When the Rubber Meets the Road -- Stage One
Safety is the most important factor when we teach people about spells and magic. Hence, we stress the Rules of the Road over and over, ad nauseam (just ask some of our students!). So what happens when "the rubber meets the road," so to speak, at first? As a new practitioner of spells and magic, what happens first is that you practice the Rules of the Road exactly as given. This keeps you safe and prevents any negative "side effects" or "karma" from bouncing back to you.
For some practitioners, learning Rules of the Road requires that they print out a copy and read them over and over again. For other practitioners, being safe according to Universal law means using only spells and magic that have been created according to the Rules of the Road. For more advanced practitioners, following Universal laws means checking new spells or rituals against Rules of the Road before performing these spells or rituals.
You'll have to decide for yourself the kind of role that Rules of the Road will play in your magical practice. For instance, you have to decide whether Rules of the Road are true ... and whether you would rather be safe or risk negative side effects to find out. That's stage one.
When the Rubber Meets the Road -- Stage Two
Then there is stage two, in which you codify your own Rules of the Road. In other words, the "road," as defined by the Rules of the Road, is a pretty wide road. The Rules of the Road define the very external boundaries you don't want to cross in your practice of spells and magic. But on that very wide road, there is quite a bit of latitude. In the second--or more advanced--stage of your magical practice, you may want to define a more specific or tighter set of rules for your own practice. This may include specific interpretations of the general Rules of the Road, based on your direct observation and experience. Or you may wish to include rules that are meant more for daily practice or everyday use--something not covered in the broader Rules. Still other practitioners may include rules that only apply to specific areas of spellwork and magic, such as the use, keying, and protection of objects used in simulacra (or Voodoo) magic. See the Voodoo Ebook for more details on this practice.
The key in stage two is to define rules that are appropriate and specific to your more advanced magical practice. Don't worry, these rules will continue to grow, evolve, and change as you do. You will keep adding, modifying, and perhaps changing these rules, and that is exactly what you should do. The difference between a priest and a magician is that a priest merely performs rituals while a magician performs and creates them. So as you continue to create and grow in your practice, your own personal Rules of the Road should change to accommodate. Just be aware of this as you deepen your knowledge of spells and magic so that you can be aware of when and where your own personal Rules need to change.
As always, enjoy the magic!
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