How to reflect and why it is fun!

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” – AL 1:40

Cari Fratres, Carae Sorores,


Reflection is a tool. In magick there are many moments that you can reflect on actions you did during a specific period. Reflection is an instrument, that is not difficult to implement.  In this article I explain how you can use a reflection model (that is designed by Korthagen), and how it can support your practices that you perform as a student in the A.’.A.’.


On the path you can meet many different kinds of obstacles, like your behavior, the lack of skills, insecurities or believes you have. In some cases, however, more fundamental issues can appear that influences your practical functioning. For example, the way you look at the world changes, or you do what is expected of you in the grade you are, and yet do not feel truly involved on a deeper level or have the feeling you lose your connection with your magickal work. Your believes changes, it is not uncommon, for students that had a Christian up bring, to feel conflicted for example, when they accept the Law of Thelema. That kind shifts in behavior, emotions or thoughts, can be red-flags, and may need deeper investigation. The tendency you might have, when these so called red-flags appear, is to run away from the issue. Instead of ignoring these uprisings, I want to present a key that can help you to have a better understanding on what is going on.

Core reflection

To focus on reflection, better to say core reflection, this can enhance intuition or spiritual growth. Instead of having just an inner dialog with yourself, or getting into a tantrum, or only write in your diary that you feel off and be done with it.  You are going to examine the problem, in the form of a proper core reflection (Korthagen, 2005), that brings you closer to deeper routed aspects of yourself.

Getting to know your ‘spiritual’ self

In many grades within the A.’.A.’. system, there are quite some hints about getting to know your ‘spiritual’ self. In the task of the Probationer it is mentioned that the Probationer needs go through Scientific Illumination (Eshelman, 2000), the Neophyte needs to pass the four powers of the Sphinx, she/he also has to apply the understanding of the nature of her/his initiation (Eshelman, 2000) . In the grade of the Zelator (Eshelman, 2000), one must show acquaintance with the mediations mentioned in Liber HHH[1]. For all of these kinds of tasks it is good to be able to look back on what you as a student have done. That is the reason, why it is important to have some basic knowledge on how to reflect.

What is core reflection?

It is developed by Korthagen, its main purpose is to give educators a tool to reflect on the work they are doing and its effect it can have on a class of students. The good news is that you can use it for growing and improving your magickal work. The benefit is huge when you reflect on a regular basis.

Explaining the model

The model contains 5 steps, in each step is part of the framework, each step contains a couple of questions. These questions are there to help you to write your reflection, they do not need to be answered one by one.

Figure 1 reflection model by Korthagen

Phase 1: Describe the experience/situation you wish to reflect upon. This means looking back at the situation.

  • What was the actual situation?
  • What did I have to do in this situation?
  • What action did I actually take?
  • What was the outcome of this action?

Phase 2: Looking back: What exactly happened? In this face you will go deeper into your own feelings and your actions.

  • What did I see?
  • What did I do?
  • What did I think?
  • What did I feel?

Phase 3: Awareness of essential aspects. This means you are going to make sense of the situation. You bring it back to the newness.

  • What does that mean to me now?
  • What is the problem (or the positive discovery)?
  • What has all that caused? What does it involve?

Phase 4: Alternative methods. This part of the reflection can bring out your creativity.

  • What alternative methods do I see (solutions or ways of making use of what I have discovered)?
  • What are their advantages and disadvantages?
  • What will I remember for next time?

Phase 5: Trial/action. Here you take action into your own hands, what do want to do next? Here you can make new goals, write ideas on what you want to change and how you are going to implement it in your daily work.

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • What should I watch out for?
  • What do I want to try out?

Love is the law, love under will.

Soror QSUM


Eshelman, J. A. (2000). The mystical & Magickal system of the A.’.A.’. In J. A. Eshelman, The mystical & Magickal system of the A.’.A.’. Los Angeles, CA: The college of Thelema.

Korthagen, F. (2005, Feb). Retrieved from

[1] Liber HHH sub figura CCCXLI, a text about guided meditation, you could say it is a preparation for contacting inner life, inspired on Liber Lapidis Lazuli. VII.3.

A letter to a Student, on how to set goals

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.


Thank you for your e-mail. To make a good schedule and proper goals for the next two months, you need to make a real effort. If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you will lack focus and direction. To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish. Goals give you energy and inspiration.

No gaps in your practice is not a goal, it is not something that brings you anywhere. A goal can be about an experiment you want to do. Or the material you want to study. It can be about how you are going to make your diary better. When you make a good schedule for yourself, you learn how to do your work more efficient.

I give you an example of what I did, when I started my Practicus grade a long time ago. I wanted to understand where on the tree of life the Practicus grade was located and what its influences where on that same tree. Here you find a copy of my notes, I didn’t include the whole schedule just a part to give you an idea. This is only an example. I wrote a summery on the paths, but I studied them in dept.

HOD: Splendor 
TarotThe four eights
AtributionsReason, the individual mind System: Magic and Science
Contact point by the MastersHOD is a primary point, a point of conceptual transfer. Here the Masters first contact their chosen disciplines. The student gets his/her formal tools of the Hermetic path.
SymbolsApron; symbol of the builder Versicles (verse or song of worship)
Note’s on HODHOD, the reflection of Chesed, the sephirah of Form. Netzach and HOD, represent the Force and Form aspects of astral consciousness respectively. D.Fortune writes in her book MQ, Venus within us puts us in touch with the is part of Netzach, it is the magickal capacity of our own mind that puts us in touch with the forces of HOD. No Venus, no initiation in Netzach. No magickal capability no intellectual imagination, the sphere of HOD will stay closed to us. I think personally that this is a very important part of the Magician. The influence of Netzach is also part of HOD, to understand the magickal language you need HOD and Netzach in balance. Otherwise you are not able to go through the veil of Paroket.
Notes on the pathsThe 27th path Hod – Netzach. Peh = mouth Mars Active or exciting intelligence and it is so called because through it every existent being receives its spirit and motivation. Tarot trump = The Tower XVI Building one’s foundations on true and true faith. Tale of the Chymical wedding. The sevenfold alchemical process, is a process of higher initiation.   The 26th path Hod – Tiphareth The path of Ayin, Eye. Card The Devil XV A test on the way of Wisdom. It is the symbolic veil for the greatest practical secret of occultism. It both conceals and reveals the secret of the powers ascribed by tradition to Moses, David and Solomon. The Devil is raw power.   The 23rd path Hod – Geburah……….  
My schedule

This is only an example to help you on your way. You have to find your way in doing it. Write down a couple of rituals is not enough. If you want to grow you need to commit otherwise you will never be able to make it to the next step.

Why do you want to do these rituals? How are you going to incorporate them into your daily practice? What kind of meditation are you going to do? Below is a schedule to help you make your own goals and activities you want to do the next coming two months.

Love is the law, love under will.

Soror QSUM

A brief idea for a schedule

Goal. Make your goal SMART. Specific.Measurable.Attainable.Relevant.Time Bound.
Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.  
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success.  
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.  
Set Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your probationer time to go for the next two months.  
Make them time bound, set a time on each of your goals.    
SMART GOALS will bring you to the next step!
The books you are going to study, how much time you want to spend on study.
Why are they relevant?
How are they incorporated in your goals?
This should be in line with your goals
Why do you want to do these rituals?
How are you going to incorporate them into your daily practice?
What kind of meditation are you going to do?    
What kind of experiments are you going to do?
Why is this relevant?
Check Liber O and E for ideas.How are they incorporated in your goals?
Make your time relevant, so you can do as much as possible in a short time.