One of the most fundamental principles of spiritual growth and therefore, using magick successfully is "Know Thyself". Anyone who's sought out spiritual groups far and wide will have come across this ancient phrase at least a few times. But what does it mean to actually know yourself?
We can look at this in a few different ways to understand better. For starters, it means know your personal qualities as well as flaws. Know your responses to various situations. Know your Shadow. If we know what we are good at, we know where we can be successful. If we know what we need improvement on, we also know how to better succeed. If we know how we are prone to responding in difficult or stressful situations, we know how to stop ourselves from spiraling downward. For example, when I was younger I was in constant battle with my depression. It seemed no matter what I tried I couldn't cease the constant misery that seemed to follow me daily. My depression spiral could be triggered by any small thing in my life and I had been conditioned in childhood (unknowingly by both parents) to then begin excavating every terrible, sad, miserable thing in my reality that was not where I thought it should be and start judging it and myself. We are our own worst critics. But we need to be aware that our thoughts feed our emotions, and our emotions feed our manifestations.
That downward spiral is exactly what we want to avoid when it comes to manifesting our reality. We are powerful creator beings and when we allow our positive vibrations to be knocked off course and are not self-aware enough to come back to Center as quickly as possible, we risk losing all of our hard work with the Law of Attraction. We are what we create. Try this for a minute; get a piece of paper and write down some areas of your life you are unhappy with currently, and then ask yourself, "What stories do I tell myself about this every day?" Now do the same with things you love about your life. Do you see? In order to heal my depression I had to face it, and ask myself honestly if I wanted to stay there and wallow in self-pity or put on my big girl pants and find a way to allow more happiness into my life by changing my story. These days I know when I start feeling those old thought patterns come back around to try to lower my vibe again, I recognize them and I can choose to climb the spiral instead of falling back down it.
Which brings me to the second half of this principle as I see it. We are all fragments of the Divine, complete in ourselves yet still a part of the greater whole. The power in self-awareness lies in truly understanding who and what we actually are. We are Source, Spirit, God, whatever you choose to call it- we are It and It is us. It is our responsibility as divine beings to know ourselves on the deepest levels, not only to better our own lives but because we are all connected. We are all One. We are already powerful manifestors, that's the easy part- bringing something into reality. The challenge is to learn to control what we bring into our reality. This is how the new Golden Age begins. The more we become aware of not just our individual but collective power to change reality, the more we can and will change the world- one person at a time.