“all you got is your backbone to lean on, you can expect no help from your brain” --- Chris Whitley, Phone call from Leavenworth
There is an interesting perceptual disconnect that comes up for me in conversation with clients that sometimes I see right away, and sometimes takes me a long time to recognize. It has to do with thinking and feeling as it relates to magic. We can view thinking/feeling as head/gut-or-bone information respectively. Both have their places, and neither will serve in each others place very well.
We use our heads to decide on a course of action. We use our guts to execute the actual magical work, or to feel the truth of our oracular visioning. Our heads cannot really operate well in the slightly-to-completely altered states that make magic the most effective. I expect this is a modern Western issue. Post reformation and industrial/materialist revolution, we have hardened the edges between us and the Other, at least in our minds. Our bodies still know better.
For instance, when trying to decide between on a talismanic object (where this usually comes up with clients), or between a few symbols, herbs, or other materia, we can use the head to narrow the field of options. But we must use the gut, the physicality of bone-feeling to choose what is the best option magically. This allows for a much greater influence from the Other side of things. When we see someone operating smoothly at most any art, it is when they have learned to set aside the head (at the appropriate time) and let the gut and bones do their thing. The head can guide, but the body does the work. Using the gut-bone information to choose means we have already committed to the work. As long as the head is in control, we are hedging against this commitment, which means we are one-foot-in at most. We have to cross that line fully to do our best work.
Our bones know the way of things. Our guts understand what baffles the mind. The soul or spirit is often most clearly manifest in the sensations and language of the body. We feel called towards or driven away by people, places and things at the gut/bone level. The head can then clarify or obscure this information, or choose to work with or against this body-knowledge.
This is a learned thing for most people, but absolutely necessary for the most effective work, in my experience.