Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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How to Create Pop Culture Magic Systems part 2

In my previous post, I discussed how spaces in a pop culture mythology could be worked with as astral temples, and used to help develop a pop culture magic system. Another way that you develop a pop culture system of magic involves working with the characters of the pop culture mythology. Whether you consider these characters to be archetypes or actual spirits is up to you, but I consider them to be actual spirits that have been brought into existence by the creation of the pop culture mythology and the interest and belief of the fans. While I don't think a system of pop culture magic automatically needs characters/entities to interact with, you'll find it's a very rare system that doesn't have some type of character that people interact with.

With a pop culture system of magic, you aren't doing a one-off working, so you need to make sure that the pop culture you choose actually fits your interests. Additionally, its useful if you already have some type of relationship with the characters. What that means is that you may not have worked with them magically, but you identify with them already on an emotional and spiritual level and enjoy the mythology they are part of and are invested in exploring that mythology further as well as possibly expanding it. If you already have a connection to those characters it makes it easier for you to develop your pop culture magic system. However, you shouldn't take that connection for granted. Part of developing your system involves getting to know your characters.

In the Batman system of pop culture magic I'm developing, I'm in the process of doing pathworkings to different characters in the mythology in order to determine where those characters fit in this system I'm creating. While I already know about these characters, I feel that doing this work is important because it enables me to establish a personal connection and context for the system I'm creating. Batman for example, is certainly the personification of justice, but also the righteous mask, and the finder of hidden truths. Joker is chaos, but also perspective, and the embodiment of cruel laughter and evil jokes. Other characters share their own perspectives about what they are in this system I'm developing around them. What they share with me, may not fit strictly within canon, but it nonetheless is relevant to any magical work I want to do with them.

Think about the pop culture you want to develop a system of of magic around. What do you know about the characters? What do you want to learn about the characters? What you might wish to do is a pathworking to connect with the character as a spirit. The creation of the pathworking is based partially off what you already know about character. So if you're working with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and you want to connect with one of the Turtles, you'd meditate on the character and use your existing knowledge to create an environment in which you could interact with the character. Then you'd ask the character to manifest and tell you about where s/he fits within the pop culture mythology that you're developing. The same applies to any pop culture mythology you wish to draw upon to develop a system of magic around. You want to connect with the characters as entities and find out what roles they perform in your pop culture system of magic as well as what you can do to build a stronger relationship with them.

I'd note that this isn't a one time working. This is just the start of developing a relationship with these characters that goes beyond being a fan. The pathworking enables you to make the existing connection into one where there is interaction, but that interaction needs to be sustained by other activities (which I'll cover in future posts). What you are doing is getting some of the essential information that helps you establish roles and provides you some information on what the pop culture entities you are connecting with you would like next or how they can help you develop your pop culture magic system. You may find that you need to do additional pathworkings in order to get more information. If so, just consider it part of the necessary work that's involved in creating an actual system of magic.

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


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