I'm reading Ensouling Language by Stephen Buhner, which is a book about the craft of writing, with some interesting perspectives. In one of the perspectives he shares he discusses something akin to the concept of spiritual transmission, wherein something is passed from one writer to another. Here's what he shares:
In that moment of transference, the real secret that all beginning writers want to know begins to be revealed, slow as that revelation will be...In that moment something begins to be transferred from the older writer to the younger, some invisible that is at the heart of the craft, some feeling sense of state of mind that is essential to the work. And it is that something that is at the core of what it means to be a writer, someone who desires to be more than a typist of words.
I have had this experience of transference as a writer a number of times through my career. It first happened in my early twenties when I was going to a writer's group and sharing my stories in the hopes of improving them. One of the other writers, a fellow by the name of Matthew made quite an impression on me as a writer and it had nothing to do with technique, so much as had it to do with the essence and identity of being a writer. He helped me decondition myself from all the writing classes I'd taken while in high school and college which had filled me with a lot of nonsense about writing.
Later, when I was pursuing my doctorate at Kent State University, I'd go through another spiritual transmission in regards to writing...an awkward and hard stage of learning how to write like an academic. I learned a lot about technique, but what the transmission provided me was something deeper that caused me to become much more of a researcher than I'd ever been. To this day I still do a ton of research before writing. I ended up not getting the doctorate. I wasn't a good fit for academia and vice versa, and I moved onto technical writing, where I received another transmission of sorts at my first contract with Boeing, where I learned how to write process. I eventually took all these experiences and developed my own writing style.
I forgot to mention as well that this kind of transmission, for writers, also occurs through reading the works of other writers. You may never meet the person, but as you read a book with the eye of a writer, you get hit with this awareness about your own writing and suddenly your trying some ideas out about writing to see what occurs. I went through my William S. Burroughs stage for a while doing cutup as a result of such a transmission. Likewise William G. Gray made quite an impression on my writing, with a kind of heavy handedness that found its way into my writing and is still there to some degree. As a writer, you are always picking up the words of other writers and with some of them you experience a transmission that speaks to how you could write and then you find yourself writing differently, your style mutated by this transmission you've experienced.
As for how all this applies to magic...for me, writing is part of my magical work, one of the ways I turn possibility into reality. And I feel that this concept of transmission in writing does extend to more than just other writers. The writer is transmitting the expertise of the subject to readers and its not just a matter of reading words, but also a matter of having an experience that moves you. You read and then you do something with it...you turn what you've read into a reality of your own that has meaning to it. That's how writing becomes a spiritual transmission for the reader who isn't a writer.