Some further thoughts about process

Posted on April 14, 2010
Filed Under Experiments, Magic, Taylor Ellwood, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

In a discussion I had recently with one of my magical students I elaborated further on the difference between chaos magic and experimental magic. Chaos magic, aside from being associated with servitors and sigils, is also about paradigmal piracy. You determine what paradigm works for you, you adopt it for as long as it’s useful, and then once you’ve gotten your result, you move on. Experimental magic, on the other hand, is focused on a more processed oriented approach and so recognizes that in order to really under a paradigm, system, methodology, or whatever word you want to use, you’ve got to spend time learning the system, learning how the methodology works, before you can really begin to use it successfully.

Consequently process is built into experimental magic much further than in chaos magic. And, if anything, the issue with chaos magic is that while you might be able to get a result one time from using a system to address an immediate need, without fully understanding it, you can’t really know the process or know if you’ll get a result that meets your needs each time.  That kind of understanding doesn’t occur over night, or in a single working. It occurs over time, with study, practice, and yes experimentation. To really understand a paradigm of magic, it needs to be something more than just a convenience to be used because it fits an immediate need.

This is why I’ve never used Voodoun in my workings. Sure, I could pick up any of the books I have on it, sketch out a ritual and do something, but I don’t understand the system enough to really feel comfortable doing that, nor do I really want to offend one of the Lwas just to get a result. If I really wanted to integrate voodoun into my magical practice, I would need to study it for a while, do rituals strictly in that system without integrating other practices in, and experiment within the process of that belief system. Eventually, if I knew about it, I could begin to incorporate external elements.

So experimental magic is less about rolling a dice and picking a spiritual system for a day and more about really getting hands-on experience with a given system, and process plays an integral role in that, because it’s process you need to learn to really put it all together.

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