From one day to the next sucess in ritual seems to have its own temperment, seems as though a sucessful practice can't fail, could well sit on hot coals and practice and nothing would bother you to then practice the next day under the same conditions shuffling to find comfort in an asana, distracted by the pattern of dry paint on your wallpaper.
Was going to ask if anyone, perhaps an adept could vouch for 100% efficiancy or nearby in their practice, perhaps knowing just when to commit to an operation or to being so in control of their faculties that invoking/evoking is akin to using a can opener or a bottle of milk each day. To see if that level of profession can be reached or if its all some hit and miss wet to dry affair.
Guess the real question is, what makes a pro a pro?
I am perhaps the worst person to answer this question...yet, in some respects, as one of the oldest members here, feel somewhat compelled to do so.
Breaking a newly made 'resolution' that states, "if you swim in shit, then you best keep your mouth shut..." *sigh*
The straight laws of average/law of chance says that there is only a 20% chance of random success in any given thing. (I learned this on my treatise on parapsychology with the Rhine Institute many years ago.
Bonewits in his book, "Real Magic" states a similar phrase. In my own journey through Magic and esoteric ritual I've had some rather blase results. Nothing new to you people out there, or, at least, the ones that openly speak
of such things...my success rate has varied from 0% to an all time high of about 40%! Not very impressive, is it? I've also noted that I've achieved worse results using ritual that was given to me by an outside source.
The best and most consistant results come from an almost 'unconcious' flow (of magic). 40% added to the drama and romanticism comes out feeling alot more than 40% and closer to 70%! Our perceptions can color everything very well. It should be made a note of that results falling BELOW 20% are indicative of something definative happening! Bonewits called it 'negative psi(onics). Furthermore, a 'slop' in results of 5% in either direction average out to be just...average. Where does this leave us? Something is obviously happening...that sometimes we are able to 'tune in' to our methodology and produce results. I cannot speak for the others...I'm sure that when one has established a tried set of methods that spell success they will stick to it! Imperial Arts (to single out 1 member) probably has a much larger % of success than I...due to finding and using a specific formula to great efficiency!
I'm a scatterbrain...I have more fingers than pies to piut them in! *grin* Hence my abyssmal track record! Sorcery works better for me than ceremonial magic...not to split hairs. Thems my two cents for what they're worth!
<<only a 20% chance of random success in any given thing
indeed, and it isn't the thing that changes, its you...
we are the sum of electromagnetics, chemicals and photons - and our exposure to all of these changes daily, and usually not in our control
perhaps if you went into a nice shielded cave deep within the earth that was full of happy gas and mesmeric crystals, say, oh, the cave of st john the revelator - these old shits knew and know, you know?
I like that idea! The hell wih magic! Just give me that shielded cave and LOTS of Happy Gas!
The saints ain't got nuttin' on me!
The constant evolution of ones practice... think I'll start averaging sucessful rituals come to think of it. So you're saying that its those that you think don't work that actually work, like a building block kind of thing? The dry ground laid before you get to sit in a complicated asana in a bucket of ice with needles in your finger nails and a smile on your face kind of thing?
I guess one could rate the idea of sucess itself, from the euphoric revalatory kind of sucessful to, 'i think I saw a pentagram' kind of sucessful. Intrested after having had a sucessful ritual and noticing that I couldn't mess it up if I tried all the paths to failure were blocked, if my cloak had fallen off it would still have been a sucess however embarrasing, if nothing was new then what made that practice a good one and a later practice on the same day kind of flat and mundane?
Where's the science damn it! .lol. Sure there's a formula that can be applied here, where is Imperial Arts anyway? An essay would do well here.
There are probably almost as many answers to "what makes a ritual successful" as there are practitioners. The ability to raise and focus energy, to get into a trance state, visualization, and to avoid a lust for results are frequently mentioned, but I've seen lots of others as well. The debate rages on. The best ways to find what works for you is to keep and use a magical diary, and don't limit yourself to one path, research and experiment with many and take what works for you from each. We all must find our own path. Good luck.
I'm actually going to answer a different question, namely, how will you know if your ritual is successful? In my experience, a well-performed ritual ALWAYS includes an element of surprise, meaning that something unexpected happens. For example, I was once performing an outdoor ritual. The weather was heavy overcast, nothing but solid low clouds. At the apex of the ritual, the clouds parted in a circle just big enough to disclose the full moon in all it's splendor. It remained so for about two minutes before the clouds obscured it again.
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