Jason posted recently about a question he received regarding his content choices. I want to weigh in because I've had a few similar questions emailed to me the last month or so: when are you going to write about actual magic again?
But first, I want to defend (?) Jason a little bit. He points out that he has three books and an online course filled with practical sorcerous techniques. Very true. However, there is also loads of it on his blog, available for free. Loads. If I were asked which blogs carry the most practical sorcerous advice, his would be at the top of the list. Just check it out. That's what blog archives are for.
From Jason's post:
This was a problem that no-one I could see was addressing, and instead people kept chasing after new and shinier spirits and spells. “Saint Expedite didn’t make me rich, maybe Bune will.” “Bune, didn’t make me rich, maybe Tzadkiel will…”
From Chaos, to Hoodoo, to Sabattic Craft, to Grimoires, people move from one thing to the next hoping for the magic that will finally do what they want, when the real issue is application.
He is, of course, correct. And I want to expand on this comment because it relates in an oblique way to my earlier comments about Discordianism. And that is the often-observed tendency to stay in the shallow end of the pool, ontologically speaking: This love spell didn't work. I'll try that one. It didn't work, either. I'll try this one. Nope. How about this one? Nope. If you change a lightbulb ten times and you are still sitting in the dark, it's not the lightbulb, it's the wiring.
The reality of the situation is that the internet is awash with lightbulbs. Awash. Sacred Texts, Esoteric Archives. The greatest Black Library in history is right there at your finger tips. If you want a hard copy, get yourself Judika's great, delightful doorstop of a book and start at page 1. No one is hiding any little tips from you that make magic 'work better'. The secret is not a pinch of tumeric.
For my own answer to the question of why or when I will be providing more practical enchantment posts, the answer is twofold:
- When it's appropriate. I've written at length as to why the provision of workplace enchantments and black hat life hacks experiences diminishing returns. It's probably one of my personal favourite posts.
- I know how many words go into the average magic book and the combined posts dealing with practical enchantment here far exceed that. Far exceed. Just keep hitting the 'load more' button.
I appreciate that it is 'fun' to discover or discuss new magical tech. It is everybody's jam. But it is also the deadly undertow found only in the shallow end of the pool. It is doubly fun if you are new to all of this. My entry page report suggests that a high percentage of visitors to this blog are probably new. And being new is okay. Welcome to the family. (We fight all the time, no one speaks to your uncle and there is no money for Christmas presents.)
So the magical internet does not suffer from a lack of practical enchantment. It does suffer from a lack of coherent analysis and iterative map-making, or -in Jason's terminology- the application of technique. From my own perspective, the analysis I am looking or striving for is locating the boundaries of our world even as they are being redrawn. Consider the following diagram I screengrabbed from some presentation of Catherine Austin Fitts I found on YouTube.
How might your goals/best life/objectives be better achieved if you are operating in the orange circle rather than the red one? From a magical perspective, the red circle is kept the size it is by the suppression of technology and new scientific evidence (particularly pertaining to consciousness research); our tribal belief and trust in our elected betters or experts; the machinations of global corporatism and what it considers personal success; and the dangerous demon games of Big Pharma and Big Farm and their definition of a human as a bag of chemicals to be kept running on GMO corn.
Archonology, the Whisky Rant, Apocalypse Pharmaka and any number of individual posts are my sincere effort to erase those lines, to put monsters back in our oceans. The starting position for both experimental and theoretical magic is being suppressed by Power's clumsy attempts to redraw reality to suit its purposes. From the multitude of historical precedents for our current ontological situation I could cite, let me highlight two pertinent ones.
- The late Classical Age of the PGM sorcerers. Again, this was a time of social and economic change as old power systems faded or collapsed and the new arbiters of reality took the Throne of St Peter. And yet it was probably western magic's most fecund, innovative and deliciously hybrid period. People in Somerset throwing defixiones down wells that call on Jesus and Isis to curse someone for stealing their gloves! Love it.
- The 150 years after the Reformation where our modern conception of witchcraft comes into being. Again, you have a redrawing of the rules of official reality, along with new borders, Scottish kings and God speaking in English rather than Latin.
So, to echo Jason, if you don't see magic in these posts then you're not reading them correctly. Maybe we're just not 'of a feather'.
The economic language of the birds
Nassim Taleb has a delightful metaphor he uses when railing against the utter uselessness of Economics departments at elite universities... although the metaphor is universal in its application. He describes an Economics professor standing in an auditorium where the seats are filled with birds instead of students.
The professor 'teaches' the birds about aerodynamics and meteorology and wing shape and maximum load. Then he flings open the doors of the auditorium and all his students fly out, leaving the professor to think he has taught them how to fly. Taleb's point is that people who go to business school are probably already predisposed to being good at business. That is, they already know how to fly. Ivy League schools that smugly point out the success of their alumni in their brochures can't know if these business people would have been successful if they hadn't gone to business school because they already get the best of the best students... people who would probably have succeeded anyway, Harvard education or not. (Especially given the likelihood of family connections!)
You see where I am going with this. Talking endlessly about differing techniques of practical enchantment is teaching aerodynamics to birds. Either they know how to fly or they don't. So let's keep those auditorium doors permanently open during the school term.
Fly, my pretties. Fly.