Learning Direct Magick (Alongside Another Style)

by Mike Sententia on October 31, 2012

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Simon asks:

Do you still consider that someone can learn an established style AND direct magic simultaneously (assuming they actually have the time)? Some people argue this kind of thing can confuse a neophyte. I also sometimes feel that trying to focus both on ‘getting things done/getting some results under your belt’ and ‘pure exploration’ can be conflicting for beginner/neophyte- rather like trying to create innovative poetry whilst still learning the alphabet.

I have two answers: Yes, and why?

Yes, You Can

I know you can learn a traditional style and then learn direct magick, because friends have done it. And I know you can learn direct magick and then learn another style, because I’ve learned bits of other styles, and could continue if I wanted to. So, while I haven’t seen anyone learn two styles at once, I don’t see a problem.

As a bonus, both styles will probably teach you a lot of the same skills, like working with energy, making and noticing connections, and communicating with ethereal software, though the other style won’t call it that. So, it won’t take twice the time to learn both styles.

Different Worldviews

But before long, you’ll notice that the two styles have different worldviews, and it won’t be obvious how to resolve them. Let me give you an example.

In most traditional styles, they assume you’ll only work with the ethereal software associated with that style, so they never dig into other softwares. This lets them dig deep into rituals that communicate instructions to that one software.

Except that the teachers of that traditional style won’t say, “We are using this ethereal software, which responds to these rituals and correspondences.” Instead, they’ll just say, “Copper corresponds to Fire energy, which corresponds to healing, and gold corresponds to water and wealth, and…” Well, they’ll say correspondences that are actually correct, but you get the idea.

Now, with the explanation I gave you above, it’s obvious what’s going on: They’re teaching you how that one piece of ethereal software responds to rituals. You know not to try and place those correspondences into your direct magick, and you know why I don’t find them particularly interesting. But if I hadn’t explained all that, would it be obvious to you? Or would you wonder why I’ve missed all these correspondences? And what about other, more complex disagreements?

These questions may be good. I find that the best way to explore is to find a confusing problem, then tease it apart until it’s not confusing anymore. But realize that it won’t be a simple, direct path, and that you’ll be facing challenges fairly quickly.

Which brings me to my second question:

Why?

Why do you want to learn two styles at once? Because I can see at least one good reason, and at least one bad reason.

Good: You want to learn direct magick, but also want to learn a mature style of magick that has definitive answers and techniques, even if they’re answers you’ll eventually discard. In this case, I’d recommend that you learn that mature style, keep reading this blog, and start on direct magick when my book comes out.

Bad: You want to learn everything magick. I know, this sounds good, but it’s probably sending you in too many directions at once. If this is the case, I’d recommend the same thing I did above: Learn one mature style, then pick up direct magick once my book comes out.

Great reason: You want to deeply explore magick from many angles, and think that learning about two conflicting styles sounds like a great way to generate interesting questions. Awesome. I agree. Go for it, right now.

I hope this helps. Got questions? Leave a comment.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon November 1, 2012 at 4:05 AM

Thanks Mike. I will think on it.

The ‘bad’ reason and the ‘great’ reason sound almost identical: its just that in one scenario you’re confident enough to take the uncertainty that the contradictions throw up and not get bogged down with it. In the other version it causes paralysis by analysis. I’ve been motivated by pretty much all 3 reasons in my initial ‘apprenticeship’.

The ‘great’ reason is something i’m extremely interested in but I don’t think i’m quite there yet. Rather like learning French and Chinese at the same time in order to throw up interesting questions about the underlying structure of all language…when, right now, you just need to get better at making conversation with French business colleagues. we’ll see..

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wsa November 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Really interesting post for newbies, Mike. Great metaphor Simon.

When I was still in my foundational training in alternative medicine, I learned two systems at once, because try as I might, I could not let either one alone. I found that one (more than the other) really shed light on the other but that the whole learning process was aided by being able to compare and contrast the one against the other. I did not find it too confusing because even though they were both authentic systems of healing, they were a lot different, plus I was able to hold in my consciousness that they were both “true” however different.

I am not sure that’s exactly what you might find true here. I think you, Mike, feel that Direct Magick is more “true” than other forms because you believe you are accessing the fundamental workings of ALL Magick? That was not the case with me and my two healing modalities.

Even if Direct Magick IS more “true” than other forms of Magick because it IS working with a more fundamental layer of Magick, perhaps it might be an aid to the student to approach simultaneous learning of Direct Magick and another form of Magick as both being authentic, but different. Holding that paradigm might aid the process of comparing and contrasting that I found so beneficial in my own studies.

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Mike Sententia November 3, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Thanks! I’m glad to hear from someone who’s learned two styles at once, it’s a nice confirmation that it does indeed work.

If anyone else has experience learning two styles at once, please share.

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