Why magic isn’t a bunch of categories or labels

Posted on July 3, 2011
Filed Under Definitions & Labels, Magic | 11 Comments

I think sometimes people try too hard to boil magic down to categories. You ask someone what type of magic s/he practices and you get a long list list of categories such as Chaos Magic, Postmodern Magic, Shamanism, Ceremonial Magic, etc. Add in magical lodges the person belongs to and you’ve got another set of categories (made into Acronyms) such as TOPY, OTO, OSOGD, GD, Etc.,I see these categories applied to the future of magic as if that can be boiled down to a specific type of magical practice.

I’m guilty of this too. I talk about experimental magic as a label of some kind, as a way of trying to differentiate what I’m doing from what others are doing and labeling their practice as. Yet at some point it becomes a haze of semantics and the question that arises is: Are you doing anything with all of this anyway or just armchairing it?

On some level there’s a necessity for labels and categories, to be able to provide some vocabulary for the discussions, but when we get obsessed with it, it ends up becoming some kind of circle jerk indulged in for the sake of trying to prove who is cooler than thou or who’s the most elite occultist out there, or whatever. We all want to stand out and how better to do it than come up with some crazy ass term that sounds cool and might even mean something up if we get through the semantic haze.

But I like my magic simple. Yes, I want to experiment with it, but I also want it to be something other people will do and understand without having to throw in a lot of specialist jargon. So I’ll use a definition where applicable, and otherwise keep the focus on doing the magic.

Comments

9 comments
eianorange
eianorange

you wrote: "But I like my magic simple. Yes, I want to experiment with it, but I also want it to be something other people will do and understand without having to throw in a lot of specialist jargon"

I agree completely when it comes to keeping it simple and reproducible, but when I read "technical jargon" my thoughts turn immediately to the use of gramarye throughout the ages. Witches have always used "spells" of some kind, but were they in a state of glossolalia or were there specific intonations or wordings?

My point here is that I use word viruses along with carefully calculated gematria as a tool for my magickal work. And certainly it has helped much moreso than working straight from a book like the GD manual or Book 4, etc.

I try to keep a balance between reality and the virtual world, but there's no escaping my use of computers in my workings. Not all the time, just on occasions where it's called for for one reason or another. Humans and computers and blackberries act as an integral part of the human experience. We can hardly escape it.

I'm rambling

My actual point is that neologisms and the bastardization of language serves a two-fold purpose. 1. to confuse and disorient the target (soften them up) for 2. the insertion of that linguistic housing of horrors which ultimately, in my opinion, make my magicking more fun and more effective than traditional initiation-based magickal systems.

Cordially,

Eian O

Magicexperiment
Magicexperiment moderator

@eianorange I think that's a good point and I've actually used word viruses, as well as collages for a lot of my work. I don't have an issue with using that as a methodology and like you I'm not very tradition oriented. What my concern is, is when technical jargon is used so much it confuses the very people who are using it, and not in a glossalia, magical use of confusion, which is good, but in n academic, discourse oriented gate keeper usage, which ultimately discourages more than encourages freedom of thought and action.

eianorange
eianorange

@Magicexperiment @eianorange I certainly don't want to limit any one's freedom and action, first off.

You wrote: "What my concern is, is when technical jargon is used so much it confuses the very people who are using it"

That's a fair assumption, I can get behind that. And its also the crux of my work with alpha-numeric theurgy. When it comes to compound or purely invented word viruses -- keep it simple. Less than simple, neadrethal-like, grasping for no-mind to locate the most fitting virus.

But, again, you're right. These things will come up again. This is why I do most of my lingual work tongue in cheek, spontaneous, and just plain hilarious. I'll show you an example of what I mean if you're interested.

It's funny, I'm listening to your radio show during this discourse and at one point you get to the subjects of subordination, control, and heirarchies. Something I'm fond of dismissing about occult orders.

Like Groucho said it: I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member".

eianorange
eianorange

@Magicexperiment I think I can pull that off with some of the material I already have plus my interests in non-Newtonian physics should suffice. I'd just need to see some of your writing on the book to keep focused. How far along are you?

Magicexperiment
Magicexperiment moderator

@eianorange I have an even better idea. Would you like to write an appendix for the book? And I've heard of time spinning and that'd work for me.

eianorange
eianorange

@Magicexperiment As long as I get credit I'm with it. One question have you ever heard of "time spinning" and is that similar enough to NS/TM for me to detail my work?

Magicexperiment
Magicexperiment moderator

@eianorange Would it be possible to use these as examples of textual magic in my forthcoming book Neuro-Space/Time Magic, and if so can you provide any details on how you use them for space/time magic workings?

eianorange
eianorange

@Magicexperiment You wrote: "I would be interested in what you're doing with your lingual work...sounds fascinating."

Well, I began with simple prose, verses, and rhymes such as http://tinyurl.com/3sxd3ld (this seemingly never ending work in progress) and then calculated these verses through the Gematria of Nothing (a.k.a. [GoN]) until my effort matched both my enthusiasm and my ultimate goal. And I gradually evolved my gematria skills to the point where I didn't need so much blatant numerical junk to get a similar effect, but on a much more profound level. As evidenced in works like this http://tinyurl.com/44su7rd which appears much more innocuous than non-sensical numerology formulas. You must realize the amount of material I have online is miniscule when compared to my corporeal collections.

Magicexperiment
Magicexperiment moderator

@eianorange Like you I prefer to keep it simple. I would be interested in what you're doing with your lingual work...sounds fascinating. Seems you and I are birds of a feather when it comes to occult orders and the like.