As of lately having dived deeper into my study of magick, I have quickly come to find why so many magicians find it important to have a normal job, one that is rooted in the every day world. With so much of the foundation of magick solely psychological it can be easy to step onto the path and wander off into parts unknown. This of course makes it easy to become lost in a foreign landscape, even one that is housed within ourselves.
I may not be the person to articulate this concept in its entirety as currently I don't have a steady paid position and find my income only in writing and tarot readings. This is something I am heavily reconsidering. Of course I will always give tarot readings and feel it is part of my true will to do so, but it never hurts to have a part-time job doing something more mundane. If you will I'd like to explain my thought process here.
The outcome of this concept doesn't need to be only obtained through employment, I believe it can also be obtained through community outreach, volunteering, or other social means that have nothing to do with your work as a practitioner of magick.
What I am feeling is something I am sure others before me have felt. With the four elements being: Earth, Air, Water and Fire symbolic of (body, intellect, emotion, creativity/impulse) If you have other correspondences that is fine. I feel once you come to an exploration of the psyche in relation to magick i.e the Shadow, the Ruach etc you will need to balance the elements. Just as all elements should be balanced when practicing magick or performing ritual, they should be balanced in every day life. Running too far forward into the mind and the invocation of spirits will surely leave someone needing to ground themselves and come back to where they first started.
A few months ago I interviewed Joey Morris and we spoke of using altered states of consciousness for magickal purposes. I don't feel personally at ease enough to try more extreme methods and usually stick to using sex, breath work, or other less psycho-active means when looking to explore outside of my normal senses. During our talk, Joey mentioned using a stone or something physical that could be held in the hand as a way of bringing you back and acting as a grounding measure. In the book: Journeys Out of The Body, written by Robert. A Monroe, he speaks of something similar.
If you are a ceremonial magician and one that is disciplined in practice, I can only assume that you will need a kind of spinning top, something that tells you when you are "dreaming" and when you are in consensus reality. Perhaps the every day hustle and bustle of the normal day job is just the thing. I cannot claim to be in any way an advanced ceremonial practitioner or to know anything at all, as in complete honesty my exploration of the path of ceremonial magick has just begun. I do know that many of the magicians that I admire today have a very rich life in terms of magick and what one would call a normal career. Many are writers, psychologists, teachers and clerks at cafe's. No job is out of scope for a practitioner matter how high or low society views its standing.
More so the more I pursue this path the more I am coming to realize the importance of silence and keeping many workings, rituals, and communications private, either only to be viewed by oneself or by a select few who the practitioner has a close relationship with. To me this means that a career based solely in the occult may be a hindrance to the acquiring of knowledge and communication and may lead one to share more before they are ready. Again this is just my opinion and I do understand that there are those who have solid careers in the occult and do quite well being able to balance the elements.
As of right now this is my opinion and if I find my belief on the matter to change in any way I will correct my above writing. Either way it is just an opinion and I am always open for hearing other opinions as I find it interesting to discuss and see multiple view points.