A fast trip straight down the ladder, right to the primal fear, right to the base anger.
Jacobs Ladder, Bruce Joel Rubin
The Practical Kabbalah is replete with warnings; the occult is a dangerous business. If it doesn't feel dangerous you're probably doing it wrong. The three most serious dangers that face the practitioner are blasphemy, insanity and death - we face them constantly. Blasphemy arises from failure in practice or when results go awry - fuck this shit. Insanity occurs as a result of possession or when the mind becomes so saturated with symbolism and significance that rifts inevitably result - schizophrenia. Untimely death can occur in a number of different ways but more often than not it will appear as the result of sudden sickness or unusual accident.
Although we need to distinguish between the dangers of magick and those of mysticism I agree that the best occult results are achieved when they are thoroughly intertwined. While calling tricky or hostile spirits could easily result in possession and various banes, when the Kabbalists warn us to run and return they are fully aware that mystical union with the Godhead could also mean the divine kiss of death. Like the moth to the flame, in ascending the Tree of Life you should understand that Kether may well be a black hole, not a worm hole.
When practitioners warn us to stay grounded, holding on to our belts lest we float away they are trying to protect us from these three perils. We must learn to fly but when we do we need to make sure we hang onto that silver cord of a lifeline. When fusing ourselves with the Zodiac man we must remember that while the rams head may well be the crown of the celestial heaven our feet of fish walk upon the Earth. Learn to fly, but grow into a giant so you can reach Heaven without ever leaving the Earth.
In all my life I never knew such terror as when I lived at Edward Kelley's haunted tower at the Donkey in the Cradle House in Prague. Insanity threatened from the failed attempts to rationalise all the spooky shit that surrounded me - noises, temperature drops, feeling Lovecraftian things touching you, caressing you in the night (this might sound funny, the reality is appallingly awful, believe me). People think it would be exciting to experience The Conjuring as your day to day life but it isn't it. Its terrifying and exhausting. Frequent attempts at posession by someone or something pretty much had me sleeping through the day and remaining vigilant all night. I feared the hour of eleven when the invisible wires would ting ting ting. What I learned from all of this is when the master wizard gets killed by the wraith then you flee the cursed tower built on the bones of murdered orphans on Corpse Street next to the old plague cemetary. Fear and Love, know which is which and use appropriately.
Ignore practitioners who urge you to just do it, in fact ignore anyone who seems arrogant or reckless - this is not the right attitude at all as people can get hurt or killed. Do the work, but as a scientist follow all safety advice and be absolutely respectful of the spiritual environment and possible contagion. And most of all, beware hubris, fellow mage. Pride is the mind killer not fear, pride will make you press on when all Reason is calling for retreat and pride will convince you of success when you have fallen into those deepest of pits - blasphemy, insanity or death.