Too much occult discussion is wasted on introspective application of magical rites. I don't talk a lot about addressing your issues using magic because I know for a fact that if you start doing practical magic, you will have to face those issues anyway. Any magical act that puts you in contact with a higher power is going to stir up shit that needs to be burned away.
One of the things about Hermetics that I like is that it's honest about your issues. You aren't really expected to ever reach perfect perfection while you're still alive. As long as you're breathing and seeing, you're in the flesh. Note that in the Hermetic progression through death, it's not until after you've turned the body over to the Daimon to be transformed that you start getting rid of the negative aspects of each planetary sphere for good. As long as the flesh exists, we have the seven evils of the spheres within us.
I think that's because in the flesh, the seven evils are necessary to survive. We need increase and diminishment, we need to plot ways to increase our supplies of water/food/shelter, we need to breed to continue the species and to get free labor on the farm, we need ambition, rash boldness that acts without regard to the risk, and there's the ever present urge to amass riches in hopes that they would somehow rid us of all these other problems at once. And that seventh evil, the subtle falsehood always lying in wait is essential to all of us, to give meaning to our lives and our actions.
These are necessary to get out of bed in the morning, to have clothes, to go to work, to provide for our existence and to meet the responsibilities of our kingdom. It's only "evil" because it's necessary to maintain an existence that occasionally sucks. We've all suffered, we know that life is hard and painful sometimes. It's just part of existence, and there are no satisfactory answers that really justify it, imo. Nevertheless, it's what we have to work with.
So anyway, we've all got these seven evils inside us, and they're going to come out in some degree while we're alive, no matter what we do. That doesn't mean we have to act on them, but if we fail to acknowledge their existence, we're not getting anywhere. To be able to surrender this stuff when we die, we need to be aware that we have them, and be familiar enough with controlling them to be able to disengage ourselves from them when we're moving up through the Spheres after death.
That's where the Great Work comes in. As we travel through the spheres, conjuring spirits, crossing through Gates, we release the powers of each sphere into our kingdoms, our own spheres of influence and sensation here in the material realm. Our pesonal spheres are already processing the powers of all the seven planets at once. All the spheres must be present in every manifest thing in some degree for it to exist at all.
So right now, you're channeling the powers of sexy sexy Venus in some way. It might be in a particularly ugly way if your Venus circuits are all corroded, or were wired wrong by circumstances of birth and development, but they are still being manifest through you into the material realm. Doing Venus magic, being in the presence of the entities of Venus, the Intelligences and the spirits cleans out the circuits, rewires you, clears out blocked pathways and allows the Venus powers to manifest more beautifully than before. Hanging out in the pure waters of each sphere cleans out that sphere's channels and lets its forces flow more cleanly through you.
When this happens, the evil aspects of each planet will fade away from your manifestings. You'll learn to overcome the need for increase of desired results in your own sphere through the diminishment of others' spheres. You'll find yourself planning and plotting ways to get ahead that result in positive gain for everyone involved. You'll strive for good goals that make the world a better place. You'll overcome rash decisions, and stop doing whatever it takes to get money, no matter who it hurts. The idea that your decisions originated with you won't matter anymore.
You know. You'll be nice. Healthy, creative, helpful, kind, and wise, as well as strong and intelligent.
Man, I have a ways to go. I still think people are assholes.
But most of what we consider problems in other people are the biggest problems we have ourselves. We hate nothing greater than seeing our own sins in action in the lives of others. In this way, we can use the things that offend us about others as an indicator of what we need to work on in our own spheres.
And since we're going to be giving all these impulses up for good when we die anyway, we might as well get used to giving them up for as long as possible here in the flesh. Practice makes perfect.
When doing magic to advance through the spheres, you're going to have shit stirred up. The urge to be a dick is going to loom large in whatever area of life is most affected by the planet you're being initiated into. Take my advice: Don't be a Dick.