Jason wrote a great blog post explaining Strategic Sorcery in Action. I think it's a must read for all magicians who wonder what the Great Work looks like when you're doing it.
Another friend of mine, Fr. Servitor Lucem, wrote a series of articles at Rending the Veil (the archives STILL aren't up, if you know web administration and have some free time, email Sheta there) about his own attempts at strategic magic. While he got exactly what he asked for, he learned a lot in the process.
When I perform manifestation magic, I tend to contact a single spirit, state my request, and then let the spirit handle any additional details. While this is effective, it is only effective to a degree. The things I have happen that are truly awesome usually involve working with multiple spirits, and have a bit of planning involved.
I am paying attention to this fact.
A book I read, The Four Hour Work Week, taught me that the key to wealth isn't a single job (no kidding), or a single investment. It comes from setting up multiple streams of income. They don't have to be huge sources of income, they can each provide a hundred or so dollars a month. After setting up enough of them, you're bringing in a few thousand a month, and some are more effective than others, and some less. You cultivate the ones that pay well, and you keep on growing until you're getting what you want.
This is a principle that applies to the Great Work as well. I'm in Project Management for my day job. That gets things done and keeps everyone working on the project focused on what they are supposed to be doing. It involves analyzing specific requirements, designing solutions, executing the design, implementing the solution, and then monitoring and controlling the solution while it is being used. The final stages are closeout and lessons learned, which feed into future projects.
As a Magician accomplishing the Great Work, I need to apply these techniques to my magic as well. I have some health issues to address, and there are friends and family that could use my help as well. I have a couple of "You: out of my Universe!" projects going on at the moment that I can use this information on. There are a few things I want to accomplish using the spirits of the Pseudomonarchia. There's this guy I'm planning on turning into a first-class active full-time magician with something to contribute to the world.
The gold brick project ... I'm still wanting to stick to a single spirit at a time on that one because it's a hobby. I have ACZINOR of the Earth Tablet, and probably whichever Senior rules the Sun as well to Work with on that, and if they don't work, there are the gnomes that I can send to fetch me one. I don't want to mix systems on that particular front because it is a more controlled experiment. I don't NEED a gold brick, I just want one.
Then there's just my own personal life that this can be applied to as well. Work, home improvement projects, wardrobe, diet, exercise, parenting... What is it we're talking about here? Taking responsibility for controlling your life as it manifests around you. Planning, reasoning, and then acting on the decisions made, following up on it, making it happen, taking care of it, and then learning from everyhting. Progression, action, building, making, doing, creating, Rising and Descending in Power, by this were all things created.
Strategic Sorcery: The Great Work in Action. Jason rocks.
(Jason Miller, also known as Inominandum, is the author of Reversal and Protection Magic. Again I say, if you don't own the book, buy it, it's about more than Protection and Reversal, it's about doing magic.)