Out there in the forums, people have been asking for “beginner stuff”. In particular, a lot of people are scared of the prospect of going into magic too fast, and are being advised they need to read an enormous amount of books before they can do anything safely. Well, obviously you need a certain amount of common sense and humility. But I’ve been doing magick for more than 20 years, and looking back, especially at the early days, I just didn’t get into trouble by getting on with it. Quite the reverse. I’m not saying, throw caution to the winds — quite the reverse. I would however draw an analogy with yoga. If you try to force yourself into full lotus when you’re a couch potato, you are likely to strain muscles and may need professional attention to feel comfortable again. If however you start with simple exercises, don’t push too hard, but practice regularly, you will rapidly, if not immediately, feel the benefits. And you won’t hurt yourself. Same with magic. Do it often, do it within your capabilities, do it safe, and you’ll be fine.
So get in there. Listen to your gut, be humble, and get used to distinguishing between feeling excitement, feeling a bit of fear, and KNOWING this is WRONG and I got to GET OUT OF HERE. (The latter is a particularly important feeling to be able to identify when working with others.) And bear in minf that magic doesn’t have to be about “getting something”. Magic’s an end in itself. Like meditation, or sex, or food. Or football.
Now, some suggestions of stuff to do to just start feeling it — I won’t comment too much, just take a look and see what grabs you:
1. the Auric egg meditation (terrible title, pr0bably deliberately so, but better than it sounds! Dead simple and safe)
2. Sensory enhancement exercises — good for anyone to do.
3. Genius loci stuff — for a better sense of place.
In addition, a lot of people like Grant Morrison’s pop magic. Even though it’s pretty results-oriented, rather than “stretch out and enjoy it” in style, it’s got solid advice and techniques in it. And I for one enjoy magickal materials written up as if they were a third-rate sales primer.
Just remember, be nice to yourself, don’t give yourself a hard time, and don’t take it too seriously. It’ll get freaky in its own time. You don’t have to objectively, definitively believe in any of it on a 24 hour a day, 52 weeks of the year basis — in fact it’s probably a very good idea if you don’t. Magick defends itself.
You’ll notice I haven’t listed any books to read. That can come later. Important though knowledge is, it’s more important to get on and do something, try something, and (without trying to do too much) find out something about yourself and the world around you. Try it, you’ll like it. And you don’t have to give up any materialist principles.