Day 31: Piece of advice for anyone starting out?
I decided to answer this one on its own, because it’s a bit meatier. I have a lot to pontificate about.
- Trust yourself. But verify when you can. It helps hone your intuition.
- Be skeptical. Of everything. Test it.
- Extraordinary claims must have extraordinary proof.
- If you can, find people to work with. It helps. Having someone there who can verify or contribute to your experiences is useful.
- Have people you can talk shop with that don’t know all of your personal shit and biases. The internet is good for this. They can give you a perspective you hadn’t thought of.
- Understand that what works for you won’t always work for other people, and what works for other people won’t always work for you.
- Understand that people perceive things differently, and that this can affect how you communicate experiences.
- Read as much as you can. Especially critiques on what you read. A lot of pagan/magic books are full of bullshit, especially when they talk about “history.”
- If you learn tarot, start with the Rider-Waite. Almost everything else is based upon it, and almost everyone else is familiar with it to some degree. It’s kind of like a trade language for tarot.
- Enchant long, divine short.
- Expect shit to get weird. Expect people to flake on you. Expect your friends to change. Embrace this.
- Drop the grudge against Christianity. Don’t let another religion dictate your attitudes.
- If someone tells you you can’t or shouldn’t do something, ask why. If they can’t give you an an answer, find someone who can. It may be that they’re afraid of it, or that they were told not to do it and never questioned it. Or it just might be dangerous.
- This shit can be dangerous. Be careful. If you can, find someone who can help you if you get in too deep.
- Accept responsibility for your actions. Be aware of the consequences of what you do. Especially unseen or unexpected ones. Magic is about dealing with the unknown or unseen, so you have no excuse for unseen consequences.
- Have a hobby that isn’t magic-related.
- Take breaks.
- Fulfill your obligations. There will be some people who need your help, and in some cases only you will be able to assist them. Help them.
- Don’t be afraid to charge for your services, or at least ask for some kind of trade.
- You cannot go back once you start on this path. Be sure it’s what you want. You will never be the same. You will never be able to turn it off all the way, at least not without seriously fucking yourself up.
- Welcome to the Dark Side. We lied about the cookies. Have fun.