It’s basically doing shadow work. There’s no rule that says you can’t investigate these energies in yourself and by yourself, in fact I think it’s highly beneficial: know thyself. I used jehannum’s pathworking notes that are on his website, but there are books you can use as a guide to get started.
Knowing yourself IS ascent. It’s important that you do.
Not it’s not. Qlipphoth is considered the “sinister” path which means “left hand” path in Latin.
Personally I think the left/right hand path is overblown and a red herring. Humans must balance dark and light, yin and yang, self and service to exist and keep ourselves and our communities healthy.
Put it this way healthy boundaries are important. Take anything to extremes and it causes ill health, that includes extreme freedom, which is anarchy and chaos, and extreme control, which is imprisonment and slavery. One extreme is just as destructive as the other. However each breeds the other…
remember the Tai Chi Tu, always a spot of one in the other, it’s not a contest, it’s a FLOW, yin becomes yang becomes yin, constantly creating each other. Both are good. Both are needed. In balance.