A lot of people new to magick seem to be seeking the initiation, or the spirit contact, or the “That can ONLY be magick” experience to dispel all doubt, which is understandable, but while it’s a good idea to keep a critical mind and important to keep pushing yourself, a lot of the time I think this is also about permission.
We spend our formative years working through measured grades and exams at school, needing approval for each leap forward and usually held in lockstep with our peers, maybe even criticised or teased if we break out too far from the herd.
And then, as adults, we’re surrounded by an advertising frenzy of fake perfect people living fake perfect lives, heavily implying that happiness is still conditional on one more accomplishment (the perfect body, partner, or lifestyle), whilst chasing promotion and acceptance from colleagues, employers, neighbours, or would-be lovers - a continuing conditionality that never lets up.
^ Seek this and nothing more, forever and ever, amen.
In our private lives, happiness is usually correlated to how closely we comply with the will of those around us, and meanwhile everywhere we look, the media is yelling at us that the good things of life only come to those who have ticked all the boxes, graduated through the approved routes, bought all the products and paid all the dues - a kind of superior homo-sapien with none of the everyday problems of life, and that if we JUST be, do or have X, we can also finally make the grade ourselves.
I like shiny things and status as much as the next person, in fact it’s a big part of why I do magick, but they’re merely masks to bring power in a savage world - and the rules they run by, which mostly all about externals, bear no relationship to the REAL reality.
That being, of course, the internal world of magick, of placing myself, YOURSELF, as the sole authority of approval when it comes to commanding genuine magickal power and spiritual authority over your own life.
We learned as children to look for pass/fail signals all the time, to show us how we’re progressing, and that does have its uses - but as adults, as magicians especially, we risk stagnation if we spend too long seeking permission from people or spirits we respect to say yes, we can be or do this, we have passed, or we can move up a grade in the world and in our own estimation and put our hands in god’s toolbox (so to speak) and alter reality to conform to our will.
The rules of the social, civic world are not the rules of the man or woman standing alone in a darkened room seeking meaningful interface with the only other thing in creation at that point - the spirit they plan to command.
In that situation, the real feeling of permission, assuming you don’t want to stay trapped in a guru/mentor style relationship of need, has to come from within.
So, why not try the following, first thing in the morning and last thing at night:
“I give myself permission to be powerful. I give myself permission to be magickal. I give myself permission to be FREE.”
(You could try giving the same permission to be rich, happy, successful, beautiful, strong, and maybe - to reverse all the world’s tacky and superficial conditionality - give yourself permission to be imperfect, lazy, scared, weak, needy, sad, fat or scrawny, and yet STILL to be powerful, magickal, and free.)
Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good - and never let the gap between where you are now, and where you want to be, cause you to lose heart. Only stagnant people living empty lives don’t have that gap at all.
Well, anyway, just sharing something that’s helped me - it’s still a work in progress, my life’s not perfect and the amount of things I’m aware I don’t know terrifies me (the things I’m not aware of, even more so); but, I found this helpful, it seemed to shake things up in a good way.