The Keys to Success in Magic

I recently asked a student to drop doing spells for specific things and focus on regular practice of a few key exercises. After a couple weeks she started getting everything that she was looking for and a clear path emerged for going forwards.  She was surprised at both the advice and the result. She remarked that she figured that Strategic Sorcery was mostly about doing specific hardcore spells and manipulation of reality.

As I was preparing this post over the last several days, Gordon over at Rune Soup posted his Org Chart of Practical Magic. If you haven’t read it yet you should. He wrote it in terms of what to tell someone new to magic looking for self-initiation, but it actually serves well to illustrate the importance of different practices. For me, the two major changes I would make to Gordon’s chart would be the inclusion of Offerings, and Devotion’s as separate stand alone categories like Meditation and Energy Work.

In fact, once you use sorcery to help get your life set up the way you want it, the need for constant spell casting kind of goes away. Yes, of course you want to support your activities here and there with the occasional bit of sorcery, but for the most part your life will have a momentum where you not need or want to grasp at spells for every last thing. In fact, life will start to serve up opportunities and boons that you had not even considered before.

My Org Chart looks like this:

MEDITATION: I was going to place meditation next to offerings, devotions, and energy work, but honestly it is more important than they are and effects everything else – not just in magic but in life. There is nothing more fundamental than the base of your awareness, ergo meditation is at the top. Now, I know that not all, or even most, traditions of magic place meditation like that, or even incorporate meditation at all. All I can say is: they are missing out. It CAN be incorporated into any practice and will make that practice better. I have said it before, and Gordon did a great job of defending the point in his post: there is no substitution for Meditation.

OFFERINGS: Many western magicians and witches are getting hip to the power of offerings – mostly thanks to the influence of ATR’s. This is a very good thing. I however learned offerings mostly from a Tantric perspective. In fact one of the things that kind of blew me away about Buddhism, this non-theistic mind-oriented path that insists on the illusion of reality and selfness is that we spend a TON of time making offerings. Offerings to Buddhas, offerings to Nagas, offerings to Demons, offerings to hungry ghosts, offerings to other sentient beings. We make offerings to beings that have done us favors, and offerings to beings that have done us harm. We make offerings to beings who are so exalted that they do not require the offering at all, and we make offerings to beings who are no needy that the only sustenance they receive is smoke. Offerings are central to sorcery in Tantrism and I have made them central to Strategic Sorcery as well. If you want to experience a near instance change in your life circumstances, start making offerings. 

DEVOTIONS: Devotion connects you to something greater than yourself, your small and grasping self.  This will serve as your compass in life and on the path. Even in Tantric Buddhism where there is no God, there is a massive emphasis on devotion. The Guru, the devas, the dakinis, the lineage, the spirits. Even a devotion to your own potential self rather than small ego is something helpful. Devotion is in itself a type of offering and will strengthen your connection to the powers that you work with in sorcery.

ENERGY WORK:  This is really too broad a category for one box, but it will have to do. There are practices which strengthen the energy body, practices which circulate prana for longevity and strength. Other practices heat up and alchemically transform you into spiritual gold.

SORCERY: Sorcery is an umbrella for too many practices to even name: sympathetic magic, directed energy, spirit evocation, targeted prayer. Very often it can look like any one of the above. The thing is that unless you, like me, are a professional Sorcerer working for others, chances are you are not doing sorcery day in and day out. When you do need it though it will be way more effective if you have a regular practice that incorporates at least some of the above.

Experienced Mages (Witches, Sorcerers, Priests, Tatas, whatever) tend to have a regular practice, a way, above and beyond targeted spell work. Some traditions emphasize one or two of these over others, but this is how I view them and their importance in my practice. Points of importance are:

1. Regular practices establish a life of magic rather than something that happens when casting a spell.

2.  When you do need sorcery for something specific, it will work better if you have regular practices to support it.


About Inominandum

Author. Sorcerer. Consultant. I have 30 plus years of experience making magic a reality for myself, my clients, and my students. For a complete background go to
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33 Responses to The Keys to Success in Magic

  1. Maggi Setti says:

    this was very nicely put Jason. I have found that many are confused when I say I don’t do very many spells. They usually respond with,

    “But you’re a Priestess, you’re a Witch! Isn’t that what you do- witchcraft?”

    and my response is somewhere along the lines of “I do ritual, and do the Gods work. When I’m in alignment, things I desire just naturally come along and what I want happens. So, yes, the sorcery is happening, even if I didn’t light a candle or make a mojo bag.”

    I feel less like a witchcraft slacker now. 😉 Thanks!

  2. Tracy says:

    One of the first things I learned was that, the more adept you become, the less magic you do.

    I really enjoyed this Jason. I’ll definitely be doing more offerings! I wouldn’t want to leave out!


  3. Josephus says:

    Woh. On reading this, I felt Deja-Vu.

  4. Richard Hayes says:

    From my heart and daily devotion, I have been doing the meditations and offerings Mr. Miller has given us in his wonderful books. I am beyond amazed! The results have are continually life changing, in such a very beautiful way. Without what I have discovered in his books I certainly would not be experiencing such wonderful new vistas of the fruits and rewards of incorporating his teachings into daily DAILY PRACTICE. “Key words.” Each and every single day, I look so forward to my meditations (three times a day) and offerings as specified in Mr. Millers teachings. I would not / could not letting one day pass without doing these devotions. These truly do connect one with The Divine. Yes, God can move mountains, but us having a pick, shovel, & wheelbarrow sure do help! Like the man who prayed for potatoes… He also held his hoe and had his work boots on. In other words, when we DO the work Mr. Miller outlined… how wonderful is all I can say! I am truly grateful, a very thankful man, indeed. P.S. the Simhamukha Tailsman is beyond beautiful.

  5. Richard Hayes says:

    Sincerely… Thank You. These days, truly, my spirit does rejoice. Another benefit of making offerings… Simple and pure joy. It is good :)

  6. Richard Hayes says:

    Really what I wanted to express is exactly what Maggi posted… Doing the offerings, it’s like The Gods just step in and man oh man do things just start happening, without a candle, etc. The magic happens in very evident ways. Doing the offerings are doing the work. I love how Mr. Miller put it all into words… So beautiful indeed.

  7. Richard Hayes says:

    Mr. Miller… About your teachings…. Thank You… for you… Awesome!

  8. John says:

    I just gotta ask though, where does divination fit in all these? :O

  9. Pingback: Why a regular practice trumps occasional reactive magic | Magical Experiments

  10. M.G. says:

    I used to believe in the importance of meditation – I have a Buddhist background myself – but I’ve honestly come to change my mind on this point and have basically given it up. After many years of spiritual work I’ve really found that energy work is much more important in my practice, and even does more for me in terms of overcoming neurosis than meditation, which certainly promotes mental stability but never did more for me than that.

  11. M.G. says:

    One thing I’ll add to my comment above: I can understand how meditation could be incredibly useful for people who enter altered states very easily, or naturally have visions of spirits. I don’t fit into either category; my innate mental groundedness is quite high, and I think that’s why I didn’t find meditation or contemplation especially useful techniques even after years of practice.

  12. Christopher says:

    A very interesting post, I do all of the above except offerings. Something to add to potentially add to my practice. I found it interesting you say that generally experienced practitioners don’t do much spellwork, what I have found is that the more “open” we become through practice the more life seems to “flow” without doing any kind of work….or if I do need something often just asking my guides or a simple prayer opens it up for me. Excellent post, also I’d just add that the difference between meditation and energy work can be a very slim line…atleast in my kind of practice.

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  15. myownashram says:

    Hi, I came across this post earlier this week and used it as inspiration for a post of my own. I used your chart as well. I hope you don’t mind. I linked to your page twice.

    Cheers – Niki

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  19. I read one of your books, I think it’s yours,Protection- Reversal Magick,God if this you Imust speak to you, I’ m scaredfor my life,my Husbands, we live in& Flordia Great Britiannow, I’ m American, my Husband English, he thinks I’ m going ccrazy,I’ ve had to I must close fornow please be the right one . I panicked the other day & tried tophoneMamacreego to physicist a year ago these witches & their band of teenagers have robbed oue flat, they tried to kill me 3 different timeswith a heart attack, & a car almost killed my husband 4 days ago. They hate Americans, & said Steve should pay for bringing me here, All I’ ve ever done all mylife is help people in trouble, give them good advice. She iscutting offmy blood circulation making my hands hard to type. I have a Kindle Fire HD not computer, God I feel like bursting into tears if this is you, I have to .Ieed Help bad ,advice, I’ve have some special long blessed crystals when I lived in L. A.,I been here since 1993 , This woman & partner don’t even know me ,this torching has been going on for 2 whole years. I feel like I’m going to loose it. We’re 5 hours ahead of Georgia

  20. HP says:

    Aren’t devotion and offerings part of energy work? They’re just not that body-centered, but they connect you with the wider magical space and flow – and help sustaining this connection. Isn’t this some kind of subtle energy modification/calibration? (an energy-duration-modification? :-))

    A point that didn’t show up in the discussion is VisionWork. By that I mean such things like lucid dreaming, active imagination, astral traveling, shamanic journeys – technics (with/out substances) that enable visionary experiences and communications. Could you just show me the right box, please?

    Finally I wondered where to put the boogaboo-component in, the sense of theater, the spooky narratives, the things you shouldn’t tell, the fancy manners. Seriously. There’s some trick(st)ery, some mythology, some fantasy, some sense of play. Maybe that’s just some kind of a strange medium field that empowers/colours/selects/connects the practical operations of your magic.

    But then it’s just some nice charts. And I’m totally overstretching it.

  21. inominandum says:

    Devotion and offerings are energy work if we accept that everyting and everyone is energy – at which point even having a category for it looses all meaning. I include things like gTummo. Chp-Gung, Internal Alchemy, and other deliberate alchemical processes that empower, purify, and enlighten the individual.

    Your vision work category would fall into the Sorcery Category for me. It is not something that I would consider a root daily practice.

    Theatrics, and such are modes of approach more than things in themselves. One can do an offering ritual in such a manner, or a spell in such a manner, or a devotion in such a manner. It is a meta-process that runs behind all the boxes if you REALLY want to put it in there.

    But yeah, its just a chart.

    • miyamoto musashi says:

      HI Jason, I have been doing some of these, I would like to increase them. My question , though is on devotion or devotions. Can you please give me some examples: I am not very comfortable with overly dogmatic stuff, that denies pleasure or has guilt in it. What would you recommend please?

  22. HP says:

    Well, right, I tend to think about spiritual things in a two-fold manner as some kind of energy-information EigenBehavior. Spirit entities then are awareness circles that feed back into themselfes. The kind of that awareness, the kind of want in that awareness, you do experience as a distinct shift in energy. So the energy component is the way the desire/information-structure translates into the sensitive mind.
    Energy work in the more specific sense is the way you, as a spirit entity, fold back onto your own awareness circle, balancing the perpetuated desires in search for some higher levels of their organization.

  23. Hello again, I’m sorry my email I just reread it, & I sound like a babbling ididot,I must apologize for my rabbiting, but some people really are harming me& my husband & our cat. I need real advice & help to learn what to purchase, pray,, which books, meditation, is hard for I’ m a very nervous person, but i’ll try anything. As i said I’d love to take a class or study, how do I do this from you , when we live in England . The people I found out are causing me such pain, & I’m trying to buy the right books from amazon& can you Jason plersa @ least point me in the right direction? I’m going to buy your other book today sorcerer’s secrets. Or how can you inominandum teach me when We live here, How should I start. Your right they are parasites. My brain feels like it’s swelling plus, it feels like their sticking a icepick down my neck & won’t let my new knee surgery heal properly.sometimes my skin burns worse than any sunburn& God my back. I’m sorry please forgive me telling you part of the pain. But I need help& all I have is myself with this, Steve dosen’ t beleive me, so I lied& ordered some candles, books & I’ m trying all bymyself. Could you please advise.. I can’ t fill a bath with rosemary & herbs, do to we have only a shower. I did make fresh lavender& prayed & rosemary to wipe on me & our cat, his fir is all falling out .I mean A sandwich baggie a day or 2 days plus they nervious system. Ours to. Put suggestions in steves brain, plus a thought would come in my head, I’d never ever do or say. I’ll close for now please this is not funny one da– bit. And its No Joke Thank You for reading. Jerryfirefly

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