I feel as if I've been working on this one portion of the Initiate Program forever! I'm very nearly done with Magic in the Ancient World by Fritz Graf. It's been an absolutely fascinating read thus far and I feel like I've learned more from it than I have any other book on the subject.
I still feel a bit intimidated by some of the questions. It's not that I don't understand them, but I feel as if I still don't know enough to answer them adequately! This is my problem. I keep reading, and reading, and reading. I really should get on with it and answer the questions!
One thing is for certain: even when I've finished the course, my appetite for magical knowledge is greater than ever before. Along with the history books, I've been looking through old grimoirs here and there. I'm intrigued by the history of magic, who used it, why, and where the modern methods came from. I think too many people attempt magic without enough study.
There was a time when I found magic to be too much for me. I practiced it but had results that were simply too effective and in ways that I did not intend or desire. I didn't fully understand the symbolism involved, the deities they were connected with, or the cultures who had nurtured them. I decided I would stop doing it except through prayer and offerings. Maybe some divination here and there. That was when I was dabbling with Wicca and eclectic Paganism. Now that I'm older, more educated, and have better guidance, I feel more confident in myself and the craft. I find myself looking in places that would have made my younger self nervous. It's not that I take it lightly or feel myself "ready" for anything in particular - I am just less ignorant of it.
To move forward, I feel that I really must develop my meditative and trance skills. I've been far too lax recently... I'm kind of disappointed with myself, really. I must get back on track and strengthen my mental discipline.
( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )