I'm hoping there's a thread around here somewhere discussing this same topic, or perhaps a variation of it?
Or perhaps there are conversations along the same vein of this topic but the thread titles are not focused on it as a subject of discussion.
Anywho this is just me sharing some experience and application with the concept;
Lately after developing and consistently testing techniques based upon Agrippa's explanations of Natural Magic in his first book of Occult Philosophy, I formed a more reliable set of spell protocols to compensate for gaps in my own magical skillset.
It's been a very productive past 8 months for me and I'm finding that sometimes its not necessarily the magical technique that is the issue, but the spiritual conditions around you (I've been practicing since 2011 and I'm frustrated at myself that it took me this long to get here, but I'm happy for my progress). I've observed that using a consistent means to tweak conditions has made techniques that I formerly deemed unviable... more effective and responsive.
For example, last year I had purchased a book on Glamour Magick and when I tried the methods, I had difficulty with using them in successfully. I wrote the book off as a 'waste' and moved on, continuing with my own self-study.
However... after strengthening the conditions that promote successful use of glamours (encouraging the presence of Lunar, Venereal, and Jovial influences around me using IIH methods), now when I try the techniques in the book, they work just as the author described. (Also another topic of discussion could hit on how many occult authors release works promising its all a one-package deal, but the reality is very different and not everyone naturally has a grip on the types of spiritual influences needed to make different types of spells work from the get-go.)
I've got other examples as well, such as doing supportive spellwork to provoke the successful use of pentacles and talismans.
I'm pretty sure everything I'm writing above probably sounds like common sense to the experienced and older folks here (my first Saturn Return is in a year or so, so you can guess how old I am), but uh... I definitely understand I took this piece of advice for granted, so I'm posting here for anyone else who is doing the same and letting it go in one ear and out the other.
I've also found my results to be streamlined and consistent, compared to the inconsistencies with spiritwork I've experienced through the last half of the decade. I love spiritwork, its where I started, and I think my recent development may partly explain why I now feel like overfocus on it severely handicapped development of basic skills.
The current occult literary market isn't really helping it either; the presently popular books in the occult market (read: GOM & other books in its style) rarely promote study and improvement of foundational skills such as divination or equilibrium.
I keep encountering other people who are more wrapped up in pushing spirits to run errands for them but lack fundamentals such as being able to do self-powered spellwork in the event that a spirit is unresponsive.