Thus far, from reading the forums here and abroad, I've come to the conclusion that magick is mostly Intent (desire?), Will( the focusing of that intent), and Faith (either in yourself and/or your god(s)).
As for KNOWING I can only assume that you mean belief in yourself more then how many books you've read...as I've certainly read enough to be on par with the more advanced novice.... But then I run over to the Chaos Board and see that all I've read has been for naught. Which brings me back to the three things I listed...which I guess all boil down to agreeing with your post on MANY levels.
Intent in most cases is a case by case basis, and can either come easy to the magickian or come with great effort. Should the need arise, and I am inspired I know that I will have enough intent to accomplish anything within the boundaries of magick and possibly beyond. I am sure that this holds true of even the weakest and unknowing of man.
Learning to focus that intent is really where the practice comes in, as well as the book knowledge. Without a means to focus your intent you have nothing but wants and desires. It goes a bit beyond "practice makes perfect" as by performing rituals multiple times, by reading as much about magick as possible one will learn to focus their intent to a higher degree.
You must believe, in yourself, or in your gods, you must KNOW yourself. If you have doubts, those doubts will cloud not only your Focus of Will, but also your intent. Your rituals are bound to fail if you do not believe they will work when you begin them. Your faith need not be in the gods, as proven by many a Satanist, Atheist, and Humanist practitioner...but faith in SOMETHING must be had. I believe that you can have the lowest self-esteem in the world, but if your Intent, your Will, and your Faith in your god(ess) are strong enough you *WILL* succeed...but you MUST leave all doubt behind!
Back to Main