Today, right in the moment when I woke up, I felt a little voice inside me, telling me that pretty much all religions and magical practices/traditions in the world have, as a basis, a practice of purification. And I'm not talking about ritual purification, done prior to and after a working. I'm talking about soul purification. Or something like that.
Christianity, for example, emphasizes the purification of the soul from sin by doing good deeds, which will allow the person to go to heaven after death. Buddhism does the same thing with karma purification and achievement of merit. Judaism emphasizes the same thing, with the ten commandments, which are designed to keep a man "clean" from sin.
The fact is that karmic purification seems to be extremely important in religion and, based on my research and experience, also in magical practice. The more light you have, the stronger your magic will be. By light I mean what the buddhists call "merit".
But chanting mantras doesn't work. Saying Om Mani Padme Hum won't make your bad karma magically disappear. That's all just a smokescreen. You actually have to do good deeds for it to work. The mantras can help you become a better person if you use them with devotion. But for the real karmic purification, actual good deeds are required. You need to prove that you deserve to be clean.
Which is why the whole secret of Om Mani Padme Hum is this: when chanting it, you also need to practice compassion and help the people around you. If you do that, the purification of the bad karma won't take effect because of the mantra, but because of your deeds. The mantra only gives a boost. Doing a good deed under the influence of the mantra will purify more karma, than if you were to do it without it's influence.
Just thought of sharing this, as it is, IMO, relevant for magical practice and, most importantly, achieving results with magic. Negative karma can be a really pain-in-the-ass-blockage in a magician's practice.
If you know other methods for this kind of purification, don't hesitate to share (unless it's a secret, ofc).