I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard. “I’ll believe in magick as soon as I see some.”
To thinking skeptics’ great amusement, my response tends to be:
"Nobody can prove magick to you... You will begin to experience magick once you believe in it."
I HATE the circular logic it presents, but unfortunately it's true. Magick can be right in front of your face, but as I said in The Magick Primer Introduction, if you don't believe in magick you'll ignore it or explain it away.
In truth, by necessity most Magick isn't really that hard. Most of the techniques and ideas I present in here are fairly simple. The FAITH can be difficult though. Most people have fairly obvious magick in their lives that they will recognize once they are ready to accept it. Hopefully while they are reading this site, they will have a moment where they think... I ALREADY DO THAT!
Once they find magick which comes easily to them, it is easy to use that confidence and faith to stretch their experiences into new areas.
But let’s imagine we’re pessimists and assume that a person doesn't feel a connection to anything yet.
Energy Balls and other Astral Stuff
The reason the 1st technique in the primer is Energy balls, is that I started with energy balls. It took me 4 years of playing with energy balls and (to be honest) silly and immature astral illusion/creations/summons before I started realizing magick in other areas of my life.
Somehow along the way I slowly opened up to the realization that my "being like other people around me" (doppleganging) was a form of extreme empathy and telepathy. Once I realized that, I started playing with hearing thoughts/intent. Then I started with thought projection and emotional projection. Little by little my practice realized other magicks at work in my life... sometimes by me and sometimes TO me.
Books and movies prepare us for the idea of the "real world" overlaid by a "Magickal World" with limited ties to our reality based largely in belief/disbelief. Thus it is easy to believe in astral magick. I have found that spending time in this “fantasy reality” gives people a chance to slowly come to accept the idea of this stuff being real.
So when I meet that 17 year old self-titled "ShadowBlade" who shows off his/her "power" by creating/summoning astral entities, astral stories, energy balls, Astral Shields and messing with someone else's aura... well, I try to be kind and support him/her by asking questions leading toward awareness that Astral workings are "Real Illusions" with some power, but there is more.
Unfortunately it's really easy for mages to get stuck there… The idea that their “great power” is usually barely a mild influence is hard to accept. Astral Play is LOUD. If you find people who have their 3rd eye open, EVERYONE gets to see special effects. After spending months/years with fast and easy illusion-magick with special effects, most will choose to believe that it was all a fantasy rather than face the reality of powerful Magick rarely having obvious special effects and being hard to believe even when you practice it.
Wow, writing this helps me understand why older mages I knew were such dicks regarding astral magick. It didn’t make sense to me before that they mocked it mightily; however, this was a hard awareness for me too and I’m starting to realize how bitter I became. Even though my head knows the power of astral and illusions, my heart feels betrayed by them. This is likely why I strove hard to replace the “magickal wonder” by finding real life intense magick.
Hopefully this warning will help you avoid this trap. I still believe that astral work is a great way to build faith. It’s an easy magick and it has pretty good results when you’re realistic about your expectations. You probably won’t scare someone off IMMEDIATELY by summoning an astral dragon, but if it sticks around LOOMING and projecting how much it wants to eat them they might get uncomfortable enough that they decide to leave.
…and you’ll get your special effects too…
Power Before Wisdom