Friday, June 29, 2012

The Farce Perpetuated

On Tuesday I admitted that I used to believe in "how to do magic" books. Now, another confession:

I want to create such books.

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Not for the purpose of tricking children. There is a purely psychological reason - it will make me feel more like a magician.

I am not yet so sure in my identity that I can say "I am a magician" without the trappings. No, I don't walk around in sumptuous cloaks, and I don't wear pointy hats, and I don't have bottles with pickled lizards lined up on my windowsill.

(My cat would knock them over.)

What I do have:

A shell, a twig from the bag of sunflower seeds, some of my baby teeth, a candle, a sprig from a plant that my cat was eating, books, books, and books.

Not enough.

I want to have leatherbound tomes in which are writ the secrets of spells and talismans and mysterious things. But don't worry that I'm giving myself over to affectation - there's a practical reason, too. I've got a lot of magic systems going on in many of my stories, and I need to figure them out.

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Recently I read a book that left me cold except for a mention of notebooks full of alchemical formulas and details about experiments.

But that's not a magical textbook, that's a magician's notebook. Yes, you guessed it, I want one of those too.

It's more attainable than you'd think.

I have a lot of notebooks left over from elementary school. One, I've been using for notes on subjects from the history of China to Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet."

This is as close as I will get. I do not live in an ivory tower, and my kind of magician is one whose magic takes the form of creative output. My (magician's?) notebook is closest to a commonplace book, with observations and reading notes. (see Appendix A)

In a way, this blog is a public version of such - the same content, just better curated (if I wanted this blog to only showcase my work, I would have kept the name Apathetic Insanity).

Where am I going with this? Content will begin to incorporate material from my physical note/books. You may see notes on various topics, descriptions of magic systems, compilations of poems/quotes on a certain theme, oddities.

There's a method to my madness, I just don't know for sure what form it will take. I seem to have, in the last few months, lost my way with this blog. Now, I am conducting an experiment, or rather, an expedition, to find a new way to go.

Forward!

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Appendix A:

I will look beyond myself. I will synthesize creativity, I will do alchemy.

Here is my vision of what a magician's notebook contains:

  • Found things.  Feathers and plants tucked among the pages.
  • Words of others.  Quotations from famous wizards of the past, advice, inspirations.
  • Reminders to self.  "I need more snake bones."  "Scrying mirror has a scratch.  Ask hedgewitch about possible effects on use."
  • Progress.  Stages of a ritual as they happen.  Records of magical conferences.  Improvements on spellcasting.  Dreams and their significance.
  • Spells.  Procedures and rituals for specific spells.  Source and history.  Characteristics of different kinds of spells.  Notes on differences between diverse magic systems.
  • Field studies.  Observations.  Conversations with dragons.  Sketches of place.

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