I continue to be intrigued by 'ritual' or 'ceremonial' magic, which in the UK was, I believe, often (in the practice of such as Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight) a valid means of Christian living - up into the middle 20th century.
But (I think) is nowadays insufficiently-effective (that is; insufficient to resist the strategic evils of our society and civilization) - or net-malign an influence (i.e. when it has 'converged' with the values of globalist-media-totalitarianism).
This is because ritual magic was (it seems) rooted in the learning and repeated practice of directed imagination. Initiates were trained by being told what to do, and what to think about or imagine: what to visualize and to feel - while doing prescribed rituals or exercises.
And the rituals or exercises were repeated multiple times; so that performing them either in real life, or in imagination, would lead to these inner sensory and emotional outcomes. At the end of such training, initiates were able to control their own responses to rituals, symbols, narratives ("path-workings") so as to experience them intensely.
Beyond this, magic works by making 'contacts' with spiritual beings; and these beings were traditionally specifically named and sought - although in later years there was also the possibility of seeking a contact, making contact, and then (perhaps) finding out who that was (to a greater or lesser degree). (By this stage, Magic had begun to overlap substantially with New Age "channeling", in its various manifestations.)
The purpose of these spirit contacts was perhaps instructional - intended to get information from the contacts; and partly the actual process of interaction with a contact may itself provide intense experiences of consciousness.
So, for its adherents, magic could provide information about the nature and functioning of the world; and enable the initiate to have experiences of more intense consciousness - imaginations that are visual, auditory or via any other perceptual sense; and accompanied by strong emotions.
Consequently, the motivational power of a magical kind of Christianity could be enhanced - in directions that depended upon the content of material that was being inculcated, top-down; by the magical society or individual leader.
This type of Magical practice recognizes that Modern Man can and does (unavoidably) 'make his experienced-reality'; which is the 'reality' he knows and lives-by. Magic responds to this, by attempting to train people to make a more-or-less standard particular and desired reality for the members of a particular magical group.
In other words; reality is given to magical adherents in a top-down fashion, analogous to the situation ins a traditional church.
And this is exactly why I believe that ritual/ ceremonial magic has become essentially obsolete.
Almost all institutions and formal groups have nowadays become converged with the secular-leftist materialism and its Litmus Test issues via which this agenda-of-evil is being pursued throughout Western civilization, and the places and people influenced by it.
Since organizations are compulsorily politicized by bureaucratic means and through relentless mass-social media pressure (and usually politicized willingly, enthusiastically; since this evil corruption is so widespread among the masses); then this will affect more and more of the activities of ritual magic - the content of which is more and more leftist hence evil.
In other words; ritual-ceremonial magic is susceptible to exactly the form of corruption that are the "Christian" churches; and for the same reasons.
Men make their own experienced-reality - but the only true reality corresponds with that of God's creation. All others oppose created-reality, and lead away from resurrection to eternal Heavenly life. They lead, indeed; to self-chosen, self-made, self-imprisoning hells - of various kinds.
I believe that already and increasingly; all forms of top-down influence are net-evil (that is, they contain some Good, because all that is created contains some Good - but overall and by motivation they are evil); that is. they are encouraging and enforcing one or many of the false realities in opposition to divine creation.
As of 2023, these top-down experienced-realities are not just destructive of truth and Goodness; but often invert real values: therefore the methods of ritual magic, insofar as they retain effect, will tend to be dishonest and enforcing of lies; will tend to support and promote sin; will call ugliness beauty and reject the truly-beautiful as being ugly and oppressive.
My conclusion is that here-and-now we cannot trust the content or motivations of any external sources - including magical traditions or societies; because they will very probably, implicitly if not explicitly, be training us in ways-of-being that net-oppose divine creation and serve the powers of evil.
Group-ish and top-down (e.g. initiatory) practices that were possible, effective and overall Good just a century ago, or eve more recently; now almost always are the opposite; and are either merely ineffective or feeble, or else their power is harnessed against the divine and transcendental values.
Like it or not; we are forced back upon our own powers of discernment; and the taking of active personal responsibility for our beliefs and practices.
And - as part of this - a recognition that our defense against corruption and possibility of pursuing Good is almost always by becoming aware-of, and actively-choosing-of, much that used to be unconscious, passive, taken for granted, taken on trust.