A technique is a practical application of a method of ability usage or spellcasting. It refines the intent and gives it a shape which can be understood by your mind. For a technique to be effective it requires three elements: the shape, the application and the understanding.
Elements of a Technique
It refers to what you do in order to perform the technique. This refers directly to the act of doing the technique. Here comes in play one's skill of using methods. I will describe methods in another part. Let me give an example, the well-known Psi Ball technique. One way of doing it implies visualizing a ball forming in your hand, or maybe a balloon spinning quickly. Some other ways just tell you to 'push the energy' in the form of the ball. The intent of 'shaping a ball', 'pushing the energy' etc. are the steps of the technique. Basically, what you do. This is covered by the conscious mind, as it requires your intent.
It refers to our capability of using it. If we don't know to 'push energy', or to hold a ball in our hands, then we won't be able to do a Psi Ball. The application is about being able to take the technique and break it down into analogies understandable by our mind, then giving the 'commands' of doing the technique. It's our memory of doing it, it's are way of interpreting the technique and make it create the desired effect. This is covered by the subconscious mind, because it requires the capability of accessing previous experiences and memories.
How can you make a Psi Ball when you don't know what psi is or what a ball is? You can of course, but that implies unconsciously knowing about it. You need a database of knowledge involving the used symbols/commands/metaphors. This refers to the raw information of what the effect itself is and what the technique itself is. This is covered by the unconscious since it's related to deeper memories and built-in understanding.
What are the methods?
A method is the basic way of doing something, it is the raw action. Some of the most known methods are:
Visualization: It refers to the creation of a certain virtual image in our minds. Creative visualization refers to the capability of affecting the outer world via the usage of such images. More information can be found on our wikia's page.
Willpower: It has several definitions. One of them implies self-discipline, the capability of resisting the urge of doing something. Another one refers to self-control, the capability to fulfill an ambition. In this domain it can be translated as both, but mostly it's about one's desire, and it's usage in abilities/spellcasting. For example, looking at a microphone and wanting it to move while resisting the urge to imagine it moving, or moving it yourself physically.
Gnosis: While it's not a method by itself, it blends quite well with others.
Sigilization: It implies the creation of a link (affinity) between a certain intent and a physical representation of it, usually an image.
There are many other methods as well.
Techniques are a way to use a method of spellcasting/ability usage. Methods include willpower, visualization, intent-forget, the mental muscle method (from direct magick; reflex) etc. A technique is made to suit the on-moment intent, combined with the method. Nothing fancy about it. You could as well just call upon the Pancake God to give you fortune instead of visualizing yourself becoming lucky with some "random energies".
Why results are subjective and cannot apply? Well then, several techs imply key symbols. We got the earth-the target, we got the process, we got the end effect. For the sake of effective, people will as well insert things like herbalism, certain coloured energies, etc. Why? Because symbols equal power, symbols in our mind are the metaphors which drive the magick/ability. The intent is made up of all that symbols. But what if for me earth doesn't me actually dirt, stone and all that, but it's the element of stabilization and grounding? Or as well, what if for me black is the colour of progress, and the tech implies green energy, which for me is the colour of death, a morbid green? See what I mean...people will do it anyway despite the symbols not being appropriate for what they want to do.
In the end, techniques are personal, and they are subjective. They cannot be ranked. Often, people who try techniques report them for not working well, that is because the symbols don't match with what they think. The technique used wrong, as in the techniques of others can make results which weren't desired, (like in the earthquake case, the green energies and earth would mean for me stabilizing death or decay, which got nothing to do with earthquakes), or don't produce results at all (like fire energy used with candles, for me the candle could be the root to the divine, which got nothing to do with actual, physical fire). See what I mean. Oftenly people are advised to try that technique continuously until it works. That re-attunes the meanings of the symbols of one's mind. Basically, make them forget their unique interpretation. Most of us already use only the energy and spirit model, which is limited. We have the psychological model, hermetic model, information/cybernetic model, direct model, wiccan model etc. We don't have to limit our view to this, not to techniques which are overestimated.