Setting goals in magic is no different to setting goals for other ordinary hobbies. For instance, this year I have set myself the task of putting on an extra couple of kilo’s of muscle and to improve my jujitsu. This is acheivable. If on the other hand I set my goal to this year I want 23 inch biceps and go from my first dan grade to my third – this is impossible. Do not set goals that you know cannot be reached – you will end up demoralised and put off improving yourself.
The same can be said when setting magical goals (apologies of the font has changed – something not quite right here, but I shall continue). My end goal is to be able to perform the classic Darth Vader “I find your lack of faith disturbing” neck pinch, but I know this will require quite a lot of work and also quite a lot of belief in myself to be able to achieve this. I have to believe myself that I am capable of doing this. If I don’t believe that I can do it, then no amount of ritual or ceremonial magick is going to help me. You have believe something is possible.
Hence, start small. Set small magical tasks such as maybe wanting an out of print book. Focus on the problem, and see what emerges. Don’t expect immediate results – things take time. I once wanted a tritium 24 hour display watch. I found one, and it was only available in the US (and it cost a lot). I could not find it in the UK at all. I contacted the supplier – no response. I so wanted this watch. About 3 months later, it appeared for sale on Amazon in the UK – for a mere £700 ! Suddenly I didn’t want as much. BUT, the watch became available. Sometimes this kind of experience teaches – did I really want the watch or not ? I have had very many experiences such as these, so I will not use coincidence to attempt to explain them. Using coincidence would weaken your self belief.
Keep your magic to yourself, even if you have great success. I believe that the ability to perform magic is not only down to self belief but it is also a gift given by the unseen. Blab about it, and the unseen may decide to take it off you.
As for ritual – that is up to you. Personally I believe that the use of magical tools are to help focus the mind to the job in hand. Elaborate ceremonial magick (Solomonic Goetia for example) is made deliberately complicated – puts off all but the very determined. You have to fish out the important parts from the unimportant.
Magic is a path that must be walked to the end, not just an afternoon stroll. Set your goals carefully and with thought.