Help! I’m New to Magick, Where Do I Begin? Part II
Preparing for Successful Magick:
My first piece of advice to anyone wanting to learn to perform any kind of magick is, learn to meditate!
“But that’s boring!” you may say. Well, suck it up. It will stop being boring when your spells work! 😛
Any magick requires a clear mind, clear intention, and directed emotion. If you can’t calm your mind, you won’t be able to focus it. Your thoughts will be scattered and your results will be weak, even with the simplest of spells. Meditation will also help you reach a trance state, which is necessary for casting. Meditation is necessary. Get on it, and I promise you will learn to love it once you see the effect it has.
There are many different ways to meditate. I suggest starting with breathing exercises. A good one, to begin with, is the Four-Fold Breath. Breathe in for four counts, hold for four, breath out for 4 counts, and hold for 4 again. Each breath in should fill up the belly first and then the chest completely, and each breath out should empty it in a reverse way. When you hold your breath, don’t close off your throat like you’re underwater. Just be calm at the top and bottom of each breath with the air just swirling where it is, not moving in or out. Do this for five to fifteen minutes every day, even if you’re not casting any spells. And don’t think for a second that meditation is not magick because it is! It will have profound effects on your body and mind and ability to manifest what you want that is nothing short of magickal.
After meditation, you will want to learn some kind of grounding. This will help you focus your energies and not get drained. There are many grounding techniques. I like seeing myself as a tree, with my roots in the earth and my branches in the spiritual realm above me. Energy is able to flow through me and ground me to the earth, so I become a conduit for magickal energy. Not being properly grounded is like magickal electrocution and will result in being shaky, dizzy, even sick, feeling spacey and unable to concentrate, and feeling utterly drained. Being ungrounded is about as much fun as heat stroke. Don’t let it happen to you.
Almost all traditions call for some kind of altar. An altar is just a space you set up where you can perform magick and ritual in safety and concentration. It can be as elaborate as an entire bookshelf or room dedicated to Deity, or as simple as a few stones or a rope laid out in a circle, and then packed up into your pocket when you’re done. I’ve used a big hula hoop before to mark a circle. I even have a travel altar in an Altoid’s tin. Your altar can be indoors or out, and you can have more than one. It’s your space— make it work for you.
Magickal tools vary according to tradition, and I want to stress here that you do not have to go buy all the fancy things! Practitioners of magick are resourceful, and the power comes from within. You can spend $1000 on altar tools and still not cast a successful spell. Or, you can use a pencil for a wand and some table salt and get amazing results (I have!) So, use what you have, buy what you want and can afford. The tools are there as an aid for your subconscious. They don’t do the work for you.
That being said, if you’re going to get tools, get things that you enjoy. This will help you feel connected to your work. My husband got me a beautiful cast-iron cauldron for Christmas, which is something I’ve been wanting on my altar for many years.
This little cauldron makes me smile whenever I see it!
Magickal Journal/Book of Shadows/Grimoires
This is the single most important tool you will have. I know a lot of people get tied up in trying to make the “perfect” Book of Shadows, wanting it to look like something from Charmed or whatever. If you want a pretty, work-of-art grimoire, then do it. I have one. But then you should also have a working journal, where you write all of your reflections for every spell or ritual or meditation you do. This is the most important book. Be detailed, so when something does or doesn’t work the way you intended, you’ll have a clear record of what you did. Then you can transfer things into your pretty book.
You can use a sketch book, composition notebooks, a Moleskine, or a ring binder. Or you can have it as a digital file. Whatever works for you. Just have some kind of journal. You can call it what you want, also. My Book of Shadows is my pretty, work-of-art grimoire, and my Book of Mirrors is what I use every day to record all of my reflections (book of mirrors, get it?) and take notes from my readings.
You can find spells anywhere. A good book for a beginner could be Wicca Book of Spells. Wiccan spell books are a great place to start because there are so many of them. Even if you don’t use the exact spells in the books, you can use them as inspiration to write your own. I don’t think I’ve ever, in my life, performed a spell exactly as it was written. I’ve always added something of my own to every spell. It makes them more powerful. Don’t be afraid to write your own. This is your magick.
I love candle magick because it’s simple and effective. There are lots of candle magic spell books out there. Wicca Candle Magic could be a good choice, even if you’re not Wiccan. You will also need candles. I like these ones, but votive candles or even birthday candles will work. Again, use what you have.
Sigil magick is also great because all you need is some paper and something to write with to create a sigil. Then charge and activate it. Chaos magicians (and witches) are known for working with sigils. There is a lot out there on how to perform sigil magick, but Practical Sigil Magic: Creating Personal Symbols for Success would be a good choice if you’re building a library.
A Word of Advice
I do not promote baneful magick, or magick designed to harm another or interfere with their free will. If you are ever tempted to cast a revenge spell, anything that could hurt someone, or something to “make” a person do something, I ask you to take a step back and consider instead, “Is there a way I could change myself to better deal with this situation? Is there some magick I could use to bring about a better circumstance and move away from negative influences? Can I shield and protect myself without instigating an attack?” Magick is about intent, and you get back the intentions you put out there. So, if your intentions are to harm, ultimately you will also receive that harm.
Benefits of Magick
The beauty of magick is that it is transformative. It can help you become a better version of yourself. It links you with your world through an awareness that is profound. I believe magick is highly spiritual— even the most mundane of spells— because of the awareness it can bring to you. Use it to make yourself better, not worse. The fact that you are even exploring magickal practice means that there is a part of you that is seeking and is open to deeper knowledge. Use that to transform yourself, and it will transform your world.
Another great thing about magick is that it shows you that you are responsible for your life. There will always be situations that are beyond your control, but you can control yourself. Most people are not doing even that. If you can control yourself, you will not be subject to just reacting to what is going on, even if everything is falling apart around you. You can make real decisions based on real knowledge. You will persevere and become better for it.
I wish you lots of magick in your life! If you have questions or want me to go more in depth on a topic I brushed on here, let me know in the comments. 🙂
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12 thoughts on “Help! I’m New to Magick, Where Do I Begin? Part II”
Thank you for this article, it was a joy to read and really pulled some important things back together in my mind. The humbleness and clarity I think reflects your excellent and deep knowledge.
Thank you so much! I find magick very humbling. I’m so happy to hear that what I have to share is helpful! 🙂
Hi! I’m 18 and I’m just starting to research about performing magick, although I’ve always been fond of it. Is there any suggestions you have for new people starting magick? I’m still in very early stages of research but I’m just a little confused on how to actually perform the spells.
First, welcome to magick! Second, it’s going to depend on what kind of magic you’re drawn to. I listed a few resources in this blog and the Part 1 to this article, and I highly recommend checking out some of the resources. Are you more nature based? Or are you drawn to more ceremonial-style magick? Do you need a more formal set of rules or are you ok with experimenting and striking out on your own? It’s going to take some research on your part to answer those questions, and it’s ok to change your mind. The most essential parts to casting a spell are to ground yourself and cast a circle of some kind. There are a million ways to do this, so you’ll have to find the way that’s right for you. When it comes to actually performing the spells, again, that’s going to come down to what works best for you and makes you feel the most connected to your work.
I’m more attracted to nature. I’ve always been drawn outside into nature and water. I dont really need a complete set of rules but just a couple for me to start with then after that I think I’ll be ok learning on my own (hopefully). Is there any sources you recommend for reading up on grounding yourself and casting a circle? Thank you so much for your quick reply!
So, there are literally hundreds of ways to ground yourself. My favorite way is to visualize a tree going up through my body with roots in the ground and branches in the spiritual realms. As I breath in slowly, I draw up energy from the earth through my roots and divine energy flows down the branches to my head. As I breathe out, I release extra energy, fears, negativity, etc. into the ground through the roots to be re-absorbed by the earth, where it will be cleansed. You can google “casting a circle” or even look it up on YouTube and find a way that seems to resonate with you, and modify it as you like. Again, it’s about intention, not going through the motions as written. And if you’re more drawn to nature, then I’d suggest starting in the direction of nature magic, green witchcraft, Wicca, or even a pagan path if you feel a connection with a specific deity. Don’t worry if you don’t have that though! It might come later as you grow. Good luck!
I love your tone and voice. It, as well as several of your ideas and practices resonate with me greatly. How best can I reach you for some questions about this insanely powerful new journey? I feel like I am absorbing too much and my focus is being crazy jacked with. Peace
Thank you! I am on Instagram @the_raven_and_the_lotus and I post there much more frequently. I am working on a couple of articles I hope to have posted to this blog soon. I’ve been away for a while and want to get back on here. As for focus and feeling overwhelmed, I totally get it. It’s easy to do. Try to pick one area that is really calling to you and just focus on that thing for a week. Then two weeks. If you have a lot of things calling to you, pick one and you can come back to the rest later. If you can get your hands on a piece of fluorite, it’s a really great crystal for focusing energies and studying, and it’s pretty easy to find.
I came here because i’m very impulsive and watched a recent Netflix show the midnight gospel episode 3, It talked a lot about ceremonial magic and meditation, how ceremonial magic came from Crowley and other well known figures. I was simply wondering because it may be an oral tradition that has not been put onto the internet, but how can i reach the soul body? I mean I know I have to be “enlightened” or reach soul consciousnesses first to reach that point, but i’m still curious on how to attain that sort of knowledge.
Ok, first of all, a disclaimer. I am NOT any kind of guru. Also, I’m not an expert on ceremonial magick (I know it well enough to discuss it but it isn’t my kind of magick) but it definitely did not originate with Crowley. Ceremonial magick has been around as long as mankind has— Catholic mass is a form of ceremonial magick. They don’t call it that, but it is. Crowley did split off from (or was kicked out of?) the Golden Dawn tradition and started his own thing though. That whole history is pretty fascinating if you get into it.
Now to your real question, which I believe is an excellent one. How do you reach the soul body? I’m assuming you mean your actual Soul’s true form and not your astral body. If you’re wanting to know about your astral body, that’s a different thing and far easier to do. Yes, you do have to become enlightened, become soul conscious, to reach your soul body. Also, you generally reach it after becoming conscious of it and then dying, leaving your material body. There are no short cuts here. Magic and magical systems can be tools to aid in this if that’s how you use it. But the work has to be done.
I am coming from a Vedic understanding and context. To find out how I awakened, you can check out some of my later posts, specifically my Awakening series and this post in particular. My spiritual path is a Vedic one and my practice is largely pagan. My path may not be yours, but the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of the Soul is “Bhagavad-Gita: As It Is.” You don’t have to be a devotee of Krishna to gain deep insight from this text. This is by far the best advice I can give you. Also, follow your intuition. That’s a link to your soul and can guide you. Develop your ability to connect to it (meditation works!) and learn to trust it.
Hello, I have been researching magick and various types of magick for almost a year now, I even own my own recent copy of Modern Magick Twelve Lessons of the High Magickal Arts, among many other copies of spellbooks, my questions though is because I have read the rituals of Modern Magick and wish to discuss the rituals the author placed in the book multiple exercises on how to ‘control the elements’. One section even states that after much practice that you will be able to summon winds and such, can you please express your opinion on this being another reader of the book?
Hi! Sorry, it took me longer than usual to respond. So, I agree that after much practice, you can have some effect on local weather. Don’t expect Hollywood wizardry stormcalling or anything really dramatic, but certainly when you become attuned to the natural world around you as well as your own energies, it is possible to interact with the weather in such a way. My particular magical practice does not draw too heavily on ceremonial magic or anything in this book, specifically. This book shows one way to practice, and if it resonates with you, use it! If the exercises in this book don’t seem like they work with you, there are other ways to explore. My magic has evolved over many years and gone through several transformations. I guess you could call my personal brand of magic Sídhe or Fairy magic, because that’s who I work with. If you’re new to this, expect your practice to also evolve and change as you figure out what works best for you. Best of luck!