This brings us to the drawbacks associated with groups. I have a close friend, a well-respected author of several books on magickal topics, who believes that group workings are obsolete and impractical. This opinion is due to his personal experience with some groups. I, too, have experienced much the same. Always, and I do mean always, the problems associated with groups are based on one problem and one problem only: personal psychology. Cliques form and people locked out of the cliques feel hurt and left out. Person A won't work with person B because person B is too (a) smart, (b) dumb, (c) ugly, (d) beautiful or (e) other. Somebody institutes plots against the leader. Somebody wants to change the group so that it fits their image of what the group should be rather than changing himself or herself so as to fit in with the group. It's all so very stupid.
This sort of nonsense has gone on for years between groups, too. Various groups calling themselves Rosicrucian all insist that only they are the real Rosicrucians and all of the other groups are frauds. Various Witchcraft and Wiccan groups involve themselves in this same sort of foolishness. One famous magickal group currently has about five or six people claiming to be the true leader of the organization and that the others are all fakes. This disagreement has led to outrageous name-calling and to court cases! What can a person who wants to work with a group of others with similar interests do?
First, he or she can forget about the whole thing. But if that doesn't work, he or she can start a group from scratch. Then, as more and more people become involved, each person, in the tradition of the Freemasons, must be accepted by all of the current members of the group before the person is allowed to join. Thus, the people must first meet on a social level before becoming involved on a magickal level. The group must be a small circle of friends. Some Witches claim the size of a magickal group should be no more than 13. Hence, 13 is the maximum size of many covens.
Also, the goal of all the people in the magickal group must be unified. There must be no ulterior motives for any of the people being in the group. Israel Regardie strongly suggested that all people involved with occultism should go through psychotherapy. For a long time I felt that this was because he was a Reichian therapist. But because of my experience with many groups and with the experiences told to me by others, I am at a point now where I am inclined to agree with the good doctor.
Unfortunately, most of us have neither the time nor desire to go to an analyst, and many people can't afford it. Also, there is a wide degree of quality among psychotherapists. How will you know if you have a good one, one who won't start out by having you locked up for studying the occult?
Luckily, there is an answer. It is a powerful psychotherapeutic and magickal technique that can be used which I call the I.O.B.
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