Six Ways is a collection of approaches and entries for practical magic. It is not a system, grimoire, or belief system. The focus is on the development of healthy spirit ecologies with a decidedly animist bent.
From the introduction:
"This book is a handbook of practical sorcery and magic, as I know and work it. Magic and sorcery have many definitions, and will have many more as we move as a species forward through time. The basic idea is that there are ways of being and interacting in the world that allow for certain kinds of communication, the production of change on both internal and external levels, and the development of what could be called 'special skills and talents'.
These are psychic powers or arts, in the old usage of the word: meaning 'relative to the soul, spirit, mind'. These arts of soul, spirit, and mind come down to us in various ways. They come as full-blown systems of magic or witchcraft, as religious practices, as shamanry, as tales and ideas surviving via folklore, song, and literature.
My approach is this: what works, works. That which does not work, or whose costs outweigh their benefits, should be discarded or modified until the balance skews more favorably.
This is not to me a particularly religious practice, although one could make it so with no issue. It deals with a number (a great, unknowable number) of internal and external players. Spirits, Powers, and Others are the terms I use and prefer, while some will feel the need to get more specific as to the particular natures of these beings.
Magic and sorcery are ways of being in the world. They are ways of interacting and inter-being with the world itself, its visible and invisible structures and its inhabitants. The aim of magic as I know it is to increase the quantity and quality of usable and useful information, communication, options, and avenues of change and movement within our selves and our worlds. It is an art of total responsibility, careful attention, and reciprocity. Magic is the art of falling in love with the Field and its inhabitants."
SELECTED REVIEWS OF SIX WAYS:
Six Ways: Approaches & Entries for Practical Magic, by talismanic jeweller Aidan Wachter, offers readers a refreshingly nuanced take on contemporary chaos magick. The book presents the fundamentals of Wachter’s spirit-based approach to practical sorcery, while providing valuable insights drawn from the author’s experience. At 33 chapters, Six Ways covers a wide range of topics of interest to occultists, including servitors, offerings, the dead, dirt, dreams, breathwork, trance, sigils, talismans, and more. The text includes a large number of inspiring and open-ended exercises and rituals. Some exercises are aimed at beginners, but many will appeal to experienced practitioners, and the rituals can easily be used as written alongside others without causing undue dissonance.
Six Ways stands out for its consistently high quality. The book is well designed, and it is clear that great care went into the content, editing, cover, layout, typography, and illustrations. The physical book actually feels magical, which is not an impression that paperbacks often make. The book provides a fantastic example of what indie publishers are capable of when they get things right.
The content is well written, clear and concise. The book could serve admirably as a beginner’s introduction to practical enchantment and chaos magick, while more experienced practitioners will find great value in the wealth of insights, stories, examples, and practical suggestions. Throughout the book, Wachter manages to touch on the deepest mysteries of life and death, while maintaining a sense of humour and a capacity for joy and wonder.......Overall, Six Ways presents an approach to enchantment that is both useful and inspiring. By threading the needle between mysticism and magick, Wachter manages to find a sweet spot. Six Ways provides genuine “approaches and entries” into sorcery, as it offers up potent gateways to personal empowerment, alongside glimpses into the deep mysteries of magick and being. I encourage artists, occultists, and anyone interested in chaos magick, animism, and practical enchantment to seek out this book. -From Frater 232, review at Spiral Nature
"I bought Aidan Wachter's Six Ways when it first came out in April. It's a wonderful book. I've read numerous works on the subject over the years, from grimoires to contemporary guides to historical overviews, and this is by far the most beautifully written — unsurprising, maybe, if you follow Aidan or know his work as a talismanic jeweler, but I was still delighted by how much pleasure I took in his words. Available from all the usual purveyors. Highly recommended." -Elizabeth Hand, Author of Winterlong, Waking the Moon, Generation Loss and many others.
"Rare book endorsement from me...Rarely do I find a book that is interesting, clever, and wise all at the same time, but Six Ways is. Aidan Wachter adeptly mixes ideas and practices from a wide range of sources to inspire the reader, in what I can only imagine is what his in person conversational style would be. It reads like a good friend sharing practices and encouraging you, without giving too much away, and the seemingly wandering topics are really woven together quite well with humor and real examples from life. The foot notes are both helpful and funny, and his recommended reading has me digging through my library again. The teachings are both radically inclusive and no nonsense, without any derision to any other tradition or path as you might find in some serious occult texts. While serious at the heart, it is certainly not stodgy and is filled with life. I particularly liked his explanation of “the Field” and “true enough.” Gave me a lot to think about, see with new eyes, so much so, I ordered a copy for my brother in law, newish to the path. I think it’s a book for both beginners and those of us doing it for a while." -Christopher Penczak
"This work is truly phenomenal. I've been practicing magic for three decades + have an extensive library of occult titles. Six Ways stands out because Mr. Wachter has accomplished something very few do. He gets to the roots of the practice of magic. Rather than limit you to his particular methods of practice, he gets to the magical wiring under the board. He helps you to understand how things work + why we do certain things, which then makes deciding what to do a thousand times easier. This book is also saturated + I mean that in the best possible way. It's dense with information + wisdom + understanding that can only be transmitted by someone with a ton of rock solid experience in practical magic. He also speaks to things largely absent in most magical texts, thing which make a deep difference both perceptually + practically. I wish I'd had this book when I first started practicing. It would have saved me a lot of wasted time + wasted energy. The beauty of Six Ways, to me, is how it's as equally valuable to someone brand new to magic as it is to someone who's practiced for years. There are jewels here for everyone. This isn't another book of reheated stuff we've all read countless times. Six Ways has fast become one of my very favorite books on magic. Did I mention Mr. Wachter also managed to weave humor into the work? So much so that, at times, I was literally laughing out loud. That's a refreshing thing in a scene where most people, in my opinion, take themselves too seriously. That said, this is a serious work by a serious practitioner. In my mind, this is the book the magical community needs. I fully expect it to become a classic and with good reason." -Fabeku Fatunmise
"Aidan Wachter’s Six Ways: Approaches & Entries For Practical Magic is really unique in its undertaking. He breathes new life into the basic foundational practices of magic. His practices and approaches are rich because of his style of diving deeper instead of over-complicating the techniques, something that’s really refreshing. As such, you could approach this book from any skill level and have it enhance your practice." -Mat Auryn- For Puck's Sake, on Patheos
Six Ways is available via Amazon US & Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Adlibris in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, and the Book Depository. As I have been asked: I get paid the same regardless of where you purchase the book, so choose whichever works best for you! I am not handling shipping of books at this time, as it simply cuts too deeply into the time I have for my work in the shop, so they are not available from me directly.