There are those so-called 'couch magician' who only likes to talk and collect magic rituals but hate to get his/her hands dirty. This type of folks will never appreciate and apply the power of magic to help him/her in solving his/her problems.
To Thai magic practitioner, going out to nature is a must and not an option. I have tried it, and return to tell you my side of the story; so should you.
There is nothing special about what a magician should do to go up a mountain or hill in that matter. There are physical and spiritual considerations:
The physical considerations for a magician and others are the same but varies according to person to person. Things to consider:
- Own physical ability and stamina. This will determine how long a person can walk up and down a hill/mountain. The most difficult part is not to go up but to come down from the hill as this is the time when your knees suffer the most impact. Also, once a person is tired, his/her mind doesn't work well and the ability to judge would fall. So, please stop and return when you feel tired and cold.
- The best thing is to hire a guide but a magician might not want to consider this option as he/she normally works alone. So, a magician must watch his/her ration on what should be brought up the hill: basic food, beverages, clothing, torchlight, knife etc. sufficient for the trip. Also, please remember that a kilo of weight added means a kilo of burden on your back.
- Understand the weather pattern and the geography of the hill/mountain. For example, the Northeastern monsoon would bring a large quantity of water to Peninsular towards the end and beginning of the year. So, this is not an ideal time to hike. Naturally, wetness brings out the leeches and the rest of poisonous creatures too.
- A novice hiker should just stick to the original path: the way up is also the way down. I can almost guarantee that mountainous regions are just like mazes. Every trip up and down is not the same; that I can promise you. Once I missed a very interesting plant but when I returned, I could never find it again.
- If you are alone, never try to return to get what you have lost in the mountainous area. If you do, you may get lost and it is not worth the risk.
So much for the physical considerations. Now let's look at the spiritual sides:
- Perform smoke offering a day before your hiking trip will save you a lot of troubles later. I have found out that this Tibetan ritual received well by mountain gods in general. But once I have performed the smoke offering or fire ritual, I wouldn't be able to find what I want because the power of the offering has caused the spirits to stay away from the practitioners.
- A more mild approach is to make offerings of tobacco, pop rice, betel nuts and leaves when you have reached the destination. I can assure you that you will find many pleasant surprises along your trip.
- Communicate with your guardian spirits as this is the time to rely on them and to test their ability to assist you alone in the jungle.
- Please don't pluck any flowers or plants, or bring back any items from the jungle unless you have something to exchange; or with the permission of the local spirits. Many things can happen if you have taken what is no permissible. On the other hand, if the spirits give you the permission; then everything should be smooth.
Finally, please use your own judgement and don't rely too much on the spirits because spirits too, are evil and they will take back what is given to you. So, after you have gotten what you want; leave the place ASAP and never look back.
Of course, other gurus may have other advice to their students. The question is: is your guru up to the job to advise you?