I came across this article the other day from Frater Isla about pop culture magic. He makes an interesting point when he argues that pop culture magic has evolved from being a technique or tool set to being a form of genuine spirituality. Like him, I’ve noticed a similar evolution in pop culture magic. I think that where I saw it occur first was with the system of Dehara, which is a magical system and spirituality based around the Wraeththu series. While there is only book on the system of magic (as yet) it nonetheless has continued to evolve beyond the initial work that was done by myself, Storm, and others. And to this day I continue to have a special relationship with Theide Aghama, who is one of the primary Dehara, and at least in my spiritual work, also a spiritual guardian and guide to working with space.
In my own work with pop culture magic, I have always felt that there is a spiritual dimension to pop culture entities that others might write off because it’s pop culture, as opposed to being something that is old and traditional. For me the pop culture entities I work with are more than just a psychological category or set of attributes. They are more than just an archetypes or cultural icons. They are alive in their own right. So it doesn’t surprise me that other people have similar experiences with pop culture and recognize a spiritual dimension to their encounters with pop culture spirits. In fact seeing this happen has encouraged my own practice and provided some much needed validation.
When I wrote Pop Culture Magick I wrote it primarily as a book that treated pop culture magic as a set of techniques or a tool set you could draw on for magical work. There were elements in it that hinted at how you could explore pop culture magic as a form of spirituality, but it wasn’t something I’d fully embraced in my own practice. I’m now writing Pop Culture Magic 2.0 and I’m taking a different approach, which is informed as much by the additional ten years of practice that occurred, as by my recognition that there is more to pop culture magic than just a set of practices. Aside from my continuing relationship with Theide Aghama, I’ve also been exploring connections with characters such as Batman who has come to have a lot of significance for me. Additionally I’ve been doing some work with corporate spirits. And beyond that my perspective on pop culture magic has evolved because how I look at the spirit world has also evolved. I see a place for pop culture spirits in the interactions I have with the spirit world and I don’t feel this demeans my magical practice or spiritual work, but rather enhances it because it allows me to apply contemporary culture to the spirit world.
That’s an important aspect of pop culture magic. Our world has evolved and what we deal with now isn’t what our ancestors dealt with. For me, drawing on pop culture as a spirituality allows me to connect it with the contemporary issues of the time. It also allows me to work with spirits that bring their own understanding to the spiritual equation. I recognize that not everyone sees pop culture this way, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with applying this perspective to pop culture magic work. If there’s a meaningful spiritual connection, explore it, albeit with care, because as with anything else, not all pop culture spirits are your friends.