When the Golden Dawn was founded, magick was not taught until one reached adept level. The point, I assume, was that your first task was to find out who you were, resist temptation to be what you are not, and develop enough self-awareness to know the difference.
I have seen the fallout of many a new magician's mistakes that resulted in serious health problems and psychological break downs. I suppose that is the price of playing with fire. I have even seen initiations into groups that should never have taken place but were granted more from the position of the group's or leader's ego than anything else. Can you say BOOM?
The bigger problem is that new and old magicians fall prey to their lower selves from time to time. We are all human. When lower self impulses are combined with magick, we are basically mixing selfishness with the power to change other people's lives.
One of Robert's Rules of Magick is this: All magick changes the relationship of one thing to another thing.
So, if you do magick to get a woman, get a job, get money, get a a book etc. you are changing the choices of another. Basically, if I change my relationship with a promotion (as in from separation to unity) I am also changing the relationship of another inversely. No big deal you say.
What if you attract a girl you would have never met, have great sex and she or you misses the opportunity to be with a life mate? Oh, watch the magicians rationalize that away. Congratulations single person of 20 for getting that job! Too bad the mom whose husband just ran off with a bimbo leaving her with two kids to feed didn't get it. She should have learned magick. Not my fault they scream. Uh huh.
I did a "harmless" magick once to see if it worked. I did magick to have a conversation about baseball at work. A man was transferred from one job to another, told to move to the wrong office, we had our conversation and he moved elsewhere within an hour. Had he had a car accident would that have been my fault? What if he loved his old position and hated his new one? That was needless interference in another's life.
From a spiritual perspective, there are many ways of reaching higher states that do not involve such magicks. So, it isn't necessary to teach them to those seeking that goal. In fact, the powers so given by magick can be a distraction in and of themselves. Moreover, the results of the magick can distract one for a lifetime, especially when one does deep impact magick that satisfies one's lower nature to a point that overrides one's spirit. In short, to be what one is not.
From a long-term view (i.e. lifetimes) none of this matters. From a short-term view, it can have huge impacts on lives. I do not want some magician chasing his crotch to interfere with my relationship even unintentionally do you? I do not want some magician trying to help and impoverished town shutting down my factory so it moves there.
This is one of those arguments I have made since my practice of magick began. The MM and it's fallout tells me that nothing really matters, especially those ego comforting little magicks we do feel better about life. This is why Jesus and Buddha suffered so. To teach them that this stuff matters not. They just purged the fullness of their souls instead of the little bits I have purged. The process is the same. They just did it on a much larger scale.
And now to completely contradict myself, I know a guy that was at a severe disadvantage in life and used magick to even the playing field. I have no reason to argue with him. In fact, I plan on conversing with him as there is something to learn there.
I am also not opposed to doing magick to further one's soul purpose, if one knows that. Yet, how often should that be necessary? Then again, if no one teaches it, how would one know how to use it to that end?
These are my thoughts. I have reached no conclusions. I do not oppose people like Jason Miller that teach very practical magicks. Jason does teach wisdom, warns of fallout and includes ethical decision making. I may be okay with teaching magicks from a spiritual perspective with the admonition not to use them practically as it becomes a distraction or teach them to people doing thaumaturgy and naught else. I don't know.
Someone is likely to post some counter arguments to this that are completely valid. Others may agree and also be completely valid. I think this is a worthy discussion to have but leave conclusion up to you.
Healing the Self
Over the past year, I have been working on healing others. During that time, I have lost weight. I have dropped from 226 to 206. Rather than a study drop, I dropped 10 pounds being a vegetarian then plateaued .I dropped the vegetarian thing and counted calories. I have dropped another ten. Three more pounds and I will have achieved that medically significant ten percent reduction.
This has taken almost no effort on my part at all. I am wondering if by entering the currents that heal others, I have absorbed that current myself. If so, that is a sort of instant karmic reward. If not, it is a fun coincidence.