A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking about the topic of spiritual growth and accountability. Throughout the course of our conversation, she lamented that she had been providing advice to a local friend and the individual was not getting results, despite the fact that she had used that method countless times with great success. Her informal pupil had, as a result of not having much success, begun to doubt her skills and veracity.
Now, given the fact that I am a sorcerer-for-hire, as you can expect, I've had to deal with this same situation many a time; in fact, I received one such email last night. That being the case, I asked her to provide me with the same method she provided to her pupil, and told her that I would do the same work using the same method and see if I got a result. Well, after doing the preparatory work, I got started and followed her outline exactly as described...
..surprise, surprise, it worked! Why did it work? It worked because the method was sound, I followed it to the T, and I ensured that my head was in the game from the get-go. I had results above and beyond what she had described, in fact.
Having said as much, this circumstance got me thinking about something that's bothered me for a long time: personal growth and accountability. Personal growth and accountability are things that you seldom see together, nowadays. Most people have the idea that their teacher is supposed to make them do the work and do it well and get results and so on and so forth; that doesn't work. One must instead be accountable for their own actions, their own work, and, eventually, the results or lack thereof. If one does not behave in such a way, and really analyze what they're doing, they won't get anywhere in the long run.
Magical methods, even when provided in their most basic forms, are not guarantees of success because it is you, the practitioner, who must apply that knowledge effectively and appropriately and obtain the result. Just as you may have mixed results with the rites in a book, so too might you have issues with rites provided by another person.
Ultimately, your growth is in your own hands, and you must be accountable to yourself in order to succeed. If you blame others for your lack of success, you will get nowhere.