I've worked hard on this magick stuff for many years. With the possible exception of flipping the tarot cards, I am not a natural talent, unless one calls persistence a talent.
The first steps of Golden Dawn style training interweave two concepts. One of them, is a particular view of the continual unfolding of creation as represented by the Tree of Life. I think of this as a spiritual fractal. The other is a slow self-purification. I've learned enough of the Tree to be proficient. I've done enough of the purification to be satisfied, at the moment.
During my Golden Dawn career, I constantly wondered, "Am I doing this right?" I would also question my perceptions constantly and beat myself up over my personal flaws. I kept wanting to turn up the heat to burn them away. And now, I'm perfect.
Kidding, of course.
Those thoughts do not plague me anymore. Mostly, I'm pleased with myself. I am not perfect but who is? I am confident when I go into ritual. I'm not perfect there either but my magick is very effective. My card reading is very accurate when I am one-on-one with the querent. I listen more and talk less. Those are good things.
Something else has happened. Something more subtle. I can get to the other worlds quite quickly. I can target a location and be there. Frankly, that is cool. I've always wanted to be able to do that. That isn't it though.
I am a direct guy. I say what I think whether it is popular or not. I will argue with you and hold an opinion until you prove me wrong and sometimes I will keep going. My magick is just as direct, just as pointed. At least it always has been. Now, it is subtle in comparison. I'm explaining this poorly. I don't have the correct words to communicate this. It has gone from pushing energy to holding a conversation through a tarot card. It has moved from hard ritual to sitting and doing what? active meditation? active contemplation? By this I mean I'm as focused as a meditation but not completely passive. I am passive most of the time, a witness. Yet, I move things occasionally to make them work.
Regardless, it is different, softer, more 'in tune'. It is working with not at some goal. I know what I do worked and was real on the same level I know that I just took a sip of soda. My magick may be changing from fiery to watery or maybe I'm just learning the watery bits.
Whatever this stage of the work is, and those are almost always better explained in retrospect, I like it.