I was recently asked where I got my inspiration for the Sigil web technique in Space/Time Magic. But the person who asked also noted that he felt my work was writing was far enough away from the sources I cited that he was curious in general. It’s a good question to ask.
Where do I get my ideas for my magical work? If you look at the bibliography of any of my books, you’ll probably note that one third to one half of the titles cited have nothing to do with magic. Or rather, they only have something to do with magic, because I saw something in the material that I knew I could apply magic to. The rest of the sources are books on magic…some traditional, some less so, all interesting to me, only so much in how I can take the content and experiment with it, in order to adapt it to my needs and circumstances. That’s really how I approach anything I read: “What’s in this book that is insightful and useful and how can I take it and experiment with it, both for my own needs, and also for curiosity’s sake?” But that’s just the surface. I’m an insatiable reader. I’m usually working on about six books at a given time, and all of it is very interesting, but that’s only part of my inspiration.
I’m really motivated by curiosity more than anything else. I’m insatiably curious. I want to know what I can do…I want to test my limits, and I want to know how I can take all of my interests and apply them to magic. There’s no tradition for me, no specific way of doing things. I get that for some people, a lot of people, that works…but not me. I want to know and explore and try things out. I want to be on the edge.
I’m inspired by resistance as well. Every person who’s told me, “You can’t do that”, or “It’s reinventing the wheel” has inspired me. I can’t thank enough those people.
And I’m creative. I’ve always looked at the world differently. I see how things fit together and I run with it and play with it, and experiment…and so on.
My inspiration for how I approach magic, how I approach everything I do comes down to this: “It’s always better to play by your own rules than someone elses” That’s why I do magic the way I do it…because anyone else’s rules for doing magic only interest me insofar as I can take it apart and put it back into something that fits my style, life, and needs.