So this is a question I’ve given some thought to: how quickly should one progress in magick? How far, how fast? What should you get into?
Having tried several things in magick, I can recommend the following:
1. Meditation (at the beginning and throughout your journey, perhaps to be foregone towards the end). Vipassana & Raja (one or the other), once or twice a day. I also recommend using simple pranayama techniques to relax one’s mind and emotional state, and then mentally confronting emotional triggers (i.e., “Why do I get angry about this? Is this really me, or am I just attached to [XYZ]? Does my emotional intensity match the situation?”) at least once a week for at least a year. Don’t be afraid to go deep. This will start clearing your mind of identifications that do not match who you are, and the best part is, you’re doing the clearing, so you are in control. It’s also good to talk through your insights with good friends.
Allllsoooo…therapy, especially as you get to the weirder stuff: find a therapist who doesn’t judge the woo.
Congratulations, your mind is now on a path towards healing.
2. Groundedness practice. (added) I recommend also doing some groundedness meditation (such as imagining roots growing from your feet into the earth and drawing in from the infinite amount of energy available that which you need). To complement this, spend time walking outside, gardening, etc., to stay in touch with the real world.
Congratulations, you’re able to live in reality.
3. Hatha yoga. The mind and body are intimately connected. In general, you will want to be in excellent physical shape, so if you can, Hatha yoga regularly, do cardio at least twice a week, and add in strength training (always talk to your doctor about exercise). Give yourself a couple of months to get in good (or better) physical shape. Obviously this depends on whether you are disabled, but think about how you can get in touch with your body.
Congratulations, you’re working on integrating your body and mind.
4. Sigils (as needed). After about a month of meditation, teach yourself to make a sigil (the Austin Osman Spare method is easy to learn, but others exist). They are easy, they are cheap, they will work with beginner’s luck. Start with something simple at the “5% probability” level and charge it the easy way (look at it during the “big O“).
Congratulations, you’re empowering yourself.
5. Learn (and DO) banishing (regularly, but eventually to be largely eschewed). A few weeks after your sigil, note the degree to which it was successful (you can do more, but for serious things). Then learn the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP). After you have started a daily meditation practice, for at least a month, start learning the LBRP. It’s not that complicated. Use flash cards to memorize directions, angel names, and the like.
Then do it for the first time. Don’t be surprised if you experience some clairaudience: I definitely did my first time and I had a huge WTF moment! Once you have it memorized and can perform it fluidly, it should not take more than five minutes. Start off doing that on a weekend, then add it to your “stack” and do it once a day (ideally before a meditation), then twice a day (morning and night). If you’re not in your own place, do it silently. If space is an issue, you can do it imaginally. Later, learn the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram (LBRH).
Congratulations, you’re starting to determine your circumstances.
6. Study the elements and astrology. The classical elements are fundamental to the LBRP, and now is the time to understand what they are about. It’s good to learn about them in conjunction with astrology, because there is some overlap. For that, The Astrology Podcast is excellent. Take their significations of the signs (parts 1 & 2), the planets, the houses (parts 1 & 2), then the ones on sect, essential dignities, and then look into the aspects. This will help you understand the LBRH. It will also help you understand the astrological forces, whether they are “good” for a working and invoked, or whether they are bad and should be banished. This will take some time, definitely no less than three months, probably no less than six.
Congratulations, now you understand how circumstances can arise.
7. Raising & balancing consciousness. (added) At this point, I also would recommend slowly adding in the Middle Pillar Ritual at this point. Once a week, then twice, then daily. The idea is to start raising your awareness. It’s very important to balance this with the groundedness meditation I previously mentioned.
Congratulations, you’re developing perspective on circumstances.
8. Start thinking about your True Will. Your understanding of astrology will come in handy now. Jason Louv offers a course on this, which is excellent.
Congratulations, now you know how you want to change circumstances.
9. Holy Guardian Angel ordeal. By now you should at least have a couple of years into your studies. I really can’t recommend this enough, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this for someone who hasn’t yet had their Saturn return. Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel is the first great feat of the Western magickian, according to Crowley. I recommend the Abramelin operation (I was told by my HGA to forego the demon-binding portion of the operation, as was James Eshelman). It is an ordeal, and should only be undertaken when you can. Modify it as you can for your circumstances: the original presumed so much wealth but a sincere effort to have the key aspects of the ritual (isolation, prayer, etc.) is vital. Congratulations, now you have an ally in reaching towards your true nature.
10. Enochian. Having done all of this work, you might decide to take up Enochian. It’s complicated. It’s a lot of work. But it’s worth it, soooo worth it. I’ve written before that I consider it the key to plugging in to the great Western and Eastern accomplishments (such as a Chokmah initiation and the rainbow body–a Tibetan Buddhism arising–respectively). Congratulations, you are now on the path to reaching your true nature.
You may be surprised that I have left off this list other things such as talismans (I do them, but these are not necessary), alien contact, past-life regression, and so many others. I just don’t think that they are necessary, and may even side-track from paths to some core insights. I’m willing to change my mind on this, and I’ll let you know if I do.