Sunday, July 23, 2017

Magic Messes With Your Head

This is another of those posts which has been running around unbidden in my head for ages, and resolutely refusing to take form in an actual publishable shape. Then I read something on someone's tumblr which very much echoed my own thoughts on the matter (needless to say I never troubled to bookmark so it so am unable to reference it here), but you see the trouble with magic is that it messes with your head.
This may seem a minor magical worry compared to those held by the majority of people who have been dead set against magic through the ages. Satan, now there's a body who doesn't give me any cause for worry at all. You see, I am a witch, and I've actually met him a couple of times. I'll tell you for a fact that he's nothing to be worried about, because in fact his promises really are false. Usurping the role of G*d - well, I suppose if this one bothers you, you're not terribly likely to have anything to do with magic. Being initiated into a cult - I can tell you being a Benedictine novice is a far more scary thing than belonging to the witch cult, so that one is kind of ruled out as well. The opponents of magic have to understand that their worries will never be shared by the actual practitioners of magic.
No, the real trouble with magic is that it changes those who practice it. Ever notice how despite ourselves we magical people always end up talking about magic in the third person? Despite being the operatives of it, magic tends to become a power in itself. Did *I* work that magic? Yes, I did, and it is the effect of doing that that is the experience I am referring to here. The reality of magic is that it works, and often works in far better ways than its worker could have expected. In many cultures the power to create and change is attributed only to the divinity, and the magician has the temerity to experience this for himself.
And then, you see, you can't go back. The way magic changes you is that everything is bound to be something of an anticlimax afterwards. Shopping? Meh. Sex? Whatever. To have been so close to such power for however short a period of time can only have the effect of messing with your head.
Hence the unsettledness associated with occultists, the relentless experimentation, and even self-destruction. Hence the seeking of different 'degrees', initiation into different traditions, the seeking of the one true magical tradition or coven, even the creation of self-aggrandising secrets, and what have you. Once you've experienced real magic there really is no going back, but it is the magician who is changed for life.
The answer to this problem? Well, I suppose the restlessness can always be harnessed. There is always something new for the witch to do. Some new idiot to be held back from pressing the button and some new sweet soul to be pushed in the direction which will lighten their load and help them get on with their life's work. Of course it is impossible to deal completely with the restlessness - being a magical person and an INFJ is a combination almost guaranteed to make you a rolling ball of unpredictable explosivity which can go off at any random time and place, for example. But perhaps realising that your head has been messed with is a good step towards having it not mess you up completely.
Oh - Inexplicable likes music while he is reading my witterings so here is a death metal cover of one of my favourite classical pieces  - John Cage's Four Minutes Thirty Three Seconds.


  1. "being a magical person and an INFJ is a combination almost guaranteed to make you a rolling ball of unpredictable explosivity which can go off at any random time and place" - remind me never to push your button!

    P.S. Even though it took a minute to get going, I really liked your choice of music for this post. Bravo!

    1. But Inexplicabe, I'm sure you're one of the few people who can predict me! I'm glad you like it - I've been humming it all day.


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