If you are a magickally inclined individual there are countless resources out there for you to use to find spell recipes, incantations, evocations, combinations of herbs and incense, amulets, talismans, the list goes on and on. So often I encounter people who are looking for a magickal 'quick fix' and think firing off a single spell will fix their problem, one and done. Many times these people are quickly frustrated by their lack of results, and can't understand why the magick isn't working when they followed the instructions exactly.
Aside from all of the issues I could mention about individuals attempting magick while not engaged in regular practice, there is an even larger and more glaring issue in my opinion that snares both the one-time-user, as well as occasionally the regular practitioner.
I am talking about failing to open mundane pathways for your magickal manifestation to occur.
I imagine more than a few people may have blinked once or twice on reading that. What does it even mean? To give a complete answer and a proper understanding of the topic I think I need to take a step or three back and briefly touch on what magick actually is, and what it is not.
Magick is a subtle force that acts on the world in profound ways. In many respects it seems to defy or contradict the established laws of the universe. If this is in fact the case then magick is governed by its own set of laws and rules, and must abide by them. (It is actually my opinion that magick does actually operate entirely within the physical laws of the universe, and while that may seem a contradiction due to basic thermodynamics, I would argue by pointing to things like quantum entanglement and M-theory, both of which seem to suggest that physics on a very fundamental level operates on principals that eerily mirror those espoused by magicians for thousands of years.)
Like water, which takes the easiest route downhill, or electricity, which takes the path of least resistance, magick typically follows the shortest route in order to manifest. If you think of magick like a flow of electricity through an insanely complex circuit board comprised of the universe, you would probably have a decent picture in your head for how magick tends to work. If magick is going from point A to point B, and it has a choice to flow between 3 points in between or 20, it is almost always going to take the shorter route. Like electricity, magick tends to lose energy the longer the path it must follow or due to the amount of resistance it encounters on the way.
So what does this mean in a practical sense?
When performing magick try to keep in mind how the magick might potentially manifest, how circuitous the path it might have to take in order to bring about the desired result, and how much energy it actually takes to travel that long or short a path. For instance, let us compare two hypothetical individuals who are both performing an identical spell with an identical amount of juice.
Individual A (let's call him Adam) is lonely and has decided he wants to start a relationship. Adam has a basic understanding of magick, and decides to go online and find a spell to bring love into his life. He performs the spell and waits for results. Adam also works from home, programming for a large software company. He makes good money, but lacks social interaction with others at work. On the weekends he has pizza or takeout delivered and binge watches whatever the latest Netflix hit is. He has a cat that he loves. Aside from basic errands he tends not to leave his apartment.
Individual B (let's call him Bob) lives a life identical to Adam. Like Adam, he finds the same spell to facilitate finding a relationship. Bob performs the spell, but instead of just sitting back and waiting for results Bob decides to go to the gym a few nights a week. He goes out and gets a haircut, and starts going to a number of events around the town where he lives. He listens to bands in bars, and visits museums when they open new exhibits.
Which of these two individuals, Adam or Bob, do you think is more likely to obtain meaningful results from the magick they performed? The answer is obviously Bob. He has put himself in far more situations where he might happen to meet that special someone, so the magick he did has a much shorter path to allowing that result to manifest. Additionally he is actively working to help the magick manifest, instead of creating barriers to prevent it from happening.
Another simple example would be an individual looking for a new job. If you update your resume, apply to jobs frequently, go on interviews, ensure you look presentable and professional, and etc. You are far more likely than someone who does not do these things to find a job. If you are working magick to find your ideal job that doesn't mean that you stop doing these mundane things, if you did it would only make the pathway to manifestation harder for the magick, and make it less likely you get the result you desire.
At this point I am sure some people have thought of the objection that a true Magus can enact nearly spontaneous change in a way that can alter the fundamentals of reality in some cases. Their magic seems to need no pathways to occur, and they can work miracles with a thought, a gesture, or a breath of air.
If you are one of those individuals who can accomplish such feats, by all means ignore any advice I have to give (although I would hope if you are such an individual you are out working to better the universe as a whole instead of stopping to read my blog.) However, if you are not one of those individuals, then you, like most, are still fumbling around with imperfectly realized fragments of divine power, and down here in Malkuth we need all the help we can get!
Also, if you truly desire something from the universe, why would you not give it every chance to properly occur, with or without magick? Doing the mundane work is just as important as the magical, and keep in mind the fundamental principal 'as above so below.' If you aren't working toward a result below, what makes you think your magickal energies are working toward it above?