This is the first in a series of three that takes the reader through the bends and twists of serious magical study. This book tackles some of the more pressing issues surrounding the early quest for knowledge from the world of magic, along with techniques, exercises and warnings for those ready to dip their toe in the scalding hot water of power. Using her usual no nonsense down to earth approach, McCarthy outlines in depth some of the rarely tackled issues and problems that face a serious modern magician, offering advice and reflections based on 30 years of practical work. The book follows no specific magical path; rather it takes the reader to the layers of consciousness beneath such paths and shows us the various techniques, powers and dynamics that underpin most Western Mystery schools and lodges. The reader is shown how ritual actually works, what an inner contact actually is, how to make visions work, how to turn an object into a magically charged implement, how to read Tarot, how to clean and protect yourself, and most importantly of all, how to spot the bullshit.