I’d say doubt can be a spiritual weakness that can prevent a magician from advancing. If they don’t believe in their work, having faith in themselves or can’t see the bigger picture, they’re doomed from the start.
I’d say tunnel vision. practitioners who refuse to branch out and work with different systems based on principle or prejudice rather than experience. For example, people who reject Christianity or JCI religions so thoroughly that they won’t consider working with angels. Or people who are so traditionally into ceremonial magick that they won’t try chaos magick.
Not doing the hard work out of fear. There are plenty of difficult, sometimes dangerous paths (due to the spirits involved, rather than stupid actions) that can result in great gains if seen through. But instead, an easier route is chosen.
Comparison. Every magician and their path are as a unique style of art. Comparing one’s magickal work to another is like trying to decide which works of art contain the greatest amount of creativity. A flawed approach.
@Mythopoeia This reminds me of a story about John Dee and the Enochian Angels. Story goes that Dee asked for an explanation about something. The Enochian Angel tells xyz is “truth, of another sort”. That’s a heck of a way to avoid saying “lie”. Lol
Experimentation. The quality of love, 7 instruments or 7 notes sung. If you experiment with these and the darker sorts of magickal currents, you’ll get surprising results.
I totally agree. Some magicians make the mistake of comparing one’s experiences to another, expected results to another, pathways to gain more experience to another, etc. Two people can do the exact same spell or ritual for example, and get totally different results…Jeff and Joe (made up names). These two can do everything the same down to the letter, but after 2 weeks, Jeff has full manifestation, while Joe is still waiting.
Joe compares himself to Jeff and asks himself if he did everything right. Why did Jeff’s spell manifest after 14 days, but I have yet to see a sign??? Will it even work at this point? This creates doubt, which is something I brought up earlier in the thread.
Same can be said with divination. Comparing your style to another’s. Jeff’s readings are always on point, meanwhile Joe struggles to find his rhythm. He wonders if he should use a pendulum like Jeff or stick to his tarot cards. Again, doubt forms which will railroad him if he doesn’t nip it in the bud. He’ll then probably contact a spirit for help, but in creating this doubt from comparing himself to Jeff, like @Mythopoeia suggested, he believes everything the spirit says as truth without giving it any thought creating neediness, as @martinez suggested.
Sometimes these weaknesses are connected. You start with one, then all of a sudden, a chain reaction starts and next thing you know, you’ve set yourself back. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s a huge possibility.
I’d like to add to this line of thought a little bit. I agree entirely with what you’ve both @CosmicTofu@NavyBeans said on the topic, but I have a slightly different angle to the “dangers” of comparison as well.
When you’re comparing, it’s either because you think you’re better, or because you think you’re worse than another practitioner. (I don’t mean casual comparisons between craft, I mean a comparison of skill.) For me, I see a problem with that especially because you’re then using that energy in your pursuits, whether consciously/intently or otherwise. Instead of bringing a positive attitude to your magick, you’re bringing in insecurity, falsehoods (of self, perhaps–as in the idea that you need to be someone you aren’t), and a mindset of “lack” or a mindset that says you’re better than others so you don’t need to work for anything and that’s not, in my opinion, a great place to practice from.
When I work my craft, I feel powerful but I humble myself before my altar as well. Not to gods or spirits, not to other people, but just because if I’m there asking for something or wanting something, it’s not purely out of nonsensical desire. I think there’s a fine line to be walked between feeling over-powered and not good enough, and “comparison” to others is a great place to highlight it.
Well… my opinion of course, but I consider it to be quite dependable on what you consider to be spiritual, and what the shape of the path is considered to be. Then there is the environmental aspect to take into account… This concept is seen from the mental side, identical to “promontorial speciation”. It means that to change something into a new form, it must have the desired properties innate to change.
In other words, say one has no wings… and you where to want to give it wings… it requires intermediate steps to evolve towards wings. But if evolution where to put you on another “mountain peak”, those wings will never come to be, no matter how hard one does try.
The greatest flaw to advance in any form of Occult, magic or otherwise, is to do not realize how ones own skill set is build on top of existing knowledge and how this does affect things. For this will hinder not just magic, but any type of advancement. It is fundamental to it. To do learn, or explore for that matter, ones grand journey should be aimed in the way you seek to achieve it. Discrepancy between will and outcome will lead to diffuse effects and often consequences not forseen…
In regard to what I personally tend to learn most from, in case it may give ideas, is to remember things forgotten, and finding the patterns of thought change to adjust the cognitive connection on a deeper level than if I where to do it only on sole active memory. The pasages of time can have… ehrm… quite the effect on personal growth after all.