So you want to be a magician, eh?
And you have stumbled onto the occult blogosphere hoping to find a simple explanation on how to do so only to become hopelessly lost in meandering blog posts, podcasts and suggestions revolving around books that would make a proper paperweight for abiyoyo?
What you will find below is by no means a comprehensive approach to magic but rather the potent stuff that will get you started (and potentially in trouble).
If that last bit makes you uneasy, magic probably is not for you.
So without further ado, I present to you, a crash course in magic(k)…
Primer: What is Magic(k)
Before you can become a magician, you must decide what magic is for yourself. If you are reading this blog, I imagine you have an idea of that already but for the sake of this post, I am going to present you with two definitions.
First, I shall present the most accepted and/or commonly known definition of magic in the western world:
“Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” Aleister Crowley,
As for my own definition of magic, well… let’s just say it is a wee bit more… liberal.
“Magic(k) is 100% complete and utter BULLSHIT… That WORKS. Which is to say that it is HIGHLY effective NONSENSE.” – Dubious Monk
As an antidote to your confusion I will give you the following explanation of my definition:
Magic is NOT logical to any non-magician in the same way that religion is not logical to the atheist and also in the same way that non belief is not logical to the Christian.
Digest that as you will.
Somewhere in the context of the two definitions presented above, there is truth. I would advise pondering both in tandem and deciding for yourself where and what exactly that “truth” is…
Step 1: Read
Any occultist worth their salt will tell you that a veritable lifetime of reading is ahead of the aspiring magician. Indeed, if you do not already have a library today, you shall start building one now. While there are thousands if not millions of books on magic (some far better than others mind you) we are going to get you going with three books and one blog post from the same author.
Gordon White is perhaps the most interesting magician alive today (my opinion) and his blog “rune soup” played a very large role in my decision to start practicing magic. Before you read anything else, you will start by reading this blog post.
That will give you all the fire power you need to start doing real magic right off the bat…
Step 2: Practice
In addition to trying the practical spells and enchantments in the books above, you will need to purchase, read and start doing spells from Judika Illes phenomenal book Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells. Have fun, experiment and take notes.
There are many more books you will want/need to read which will be mentioned later in this post but for now, that’ll do it.
NOTE: One of the first magic rituals you should do on the regular once daily for the first 6-12 months is a banishing ritual. Banishing rituals create a neutral and or safe space with all negative energies, spirits, etc. removed from said space. While there is a TON of banishing rituals and some people are not fond of it, I am huge fan of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
To paraphrase Jack Faust, doing this everyday for 6-12 months helps to build up some serious magical might.
Step 3: Choose a Spirit Team and Main Spirit
Unless you plan on wanking or charging your way to uber magus like some would be chaos magicians by relying exclusively on sigil magic, you will likely at some point need to befriend some spirits.
Greek Gods, Loa, Angels, Demons, Dead Friends and Relatives, Marvel Comic Book Super Heroes, the list goes on…
There is an endless sea of spirits to work with and chances are, you will not like or be liked by all of them. So how do you choose which ones to work with? Read up on any spirit or egregore that has ever resonated with you and put together a team of as many or as few spirits you want to work with.
Out of the team that you pull together, choose a leader or main spirit. This will be your go to guy, gal or anteater and the spirit who is your “#1” so to speak.
This does not happen over night, as time goes on, you will build, keep and or leave relationships with spirits in the same way you do with human beings. You will know when you have your #1 ride or die and the team of those who you can truly count on.
NOTE: You do not need to complete this step before going to the next one, this is a lifelong process…
Step 4: Build an Altar
An altar is a sacred space you have erected in your home where the items, objects and other bits and bobs present are considered “holy” or special. This is where you will put pictures or statues of your spirit team (and offerings to said entities), magical tools (such as wands, crystals or proton packs) and other items that are dedicated to your magical practice.
Basically its a portal to your imagination which is a portal to the spirit realm…
Get a table or similar surface and put it in a spot that is appealing to you. Put a cloth or covering over the surface that is pleasing to your mind.
Only put things on this table that are related to your magical practice.
For a visual aid, here is a picture of one of my previous altars:
Step 5: Declare Yourself
As long as you have started actively following the advice from the books above and charging sigil shoals on a daily basis, you have effectively become a magician.
Now, to cross the threshold of actually being a magician you need to let people know you are one. Tell your family, post an update on your social media channels and have drunken conversations with your friends about magic and being a practicing occultist. For some people, this will be much harder than for others, but if you are serious about this, people need to know and you can’t be ashamed or afraid to be honest about practicing magic.
Once you have completed this step and ONLY after you have completed it, proceed to step three.
Step 6: Develop or Start Using a System of Magic.
By this point you should be doing magic everyday. A daily practice is going to be completely different from magician to magician and asking other practitioners what they do in order to get an idea about what you should be doing can help, but can also complicate the process.
I myself focus primarily on spirit offerings, prayer and work in lucid and non-lucid dreams as far as a daily practice is concerned. Outside of that, in no particular schedule or time frame, I employ a lot of magical technology from various systems such as Hoodoo, Goetia, Pop Culture Magic, Chaos Magic, Reality Bending, etc. rather than work within one specific system. For me, experimentation and improvisation is the name of the game and my system of magic is a blend of many.
If however you are looking for a complete system of magic that is already fully functional, easy to use and powerful, then I would implore you to simply adopt Tommie Kelly’s The Forty Servants.This is a profoundly simple, incredibly potent and beautifully eclectic system of magic and divination that is practically perfect in and of itself. While I do not work exclusively with The Forty Servants, I cherry pick from it regularly and as the system is so simple and dynamic, this can be easily done if you choose to blend systems like I do.
Step 7: Hex Someone
Magic is not for pussies and at some point or another, your going to need to do this. Chances are you already know someone in your life who could use a magical kick in the ass. A shitty boss, a school bully, an asshole employee… You get the idea.
This does not mean you have to seriously harm or curse them. There are plenty of minor hexes out there such as hot foot powder, binding spells and so on and so forth that you will at some point need and or want to employ. Just fucking do it once to get a feel for what it is like to use magical might to remove a dickhead from your life.
If after the first time you try a minor hex and you don’t like the emotional/energetic/spiritual repercussions then do not employ one again. Simple as that. That being said, I think it is important to produce a minor hex at least once as a practicing magician. There are plenty of assholes in the world to experiment on if you do not have any personal enemies…
Step 8: Bless Someone
You cannot have the light without the darkness and vice/versa. Black magic addicts are primarily assholes and egotistical nitwits so fully self absorbed in their own neurosis that it is good advice not to become one.
There are countless spells to bless or produce positive results in another persons life. The general consensus from many magicians, witches and pagans would be to ask for the persons permission before doing any magic in their favor. Take that advice as you will and proceed as you feel right in your own convictions.
If you need some help trying to figure out what kind of spell you should be doing to help someone, I would consider one of Doc Solomon’s Planetary Spell Kits. I recently set off one of the Mercury kits to produce positive results in my own life for certain specific endeavors and it seems to be producing some serious results. There are also hundreds of benevolent spells available in the previously mentioned Encyclopedia of 5,000 spells.
Step 9: Learn Divination
Tarot, dice, chicken bones… whatever form of divination speaks to you after doing some research. Learn at least one form and do divination for yourself at least several times a year. Some people will get hooked and do it all the time while others will be less than enthused with the practice but its worth at least getting some experience with divination even if you are not all that into it.
Step 10: Forget Everything and Make Music and Art
When I say for forget everything I mean it, stop doing magic for a while. When I say make music and art, I mean to make both with the intention of each being magical in nature.
Listen to Alan Moore discuss this topic as he can better explain it than I. (watch the whole fucking video):
NOTE: Obviously, you will eventually start doing magic again. How long the break is and how long you spend on making art and music is up to you.
Now, wash, rinse and repeat as needed.
Suggested further reading:
Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
Low Magick by Lon Milo Duquette
Liber Null & Psychonaut by Peter J Carroll
The Sorcerers Secrets by Jason Miller
Condensed Chaos by Phil Hine
Geosophia: The Argo of Magic by Jake Stratton-Kent
Pop Culture Magic by Taylor Ellwood
Visual Magic by Jan Fries
The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig