I did a short Q and A thing for a Money Magic oriented group last week and came up with this simple rule of thumb for planning any kind of magical strategy that is meant to achieve real-world results:
You should be able to take the magic aspects out of your strategy and explain it to a non-magician and have them think it makes sense.
Basically at no point in your plan to get from A to B should there never be “The Underwear Gnome Gap”. If we actually have something specific to achieve there should never be a part of the Strategy where we say “and now we see what Bune brings to us”. Unfortunately the more I do consults, AMA type things, so on I find that this is very often the case.
Because I am known for driving home this non-magic aspect of the work some people even come to me saying “yeah yeah Jason I know I have to do the work, so please lets just talk about how to summon Bune“. But that’s the problem without knowing the steps you have no way to really channel Bune, or Tzadkiel, or your candle spell, or your Dzambhala sadhana, or whatever it is you are doing effectively.
This is the cause of all the stories about magic working amazingly well but in ways that are not all that beneficial. Do a spell to get a job that pays $20 an hour and someone asks you to help them clean their basement for that rate – but its just a one day gig. Do a spell to find a lover with certain qualifications, and you do but find he/she is just visiting for the weekend. Do a working to lose weight and contract adult measles, losing 30 pounds for a month or so then being worse off than before.
When you think about it, the results are amazing in and of themselves, its just not what you really want. Channel that through an effective strategy and you can do amazing things.
Think like an ancient general preparing for a battle. You go to see the wizards or priests so that you can get a forcast of the outcome with divination, a blessing on your soldiers to increase their effectiveness, and overall luck with environment weather and no on. At no point does the wizard say “ya know what? I got this. Don’t even worry about how you are gonna win. Just send the troops out and you can stay home and binge watch Netflix.”
A good question came up during the talk: Doesn’t being this specific hamper opportunities for the magic to manifest?
Answer: Yes and No. At the head of your strategy you want to do one major working over the whole goal – something that guides the rest and creates opportunities that you may not have even considered yet. I call this the MACRO-ENCHANTMENT. You grab the opportunities that you want and create a full strategy to achieve those. Even more importantly though: you reject the opportunities you don’t want. Just because Astaroth thinks its hilarious to grant your request for a government job with good benefits by getting you an offer to be Security at a hospital for the criminally insane does not mean that you have to take the job.
The opportunities you DO want to seize should be met with a strategy that makes sense even without the magic. Magic works best at teetering tipping points in your favor, not re-writing reality from scratch. Your strategy should make sense and get you there even without the use of magic. Thus the rule above.