One of my philosophies when it comes to interactions with people and interactions with magic is fairly similar and based on understanding that the less complicated a situation is, the easier it is to navigate the situation. This isn't to say that magic and people aren't complicated. They can both be very complicated, but a situation, a context doesn't have to be complicated and ideally if you remove what you can that could be complicating in a situation, it consequently sets a person at ease, or in the case of magic, makes it much easier to manifest. I realized sometime ago that the best approach with people is to simply put all your cards on the table and show your hand. No subtlety, no hidden agenda...just lay it all out and let the other person do the interpretation as s/he wishes. Every time I approached a situation where I didn't do this, where I didn't just lay my cards out, it always complicated matters, because even though I might have no hidden agenda, the fact that everything wasn't on the table aroused suspicion and played out the worst fears the people might have.
By choosing to play my hand, show all the cards, be transparent, it simplified the situation. On the one hand it could be argued that the other people had control of the situation by simply knowing everything I had in my hand...and yet in that openness I find comfort...I am so comfortable because everything can be seen...sure it can be interpreted and likely will be interpreted through the biases and filters people have, yet nonetheless, in that openness lies freedom...It becomes an accepted reality, and whether anything is done with that reality or not, the situation is less complicated. The person or people know what's going on and it's up to them to make a choice...and whatever response is made by those people I already know what my conscious choice will be to that response. It both opens up and limits the field of possibilities. It opens up the field of possibilities in terms of displaying the entire spectrum of choices that could be made, but it limits the field because those choices are made in response to my choice to be open. I consider this a kind of time magic, and in fact using this example above you can apply it to the practice of magic.
While magic isn't always complicated, in those situations where it could be complicated, either by working with other people or with other entities, it's again best to be transparent...The consequent acts of magic, on your part, don't contain latent possibilities which could trip up the working. you can also use this philosophy in regards to doing solo workings. By being open with yourself, you admit where there could be flaws, subconscious issues, sabotage instincts or memories. You give them expression through being open and also take away the power they would have if they were latent possibilities...You limit your own response to yourself so that you can ironically be free to make a choice in the possibilities presented to you. The process of magic becomes much simpler once this is done.
In other news, Reality Sandwich published my article on Identity and Magic