It’s Not a Straight Path

by Mike Sententia on July 15, 2012

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If you want to become good at manifesting, the sensible thing is to practice manifesting a lot. Sensible, but wrong.

To learn communication, I’ve had to learn to awaken mental muscles (so I’d have all my tools ready), energy healing (to learn to connect to the nerves in my brain properly), make quiet connections (so I don’t mess up the message), and a lot of other things. All the skills are intertwined. You develop new techniques by learning lots of skills, then using everything you know to push your knowledge a little further.

The key to developing as a mage is to be curious. And, when I’m not sure what to do, I just ask, “Which type of magick am I worst at?” Then I learn that one.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ananael Qaa July 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Actually, I would say you have to work at developing those skills AND practice manifesting a lot. It’s not an either/or. Then as long as you see continual improvement in your manifesting, you know that you’re on the right path.

The last thing you want to do is work at what you imagine to be developing magical skills without any checks along the way. You need to make sure that the skills you are developing really help your practice, and the more often you check this the better.

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Mike Sententia July 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I actually disagree. Now, this is just based on my personal experience, so it might not work for everyone, but I find exploration to be incredibly important, and that continuously testing a difficult skill prevents me from exploring.

To clarify, I’m talking here about the time before a skill works at all, when you try it and get zero result. I spend a lot of time there, because I’m mostly building new techniques, rather than using already-established ones. And, when something won’t work yet, I find that continuously trying it doesn’t get me anywhere, it just gets me frustrated. In contrast, picking other related skills, learning them, and then using them as building blocks to the more complex skill works well for me. The key is to stop focusing on the skill I want to learn, and instead just explore enough other skills until I can see the connections I was missing before.

Now, once you get a skill to the point where the skill works some and is useful, then definitely keep practicing it. I’m with you there. I guess I don’t think about that phase much, because once a skill is working, I’ll use it all the time just solving problems, without really thinking of it as practice.

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Ananael Qaa July 17, 2012 at 7:06 AM

I’m not suggesting you should spend all your time testing, just that if you’re not doing it ona regular basis it’s awfully easy to get derailed and spend a lot of time on something that will never work. I just think you should divide your time between developing skills and testing them out. Many of these internal magical disciplines are highly subjective, and there are all sorts of methods you can come up with that make sense or seem logical but which fall apart in practice.

If you really find that testing techniques gets in the way of your development, then I suppose you shouldn’t spend much time on it. I can’t say that I’ve ever had any trouble with that, though.

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