Monday, September 05, 2011


In the Mask of Zorro, there's a scene where Anthony Hopkins (Diego) is training Antonio Banderas (Allejandro) in sword fighting. Throughout the scene, as Allejandro gets better and better, Hopkins keeps saying, "Again!"

I tried to find the scene I'm talking about, but I could only find it in Czechoslovakian.

But anyway, that training scene is cool. Gaining proficiency in magic is a lot like that, a process of mistakes and gradual improvements, each time you get it right the universe hits you with "Again!" It takes practice to get good at it.

The first money spells I did were abysmal failures. I tried Jupiter, and had no success. The opposite of success, which is not failure, but actual regression. I tried Bune to win the lottery (cliche, I know), and failed. I changed my approach with him and found success, and failure. I tried the Solar Heptameron Angels, and failed, miserably. I haven't went back and tried them again since. I tried Och of the Olympik spirits, and had some success, and some failure. I tried Jupiter again, this time with some experience under my belt, and found bountiful success. I tried Mercury and found another kind of success. I put Jupiter and Mercury together and found still yet more kinds of success.

These days, I've got the knack of it. I have everything I need, and then some. I'm working on increasing that, too, aiming for an impossible goal by dividing the process into steps, and magicing each step to be a great success. Building my way up to the million dollar idea. Strategically.

And it's working.

But I wouldn't be able to enchant for success without having tried, again and again. I failed and was told Again! I succeeded and was told, "Again!" Each time I learned something new, learned the things that had to be in place to ease the transition from idea and thought to actual experience, learned how the forces manifest, learned how to apply them in ways that are better and more successful.

Magic doesn't always work. I mean, it always does something, but not always what you want or expect. That's because we don't know shit about shit going into this. Words don't convey the process adequately, and a lot of the people writing when my generation of magicians were learning were talking out their collective asses about things they hadn't experienced, advanced concepts of a system they had never been initiated into.

These days we've got magicians doing the magic and posting the results, and it's a beautiful thing. But still, my words can't convey the experience that brings skill. I can tell you about it, but I cna't make you feel it. Book smarts aren't hands-on smarts.

Do the magic, do it and fail, and do it again. Steps towards the goal. You can't change the world with your magic until you learn how to use your magic, and you can't do that reading about it.


  1. there is this quote: "Reading about magic is like reading about sex. It's great fun if haven't done it yet."

  2. Two thoughts come to mind: (1) the "10,000 Hour Rule" and (2) Crowley's famous "Invoke often!"

    A passage from Herbert's "Dune" also, however, comes to mind (the scene in which the then-callow protagonist tells his fencing instructor that he just "isn't in the mood" for more practice, and gets an unexpectedly furious reply):

    "Mood? What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises - no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting."

    Presumably, if you keep going with one's Practices, through both good times and bad, you'll be tap into deeper and more stable sources of motivation, and thus become resistant to, or independent of, the here-and-there influence of "mood" and such.

  3. Here's the entire scene in English:

    Being more of a sports guy, when you mentioned "again," the first thing that came to my mind was this scene from Miracle:

    Train, train, train...fall over exhausted, then train some more. Or, as Sri Ramakrishna said:

    "Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a person whose hair is on fire seeks a pond."

    Cheers, love the blog.

  4. Oh god I'm having flashbacks from fencing practice.

    Seriously, though, I agree in full with marginaleye's comment about needing to push through to find deeper sources of motivation (and greater successes, of course).


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