Monthly Archives: April 2010

Art as Magic

Early this month Aradia and I went to a lovely Kansas City event Known as First Friday. We looked at lots and lots of awesome art, although a great deal of it was not something anyone would actually want in their living room. Onesuch piece – which I would, in fact, not let within 100 feet of my home, no mater how gorgeous it was – also tied in with the evening’s other topic of conversation: using art to work magic.

The particular piece in question was an image of a woman. It was a blue figure on a black field, curled up in the corner of the frame. The frame itself was exaggerated, coming two or three inches from the canvas toward the viewer. A half-dozen chains were stretched across the canvas, mounted to the inside of the frame.

“See,” I said, turning to Aradia. “You paint someone inside of that, and they’re FUCKED.”

“Yeah,” she agreed, aghast. “And so are you.”

“Well, yeah. You’re never going to get anything accomplished until you let them out.”

Anyone who is, themselves, an artist knows how much time, energy, and soul goes into the creation of a piece. You recover, learn, and grow … but you never actually get those parts of you back. Much like big magic.

I recently drew a warding-glyph to protect my car: mechanical pencil overlaid with Sharpee and colored pencil, set off with a little candle magic. I still need to trim and mount it, so it’s still in my altar, but the ward matrix is already laid over my car. You can see it.

A while ago, I drew a meditation on fire: a pencil sketch covered with lots and lots of colored pencils. Some people have trouble touching it.

The interesting thing to me about using art to create magic is the depth and complexity of the intent that can be conveyed through an image, and the amount of refining that you can do over the course of the process. Layers upon layers upon layers of color and focus and power.

Has anyone out there ever tried this? Art as magic?

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Ascending Practices

I am living a more productive magical life now than I have since high school, when – haphazard as it was – I was practicing nearly every day. I was almost this consistent in St. Louis – the only thing that took up more of my tiny studio apartment than my altar was my writing desk – but I was by myself, and meditation and house wards only get you so far.

My friend Chirotus invited me to help him start a magical study group about eighteen months ago. The premise was that we, as experienced and competent magicians of wildly different schools of thought, could learn a great deal from each-other by starting back at the basics. We started meeting monthly, practicing aura viewings and energy awareness, elemental conjurations (one month for each element), spent a couple months on personal shielding, and are back to aura viewings. At Samhain we started celebrating the Sabbats together, and will have celebrated half the year come Beltane. We have recently started meeting twice a month.

2020 has been the year that I’ve finally started keeping comprehensive magical journals. I’m not quite up to every day or every exercise, but I’m getting there. The things this does for my clarity and recollection are astounding. Why did I think journaling was too dorky for words? Oh, right. I was 19.

Over the course of the last semester I’ve started doing yoga every week or two. If you’ve never done an hour of meditative breathing combined with moderately strenuous physical activity, allow me a moment to highly recommend it. Last year I was doing three traditional Western work-outs a week (45-65 minutes) combined with meditative breathing. I need to get back on that: never in my life had I felt better physically.

I’ve started a daily tarot practice over the last two months. I still need to write about my thirty days of Rider-Waite. I’m twenty days into the Crowley Thoth, and while it will never be my primary, I already know I’m going to need to put in a second thirty (at least) before I can move onto another deck. My most significant insight from this so far was best put by Aradia: “You think doing daily readings will change your life, but it won’t. You still have the kinds of day you’ve always had.”

Last Beltane, I performed a formal Dedication for the first time, and at Heartland Pagan Festival, I gave up the magical name I’ve been using since I was sixteen years old. I have, at last, chosen a new name, and this year at Heartland, I’ll finally undergo a rite of initiation.

My aura sight, my tarot reading, and my clairsentience are as clear as they have ever been. My energy work is almost as potent as I remember it being in high school, just before I gave myself the migraines, and it’s a hard to say that I don’t just know so much more now than I did then that I’m just judging myself on a much harsher scale: I’ve been on spiritual journeys that I could not have even imagined then.

I think these things may actually count as progress. Evolution. Maybe even ascension.

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