This is not a post for dabblers.
This post is not for people who just want to play around with magick. It's for people who want to get serious—who want to master magick, who want to put in the work, and who are prepared to do what it takes to sculpt themselves into the person they know they're capable of becoming.
I've created a ton of content for people who are just getting started in magick. There's the free intro class , as well as all of the new content I've been creating at this blog, including my posts on How Far Can You Go in a Year? and The Core 3 Daily Practices.
But let's get even more serious. It's fairly easy to get the basics down in magick: meditation, journaling, recording dreams, opening magical space through pentagram rituals, and creating sigils. That's enough for some people: maybe they make a few tactical changes to their life here and there, and are satisified. Or maybe their attention span just wanes.
But if you're reading this, that's not you: You want to blast through. To not just dabble, but to really learn and master this skillset. To become an Occult Adept.
So let's put down Netflix, or Steam, or your day-to-day stresses, or whatever else is distracting you from Becoming Yourself. And let's push through to the next stage. To Adepthood. Here's how:
1. Establish consistency of daily practice
I've covered the basics of what daily practice should look like in my article on The Core 3 Daily Practices. But talking about daily practice is one thing, and actually disciplining yourself to do it—rain or shine—is another. And I'm under no illusions about this: It may be harder to actually do this right now than at any other time in human history. We've just got too many distractions: Phones, computers, smart devices, and the expectation to be constantly responding to electronic messages 24/7. Added to that, we have more instantly available "entertainment" seducing us than at any other time in history: infinite Netflix, video games, Web, whatever. You could idly entertain yourself with digital media from now until the end of your life, easily, and never make a dent in actually doing anything with your life.
So here's the first goal: you need to start with a baseline of 30 minutes a day of practice. That can include both ritual and meditation (but not journalling). This means every day.
Once you get that established, your next goal should be an hour of meditation a day, IN ADDITION to your other practices. That means you might be opening or closing a space with pentagram rituals, but you shouldn't be counting it towards your meditation time goal. And yes, you can spend that meditation period focusing on a sigil, but if you just do a one-off ritual outside the confines of meditation, that doesn't count. The point is getting a one-hour baseline of meditation every day.
The benefits of this are enormous. But here's a little secret as well: Meditation doesn't actually start to kick in until around 45-50 minutes of sitting. It really does take that long for your mind to start clearing; you just won't start getting into relaxed, ecstatic or magical spaces until you get that far in. Psst: This is why most people fail at meditation. There are too many "experts" out there pushing the easy way, telling people that five minutes a day of "mindfulness" is going to change their life. It isn't. That's kid's stuff. And most people who meditate will never sit past a half hour at most, and consequently they may decide that meditation "doesn't do anything" or that it's too hard. You have to get to the point where you can sit for an hour, otherwise you're not going to get to the good stuff.
And by the way, this is another area I don't have any illusions about: In my many years teaching magick and meditation, I've only found maybe one or two people who have consistently been able to commit to an hour a day. It's rare. I know how rare it is. But if you want to be one of the rare few—if you want to be an adept—that's what it takes.
2. Master the magical trance
You need to be able to slip in and out of the magical trance at will. Obviously the meditation practice as outlined above will go a long, long way towards being able to do that. But you also need to be able to "drop in" at a second's notice. As you develop, you'll get a much better sense of how to do this—it's not really something that can be taught (at least in writing); you have to intuitively feel your way into it on your own. Neuro-Linguistic Programming has a lot of good techniques for doing this—like establishing verbal or somatic anchors once you've gotten into magical trance through meditative practice. But one way or another, you've got to be able to "step sideways" at will.
Once there, you should be able to, for instance, come up with a phrase you want to sigilize and turn it into a sigil or mantra in your head without using a piece of paper, and cast it on the spot without anybody noticing.
3. Establish success in actually getting results
When you get into magick, you get a lot of tools: sigils, obviously, but also energy work, invocation (working with gods), evocation (working with spirits), direct enchantment and lots, lots more.
Yes, you need to learn this stuff. But more importantly, you need to prove—at least to yourself—that it works. You need to get results. Everything before that is theorywank, and if you stay in the "reading lots of books" and "getting obsessed with the glamour of magick" phase without getting results, you're just distracting and confusing yourself, and it would have been better to have never started at all.
The key here is journaling. Keep your records tight and updated, and check back and read through them, say, at the end of every week. You'll start recognizing patterns in what you've done and what's been successful and not successful. Find out what works, FOR YOU, and build on success. You don't need the biggest baddest most arcane magical system in the world, you just need something that works to fulfill your goals at this point in your life. Get it to work, and build on that success. That's how you start developing your own personal system and style—and that's when you know you're doing something real.
Got results? Good. Now keep getting them—but don't lust for result. Want it too bad, and it will never happen.
4. Get a clear sense of what you actually want
OK, you've gotten results. What now?
Now you've got to actually figure out what you want. If you don't do that, you'll just get "lost in the funhouse," running around all the books and systems and orders and glamour, getting "more magical," but not actually getting anywhere in your life.
Figure out what you actually want from your life. No, it shouldn't be "to be the biggest baddest magician of all time" or something like that. Life is short. Establish clear, achieveable goals. Maybe it's to get the right career, the right relationship. Maybe it's something else. But figure it out. Break it down into steps. And start using magick to achieve those steps.
5. Begin working towards the higher self / enlightenment
There are tons of terms for enlightenment throughout the world's spiritual systems. The Western occult tradition tends to use the phrase "The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," as outlined in the book The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage and in Crowley's Liber Samekh. But this matter is FAR too personal for one person to outline how another should do it. You've got to master all the lower branches of magick, and then decide how YOU will progress towards enlightenment. You've got to be significantly developed as a magician to get seriously into this process—but it needs to be your overarching goal from the get go. (Some, like Crowley, have even stated that this is the ONLY thing you should ever use magick for, and everything else is "black magick.") Set this goal firmly in your mind, and start looking for clues in your daily records and dream journal as to how to best proceed. Also watch synchronicities and events that occur in your life closely.
6. Adopt a system, but be willing to discard it
When you're first starting out in magick, it's all too tempting to system-hop. One day you're a Thelemite, the next you're a Vajrayana Buddhist, the next you're a Vitki... and on and on. This is OK when you're first learning, but eventually you're going to need to pick a system and stick with it until you master it. Systems are just vehicles. Master one and the others become easier to master; but until you learn to at least drive, there's no point in trying out lots of different cars. There is no "ultimate be-all end-all" system of magick, though one may be more appropriate for you than the others. Pick one and stick with it—but be willing to discard it when you're done, so that you don't end up a slave of somebody else's map.
7. Keep going
Whatever you do, don't stop. You can rest, but don't quit. Magick is a lifetime's pursuit—just like staying fit by exercising is. You have to stay in shape, no matter what level of development you're at. Establish consistency and get serious. Life might be a game, but it's the playing-for-keeps kind.
Make This the Year of Adepthood
Too many people dabble in magick. They learn a few things, read a few books, but they never commit to focused practice. And they miss out on becoming the person that they truly know they are meant to become. They miss out on Adepthood.
That's why I created the Adept Initiative program—an advanced course that will walk you through every single step from beginner to Adept, one skill at a time, at your own pace.
Life doesn't get any longer. Take control of it now—and make your life a masterpiece—with Magick.Me and The Adept Initiative training program. Just click the link below to begin, and optimize every aspect of your life.
Get serious, get magicked up, and start mastering this strange and wonderful realm we call "life on Earth."
– Jason Louv