Where to start?

Hello all!

So, question. If someone was TOTALLY new (like just stopped believing in Judeo Christian ideology this morning) to magick (white or black), left hand path, ascension, occult etc… where would you tell them to start? The study of astrology? Numerology? Anything by a particular author? Etc… where and with what subject of study would they most benefit from looking into first?

Looking for books, websites, articles, and more, the whole nine.

I welcome and appreciate any suggestions from EVERYONE but especially looking for advice from those people who have been on the path for 10 years of more who would really have a view of the big picture.

What sort of mistakes that you made that others should avoid?
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
If you were going to put together a college course on these paths, what would be the 101 lesson, laying all the foundations?

Etc… etc…

Thanks all!

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Well, this place isn’t exactly hogwarts so all that depends more on you than anyone else.

So since this is BALG let’s examine the three major courses offered by the founder of the feast E. A. Koetting which are.

Mastering Divination

Mastering Evocation

Mastering Soul Travel

And he recommends people learn them in that order, of course there are some who disagree and that’s fine, i say you should begin with the one that’s of most interest to you.

When you have picked one, then we can get more specific with helping you down that particular chosen path.


Learn the basic of communication with spirits (that’s it, open sigils, use the search forum to see how). Choose a spirit whose description works for you and your goals. No matter what you want, there is a spirit interested in helping people who wants exactly that. Again, use the search function to learn about them.

Then, follow the instructions. Later, BE PATIENT. Do not believe you will achieve something awesome in your first attempt. You’re developing a skill.

I’m new too, but I promise you this: trying every day makes things easier. From then on, research anything that picks your interest and start developing a path of your own.

And if you let me give you a word of advise: do not buy into cults, “special” groups or other nonsense. Magic is real and there are awesome things to discover, so remember to laugh at yourself, be honest about your progress and only choose what’s good for you.

Best wishes for you.

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@charles9 gave a good point on what to work with If you follow the instructional path of EA and i yo recommend it, having the courses myself.
It depends on you and what you want to accomplish, different approaches works for different ppl.
Mastering di onationell as a start is a good way to start to see result and following your intuition and hence reward your work with valuable feedback. It also works on your astral senses which comes in handy for evocations as next step.
Being new you may not wanna spend the money for courses straight away and in that case i recomend a book called ”Modern magick: 12 Lessons in the high magical arts”
That is a good book to start and it works simple step by step.

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I would start with the basics of basics. Check this out @Purple did this just for this occasion.


I’d second @Cernunnos; Spirit communication is invaluable to many people’s practice, but even more bare bones is Energy Work. Learn to sense and manipulate energy before anything else, so that you aren’t working blind and deaf. @Purple looks to have an excellent list of exercises there. There’s your college 101 course.

Following that, read everything that you can get your hands on. Some things will draw you more strongly than others. Focus on those areas. Get really good at them, then move on.

The reading lists can get REALLY long. As you continue to learn and research, you’ll pick better and better books. Granted, you’re at BALG, so you’re a ways up the good shelves to begin with. However, the focus here IS more on the Black Magick and Evocation side of things, which can be intimidating. There are a lot of publishing houses around, and things you can find in the library if you’re not ready to commit to big purchases.

Llewellyn tends to publish at the more shallow end of the pool, but nevertheless, you’ll benefit from Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters and The Un-Spell Book by Mya Om, and Instant Magick by Christopher Penczak. Check out Brain Magick by Philip Farber, and everything every written by Konstantinos. Then get out of that box.

Spirit summoning and Evocation seems to be popular around here- the Solomonic approach is a solid one, I’d second @Grimner in recommending Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. If you prefer some historical add-on to that, The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish and The Book of Black Magic by Arthur Edward Waite are practically interchangable in many ways.

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler is a great history of the modern Neopagan movement, but is also a dense read which focuses on earth-based religious practice in North America and ignores areligious occultism. The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-gomm & Richard Heygate is exactly the opposite- a broad but shallow view of magickal practice focusing on the British Isles but mostly avoiding deep spiritual discourse.

Advice, then.
You don’t need anything to practice Magick except knowledge. With knowledge you can direct your practice, and with practice you develop your relationship to the world around you, and all its spirits and wonders.

All the books in the world are only worth the knowledge you can gain from them. The books themselves don’t matter. Given time, you might find that you learn better from the spirits themselves, and stop buying books entirely.

The fanciest ritual tools are still only a mnemonic to help your practice. They’re symbols for forces, and those forces are there whether or not you have a physical object. Don’t stress over props. They’re just theatre to sell your mind on its own power.

Your relationship to yourself and the world is everything. You’re trying to manipulate the forces of the cosmos- treat them fairly. Take care of the spirits you work with, including yourself. Honor your pacts, pay your debts.

Doubt Everything. Our western culture conditions us to value Faith in the Judeo-Christian sense. Faith is equated with virtue, and the natural response to admitting a lack of virtue is to be ashamed. You don’t have to hold tight to a belief in magick like it’s a lifeline against the Or Else of some cosmic punishment. Examine yourself and your results honestly, because it’s the only way to actually progress without delusion. Doubt your ideas, but believe in your ability.

Listen to the Wind. Yes, seriously. Listen to trees, and roads, and buildings, and all their indwelling spirits. Talking with entities outside yourself is easy. Hearing them takes practice.

I think that might already be a bit much to dump on you. Stick with it, and of course, if you’re hungry for more, there is definitely more. There is always more.


Thank you. I’ll look into those. I haven’t mastered divination by any means, but I do know it…so maybe I’ll just keep mastering!

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This is the hard part. But so so so true. Patience is not my natural strong suit, but spirit will certainly teach it to you. haha

Trust me! I do! lol. Research is probably what I’m best at. lol. Thank you for the encouragement though. I could use some work on the consistency of practice though. For sure.

Boy oh boy…you can say that again! I grew up in one so “groups” of any sort aren’t really my thing, and whenever I do interact with a group, I always keep them still at an arms length…for I know one day, someone is gonna pop up with some bullshit that I have to shut down. lol

Thank you! Same to you on your journey! Thank you for the advice!

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Good to note. Thank you. I can see that for sure…since in divination I do in fact use my astral senses. Makes total sense.

I’ll definitely look for that book. Thank you!

Thanks…I skimmed through briefly. Looks like a lot of great info. I’ll be looking through in detail today when I get some time.

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Understood. I will continue working on this. I have been working on that the past few months and making progress. But I still have growing to do. Gonna be working on that for sure.


Haha…longer than the one one I’ve been reading from 10 years ago? lol (joking) But seriously though, yes I know. My reading list has been long for awhile. My problem in the past was it not being focused…so I was just reading all over the place with no focus on a particular topic in order to actually grow. Now, I’m trying to change that around.

Thank you for these suggestions. I’ll look them up. I have read a book by Konstantinos many years ago…I remember it being pretty good, so maybe I’ll start with him.

It’s not too much at all. I really appreciate all the above points of advice. They are very helpful. I will certainly be writing these things down and keeping them in mind. Thank you!

Great! Thank you!


I’d send them to read E-Squared by Pam Grout. E-Squared magick is as simple as it gets and it really works. I’d then tell them to read Genevieve Davis’ books which explain how magick and the Law of Attraction work in the simplest way possible.

If they wanted more, i’d tell them to work on Michael Raduga’s The Phase for a month, to learn a quick astral projection hack. Astral projection comes in useful in doing advanced magick but it takes a while to get down, so i’d have them do the exercises when they’re still fresh and full of energy. I’d have them combine The Phase with Grounding & Centering work afterward. Grounding is very important in magick and is rarely suggested, but it can save your sanity when shit gets hectic.

If they then wanted more, i’d tell them to spend a couple of months working on the LRP & LRH to create Operant Fields the way Scott Stenwick explains here. To wit:
a - The LBRP & LBRH with the Rose Cross Ritual banishes all forces from a person’s astral body and gives them room to begin working metaphysics properly.
b - The LBRP & LIRH operant field is your default for magick with real-world manifestation.
c - The LIRP & LBRH operant field is used for meditation.
d - The LIRP & LIRH operant field is used for possession and inspiration.

Operant Fields are the key to effective ritual magick, and are almost never properly explained.

I’d then tell them to figure out how to use the Pentagram & Hexagram rituals with the Grimoire of Pope Honorius, or Crossed Keys by Michael Cecchetelli. These are the two simplest workable grimoires. For both grimoires, the Pentagram ritual calls the spirits of the four directions, and the Hexagram calls the spirits of the 7 days of the week. It is literally a matter of cutting and pasting the conjurations into the LRP & LRH to get these grimoires working magick in your life.

If they wanted more, i’d tell them to read Israel Regardie’s One Year Manual, which rounds out all i wrote above and turns it into daily rituals that build your powers.

If they still wanted more, i’d either tell them to initiate into a proper training program with a respected teacher in order to become an ordained priest in a working tradition. If they couldn’t find a teacher or preferred to self-initiate, i’d tell them to the Quareia exercises or Liber KKK, either one for 7 years.

These steps cover effective magick at all levels from total newbie to dabbler to working prac up to pre-initiate into a priesthood. At all levels the magick works. This is me cherry-picking what took em nearly 2 decades to figure out. There you go.


LMAO I knew you would show up eventually. :wink:

Thank you @Purple I’ll check all those threads out!

Thank you. I’ll look for that one. I think I’ve seen it around over the years.

I’d be interested in that for sure. I’d love to see a book with real info on LOA as opposed to the fluff.

Yea, I tried that a few years back and could never get a handle of it. I’ve only done it once and it was in the middle of the day and totally unintentional…So a book like The Phase would come in handy then. Because I know I need that skill.

Thank you for letting me know. That’s the type of info people need. You are right, it is big things like that, which seem small, that people who are experienced take for granted and neglect to share. Thank you.

Thank you for all of those links! I will be reading through them today. I’ll let you know if I have any questions if that’s ok. :wink: thanks for sharing!

I really appreciate that. I know from experience in another path how the journey can go…so that’s why I asked…this time around I’d prefer to get moving sooner if I can. Haha. I don’t mind doing the work…but if I can save myself some time I would like that. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your insight!

Is this where you get the spaceship?

There’s one other thing, and it precedes doing magick altogether, if you really want to make the practice a part of your reality.

Time your life to magickal currents by doing Liber Resh vel Helios with a watch, and (for example,) Frater Pi’s Lunar Adorations, timed using a lunar calendar.

Timing the Solar and Lunar quarters is fundamental work that attunes you to the powers of the interaction between Earth, Sun and Moon as they spiral around each other in space.

You rarely hear anyone speak about, but the most centred magicians do this type of work as a matter of course. It teaches you much about magick that can’t otherwise be put into words. You learn to really listen to nature