A review of the Art of Magic series

Posted on July 25, 2009
Filed Under Magic, Taylor Ellwood | 6 Comments

I haven’t written much on here lately, other than my most recent emptiness working posting. Life has been fairly busy, in a good way, with my business. A lot of my my efforts, magical and otherwise are going toward creating and sustaining my business, and the rest is going to the emptiness working, with a few parcels going to projects as and when I can get to them. Today I thought I’d provide a commentary on a series of videos I found on youtube about the art of magic.

First a couple of links:

Lupa’s article for the wild hunt blog, focuses on community building and hyper individuation.

A Facing North review of Pop Culture Magick.

And now on to the show:

There’s a series of videos on youtube that I came across because someone in my twitter list happened to mention a video that focused on defining magic. I was curious and decided to check it out. Needless to say what I found was a series of videos that wasn’t all that good because of how narrow the focus was and how sensationalistic the examples were.

The narrator of the video only used Crowley’s definition for magic and applied only a psychological approach to magic, claiming at various times that magic wasn’t supernatural. Whenever she talked about sex magic, she talked about how Crowley did sex magic as well as Anton Lavey, i.e. Satanists, but didn’t focus on any other perspectives or approaches to sex magic. Her examples of magic usually focused on people trying to get laid or or trying to harm someone, essentially advocating an unethical approach to magic, without any real consideration on possible consequences or demonstration of whether magic can be used for anything beyond self-gratification. She also claimed that what the bleep do we know and the secret are examples of magic.

In the end I was decidedly unimpressed by this series of videos. Relying on on only one definition of magic and the psychological model of magic as well as a variety of poor examples, all it really portrayed was a lot of negative stereotypes about magic, and a rather simplistic understanding of how it worked. The lack of awareness about consequences, as well as narrowly exploring magic shows an unsophisticated awareness of the principles that inform magic, and also rather casually discarded alternative perspectives, cultural systems, and processes for how magic works.

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6 comments
lupabitch
lupabitch

I disagree that these things are magic. Magic implies a certain amount of effort--not just thinking a certain way, or knowing how quantum sciences work. I mean, I suppose you could call the Law of Attraction "magic", but IMO it's a slap in the face to folks like you and me who don't just see magic as a form of psychological masturbation.

imagineyourreality
imagineyourreality

I can see your point here. It is very watered down versions of magic, and particularly with the secret, I'm wary of labeling it as such because of what it tends to advocate, as well as the beliefs that inform it's perspectives on how well off a person is or isn't.

Mama Gaea
Mama Gaea

I actually agree that What the Bleep and The Secret are examples of magic. What the Bleep went into the Quantum Mechanics of the Universe, and I believe that quantum physics plays a great part in how magick actually works. And while I haven't read the entire book of The Secret, I believe that the Law of Attraction, which is one of the things The Secret purports, is definitely magick. One of the sections of What the Bleep talks about "creating your day", putting forth certain intentions and working to attract those things into your life. And one thing The Secret says to do is to create a collage of those things you want to bring into your life. Sure, a lot of people use that technique to bring material things into their lives. But we Magick folk know what's really going on and how to really put some oomph behind all of those things, the creating your day and the "spellwork" that is that collage.

So, yes, I do believe those two things are magick. I just think that the Muggles need the magick that much watered down to make it palatable for them. We know what's truly going on, don't we?

Mama Gaea
Mama Gaea

I actually agree that What the Bleep and The Secret are examples of magic. What the Bleep went into the Quantum Mechanics of the Universe, and I believe that quantum physics plays a great part in how magick actually works. And while I haven't read the entire book of The Secret, I believe that the Law of Attraction, which is one of the things The Secret purports, is definitely magick. One of the sections of What the Bleep talks about "creating your day", putting forth certain intentions and working to attract those things into your life. And one thing The Secret says to do is to create a collage of those things you want to bring into your life. Sure, a lot of people use that technique to bring material things into their lives. But we Magick folk know what's really going on and how to really put some oomph behind all of those things, the creating your day and the "spellwork" that is that collage.

So, yes, I do believe those two things are magick. I just think that the Muggles need the magick that much watered down to make it palatable for them. We know what's truly going on, don't we?