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! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif