I’ve heard the horror stories of people who dabble in magic but don’t fully commit. Who half-ass their banishings, if they do them at all. Who play with Ouija boards without a solid understanding of what they’re doing. Not the people who are completely ignorant, because their ignorance provides them with a level of protection, but the people who know just enough to get them in trouble. I’ve never experienced it myself. I was an armchair magician for long enough that I made the jump straight from ignorance to more-or-less competent, and went I jumped in to practicing, I jumped in with both feet.
Now, though, I have some inkling of what those stories are about. I’ve had my toes in the water for a week now, trying to slowly build up a daily practice, and I’m definitely worse for the wear. By only dream journaling in the morning, instead of in the middle of the night (if I happen to wake up), I’ve put myself into a situation where my dream recall is spotty, but I have a constant feeling of “something important happened, and I’ve forgotten”. By only meditating for a few minutes, I’ve stirred my subconscious enough that the negative thoughts are close to the surface without fully accepting and processing them, and the snippets of dream I remember are disturbing or disjointed, and leave me feeling uncomfortable.
So, my advice to the aspiring reader is simple. Do it, or don’t, but don’t half ass it. For myself, I’ve learned my lesson. Time to hit the streets.