Avoid This Trap: Learning What’s Easy to Teach

by Mike Sententia on August 30, 2010

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Teachers like teaching things they can demonstrate.  Students can learn them quickly, and the progress is easy to measure.  Everybody wins.

Except sometimes, you don’t win.  Not all skills are easy to demonstrate.  Often, the skill that really makes the difference between success and failure, or expertise and mediocrity, is complex, nuanced, or invisible.

That’s how it is in magick.  Rituals and visualizations are easy to learn.  You can read a post or watch a video and learn the steps.  So most beginner programs focus on them.

But the critical skill is engaging the parts of your mind that do magick.

Holding your brain in the right state isn’t something you can copy from youtube.  It’s taken me about 3,000 words to explain the exercises (here, here and here).  And it’s more of a “hit a baseball” kind of skill you need to practice, rather than a “visualize this then this then this” procedure you can just memorize.

Explaining how to practice it is tricky.  Which is why it’s often not actually taught, just picked up by osmosis as beginners learn rituals and visualizations.

But it’s the only skill worth learning first.  Before you learn to make the parts of your mind that do magick notice what your conscious mind is doing, nothing will work.  After you learn it, any reasonable visualization will work.

When you’re planning what to learn, don’t confuse what’s easy to demo with what’s worth learning.

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