Does magick require a certain level of innate talent?

I have read some books, like Dean Radin’s “Real Magic” that indicate that only people at the far end of the bell curve in terms of natural psi ability are likely to be able to make magic work reliably and consistently. Another book, “Rational Mysticism” by John Horgan, describes research on brain activity in monks and other people experienced at going into a deep meditative state, but also indicates that some people have difficulty achieving this state of consciousness. Some authors, like Raji Dorotez, indicate that some people naturally attract spirits and unseen entities, and although anyone can learn to tap into their subconscious minds, some people are much more naturally predisposed to entering such states and experiencing mystical events. I have read other articles that claim that anyone can learn to cultivate their own psychic gifts but only a few are willing to put in the time and effort.

Is magic something some people just have a natural gift for, like art, music, sports or math? If you don’t have much innate ability to start with, can you improve with training and practice? Are some people natural-born magicians? If the subconscious mind is the source of magick, can anyone learn to tap into it or does it just come more easily for some people than others, like how some people are much more easily hypnotized than others? There is research done by Wilson and Barber on “high hypnotizability subjects” and scales devised by psychologists at Stanford and Harvard to measure someone’s susceptibility to hypnosis and I wonder if that correlates to the ability to enter the state required for magick and spiritual work.

My current working theory, although I would like to see more research on this, is that people who are able to make magick work for them and get results are the types of people who are easily able to self-induce a trance state and access the creative subconscious, which many neuroscience books describe as the “default mode network of the brain” which is most active during rumination and daydreaming. How this would let make someone able to affect external events is another question altogether, and there are plenty of theories involving quantum physics and the observer effect which would require a lot more clinical trials and consistent proof before any of these theories gain sufficient evidence to support them.

Any thoughts? Can anyone learn to be a magician or are some people just born to it?

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We are all born with it. Some recognize it early on, some later and some never do.

How you make it work for you and make it your own is entirely up to you. How good you get with it is only equal to how much you put into it.

There are thousands of armchair witches who have studied all their lives and never done a ritual. Don’t become one of those.

Get a plan together, and just start. Be fluid so that you can go where your guided when you need to because it’s one wild ride :slight_smile:


Yes and yes. .

And yes. Magick is just another activity that humans can do. Even if you have talent, if you don’t study nor practice, you won’t get anywhere


Like my old welding teacher said, some people have an eiser time than others but the ones who put in the time and keep practicing get good. I think there is a middle ground

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First, a quick correction. The default mode network is actually the opposite of the creative subconscious. the DMN is the pattern of brain activity observed when people are mind wandering (ie. “monkey mind”). In fMRI scans (brain scans that show the activity of neurons) of skilled meditators, researchers have found that the DMN is not active during meditation.

An interesting thing to note here is that research has also found that most people spend around 60-70% of their day in the DMN. In other words, most people spend most of their time lost in their thoughts and emotions, without being present in the moment and truly aware of what is happening around them and in their own minds.

I believe that this is why most people are not suited for magick. I also believe that, theoretically, everyone is capable of learning how to use magick, and perhaps even capable of achieving what some call “enlightenment” or “awakening,” but I also believe that there is much truth in the notion that occultists are born, not made.

Upon attaining an incredibly small amount of meditation experience (and I mean real meditation, not having someone talk to you on your phone app), one quickly realizes just how potent the monkey mind is, and just how unaware one truly is when in that state. The illusion of the surface mind is quickly made apparent, though it is not so quick to fade.

Now, I do not have a regular meditation practice at this time, but I have continued to practice mindfulness in my daily life, and it is difficult for me to remember what it was like before I began doing so. The memories have a certain fuzzy quality to them. I think this is because, in a very real sense, I was asleep while they were being recorded.

As a side note, I believe this to be partially why demonic magick works so easily on most people. Humans are easy to control, I believe, because they live their lives as a series of reactions. They have very limited ability to observe the surface mind, and little significant access to the deep mind. They are unaware that they live in illusion, and so illusion can be used against them with shocking ease.

It seems to me that this is also why ethics are so heavily emphasized in Buddhist and other mystical traditions. As one sheds attachment to layers of illusion, there comes a certain objectivity and distance from ordinary being, at least in my experience (I continue to use “me” and “I”, despite their empty meanings). With this shedding comes knowledge, and therefore power. This power can be used however one chooses to use it.

I must say that I find it ironic that the ethics of how to use this power is ultimately rooted in the illusions that so many of the moralizing types feel the need to escape.

I’m afraid that, to answer the actual question being posed, I must get more metaphysical now. In many Buddhist traditions, there is an oath known as the “Bodhisattva Vow.” In brief (and with potential error), this vow is a dedication to becoming a bodhisattva. I do not think that many who take this vow realize the full gravity of this statement. To achieve full and complete Buddhahood, one must also shed the identity of the bodhisattva, one who agrees to remain in the cycle of samsara (reincarnation) so that they may share the dharma (generally, truth) with unenlightened beings.

To finally answer your question, then, I believe that there are those who walk this earth who have become more than most humans. These are the ones with the greatest potential in their current lifetimes. The divine spark is present in all, but few are able to realize what is already there.


We get what we’re given in this life, brilliant post above and I agree with most of it. Some people are born with it but it’s a matter of genetic information imo, if you had a family who practiced magick it gets passed down whether you want it or not. It is the energy of life and when families are attuned to it for generations for one reason or another, that focus gets into the blood.
That being said, you referred to it in contrast to art, music, sports and math. These are skills that can be developed by anyone, having a natural inclination toward them gives you a headstart, it doesn’t necessarilly mean you will advance beyond someone who works hard at it.

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