I dedicated myself to the pursuit of the Occult just three days and twenty years ago. Wow. Never thought I'd live that long, you know? LoL Well this from a guy who never gave a damn about what he ate, what he drank & was into daredevil things like riding super bikes at speeds in excess of 140 mph. (That's not to mention some of the strange drugs I've imbibed over the years either!)
The first thing I've learned as I look back over it all is that dedication is often given lip service by people. They want to promise themselves to the Gods or the Old Ones but it turns out that those are mere words to them. They want everything on their terms and to hell with what the Spirits want. Arrogant but true! Dedication is a very important step because it's the precursor to Initiation. It's an opportunity to snow the Spirits you mean business.
In our modern society, we have the unfortunate infiltration of what accounts for humans trying to rationally explain the irrational through a pseudo-practice called Psychology. Oh sure there have been a few good things come of Psychological research such as some forms of therapy that have shown promise like Neuro-Linguistic Programming but even so, such things pale in comparison to what real Sorcery can do for a person in their life.
I really think too many make far too much of this pseudo-Psychological claptrap where they try and combine it with Magic & then call it MagicK. Really? You feel the need to throw Magic in with Psychology? Why? To what end or purpose? They do this then call it 'High Magick' which it's not. It's just pseudo-Psychological nonsense that does what in the real world exactly? Nothing! Now in all fairness Chaos Magick, which bills itself as Sorcery but is really NEW Sorcery, can do some amazing things internally but externally to affect someone else? I've never seen Chaos Magick work in that regard. Typically Chaos Magickians need to get their sigil in front of the target before they can get it to take effect.
Old fashioned Sorcery is where it's at for a consistent results in the real, external world. Such things as herbs, roots, charm bags, candles, prayers, and such that here in the US we call Hoodoo. This has become the Low Magic which provides results that CM's dream about doing. Sure it's one thing to summon a powerful Spirit up from the Netherworlds and gain all sorts of insights & maybe coax it to do your bidding but why bother when you can get a root, a candle & a prayer to do it for you?
My first taste into African Folk Magic came through Obeah which I learned from an old black gent in the South Florida area. I was introduced to a number of black folks in the South Florida area who worked what many would call Hoodoo or RootWork-Conjure Sorcery but they called it 'Spiritual Work' and themselves 'Workers'. One was a 90+ y/o black woman who had a very strong psychic talent and was able to tell you very intimate details. She was a Spiritualist and said she had a familiar Spirit who'd tell her all your business. Scary eh? LoL
Another lesson I've learned over the years is to keep a healthy skepticism but do not be idiotic & throw out the baby with the bathwater! Morons deem themselves 'debnkers' pretending to figure out things by saying, "Well if we can reproduce the effect, then it's not Metaphysical" to which I reply, "Just because you can reproduce an effect, does not imply anytime someone does this same ritual/spell/whatever it's a fake. Hollywood can with CGI reproduce ANYTHING on screen. Big deal!" But if Hollywood can reproduce multiple images of you, so does that mean YOU aren't real? Same convoluted logic. Ugh.
I've also learned that Spirits can & do some very weird things. They can make you see things that are not there; let you experience things that you thought impossible; and give you information such as insights into the unknown to help you find a solution to your problem. They do not always have to be conjured to physical appearance because if you have a valid medium on hand, you can summon the Spirit through them and converse with them directly in conversation.
In summary, it's been a very long strange trip. I've learned a LOT about myself over the years and have also discovered that I don't know near as much as I wish to know. But no matter how much I learn or discover, I'll never learn it all. Even in many lifetimes nor after death. *shrugs* Such is the way of things.