Well! Allow me to be the first to welcome you to a life time (assuming you stick with it) of mind bending rituals, bouts of near insanity, at least half a dozen instances of personal destruction only to rise from the ashes a newborn, confrontations with your biggest fears both in meditations and manifested on the physical, and then there’s that pesky “Dark Night of the Soul…”
Oh, yes… and magick. That too. That thing contemporary society shuns and ridicules, as they look under their bed at night. That thing that will have society looking under their bed, praying they don’t see YOU… That thing advanced mathematics, physics and psychology are only beginning to grudgingly accept. As Uncle Al once put it, “Science is always discovering odd scraps of magickal wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.” Welcome to your first feebling, faltering footsteps towards the Truth, with a capital T… and leaving those you once called friends and family behind. Much like war, this sort of business changes someone, and you begin to feel kinship with other practitioners stronger than you’ve felt towards even your own parents… for good, or for worse. Yes, a thousand welcomes!
As for “all there is to know,” well, in a field constantly expanding, that is nigh impossible. You will find many common basics and themes among the thousands of systems worldwide (some having been invented only in the past few decades, others are centuries, or millenia old), and much to separate them. The one factor that it all comes down to is YOU. Do YOU have what it takes to advance in a system to the furthest edges, to the highest heavens (or the deepest hells)? Its very easy to learn a thing do a candle magick spell, then do the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, then find your totem animal. Quite a different matter to evoke legions of spirits and send them to do your Will (yes, with a capital W), no matter which system you use.
“Can’t.” Expel that conjunction from your brain. NEVER, EVER AGAIN ALLOW YOURSELF TO SAY THAT WORD. There is only the POSSIBLE and what you haven’t figured out how to MAKE possible. You, right now, are capable of mixing hyssop and sea salt together, stirring it with your finger and breathing into it (remember well I said “into” and not “on”), taking a bath with this, and removing the curse, if there is one. Many times we only THINK we’re cursed, because we use artificially limiting thoughts, like “CAN’T” or “UNABLE.”
In my experience, even the people who are interested and show promise peter out and give up in less than six months. The occult has a notoriously high washout rate, that I would put at least above 90%. Assuming you start, there’s a one in twenty chance you’ll still be on this road in one year. Especially if your desire is “protection,” with nothing to “protect against,” you’ll soon get complacent. A missed meditation here, a foregone ritual there… And soon after, you’ll be chucking those Llewellyn books in the trash.
The people who make it in that 5% (and that 5% is just those who didn’t wash out. There’s a TON of shitty magicians out there), tend to get into this for two things: enlightenment (gnosis, knowledge, etc.) and power. Arguably, enlightenment is inner power, so the only real reason left is POWER over your Self, and POWER over your world around you (what’s the difference, I wonder?). So, here’s to you, Macrobid. May you become one of the best of the 5%.