Now comes the nitty-gritty of working the 'no more accumulation' challenge. Working the stuff I've not sufficiently worked before.
I'm starting with a Ivo Dominguez, Jr.'s book "Spirit Speak: Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts...". Wisely, he has his main preparations work chapter early in the book, so you can start work right away before you're too tempted to do anything else! But, as in all good books - there are so many exercises! The Emerald Heart (to be one only once every week or so), chakra exercises, and such that can be done daily. And stuff that is best to work to memorize - chakras and their locations and associations, etc.
How long will it take for me to really have worked these things?
I'm figuring a month for daily workings, hopefully only two weeks to memorize associations. But doing the Emerald Heart (which I will NOT be posting - it would not only be another 'info dump' into your overcrowded piles, but would also tend to deprive an author another eventual sale) once every week or so means that mastery of that is going to take .... well into reading another book! And this is even with me having been exposed to all of this before, since I've been attending Ivo's workshops for well over a decade, been attending Assembly of the Sacred Wheel events for a decade, and been a MEMBER of the Assembly for over 5 years.
If I was re-working Ivo's "Castings" book, and giving each of the 6 castings alone a month of practice each (and those aren't the only things to practice in the book) it would take me half a year to work it.
Clearly, really working the books/etc. that we Pagans accumulate would slow down our Pagan reading ... and slow our accumulation! Not the best thing for our already under royaltied Pagan Authors, but a better thing for the spiritual/magical growth of our community.
So, while slowing our reading of Pagan books, what do we do with that reading time freed up, even after we add working?
Read deep background books/magazines!
Deep background includes at least popular publications on science, history, primary sources (well, okay, translated) of paleopagan mythos, following the daily national/world news, etc. Most of these are at your library, BTW - you can read 'em without buying them! Don't have time to read every story on the cover of the NYT? Read the front page of USA Today!
Anyway - so far today (1 pm yesterday now, I'm playing catch-up on blogging) I've read a few chapters, done two exercises, and did some note-taking to help me memorize associations. And this while sitting in the food court of a grocery store as a friend does tarot readings at another table, kids are loud healthy kids, the PA system makes announcements, and there are general 'busy grocery store' noises going on. I'll save the Emerald Heart for when I DO have quiet space!
But I DO give thanks for the distractions - for if I can hone my focus under these circumstances, then I should be able to have really great focus in rituals/magical situations where I have built a better/quieter/less distracting more focused environment.
I give Thanks!