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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 unlock hidden universes

I recently visited Disneyland for five days. During those 5 days all I did was go on rides, and experience the magic and wonder of Disney. It was a liminal experience. I wasn't engaged in my usual routine and in some ways it very much felt like I had entered a pocket universe. When my trip was over it took me several days to get back into my regular routine.

If you've ever attended a Pagan conference or festival, you've undoubtedly had a similar experience. Once you go into the conference, you enter a different space and you encounter a difference sense of time. It is a space and time that is sacred in its own way, created by the intentional consciousness of the people participating in that space, similar to a ritual, but different as well, because you participating in this group consciousness, but it may or may not have required an overt ritual to occur.

What stood about out my Disney Land experience was that all these different people with different backgrounds, experiences, etc., were coming together to have fun. We were and weren't interacting with each other. There were several times I was on rides with people I didn't know and for the most part we ignored each other, yet at the same time all of us were caught up in and engaged in experiencing Disney Land. I saw adults become kids in their experience of Disney Land. They and I got caught up in the experience of the place, in the magic and liminal space of that pocket universe and in meeting the characters that have become pop culture gods in their own right.

I think of Disney as a permanent autonomous zone, a space and time outside of conventional time and space. The typical linear experience doesn't precisely apply because you are entering into this group consciousness and as a result your experience of time changes. I didn't think about linear time very much while at Disney. It only became a factor when it applied to fast passes and waiting for rides and even then it wasn't about a specific time so much as waiting for a stretch of time to pass so you could go on a ride.

The magic of a place like Disney Land is found in how the imagination of the people. The imagination is engaged by the rides, the characters, and the mythology of the place, which for the time someone is visiting, becomes larger than life.

Your imagination is the key to unlocking the magic of any place. Without your participation, the magic is sealed away, but whether you're stepping into Disney Land or going to a Pagan Convention, what brings that space to life is your whole hearted willingness to be fully engaged and present with that space, to accept it as your reality for the time you are in it.

When I stepped into Disney Land, the joy of my inner child took over and that's what allowed me to step into the magic of Disney Land. I think, with any such pocket universe, there is an emotion that is the key to unlocking the magic of the place and the magic within you so that you become part of that place. Maybe it's a child's joy or a sense of awe, or wonderment. Whatever it is, you know it, when you feel the reality around you subtly shift and reveal the secrets of the liminal space you are in.

You don't have to go to a place like Disney Land to discover this. Disney Land is an obvious place and it hums with the belief and the joy of all the people who have attended it. But you can unlock any space that is significant to people (whether its permanent or temporary) to discover the hidden universe within it, if you are willing to. Simply allow yourself to be present in that space and to feel the emotion that corresponds with it. Then let that emotion guide you to becoming part of the space. What is happening is that you connect to the consciousness of the space, and the other people who are part of it, past, present and future. You become part of the pocket universe because you've merged your awareness with it and with the experience it embodies. This isn't even something you have to consciously try to do (unless you want to). Simply go to any event and open yourself up to the experience and the emotions it brings up and then let it carry you while you are there.

*Picture copyright Taylor Ellwood 2016

Taylor Ellwood is the mad scientist and magical experimenter of magical experiments. When he's not experimenting with magic or writing his latest book, Taylor enjoy gaming and exploring the Pacific Northwest with his family. 

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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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