The following is the article by Douglas Mefford that made me realize I was a sorcerer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I first read it about 20 years ago!
Although there are many ways to practice magick, not all are involved with spiritual improvement, as is mostly in the way of Wicca. Now I’m not saying that Sorcery can’t be one also in which it surely can. But for the most part, it does lend itself more to the materialistic side of magick. As in my case, it helps me earn a living, much as any other business out there. And since we are living in the material world, we can use all the help we can get.
Sorcerery can have a wide point of view on how it uses its magick. From spirits, demons, angels, to using their own personal advancement to enhance their lives and those of others. But, Sorcerers are more interested in “self” then “everyone else”. The “self” and the improvement of same. Don’t many people these days do what they can toward this cause? These types of magick workers, although lending themselves toward ceremonial and ritual magick, do at times lean toward short cuts, or “out of the proverbial box” methodology or a more simplistic approach if you will. Not to the point of witchcraft practitioners who can mix things together on the fly, or so it would seem.
Sorcery is oftentimes misunderstood. Sorcerers are thought to be evil, spiteful, and vindictive. They are none of the above. Most are very spiritual, not necessarily religious, but spiritual, there is a difference. But I don’t think I would want to make one agree. That would not be good. Their work has the focus on self, with the helping of others which helps the self, as it is a business, which is viewed entirely negative by the Wiccan community. But, it is about getting the most out of life, in which isn’t entirely bad. The sorcerer works more within the microcosm of their own world and worldview. While not selfless, the creation of personal harmony and happiness does still reflect and affect the greater reality in positive ways.
The concept of 'karma' is not one that sorcerers believe in or feel is valid in their personal microcosm. They tend to create their own sense of ethics to live by and sometimes these can be situational. It is felt that by refusing a dogmatic ethical code they are more able to deal with changing situations that one who must adhere to set principles before acting. It is wrong to believe that all sorcerers work dark magic and curse people at will. There is a danger to this path that the sorcerer feels is much more important than some future 'balancing'. Through indiscriminant abuse of their ability there is the very real possibility that another sorcerer in retaliation could target them.
Magical wars are not pretty. The sorcerer may, at their will and discretion, take up a good cause. As a quick judge and jury against someone who has committed an atrocious act, they may decide to punish a wrongdoer themselves without having to worry that their decision is somehow contrary to a set moral code against harming others. In most instances, sorcerers are quite happy to live and let live and treat others in the same manner they would prefer to be treated themselves.
Many of the techniques of Sorcery can be incorporated into Wicca Craft but there can be problems of an ethical nature that can interfere. The religious ethics of Wicca can prevent one from doing unconditional spell work that may very well mean harm even to someone who might justly deserve it. The sorcerer is not stopped by acting in place of some 'god force' but realizes they are their own 'god' and are willing to accept the responsibility for their actions. This striving for an individual goal-oriented magic can be much more difficult to master that most other forms of Magic and Witchcraft as it is a solo path of self-improvement which does not lend itself well to a communal support system. With the goals set more visibly in the real world, poor results or even failure are more quickly obvious and can destroy the practitioner's confidence more easily.
Many of the concepts of magical work in Sorcery are the same as in any true magical practice. The development of knowledge about the elements and influences of the things of the natural world are still required study. It is as equally important in Sorcery as it is in Witchcraft that the principles of Imagination, Concentration and Visualization be learned and improved on. The primary difference between Sorcery and Witchcraft is one of intent. The Witch is more likely to seek the elevation of the soul towards divine enlightenment whereas the sorcerer is more interested in seeking a worldly harmonious balance. While the Sorcerer may take it upon himself to heal someone who is ill, he may also be as likely to hex someone who seems to him to richly deserve the wrath. Sorcery is not a power trip so much as it is a journey of responsibility for one's actions.
As well as writing and researching on the paranormal and occult phenomena that intersect our reality, Douglas Mefford can also be found helping spread literature to the world at Bell, Book & Candle Publications or hanging out at his bungalow in Greenwoods Village.