing. We all must judge things as we see them. It is part of freethinking and freedom to do things as we see fit. I have certain things that I do in my practice that others may think is completely crazy, but I am not doing it for anyone other than myself. So that is what you must do to become a good magickian, in my opinion. You must study and learn all that you can, you must practice and gain all of the hands-on knowledge that you can, and you must judge with experience, the way that you think it should be judged. Pay no attention to the man behind the black curtain screaming "devil worship" and "godless," because I am certain that if you have done your homework well, you will know the real truth, and you may even learn the rituals that can take you to the secret place, the place of stillness and perfection.