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Getting Started Doing Magic

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.witchcraft,alt.magick.folk,alt.occult.methods
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Getting Started Doing Magic
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 10:31:14 GMT

50040104 vii om

# I would like some help with getting started doing magic.  

the best advice in general I can offer is found at:

but supplemental URLs to check out would be:

# I am actually 15 years of age, but I could probably be 
# able to handle anything.  I have a feeling I have power.  
# I do occasionally foresee happenings.  

this tells me that your request is genuine, that it may
be based on any number of ideas that you may have about
magic, from a very wide set of possibilities. at the
outset I'd like to make some very basic distinctions
that you may already know, but will help you to keep
from wasting your time.

while sleight of hand (like palming coins) and stage 
performances manipulating perception of an audience (as
practiced by such notables as Harry Blackstone Jr. or 
Harry Houdini) are sometimes identified as magic, and 
indeed as they even sometimes form part of activities 
which are engaged by students of occult arts, I will
not be addressing these refined skills here. they may
be learned from others specializing in them.

there are hundreds of different *types* of magic from
as many different cultures and time periods. most of
those who presume to instruct the subject have little
exposure to more than 1 or 2 versions that they have
concluded was the best or most effective style or 
tradition. often they will believe fantasies that
serve to support the authority of that which they've
learned, which they maintain as truth despite the
existence of clear evidence to the contrary that
they may prefer to overlook.

most of those who start a study of magic do so in order
to enhance or somehow increase their power, their
ability to affect the world through means unavailable 
to the average person. those with the greatest incentive
to use magic and learn it for THIS purpose are those
who, for one reason or another, feel a sense of their
own powerlessness in the world. this includes the young,
who are subject to the direction of parents or have yet
to explore the many social avenues available to them
based on their aptitudes and skills, and seek some kind
of advantage that will make things easier or enable 
a better position than their peers. 

others drawn to a study of magic for power include
those of economic or social disadvantage, whether born
into poverty and hardship or somehow finding themselves
in situations of difficulty and strife. these hope to
improve their condition or somehow strike out at those
whom they've identified as responsible for their straits.

a third category of those who seek power are of a more
noble intent as they associate magical ability with 
spiritual progress. they have reason to believe that 
power may be obtained as a byproduct of diligent study, 
mystical practice, and an entry or initiation to an 
essential role in unseen or hidden organizations 
governing the universe (for example, the celestial
kingdom of the God of the Universe). the orientation 
and direction of this Adventure is often a lure to 
those who feel rudderless or lost, and the possibility
of cosmic promotion and greater number of options that
may be available in some ways resembles the seekers 
after magical power noted above.

you mention a feeling that you have power, and so you
seem to associate magic with an innate ability (that
might be comparable to what is found in stories like
those told by Rowling about "muggles" and those born
with some kind of magical aptitude: wizards) RATHER 
than which may be entirely learned. this is very
common in magical culture, and yet I would caution
that it is not something which all mages believe.

you have also mentioned an ability to prophesy or
prognosticate. this is important to a good many
mystics, witches and mages throughout the world,
whether that be associated with dreaming it, as 
I have experienced it myself and know others to 
whom it has occurred, through trance, dream, or 
direct insight. the ability to foresee is neither
necessary to a study of magic nor a hindrance,
from what I can tell, and it does feature rather
importantly in modern Hermetic magical paths with
which I am familiar (especially as they intersect
with Spiritualism).

# I have always dreamt of doing something of the sort 

here is the first fork in your road then. be as
specific as you are able as to what you have
dreamed and write it down. get a clear reflection 
what you've got in mind, because you're likely to 
run into a good number of alternatives that don't 
suit your interests, and it is liable to be 
confusing unless you have a clear notion of where 
you *want* to go. hold out for what you have 
dreamed is the activity of magic, and I think you 
are likely to find something suitable despite the 
fact that you may encounter others who will tell 
you plainly that you're going to be disappointed. 
it all depends on how important the dreams you're 
talking about are to you.

# and I would like some help to start 

beyond what I've already mentioned, which amounts
to a good deal of information and access to same,
I would like to use an analogy in order to describe
that about what you've inquired. it will be in a
metaphor I don't know if you'll understand, because
I know nothing about you and we may not share 
common interests. nonetheless, I'll try.

imagine for a moment that we say we want to play
a game. let's say we know very little *about* the
game other than that it is played on a board of
some kind, and that there are probably playing
pieces to be moved around. beyond this, we may be
dealing with anything from modern Chess (in which 
there are *no* elements of the game left to chance
because each move is selected by the moving
player) to Snakes and Ladders (aka Chutes and
Ladders; in which *all* elements of the game
depend upon chance because one rolls the die and
moves the determined number of spaces, following
the resulting slide or climb to its endpoint).

the first order of business is to determine how
much of these parameters we may affect, seek a
means to influence and control as much of the
game as we can, at first merely by learning of it.
it is 'taking a lay of the land' before acting.

then set off on your marvellous journey.


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