Magickal thinking is a psychological term for making a naive assumption of cause and effect without consideration of intervening mechanisms. In plain English, it is the assumption that if I do this, then that will happen even though I have no idea how or why. Do a reality check before you start a working. If you just pay attention to the beginning (the ritual or working) and the end (the desired effect) and leave the rest to wishful thinking, you are asking for trouble.
There are those who morbidly fear the occult as the Underworld of Wickedness, while others embrace occult powers to augment the pleasures and accomplishments of life. Both are true, yet the latter can only be achieved through years of cautious dedicated study. A prudent person heeds instruction; whereas, a fool scorns wisdom.
Those who lack experience in the Obscure Arts should only venture therein with the guidance of someone who is in possession of great transcendental understanding. Interacting with the occult more often than not involves spirits, some aggressive and you will encounter many cunning mavens of mind control.
In my own opinion, you are … in a way, in more danger when you are not aware of systems of thought like that. Pretty much every tradition goes into how unaware of anything most of us are. Realizing how unaware you are is miles away from being unaware of how unaware you actually are.
Most people are really … rigid structures. Introducing occult, esoteric, spiritual, etc, knowledge, has a very precise effect, in that it affects your fundamental belief systems about the world.
The uneducated-in-the-matter will tell you how it's not true, this is true, or this is wrong, that is right. They are precisely the perfect example of this topic, the effect on complex ideas on simplistic minds(not in an insulting way, just in the lack of ability and commitment to actually have the independent thinking to think things through). If you can’t maintain different belief structures, if you can’t entertain different ideas, in your head, then you can have what is known as “crazy wizard syndrome”.
That’s what happens when a person with a too rigid, too fragile psyche encounters ideas that are out of the mainstream and gets too attached to them. The key to avoiding that is actually in the esoteric traditions as well. You have to prepare your body and mind with meditation. Most of these practices are about gaining a certain level of control over your faculties, you need that. The danger is always the same- a lack of balance.
If you want to work in the occult, you’re going to have to stop looking to others for validation. You need a strong mind and a strong will if you’re to even begin.
That being said, it’s only as dangerous as you allow it to be. Nothing can have power over you unless you let it. But know that not letting things have power over you isn’t something that comes naturally for most people: you need to learn mental, physical, and spiritual discipline. Learn to meditate. Learn various forms of divination, particularly numerology or tarot. Learn magical alphabets and writing.
Word to the wise, though: don’t dabble in things you don’t understand. No good can come from it. And above all, don’t read aloud anything unless you know what it says. Words have a lot of power and learning to not let them have power over you takes more than just merely wishing it were so. The weak-minded are easily manipulated by them. Until you are properly prepared, it’s best to just leave the grimoires for the adept.
Em Hotep - Patrick Gaffiero