Ritual magic will quickly bring out the hidden side of any magician, wizard, sorcerer or mage.
That is why it is so important for a magician to really, truthfully, know him or herself and exercise self discipline. To maintain balance in any realm you must remember for every force an opposite force must exist – light is balanced by dark, good by evil. It is a precarious balance the magician must be always mindful of.
Ritual magic is merely the taking of energy from another plane of existence and weaving that energy, by specific thoughts, words and practices, into a desired physical form or result in this plane of existence. The weaving of the energies must be done with precision or things can turn out entirely different than the original intent. The whole idea of magic is to contact various energy pools that exist in a dimension other than our own and bring them into our realm.
Everything used during ritual is a symbol of an energy that exists on another plane. Whether or not the magician properly connects with that specific energy and believes he or she can work magic depends upon on how well he or she understands its representative symbol which is used on this plane or world. Study of, and meditation on, ritual symbols is a very important part of training. This is why magic cannot be hurried. It is an art of nurturing the energies to bring very specific results.
In order to bring through the energy that surrounds us, the magician must set up a circuit of communication along which that power can flow. This is done by ritual use of symbols, ritual itself, visualization and meditation, or in some cases incantations and/or wands. To keep the incoming power from dissipating before being directed toward a particular goal, rituals are performed within a cast and consecrated circle. This provides a neutral energy area which will not siphon off or dissipate the incoming energy.