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Fossil Angels

Fossil Angels was written by Alan Moore in December 2002, and was to appear in KAOS #1 ! KAOS #1 ne"er act#ally appeared, and t$e piece $as been wit$o#t a $ome since t$en! % was l#c&y eno#g$ to be gi"en a n#mber o' Alan Moore(s scripts by Alan $imsel' a 'ew years ago, and t$is was amongst t$em! % as&ed i' % co#ld p#blis$ it and, w$en anot$er p#blication w$ic$ it was slated to appear in 'olded, Alan told me % was 'ree to go a$ead! So, % am "ery pro#d to be allowed to present t$is piece $ere on )lycon 'or its 'irst p#blication anyw$ere! %t is in two parts, wit$ a lin& to t$e second part at t$e end o' t$is page! *$is is, and remains, t$e sole property and copyrig$t o' its creator, Alan Moore!

,egard t$e world o' magic! A scattering o' occ#lt orders w$ic$, w$en not attempting to dispro"e eac$ ot$er(s pro"enance, are eit$er cryogenically s#spended in t$eir rit#al r#t, t$eir game o' Aiwa- Says, or else seem lost in some D#ngeons . Dragons sprawl o' c$annelled spam, o'' mapping some #n'alsi'iable and t$#s completely "al#eless new #ni"erse be'ore t$ey("e demonstrated t$at t$ey $a"e so m#c$ as a blac&/lac0#ered 'ingernail(s grip on t$e old one! Sel'/conscio#sly weird transmissions 'rom *o#rette(s/a''licted entities, 'rom glossolalic 1ammer $orrors! Frit-ed/o#t scrying bowls some$ow recei"ing trailers 'rom t$e Sci/Fi c$annel! Far too many secret c$ie's, and, 'or t$at matter, 'ar too many secret indians! 2eyond t$is, past t$e crea&ing gates o' t$e ill#strio#s societies, dilapidated 'i'ty/year/old 'ollies w$ere t$ey start o#t wit$ t$e plans 'or a celestial palace b#t ine"itably end #p wit$ t$e 2ates Motel, o#tside t$is t$ere e3tends t$e mob! *$e psyc$e pi&eys! %nco$erent roar o' o#r $ermetic $ome/crowd, t$e A&as$ic anora&s, t$e wo#ld/be wiccans and *emple #" 4syc$ic Forty/ Somet$ings 0#e#ing #p wit$ pre/teens 'or t$e latest 'ranc$ised 'airyland, realm o' t$e irretrie"ably $obbit#ated! 4otters"ille! 53actly $ow does t$is con'irm an aeon o' 1or#s, aeon o' anyt$ing e3cept more S&inner/bo3 cons#merism, gangster statecra't, mind/to/t$e/grindstone materialism6 %s w$at seems almost #ni"ersal &nee/7er& ac0#iescence to conser"ati"e ideals tr#ly a sign o' rampant *$eleme6 %s 8t$#l$# coming bac&, li&e, anytime soon, or are t$e barbaro#s c#rses 'rom t$e o#ter dar& t$ose o' %ll#minists trying to 'ind t$eir arses wit$ a 'las$lig$t6 1as contemporary western occ#ltism accomplis$ed anyt$ing t$at is meas#rable o#tside t$e s9ance parlo#r6 %s magic o' any de'inable #se to t$e $#man race ot$er t$an o''ering an opport#nity 'or dressing #p6 *antric tarts and "icars at *$elemic t$eme nig$ts! 4entagrams %n *$eir 5yes! :*onig$t, Matt$ew, % will be t$e ;ogos o' t$e Aeon!< 1as magic demonstrated a p#rpose, 7#sti'ied its e3istence in t$e way t$at art or science or agric#lt#re 7#sti'y t$eir own6 %n s$ort, does anyone $a"e t$e 'irst cl#e w$at we are doing, or precisely w$y we(re doing it6 8ertainly, magic $as not always been so seemingly di"orced 'rom all immediate $#man '#nction! %ts 4alaeolit$ic origins in s$amanism s#rely
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represented, at t$at time, t$e only $#man means o' mediation wit$ a largely $ostile #ni"erse #pon w$ic$ we as yet e3erted "ery little #nderstanding or control! >it$in s#c$ circ#mstances it is easy to concei"e o' magic as originally representing a one/stop reality, a world"iew in w$ic$ all t$e ot$er strands o' o#r e3istence!!!$#nting, procreation, dealing wit$ t$e elements or ca"e/wall painting!!!were s#bs#med! A science o' e"eryt$ing, its rele"ance to ordinary mammalian concerns bot$ ob"io#s and #ndeniable! *$is role, t$at o' an all/incl#si"e :nat#ral p$ilosop$y<, obtained t$ro#g$o#t t$e rise o' classical ci"ili-ation and co#ld still be seen, albeit in more '#rti"e 'as$ion, as late as t$e 1=t$ cent#ry, w$en t$e occ#lt and m#ndane sciences were not yet so disting#is$able as t$ey are today! %t wo#ld be s#rprising, 'or e3ample, i' ?o$n Dee did not allow $is &nowledge o' astrology to colo#r $is in"al#able contrib#tions to t$e art o' na"igation, or "ice/"ersa! @ot #ntil t$e Age o' ,eason grad#ally pre"ented o#r belie' in and t$#s contact wit$ t$e gods t$at $ad s#stained o#r predecessors did o#r 'ledgling sense o' rationality identi'y t$e s#pernat#ral as a mere "estigial organ in t$e $#man corp#s, obsolete and possibly diseased, best e3cised 0#ic&ly! Science, grown o#t o' magic, magic(s gi'ted, p#s$y o''spring, its most practical and t$#s materially pro'itable application, "ery soon decided t$at t$e rit#al and symbolic l#mber o' its alc$emic parent/c#lt#re was red#ndant, an enc#mbrance and an embarrassment! 4#''ed #p in its new w$ite lab coat, ballpoints worn li&e medals at t$e breast, science came to be as$amed in case its mates A$istory, geograp$y, 4!5B ca#g$t it o#t s$opping wit$ its m#m, wit$ all $er m#mbling and c$anting! 1er t$ird nipple! 2est t$at s$e be n#tted o'' to some sec#re 'acility, some Fraggle ,oc& 'or elderly and distressed paradigms! *$e ri't t$is ca#sed wit$in t$e $#man 'amily o' ideas seemed irre"ocable, wit$ two parts o' w$at $ad once been one organism s#ndered by red#ctionism, one incl#si"e :science o' e"eryt$ing< become two separate ways o' seeing, eac$ apparently in bitter, "icio#s opposition to t$e ot$er! Science, in t$e process o' t$is acrimonio#s di"orce, mig$t possibly be said to $a"e lost contact wit$ its et$ical component, wit$ t$e moral basis necessary to pre"ent it breeding monsters! Magic, on t$e ot$er $and, lost all demonstrable #tility and p#rpose, as wit$ many parents once t$e &id(s grown
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#p and gone! 1ow do yo# 'ill t$e "oid6 *$e answer, w$et$er we are tal&ing abo#t magic or o' m#ndane, moping m#ms and dads wit$ empty nests, is, in all li&eli$ood, :wit$ rit#al and nostalgia<! *$e magical res#rgence o' t$e nineteent$ cent#ry, wit$ its retrospecti"e and essentially romantic nat#re, wo#ld seem to $a"e been blessed wit$ bot$ t$ese 'actors in ab#ndance! >$ilst it(s di''ic#lt to o"erstate t$e contrib#tions made to magic as a 'ield by, say, 5lip$as ;e"i or t$e "ario#s magicians o' t$e )olden Dawn, it(s 7#st as $ard to arg#e t$at t$ese contrib#tions were not o"erw$elmingly synt$etic, in t$at t$ey aspired to cra't a synt$esis o' pre"io#sly e3isting lore, to 'ormalise t$e "ariegated wisdoms o' t$e ancients! %t does not belittle t$is considerable accomplis$ment i' we obser"e t$at magic, d#ring t$ose decades, was lac&ing in t$e p#rpose'#l immediacy, t$e pioneering r#s$ c$aracterising, 'or e3ample, Dee and Kelly(s wor&! %n t$eir de"elopment o' t$e 5noc$ian system, late ,enaissance magic wo#ld seem typi'ied as #rgently creati"e and e3perimental, 'orward/loo&ing! %n comparison, t$e nineteent$ cent#ry occ#ltists seem almost to $a"e s$i'ted magic into a re"ered past tense, made it a rope/railed m#se#m e3$ibit, an arc$i"e, wit$ t$emsel"es as sole c#rators! All t$e robes and t$e regalia, wit$ t$eir w$i'' o' t$e $istorical re/enactment crowd, a serap$ic Sealed Knot Society, only wit$ 'ractionally less silly/loo&ing gear! *$e worryingly rig$t/wing consens#s "al#es and t$e n#mber o' conc#ssed and st#mbling cas#alties, #pon t$e ot$er $and, wo#ld probably $a"e been identical! *$e rites o' t$e e3alted magic orders and t$e $omicidal beered/#p ma#lings o' t$e 8romwell trib#te/bands are also similar in t$at bot$ gain in poignancy by being 7#3taposed against t$e grim, relentless 'orward tr#ndle o' ind#strial reality! 2ea#ti'#lly painted wands, obsessi"ely a#t$entic pi&es, $eld #p against t$e blea& ad"ance o' c$imney/stac&s! 1ow m#c$ o' t$is mig$t be most acc#rately described as compensatory 'antasies o' t$e mac$ine age6 ,ole/playing games w$ic$ only ser"e to #nderline t$e br#tal 'act t$at t$ese acti"ities no longer $a"e contemporary $#man rele"ance! A wist'#l recreation o' long/gone erotic moments by t$e impotent!

Anot$er clear distinction between t$e magicians o' t$e si3teent$ and t$e nineteent$ cent#ries lies in t$eir relation to t$e 'iction o' t$eir day! *$e bret$ren o' t$e early )olden Dawn wo#ld seem to be inspired more by t$e s$eer romance o' magic t$an by any ot$er aspect, wit$ S!; Mc)regor Mat$ers l#red into t$e cra't by $is desire to li"e o#t 2#lwer/;ytton(s 'antasy Eanoni! 5nco#raged Moina to re'er to $im as :Ean<, allegedly! >ood'ord and >estcott, on t$e ot$er $and, an3io#s to be wit$in an order t$at $ad e"en more parap$ernalia t$an ,osicr#cian Masonry, some$ow ac0#ire a contact in t$e 'abled AliterallyB ran&s o' t$e )eltisc$e Dammer#ng, w$ic$ means somet$ing li&e :golden tea/time<! *$ey are $anded t$eir diplomas 'rom @arnia, straig$t o#t t$e bac& o' t$e wardrobe! Or t$ere(s Ale3 8rowley, tiresomely attempting to pers#ade $is sc$ool/c$#ms to re'er to $im as S$elley(s Alastor, li&e some sel'/conscio#s )ot$ 'rom @otting$am called Da"e insisting t$at $is "ampire name is Armand! Or, a s$ort w$ile later, t$ere(s all o' t$e ancient witc$/c#lts, all t$e blood/line co"ens springing #p li&e c$ildren o' t$e dragon(s teet$ w$ere"er )erald )ardner(s writings were a"ailable! *$e occ#ltists o' t$e nineteent$ and early twentiet$ cent#ries all seemed to want to be Aladdin(s #ncle in some ne"er/ending pantomime! *o li"e t$e dream! ?o$n Dee, con"ersely, was per$aps more wil'#lly awa&e t$an any ot$er person o' $is day! More 'oc#ssed and more p#rpose'#l! 1e did not need to searc$ 'or antecedents in t$e 'ictions and myt$ologies a"ailable to $im, beca#se ?o$n Dee was in no sense pretending, was not playing games! 1e inspired, rat$er t$an was inspired by, t$e great magic 'ictions o' $is times! S$a&espeare(s 4rospero! Marlow(s Fa#st! 2en ?o$nson(s piss/ta&ing *$e Alc$emist! Dee(s magic was a li"ing and progressi"e 'orce, entirely o' its moment, rat$er t$an some st#''ed and e3tinct specimen, no longer e3tant sa"e in $istories or 'airytales! 1is was a 'res$, rip/roaring c$apter, written entirely in t$e present tense, o' t$e ongoing magical ad"ent#re! 2y comparison, t$e occ#ltists t$at 'ollowed some t$ree cent#ries down t$e line were an elaborate appendi3, or per$aps a bibliograp$y, a'ter t$e 'act! A preser"ation leag#e, lip/sync$ing dead men(s rit#als! 8o"er "ersions! Sorcero#s &arao&e! Magic, $a"ing gi"en #p or $ad #s#rped its social '#nction, $a"ing lost its raison d(etre, its crowd/p#lling star t#rn, 'o#nd itsel' wit$ 7#st t$e empty t$eatre, t$e mysterio#s c#rtains! D#sty $ampers o' 'orgotten 'roc&s, #n'at$omable props 'rom cancelled dramas! ;ac&ing a de'ined role, grown #ncertain o' its moti"ations, magic seems to $a"e $ad no
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reco#rse sa"e stic&ing doggedly to t$e establis$ed script, ens$rining eac$ last co#g$ and gest#re, t$e by/now $ollow per'ormance 'ree-e/dried, s$rin&/ wrappedG art'#lly repac&aging itsel' 'or 5nglis$ 1eritage! 1ow #n'ort#nate, t$en, t$at it was t$is moment in t$e $istory o' magic, wit$ content and '#nction lost beneat$ an o"er/detailed rit#al "eneer, all mo#t$ and tro#sers, w$ic$ t$e later orders c$ose to crystalli-e abo#t! >it$o#t a readily apparent aim or mission, no mar&etable commodity, t$e nineteent$ cent#ry occ#ltist wo#ld seem instead to la"is$ an inordinate amo#nt o' $is attention on t$e 'ancy wrapping paper! 4ossibly #nable to concei"e o' any gro#p not str#ct#red in t$e $ierarc$ical manner o' t$e lodges t$at t$ey were acc#stomed to, Mat$ers and >estcott d#ti'#lly imported all t$e old Masonic $eirlooms w$en it came to '#rnis$ing t$eir 'ledgling order! All t$e o#t'its, grades and implements! *$e mindset o' a secret and elite society! 8rowley, o' co#rse, too& all t$is $ea"y and e3pensi"e/loo&ing l#ggage wit$ $im w$en $e 7#mped s$ip to create $is O!*!O, and all orders since t$en, e"en p#rportedly iconoclastic enterprises s#c$ as, say, t$e %!O!*, wo#ld seem to $a"e e"ent#ally adopted t$e same 1ig$ Hictorian template! *rappings o' s#''icient drama, t$eories intricate eno#g$ to draw attention 'rom w$at t$e #nc$aritable mig$t percei"e as lac& o' any practical res#lt, any e''ect #pon t$e $#man sit#ation! *$e 'o#rteent$ Aand per$aps 'inal6B iss#e o' t$e estimable ?oel 2iroco(s KAOS maga-ine 'eat#red a reprod#ction o' a painting, a s#rprisingly a''ecting and $a#ntingly bea#ti'#l wor& 'rom t$e br#s$ o' Mar7orie 8ameron, scary red$ead, Dennis 1opper and Dean Stoc&well(s $o#semate, p#tati"e Scarlet >oman, top *$elemic totty! Almost as intrig#ing as t$e wor& itsel', $owe"er, is t$e titleI Fossil Angel, wit$ its contradictory con7#rings o' somet$ing mar"ello#s, ine''able and transitory combined wit$ t$at w$ic$ is by de'inition dead, inert and petri'ied! %s t$ere a metap$or a"ailable to #s in t$is, bot$ sobering and instr#cti"e6 8o#ld not all magical orders, wit$ t$eir doctrines and t$eir dogmas, be interpreted as t$e #nmo"ing calci'ied remains o' somet$ing once intangible and '#ll o' grace, ali"e and m#table6 As energies, as inspirations and ideas t$at danced 'rom mind to mind, e"ol"ing as t$ey went #ntil at last t$e limestone drip o' rit#al and repetition 'ro-e t$em in t$eir trac&s, stopped t$em 'ore"er $al'way t$ro#g$ some reac$ing, #ncompleted gest#re6 *rilobite ill#minations! Fossil angels!
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Somet$ing inc$oate and et$ereal once alig$ted brie'ly, s&ipping li&e a stone across t$e s#r'ace o' o#r c#lt#re, lea"ing its 'aint, ten#o#s impression in t$e $#man clay, a 'ootprint t$at we cast in concrete and apparently remain content to gen#'lect be'ore 'or decades, cent#ries, millennia! ,ecite t$e soot$ing and 'amiliar l#llabies or incantations word 'or word, t$en care'#lly restage t$e old, belo"ed dramas, and per$aps somet$ing will $appen, li&e it did be'ore! Stic& cotton/reels and tin'oil on t$at cardboard bo3, ma&e it loo& "ag#ely li&e a radio and t$en maybe ?o$n Fr#mm, $e come, bring $elicopters bac&6 *$e occ#lt order, $a"ing made a 'etis$ o#t o' pageants t$at passed by or were rained o'' some $al'/a/cent#ry ago, sits li&e Miss 1a"ers$am and wonders i' t$e beetles in t$e wedding ca&e in any way con'irm ;iber Al "el ;egis! Once again, none o' t$is is intended to deny t$e contrib#tion t$at t$e "ario#s orders and t$eir wor&s $a"e made to magic as a 'ield, b#t merely to obser"e t$at t$is admittedly considerable contrib#tion is o', largely, a c#stodial nat#re in its preser"ation o' past lore and rit#al, or else t$at its elegant synt$esis o' disparate teac$ings is its principal Aper$aps onlyB ac$ie"ement! 2eyond s#c$ accomplis$ments, $owe"er, t$e abiding legacy o' nineteent$ cent#ry occ#lt c#lt#re wo#ld seem mostly antit$etical to t$e contin#ed $ealt$, proli'eration and ongoing "iability o' magic, w$ic$, as a tec$nology, $as s#rely long o#tgrown its ornate late/Hictorian "ase and is in dire need o' transplanting! All o' t$e 'a#3/Masonic '#rnit#re and sca''olding imported by >estcott and Mat$ers, basically 'or want o' being able to imagine any ot$er "alid str#ct#re, is, by o#r own period, become a limitation and impediment to magic(s '#rt$erance! ;e'to"er $oodwin&s, too/tig$t ceremonial sas$es t$at constrain all growt$, restrict all t$o#g$t, limit t$e ways in w$ic$ we concei"e o' or can concei"e o' magic! Mimic&ing t$e constr#cts o' t$e past, t$in&ing in terms t$at are today not necessarily applicable J per$aps t$ey ne"er really were J seems to $a"e rendered modern occ#ltism #tterly incapable o' "is#ali-ing any di''erent met$od by w$ic$ it mig$t organise itsel'G #nable to imagine any progress, any e"ol#tion, any '#t#re, w$ic$ is probably a s#re/'ire means o' g#aranteeing t$at it doesn(t $a"e one! %' t$e )olden Dawn is o'ten $eld #p as a paragon, a radiant e3emplar o' t$e per'ect and s#ccess'#l order, t$is is almost certainly beca#se its ran&s incl#ded many well/&nown writers o' pro"en ability and wort$ w$ose
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members$ip loaned t$e society more credibility t$an it wo#ld e"er, by ret#rn, a''ord to t$em! *$e l#mino#s ?o$n 8o#lt$art $as s#ggested t$at t$e )olden Dawn mig$t be most c$aritably regarded as a literary society, w$ere sl#mming scribes searc$ed 'or a magic t$at t$ey mig$t $a"e 'o#nd demonstrable and e"ident, already t$ere ali"e and '#nctioning in t$eir own wor&, were t$ey not blinded by t$e glare o' all t$at ceremony, all o' t$at 'antastic &it! One a#t$or w$o 0#ite clearly contrib#ted more t$at was o' real magical "al#e to t$e world t$ro#g$ $is own 'iction t$an t$ro#g$ any operations at t$e lodge was Art$#r Mac$en! >$ile admitting to $is great delig$t at all t$e mystery and mar"el o' t$e order(s secret ceremonies, Mac$en 'elt compelled to add w$en writing o' t$e )olden Dawn in $is a#tobiograp$y, *$ings @ear and Far, t$at :as 'or anyt$ing "ital in t$e secret order, 'or anyt$ing t$at mattered two straws to any reasonable being, t$ere was not$ing in it, and less t$an not$ing!!!t$e society as a society was p#re 'oolis$ness concerned wit$ impotent and imbecile Abracadabras! %t &new not$ing w$ate"er abo#t anyt$ing and concealed t$e 'act #nder an impressi"e rit#al and a sonoro#s p$raseology!< Ast#tely, Mac$en notes t$e seemingly in"erse relations$ip between gen#ine content and baro0#e, elaborate 'orm c$aracteri-ing orders o' t$is nat#re, a criti0#e as rele"ant today as it was t$en, in 1F23! *$e territory o' magic, largely abandoned as too $a-ardo#s since Dee and Kelly(s period, was sta&ed o#t and reclaimed Aw$en t$at was sa'e to doB by nineteent$ cent#ry occ#lt ent$#siasts, by middle/class s#b#rbanites w$o t#rned t$e sere, neglected t#r' into a series o' e30#isitely appointed ornamental gardens! Decorati"e 'eat#res, stat#es and pagodas o' great intricacy, were contri"ed in imitation o' some o"er/acti"ely imagined priest$ood past! *erminal gods among t$e neat beds o' a-aleas! *$e problem is t$at gardeners sometimes 0#arrel! 2o#ndary disp#tes! *enant "endettas and e"ictions, moonlig$t 'lits! Once/en"iable properties are boarded #p, are o'ten s0#atted by new problem 'amilies, new cabals! 1ang on to t$e old nameplate, &eep t$e same address b#t let t$e place go, and allow its gro#nds to 'all into a state o' disrepair! Sl#gs in t$e moly, bindweed spreading o#t amongst twenty/two/petal roses! 2y t$e nineteen/nineties, magic(s landscape garden was a poorly maintained sprawl o' tired, low/yield allotments wit$ bad drainage, paintwor& peeling on t$e cod/5gyptian
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s#mmer $o#ses, now become mere s$eds w$ere paranoid 1ome 8o#nties "igilantes sat awa&e all nig$t, n#rsing t$eir s$otg#ns and e3pecting teenage "andals! *$ere(s no prod#ce t$at(s wort$ mentioning! *$e 'lowers are wit$o#t per'#me and no longer manage to enc$ant! K(&now, it were all 'ancy lamens and 5noc$ian c$ess ro#nd $ere once, and now loo& at it! *$e straggly $edgerows wit$ t$eir )oetic topiary as parc$ed as tinder, dry rot in t$at ,osicr#cian/loo& ga-ebo(s listing timbers! >$at t$is place co#ld do wit$ is a good ins#rance 'ire! @o, serio#sly! Scorc$ed eart$! %t $as a lot to recommend it! *$in& $ow it wo#ld loo& w$en all t$e robes and banners ca#g$t! Mig$t e"en ta&e o#t t$at w$ole Mind, 2ody, and Spirit eyesore i' t$e wind were in t$e rig$t direction! ;oss o' li'e and li"eli$ood wo#ld o' co#rse be ine"itable, some collateral damage in t$e b#siness sector, b#t it s#re wo#ld be real pretty! *emple beams collapsing in a go#t o' spar&s! :Forget meL Sa"e t$e cip$er man#scriptsL< Amongst t$e co#ntless )nostic Masses, oat$s and calls and banis$ings, w$ate"er ca#sed t$em to 'orget one lo#sy 'ire drill6 @obody(s 0#ite certain $ow t$ey s$o#ld e"ac#ate t$e inner plane, don(t e"en &now $ow many mig$t still be in t$ere! Finally t$ere emerge $eart/wrenc$ing tales o' indi"id#al bra"ery! :1/1e went bac& in to resc#e t$e ;AM drawing, and we co#ldn(t stop $im!< A'terwards, a time 'or tears, 'or co#nselling! 2#ry t$e dead, appoint s#ccessors! 8rac& open t$e seal on 1ymenae#s )amma! 8ast a r#e'#l eye across o#r blac&ened acres! *a&e it one day at a time, sweet ?es#s! 2low o#r noses, p#ll o#rsel"es toget$er! Some$ow we(ll get t$ro#g$! >$at t$en6 Scorc$ed eart$, o' co#rse, is ric$ in nitrates and pro"ides a basis 'or slas$/and/b#rn agric#lt#re! %n c$arred dirt, t$e green s$oots o' reco"ery! ;i'e boils #p indiscriminately, c$#rning 'rom blac& soil! >e co#ld gi"e all o' t$ese once/stately lawns and terraces bac& to t$e wilderness! >$y not6 *$in& o' it as astral en"ironmentalism, t$e reclaiming o' a psyc$ic greenbelt 'rom beneat$ t$e crac&ed Hictorian occ#lt pa"ing/slabs, as an enco#ragement to increased metap$ysical biodi"ersity! 8onsidered as an organi-ing principle 'or magic wor&, t$e comple3 and sel'/generating 'ractal str#ct#re o' a 7#ngle wo#ld seem e"ery bit as "iable as all t$e sp#rio#s imposed c$essboard order o' a tiled lodge 'loorG wo#ld seem, in 'act, considerably more nat#ral and "ital! A'ter all, t$e tra''ic o' ideas t$at is t$e essence and li'eblood o' magic is
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more #s#ally transacted t$ese days by b#s$ telegrap$ o' one &ind or anot$er, rat$er t$an as rit#al secrets solemnly attained a'ter long years o' cramming, 1ogwarts( 8S5s! 1asn(t t$is rain'orest mode o' interacting been, in 'act, t$e de'a#lt setting o' practical western occ#ltism 'or some time now6 >$y not come o#t and admit it, b#lldo-e all t$ese lean/to cl#b$o#ses t$at are no longer any #se nor ornament, embrace t$e logic o' lianas6 Dynamite t$e dams, ride o#t t$e 'lood, allow new li'e to 'lo#ris$ in t$e pre"io#sly morib#nd endangered $abitats! %n occ#lt c#lt#re(s terms, new li'e e0#ates to new ideas! Fres$/$atc$ed and wriggling, possibly poisono#s concept#al pollywogs, t$ese brig$tly/colo#red pests m#st be coa3ed into o#r new immaterial eco/system i' it is to 'lo#ris$ and remain in $ealt$! ;et #s attract t$e small ideas t$at 'l#tter, neon/brig$t b#t 'rail, and t$e m#c$ to#g$er, more resilient big ideas t$at eat t$em! %' we(re 'ort#nate, t$e 'eeding 'ren-y mig$t draw t$e attention o' $#ge raptor paradigms t$at trample e"eryt$ing and s$a&e t$e eart$! Ferocio#s notions, 'rom t$e most bacterially tiny to t$e staggeringly big and #gly, all loc&ed into an #ns#per"ised glorio#s and bloody str#ggle 'or s#r"i"al, a spectac#lar Darwinian cl#ster'#c&! ;ame doctrines 'ind t$emsel"es #nable to o#tr#n t$e slee& and toot$y &iller arg#ment! Mastodon dogmas, elderly and slipping down t$e 'ood/c$ain, b#c&ling and collapsing #nder t$eir own weig$t to ma&e a meal 'or carrion memorabilia salesmen, somew$ere 'or t$at droning b#-- o' c$at/room 'lies to lay t$eir eggs! Memetic tr#''les grown #p 'rom a m#lc$ o' decomposing Aeons! Hi"id re"elations spr#ng li&e ;ondon ,oc&et 'rom t$e wild, #ntended bombsite sprawl! 4anic Arcadia, $orny, m#rdero#s and teeming! S#pernat#ral selection! *$e strongest, best/adapted t$eorems are allowed to t$ri"e and propagate, t$e wea& are s#s$i! S#rely t$is is $ardcore *$eleme in action, as well as representing a prod#cti"e and a#t$entic old/s&ool 8$aos t$at s$o#ld warm t$e $eart o' any *$anateroid! From s#c$ "igoro#s application o' t$e e"ol#tionary process, it is di''ic#lt to see $ow magic as a 'ield o' &nowledge co#ld do ot$erwise t$an bene'it!

1+

For one t$ing, by accepting a less c#lti"ated, less re'ined milie# w$ere competition mig$t be 'ierce and noisy, magic wo#ld be doing no more t$an e3posing itsel' to t$e same conditions t$at pertain to its more socially/ accepted &in'ol&, science and art! 4#t 'orward a new t$eory to e3plain t$e #ni"erse(s missing mass, s#bmit some di''ic#lt concept#al installation 'or t$e *#rner 4ri-e and be in no do#bt t$at yo#r o''ering will be s#b7ected to t$e most intensi"e scr#tiny, m#c$ o' it $ostile and originating 'rom some ri"al camp! 5ac$ particle o' t$o#g$t t$at played a role in t$e constr#ction o' yo#r statement will be disassembled and e3amined! Only i' no 'law is 'o#nd will yo#r wor& be recei"ed into t$e c#lt#ral canon! %n all li&eli$ood, sooner or later yo#r pet pro7ect, yo#r pet t$eory will end #p as scattered down and claret decorating t$e stained walls o' t$ese old, merciless p#blic arenas! *$is is $ow it s$o#ld be! Ko#r ideas are possibly t#rned into road/&ill b#t t$e 'ield itsel' is strengt$ened and impro"ed by t$is incessant testing! %t progresses and m#tates! %' o#r ob7ecti"e tr#ly is ad"ancement o' t$e magic world"iew Arat$er t$an ad"ancement o' o#rsel"es as its instr#ctorsB, $ow co#ld anyone ob7ect to s#c$ a process6 Mnless, o' co#rse, ad"ancement o' t$is nat#re is not tr#ly o#r ob7ecti"e, w$ic$ ret#rns #s to o#r opening 0#estionsI w$at e3actly are we doing and w$y are we doing it6 @o do#bt some o' #s are engaged in t$e legitimate p#rs#it o' #nderstanding, b#t t$is begs t$e 0#estion as to w$y! Do we intend to #se t$is in'ormation in some manner, or was it acc#m#lated solely 'or its own sa&e, 'or o#r pri"ate satis'action6 Did we wis$, per$aps, to be t$o#g$t wise, or to en$ance lac&l#stre personalities wit$ $ints o' secret &nowledge6 >as it ran& we so#g$t, some standing t$at mig$t be ac$ie"ed more readily by a p#rs#it li&e occ#ltism w$ere t$ere are, con"eniently, no meas#rable standards t$at we mig$t be 7#dged by6 Or did we align o#rsel"es wit$ 8rowley(s de'inition o' t$e magic arts as bringing abo#t c$ange according to one(s will, w$ic$ is to say ac$ie"ing some meas#re o' power o"er reality6 *$is last wo#ld, at a g#ess, pro"ide t$e moti"e t$at is c#rrently most pop#lar! *$e rise o' 8$aos magic in t$e 1FD0s centred on a ra't o' campaign promises, most notable amongst t$ese t$e deli"ery o' a res#lts/based magic system t$at was practical and #ser/'riendly! A#stin Spare(s #ni0#e and $ig$ly personal de"elopment o' sigil magic, we were told, co#ld be adapted to near/#ni"ersal application, wo#ld pro"ide a simple, s#re/'ire means by w$ic$ t$e $eart(s
1

desire o' anyone co#ld be bot$ easily and instantly accomplis$ed! 4#tting to one side t$e 0#estion :%s t$is tr#e6< Aand t$e attendant 0#ery :%' it is, t$en w$y are all its ad"ocates still $olding down a day/7ob, in a world grown s#rely '#rt$er 'rom t$e $eart(s desire o' anyone wit$ e"ery passing wee&6<B, we s$o#ld per$aps as& w$et$er t$e p#rs#it o' t$is pragmatic, ca#sal attit#de to occ#lt wor& is act#ally a wort$y #se o' magic! %' we(re $onest, most o' ca#sal sorcery as it is practiced probably is done so in t$e $ope o' reali-ing some desired c$ange in o#r gross, material circ#mstances! %n real terms, t$is probably in"ol"es re0#ests 'or money Ae"en Dee and Kelly weren(t abo"e tapping t$e angels 'or a 'i"er e"ery now and t$enB, re0#ests 'or some 'orm o' emotional or se3#al grati'ication, or per$aps on some occasions a re0#est t$at t$ose we 'eel $a"e slig$ted or o''ended #s be p#nis$ed! %n t$ese instances, e"en in a less cynical scenario w$ere t$e p#rpose o' t$e magic is to, say, assist a 'riend in t$eir reco"ery 'rom illness, mig$t we not accomplis$ o#r ob7ecti"es 'ar more certainly and $onestly by simply ta&ing care o' t$ese t$ings on a non/di"ine material plane6 %', 'or instance, it is money we re0#ire t$en w$y not em#late t$e tr#e e3ample set by A#stin Spare Aalmost #ni0#e amongst magicians in t$at $e apparently saw #sing magic to attract mere wealt$ as an anat$emaB regarding s#c$ concerns6 %' we want money, t$en w$y don(t we magically get o'' o' o#r 'at arses, magically per'orm some wor& 'or once in o#r sedentary magic li"es, and see i' t$e re0#ested coins don(t magically t#rn #p some time t$erea'ter in o#r ban& acco#nts6 %' it(s t$e a''ections o' some #nre0#ited lo"e/ob7ect t$at we are see&ing, t$e sol#tion is more simple stillI slip roo'ies in $er 2abyc$am, t$en rape $er! A'ter all, t$e moral wretc$edness o' w$at yo#("e done will be no worse, and at t$e "ery least yo# won(t $a"e dragged t$e transcendental into t$ings by as&ing t$at t$e spirits $old $er down 'or yo#! Or i' t$ere(s someone w$om yo# gen#inely 'eel to be deser"ing o' some aw'#l retrib#tion t$en p#t down t$at lesser cla"icle o' Solomon and get straig$t on t$e dog and bone to Fran&ie ,a-ors or 2ig Stan! *$e $ired goon represents t$e et$ical decision o' c$oice w$en compared wit$ #sing 'allen angels 'or one(s dirty wor& At$is is ass#ming t$at 7#st going ro#nd to t$e g#y(s $o#se onesel', or maybe e"en, yo# &now, getting o"er it and mo"ing on, are not "iable optionsB! 5"en t$e sic& 'riend e3ample cited earlierI 7#st go and "isit t$em! S#pport t$em wit$ yo#r time, yo#r lo"e, yo#r money or yo#r con"ersation!
1=

8$rist, send t$em a card wit$ a sad/loo&ing cartoon b#nny on t$e 'ront! Ko#(ll bot$ 'eel better 'or it! 4#rposi"e and ca#sal magic wo#ld too o'ten seem to be abo#t ac$ie"ing some 0#ite ordinary end wit$o#t doing t$e ordinary wor& associated wit$ it! >e mig$t well do better to a''irm, wit$ 8rowley, t$at o#r best and p#rest actions are t$ose carried o#t :wit$o#t l#st o' res#lt<! 4er$aps $is ot$er 'amo#s ma3im, w$ere $e ad"ocates t$at we see& :t$e aim o' religion< #tilising :t$e met$od o' science<, $owe"er well intentioned, mig$t $a"e led t$e magical comm#nity As#c$ as it isB into t$ese '#ndamental errors! A'ter all, religion(s aim, i' we e3amine t$e word(s ;atin origins in religare Aa root s$ared wit$ ot$er words li&e Nligament( and Nligat#re(B, wo#ld seem to imply t$at it(s best i' e"eryone is :bo#nd in one belie'<! *$is imp#lse to e"angelism and con"ersion m#st, in any real/world application, reac$ a point w$ere t$ose bo#nd by one ligament come #p against t$ose tied toget$er by anot$er! At t$is point, ine"itably and $istorically, bot$ 'actions will p#rs#e t$eir programmed #rge to bind t$e ot$er in t$eir one and only tr#e belie'! So t$en we massacre t$e taigs, t$e prods, t$e goys, t$e yids, t$e &#''irs and t$e rag$eads! And w$en t$is $istorically and ine"itably doesn(t wor&, we sit and t$in& abo#t t$ings 'or a cent#ry or two, we lea"e a decent inter"al, and t$en we do it all again, same as be'ore! *$e aim o' religion, w$ile clearly benign, wo#ld seem to be o'' by a mile or two, t$rown by t$e recoil! *$e target, t$e t$ing t$ey were aiming 'or, stands t$ere #nscat$ed, and t$e only t$ings $it are Omag$ or Kab#l, 1ebron, )a-a, Man$attan, 2ag$dad, Kas$mir, Deansgate, and so on, and so on, and so on, 'ore"er! *$e notion o' binding toget$er t$at lies at t$e etymological root o' religion is also, re"ealingly, 'o#nd in t$e symbolic cl#ster o' bo#nd stic&s, t$e 'asces, t$at gi"es #s t$e later term 'ascism! Fascism, based #pon mystical concepts s#c$ as blood and N"ol&(, is more properly seen as religion t$an as a political stance, politics being based #pon some 'orm o' reason, $owe"er misg#ided and br#tal! *$e s$ared idea o' being bo#nd in one 'ait$, one belie'G t$at in #nity At$#s, #na"oidably, in #ni'ormityB t$ere lies strengt$, wo#ld seem antit$etical to magic, w$ic$, i' anyt$ing, is s#rely personal, s#b7ecti"e and pertaining to t$e indi"id#al, to t$e responsibility 'or e"ery sentient creat#re to reac$ its own #nderstanding o' and t$#s ma&e its own peace wit$ )od, t$e #ni"erse and e"eryt$ing! So, i' religion can be said to 'ind a close political
1C

e0#i"alent in 'ascism, mig$t magic not be said to $a"e more nat#ral sympat$y wit$ anarc$y, 'ascism(s opposite Aderi"ing 'rom an/arc$on or :no leader<B6 >$ic$ o' co#rse ret#rns #s to t$e b#rned/down temples, dispossessed and $omeless order $eads, t$e scorc$ed eart$ and t$e nat#rally anarc$ic wilderness approac$ to magic, as s#ggested earlier! *$e ot$er $al' o' 8rowley(s ma3im, w$erein $e promotes t$e met$odology o' science wo#ld also seem to $a"e its 'laws, again, $owe"er well intentioned! 2eing based #pon material res#lts, science is per$aps t$e model t$at $as led t$e magic arts into t$eir ca#sal c#l/de/sac, described abo"e! F#rt$er to t$is, i' we accept t$e ways o' science as a proced#ral ideal to w$ic$ o#r magic wor&ings mig$t aspire, aren(t we in danger o' also adopting a materialist and scienti'ic mindset wit$ regard to t$e 0#ite di''erent 'orces t$at preocc#py t$e occ#ltist6 A scientist w$o wor&s wit$ electricity, as an e3ample, will 0#ite 7#sti'iably regard t$e energy as "al#e/ne#tral, mindless power t$at can as easily be #sed to r#n a $ospital, or warm a la"a/lamp, or 'ry a blac& g#y wit$ a mental age o' nine in *e3as! Magic on t$e ot$er $and, 'rom personal e3perience, does not seem to be ne#tral in its moral nat#re, nor does it seem mindless! On t$e contrary, it wo#ld seem, as a medi#m, to be aware and acti"ely intelligent, ali"e rat$er t$an li"e in t$e t$ird rail sense! Mnli&e electricity, t$ere is t$e intimation o' a comple3 personality wit$ almost/ $#man traits, s#c$ as, 'or instance, an apparent sense o' $#mo#r! ?#st as well, per$aps, w$en one considers t$e parade o' prancing ninnies t$at t$e 'ield $as entertained and tolerated down t$e cent#ries! Magic, in s$ort, does not seem to be t$ere merely to power #p sigils t$at are astral "ersions o' t$e labo#r sa"ing gadget or appliance! Mnli&e electricity, it mig$t be t$o#g$t to $a"e its own agenda!

1D

1F

Fossil Angels

II

20

21

O#ite apart 'rom all t$is, t$ere are ot$er so#nd, compelling reasons w$y it limits #s to t$in& o' magic as a science! Firstly and most glaringly, it isn(t! Magic, a'ter it relin0#is$ed any and all practical or worldly application 'ollowing t$e twilig$t o' t$e alc$emists, can no more be considered as a tr#e science t$an can, say, psyc$oanalysis! 1owe"er m#c$ Fre#d mig$t $a"e wis$ed it ot$erwise, $owe"er $e deplored ?#ng dragging $is p#rported scienti'ic met$od down into t$e blac& and s0#irming m#d o' occ#ltism, magic and psyc$oanalysis cannot, by de'inition, e"er be allowed a place amongst t$e sciences! 2ot$ deal almost entirely wit$ p$enomena o' conscio#sness, p$enomena t$at cannot be repeated in laboratory conditions and w$ic$ t$#s e3ist o#tside t$e reac$ o' science, concerned only wit$ t$ings t$at may be meas#red and obser"ed, pro"en empirically! Since conscio#sness itsel' cannot be s$own to pro"ably e3ist in scienti'ic terms, t$en o#r assertions t$at said conscio#sness is plag#ed eit$er by penis en"y or by demons o' t$e Olippot$ m#st remain 'ore"er past t$e bo#ndary limits o' w$at may be ascertained by rational scr#tiny! Fran&ly, it m#st be said t$at magic, w$en considered as a science, rates somew$ere 7#st abo"e t$at o' selecting n#mbers 'or t$e lottery by #sing lo"ed ones( birt$days! *$is wo#ld seem to be t$e cr#3I magic, i' it is a science, clearly isn(t a partic#larly well/de"eloped one! >$ere, 'or e3ample, are t$e magical e0#i"alents o' 5instein(s )eneral or e"en Special t$eories o' ,elati"ity, let alone t$at o' 2o$r(s 8open$agen %nterpretation6 8ome to t$at, w$ere are o#r analog#es 'or laws o' gra"ity, t$ermodynamics and t$e rest6 5ratost$enes once meas#red t$e circ#m'erence o' t$e 5art$ #sing geometry and s$adows! >$en did we last manage anyt$ing as #se'#l or as neat as t$at6 1as t$ere been anyt$ing e"en resembling a general t$eory since t$e 5merald *ablet6 Once again, per$aps magic(s preocc#pation wit$ ca#se and e''ect $as played a part in t$is! O#r a3ioms seem mostly on t$e le"el o' :i' we do A t$en 2 will $appen<! %' we say t$ese words or call t$ese names t$en certain "isions will appear to #s! As to $ow t$ey do so, well, w$o cares6 As long as we get a res#lt, t$e t$in&ing seems to r#n, w$y does it matter $ow t$is o#tcome was obtained6 %' we bang t$ese two 'lints toget$er 'or a w$ile t$ey(ll ma&e a spar& and set all t$at dry grass on 'ire! And $a"e yo# e"er noticed $ow i' yo# ma&e s#re to sacri'ice a pig d#ring eclipses, t$en t$e s#n always ret#rns6 Magic is, at best, 4alaeolit$ic science! %t really $ad best p#t aside t$at @obel 4ri-e acceptance speec$ #ntil it(s s$a"ed its 'ore$ead!
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>$ere e3actly, one mig$t reasonably en0#ire, does all t$is lea"e #s6 1a"ing rec&lessly discarded o#r time/$ono#red orders or traditions and torn #p o#r statement o' intentG $a"ing said t$at magic s$o#ld not be ,eligion and can not be Science, $a"e we ta&en t$is Kear/Eero K$mer ,o#ge approac$ too 'ar, c#t o#r own 7#g#lars wit$ Occam(s ra-or6 @ow we("e p#lled down t$e landmar&s and red#ced o#r territory to an #ndi''erentiated wilderness, was t$is t$e best time to s#ggest we also t$row away o#r compass6 @ow, as nig$t 'alls on t$e 7#ngle, we("e decided we are neit$er missionaries nor botanists, b#t w$at, t$en, are we6 4rey6 2rie' s0#eals in pitc$ dar&6 %' t$e aims and met$ods o' science or religion are ine"itably '#tile, #ltimately mere dead ends, w$at ot$er role 'or magic co#ld concei"ably e3ist6 And please don(t say it(s anyt$ing too di''ic#lt, beca#se 'or all t$e blac& robes and t$e spoo&y oat$s, we tend to 'rig$ten easily! %' w$at we do cannot be properly considered as science or religion, wo#ld it be pro"ocati"e to tender t$e s#ggestion t$at we t$in& o' magic as an art6 Or e"en *$e Art, i' yo# li&e6 %t(s not as i' t$e notion were entirely wit$o#t precedent! %t mig$t e"en be seen as a ret#rn to o#r s$amanic origins, w$en magic was e3pressed in mas0#es and mimes and mar&s on walls, t$e pictograms t$at ga"e #s written lang#age so t$at lang#age co#ld in t#rn allow #s conscio#sness! M#sic, per'ormance, painting, song, dance, poetry and pantomime co#ld all be easily imagined as $a"ing originated in t$e s$aman(s repertoire o' mind/trans'orming magic tric&s! Sc#lpt#re e"ol"ing o#t o' 'etis$ dolls, >illendor' Hen#s morp$ing into 1enry Moore! 8ost#me design and catwal& 'as$ion, 5rte and K"es St! ;a#rent, arising o#t o' 'irelit stomps in '#rs and beads and antlers, t$rowing s$apes designed to startle and aro#se! 2aroness *$atc$er, in $er baby/eating prime, s#ggested t$at society once more embrace :Hictorian "al#es<, an idea t$at certainly wo#ld seem to $a"e ca#g$t on wit$in t$e magical 'raternity! *$is clearly goes now$ere near 'ar eno#g$, $owe"er! ;et #s call instead 'or a ret#rn towards 8ro/Magnon "al#esI more creati"e and rob#st, wit$ better $air! O' co#rse, we need not 7o#rney so 'ar bac& into admittedly spec#lati"e anti0#ity 'or e"idence o' t$e #ni0#ely close relations$ip en7oyed by art and magic! From t$e ca"e/wall paintings at ;asca#3, on t$ro#g$ )ree& stat#ary and 'rie-es to t$e Flemis$ masters, on to >illiam 2la&e, to t$e 4re/ ,ap$aelites, t$e Symbolists and t$e S#rrealists, it is only wit$ increasing
23

rarity t$at we enco#nter artists o' real stat#re, be t$ey painter, writer or m#sician, w$o $a"e not at some point $ad reco#rse to occ#lt t$in&ing, w$et$er t$at be t$ro#g$ t$e agency o' t$eir alleged in"ol"ement wit$ some occ#lt or Masonic order, as wit$ Mo-art, or t$ro#g$ some personally c#lti"ated "ision, as wit$ 5lgar! Opera $as its origins, apparently, in alc$emy, originated by its early pioneers li&e Monte"erdi as an art/'orm t$at incl#ded all t$e ot$er arts wit$in it Am#sic, words, per'ormance, cost#mes, painted setsB wit$ t$e intent o' passing on alc$emical ideas in t$eir most compre$ensi"ely artistic and t$#s most celestial 'orm! ;i&ewise, wit$ t$e "is#al arts we need not in"o&e ob"io#s e3amples o' an occ#lt in'l#ence s#c$ as D#c$amp, Ma3 5rnst or Dali, w$en t$ere are more s#rprising names s#c$ as 4icasso Awit$ $is yo#t$ spent sat#rated in $as$is$ and mysticism, wit$ $is later wor& preocc#pied wit$ t$en/occ#lt ideas pertaining to t$e 'o#rt$ dimensionB, or t$e meas#red s0#ares and rectangles o' Mondrian, created to e3press t$e notions wo&en in $im by $is st#dy o' *$eosop$y! %n 'act, t$e greater part o' abstract painting can be traced to 'amed 2la"ats&y/booster Annie 2esant, and t$e p#blication o' $er t$eory t$at t$e rare'ied essential energies o' *$eosop$y(s rays and c#rrents and "ibrations co#ld be represented by int#ited and 'ormless swirls o' colo#r, an idea t$at many artists o' a 'as$ionably mystic inclination sei-ed on eagerly! ;iterat#re, meanw$ile, is so intrinsically in"ol"ed wit$ magic(s "ery s#bstance t$at t$e two may be e''ecti"ely considered as t$e same t$ing! Spells and spelling, 2ardic incantations, grimoires, grammars, magic a :disease o' lang#age< as Aleister 8rowley so insig$t'#lly described it! Odin, *$ot$ and 1ermes, magic/gods and scribe/gods! Magic(s terminology, its symbolism, con7#ring and e"ocation, near/identical to t$at o' poetry! %n t$e beginning was t$e >ord! >it$ magic almost w$olly a ling#istic constr#ct, it wo#ld seem #nnecessary to recite a role/call o' t$e occ#lt(s many literary practitioners! %n writing, as in painting or in m#sic, an intense and intimate connection to t$e world o' magic is bot$ e"ident and ob"io#s, appears entirely nat#ral! 8ertainly, t$e arts $a"e always treated magic wit$ more sympat$y and more respect t$an science Aw$ic$, $istorically, $as always so#g$t to pro"e t$at occ#ltists are 'ra#d#lent or else del#dedB and religion Aw$ic$, $istorically, $as always so#g$t to pro"e t$at occ#ltists are 'lammableB! >$ile it s$ares t$e social standing and widespread respect a''orded to t$e c$#rc$ or t$e laboratory, art as a 'ield does not see& to e3cl#de, nor is it go"erned by a
2+

doctrine t$at(s inimical to magic, s#c$ as mig$t be said o' its two 'ellow indicators o' $#manity(s c#lt#ral progress! A'ter all, w$ile magic $as, in relati"ely recent times, prod#ced 'ew mig$ty t$eologians o' m#c$ note and e"en 'ewer scientists, it $as prod#ced a wealt$ o' inspired and inspiring painters, poets and m#sicians! Maybe we s$o#ld stic& wit$ w$at we &now we(re good at6 *$e ad"antages o' treating magic as an art seem at 'irst glance to be considerable! For one t$ing, t$ere are no entrenc$ed and "ested interests capable o' mo#nting an ob7ection to magic(s incl#sion in t$e canon, e"en i' t$ey entertained ob7ections in t$e 'irst place, w$ic$ is $ardly li&ely! *$is is patently 'ar 'rom t$e case wit$ eit$er science or religion, w$ic$ are by t$eir "ery nat#res almost $ono#r/bo#nd to see t$at magic is re"iled and ridic#led, marginali-ed and le't to r#st t$ere on $istory(s scrap/$eap wit$ t$e Flat 5art$, water/memory and p$logiston! Art, as a category, represents a 'ertile and $ospitable en"ironment w$ere magic(s energy co#ld be directed to its growt$ and progress as a 'ield, rat$er t$an c$annelled into '#tile str#ggles 'or acceptance, or b#rned #selessly away by mar&ing time to t$e repeated rit#als o' a pre"io#s cent#ry! Anot$er bene'it, o' co#rse, lies in art(s n#minosity, its "ery lac& o' $ard/edged de'inition and t$ere'ore its 'le3ibility! *$e 0#estions :w$at e3actly are we doing and w$y are doing it<, 0#estions o' Nmet$od( and o' Naim(, ta&e on a di''erent lig$t w$en as&ed in terms o' art! Art(s only aim can be to l#cidly e3press t$e $#man mind and $eart and so#l in all t$eir co#ntless "ariations, t$#s to '#rt$er $#man c#lt#re(s art'#l #nderstanding o' t$e #ni"erse and o' itsel', its growt$ towards t$e lig$t! Art(s met$od is w$ate"er can be e"en distantly imagined! *$ese parameters o' p#rpose and proced#re are s#''iciently elastic, s#rely, to allow incl#sion o' magic(s most radical or most conser"ati"e agendas6 Hital and progressi"e occ#ltism, bea#ti'#lly e3pressed, t$at $as no obligation to e3plain or 7#sti'y itsel'! 5ac$ t$o#g$t, eac$ line, eac$ image made e30#isite 'or no ot$er p#rpose t$an t$at t$ey be o''erings wort$y o' t$e gods, o' art, o' magic itsel'! *$e Art 'or *$e Art(s sa&e! 4arado3ically, e"en t$ose occ#ltists enamo#red o' a scienti'ic "iew o' magic wo#ld $a"e ca#se 'or celebration at t$is s$i't in emp$asis! As arg#ed abo"e, magic can ne"er be a science as science is c#rrently de'ined, w$ic$ is to say as being w$olly based #pon repeatable res#lts wit$in t$e meas#rable and
2

material world! 1owe"er, by con'ining its p#rs#its entirely to t$e world o' t$e material, science a#tomatically dis0#ali'ies itsel' 'rom spea&ing o' t$e inner, immaterial world t$at is in 'act t$e greater part o' o#r $#man e3perience! Science is per$aps t$e most e''ecti"e tool t$at $#man conscio#sness $as yet de"eloped wit$ w$ic$ to e3plore t$e o#ter #ni"erse, and yet t$is polis$ed and sop$isticated instr#ment o' scr#tiny is $indered by one glaring blind/spot in t$at it cannot e3amine conscio#sness itsel'! Since t$e late 1FF0s t$e most rapidly e3panding 'ield o' scienti'ic interest is apparently conscio#sness st#dies, wit$ two ma7or sc$ools o' t$o#g$t/on/t$o#g$t t$#s 'ar emerging, eac$ contending wit$ t$e ot$er! One maintains t$at conscio#sness is an ill#sion o' biology, mere a#tomatic and be$a"io#rist cerebral processes t$at are dependent on t$e s0#irt o' glands, t$e seep o' en-ymes! >$ile t$is does not seem an ade0#ate description o' t$e many wonders to be 'o#nd wit$in t$e $#man mind, its ad"ocates are almost certainly bac&ing a winner, $a"ing realised t$at t$eir bl#nt, materialistic t$eory is t$e only one t$at stands a c$ance o' pro"ing itsel' in t$e terms o' bl#nt material science! %n t$e ot$er camp, described as more transpersonal in t$eir approac$, t$e c#rrent reigning t$eorem is t$at conscio#sness is some pec#liar Nst#''( per"ading t$e &nown #ni"erse, o' w$ic$ eac$ sentient being is a tiny, temporary reser"oir! *$is "iewpoint, w$ile it probably elicits greater sympat$y 'rom t$ose o' occ#lt inclinations, is 0#ite clearly doomed in terms o' garnering e"ent#al scienti'ic credibility! Science cannot e"en properly disc#ss t$e personal, so t$e transpersonal $as no c$ance! *$ese are matters o' t$e inner world, and science cannot go t$ere! *$is is w$y it wisely lea"es t$e e3ploration o' man&ind(s interior to a sop$isticated tool t$at is speci'ically de"eloped 'or t$at #sage, namely art! %' magic were regarded as an art it wo#ld $a"e c#lt#rally "alid access to t$e in'rascape, t$e endless immaterial territories t$at are ignored by and in"isible to Science, t$at are to scienti'ic reason inaccessible, and t$#s comprise magic(s most nat#ral terrain! *#rning its e''orts to creati"e e3ploration o' $#manity(s interior space mig$t also be o' massi"e $#man #se, mig$t possibly restore to magic all t$e rele"ance and p#rpose, t$e demonstrable #tility t$at it $as lac&ed so woe'#lly, and 'or so long! Seen as an art, t$e 'ield co#ld still prod#ce t$e reams o' spec#lati"e t$eory t$at it is so 'ond o' Aa'ter all, p$ilosop$y and r$etoric may be as easily considered arts as sciencesB, 7#st so long as it were written bea#ti'#lly or interestingly! >$ile, 'or e3ample, *$e
2=

2oo& o' t$e ;aw may be debatable in "al#e w$en considered p#rely as prop$etic te3t describing act#al occ#rrences or states o' mind to come, it cannot be denied t$at it(s a s$it/$ot piece o' writing, w$ic$ deser"es to be re"ered as s#c$! *$e point is t$at i' magic were to drop its #n'#l'ilable pretensions as a science and come o#t o' t$e closet as an art, it wo#ld ironically eno#g$ obtain t$e 'reedom to p#rs#e its scienti'ic aspirations, maybe e"en snea& #p on some #ni'ied 'ield t$eorem o' t$e s#pernat#ral, all in terms acceptable to modern c#lt#re! Marcel D#c$amp(s magn#m op#s, *$e 2ride Stripped 2are by 1er 2ac$elors, is more li&ely to be t$o#g$t o' serio#sly as gen#ine alc$emy t$an is t$e wor& o' w$ic$e"er poor bastard last s#ggested t$at t$ere mig$t be somet$ing to cold '#sion! Art is clearly a more com'ortable en"ironment 'or magic t$in&ing t$an is science, wit$ a more rela3ing decor, and m#c$ better/loo&ing '#rnit#re! 5"en t$ose damaged so#ls so instit#tionalised by members$ip o' magic orders t$at t$ey can(t imagine any &ind o' li'estyle t$at does not in"ol"e belonging to some secreti"e, elite cabal need not despair at 'inding t$emsel"es $omeless and alone in o#r proposed new wilderness! Art $as no orders, b#t it does $a"e mo"ements, sc$ools and cli0#es wit$ all t$e '#rti"eness, t$e snottyness and t$e elitism t$at anyone co#ld wis$ 'or! 2etter yet, since di''ering sc$ools o' art are not so energetically competing wit$ eac$ ot$er 'or t$e same gro#nd as are magic orders A$ow can >illiam 1olman 1#nt, 'or instance, be said to compete wit$ Miro, or Hermeer6B, t$is s$o#ld ob"iate t$e need 'or di''ering sc$ools o' occ#lt t$o#g$t to 'e#d, or snipe, or generally go on li&e a b#nc$ o' sorry 8riswell/o#t/o'/4lan F/loo&ing bitc$es! ?#st as t$ere is no need to entirely do wit$o#t 'raternities, t$en similarly t$ere is no necessity 'or t$ose w$o("e grown attac$ed to s#c$ t$ings to discard t$eir rit#al trappings or, indeed, t$eir rit#als! *$e sole re0#irement is t$at t$ey approac$ t$ese matters wit$ a greater creati"ity, and wit$ a more discerning eye and ear 'or t$at w$ic$ is pro'o#ndG t$at w$ic$ is bea#ti'#l, original or power'#l! Ma&e wands and seals and lamens 'it to stand in e3$ibitions o' o#tsider art A1ow $ard can t$at be6 5"en mental patients 0#ali'yB, ma&e e"ery rit#al a piece o' st#nning and intense t$eatre! >$et$er one considers magic to be art or not, t$ese t$ings s$o#ld s#rely scarcely need be said! >$o are o#r pri"ate rit#als and adornments meant to please, i' not t$e gods6 >$en did t$ey e"er gi"e #s t$e impression t$ey(d be pleased by
2C

t$at w$ic$ was not s#itably e30#isite or original6 )ods, i' t$ey(re anyt$ing at all, are &nown to be notorio#sly partial to creation, and may t$ere'ore be pres#med to be appreciati"e o' $#man creati"ity, t$e closest t$ing t$at we("e de"eloped to a god/game and o#r most s#blime ac$ie"ement! *o be once more t$o#g$t o' as an art wo#ld allow magic to retain all t$at is best abo#t t$e 'ield it was, w$ile at t$e same time o''ering t$e opport#nity 'or it to 'lo#ris$ and progress into a '#t#re w$ere it mig$t accomplis$ so m#c$ more! 1ow wo#ld t$is mooted c$ange o' premise impact, t$en, #pon o#r met$odology6 >$at s$i'ts o' emp$asis mig$t be entailed, and co#ld s#c$ c$anges be to t$e ad"antage o' bot$ magic as a 'ield and #s as indi"id#als6 %' we serio#sly mean to rein"ent t$e occ#lt as *$e Art, one basic alteration to o#r wor&ing met$ods t$at mig$t yield considerable bene'it wo#ld be i' we resol"ed to crystallise w$ate"er insig$ts, tr#t$s or "isions o#r magical sorties $ad a''orded #s into some arte'act, somet$ing t$at e"erybody else co#ld see as well, 7#st 'or a c$ange! *$e nat#re o' t$e arte'act, be it a 'ilm, a $ai&#, an e3pressi"e pencil/drawing or a l#s$ t$eatrical e3tra"agan-a, is completely #nimportant! All t$at matters is t$at it be art, and t$at it remain tr#e to its inspiration! >ere it adopted, at a stro&e, a relati"ely minor twea& o' process s#c$ as t$is mig$t #tterly trans'orm t$e world o' magic! ,at$er t$an be personally/moti"ated, cr#dely ca#sal wor&ings o' bot$ d#bio#s intent and do#bt'#l o#tcome, $and/7ob magic ended #s#ally in scant grati'ication, o#r transactions wit$ t$e $idden world wo#ld be made procreati"e, generating iss#e in t$e 'orm o' tangible res#lts t$at e"eryone mig$t 7#dge t$e wort$ o' 'or t$emsel"es! %n p#rely e"angelic terms, as propaganda 'or a more enlig$tened magic world"iew, art m#st s#rely represent o#r most compelling Ne"idence( o' ot$er states and planes o' being! >$ile t$e t$o#g$ts o' A#stin Spare are #ndeniably o' interest w$en e3pressed in written 'orm as t$eory, it is wit$o#t do#bt $is talents as an artist t$at pro"ide t$e sense o' entities and ot$er worlds act#ally witnessed and recorded, t$e immediate a#t$enticity w$ic$ $as bestowed on Spare m#c$ o' $is rep#tation as a great magician! More importantly, wor& s#c$ as Spare(s pro"ides a window on t$e occ#lt world, allowing t$ose o#tside a clearer and per$aps more elo0#ent e3pression o' w$at magic is abo#t t$an any arcane tract, o''ering t$em a wort$w$ile reason to approac$ t$e occ#lt in t$e 'irst place!

2D

%n o#r wilderness scenario 'or magic, wit$ t$e 'ierce and 'air Darwinian competition between ideas t$at(s implied, treating t$e occ#lt as an art wo#ld also lend a means o' dealing wit$ Aor carrying o#tB any disp#tes t$at mig$t arise! Art $as a way o' sorting o#t s#c$ s0#abbles 'or itsel', inarg#ably, wit$o#t resorting to lame processes li&e, 'or e3ample, "iolent con'lict resol#tion, litigation, or, m#c$ worse, girly democracy! >it$ art, t$e strongest "ision will pre"ail, e"en i' it ta&es decades, cent#ries to do so, as wit$ >illiam 2la&e! *$ere is no need to e"en ta&e a "ote #pon w$ic$ is t$e strongest "isionI t$at wo#ld be t$e one 7#st sitting 0#ietly in its #ndisp#ted corner o' o#r c#lt#re, nonc$alantly pic&ing its teet$ wit$ t$e stern#ms o' its ri"als! Mo-art brings down Salieri, sleeps 'or two days a'ter 'easting, d#ring w$ic$ time t$e sa"anna$ can rela3! ;#nging o#t s#ddenly 'rom tower/bloc& s$adows, ?!)! 2allard ta&es o#t Kingsley Amis, w$ile ?ean 8octea# be all o"er D!>! )ri''it$s( scrawny %mperial 8yclops ass li&e a mot$er'#c&er! An artistic nat#ral selection, bloody/minded b#t balanced, seems a 'ar more e"en/ $anded way o' settling a''airs t$an arbitrary and #nanswerable r#lings $anded down by $eads o' orders, s#c$ as Moina Mat$ers telling Hiolet Firt$ $er a#ra lac&ed t$e proper symbols! Also, i' t$e "icio#s str#ggle 'or s#r"i"al is enacted p#rely in t$e terms o' w$ose idea is t$e most potent and most bea#ti'#l in its e3pression, t$en bystanders at t$e coc&'ig$t are more li&ely to end #p spattered wit$ gorgeo#s metap$ors t$an wit$ dripping, still/warm innards! 5"en o#r most pointless and incest#o#s 'e#ds mig$t t$ereby $a"e a prod#ct t$at enric$ed t$e world in some small meas#re, rat$er t$an no o#tcome sa"e t$at magic seem still more a bic&ering and inane c$ildren(s playgro#nd t$an e"eryone t$o#g$t it was already! ?#dged on its merits, s#c$ a 7#ngle/logic attit#de to magic, wit$ its predatory aest$etics and ideas competing in a wilderness t$at(s 'ertilised by t$eir e30#isite c#lt#ral droppings, wo#ld appear to o''er t$e occ#lt a win/ win sit#ation! 1ow co#ld anyone ob7ect, e3cept 'or t$ose w$ose ideas mig$t be seen as pl#mp, slow/mo"ing, 'lig$tless and a $andy so#rce o' proteinG t$ose well/0#ali'ied as primary prey w$o are per$aps beginning to s#spect t$at t$is is all a tiger(s arg#ment 'or open/plan sa'ari par&s6 Mpon consideration, t$ese last/mentioned do#bts and 'ears, w$ile s#rely tri"ial wit$in a conte3t o' magic(s well/being as a 'ield, are li&ely to be t$e most serio#s obstacles to any wide acceptance o' a primal swampland et$ic s#c$ as is proposed! 1owe"er, i' we accept t$at t$e sole alternati"es to 7#ngle
2F

are a circ#s or a -oo, t$e notion is per$aps more t$in&able! And i' o#r precio#s ideas s$o#ld be clawed to pieces w$en t$ey(re scarcely o#t t$e nest, t$en w$ile t$is is o' co#rse distressing, it(s no more o' an ordeal t$an t$at end#red by any spotty sc$oolboy poet or S#nday painter w$o e3poses t$eir per$aps #ngainly e''ort to anot$er(s scr#tiny! >$y s$o#ld 'ear o' ridic#le or criticism, 'ear t$at t$e most lowly &arao&e dr#n& is seemingly 0#ite capable o' o"ercoming, tro#ble occ#ltists w$o("e "owed to stand #n'linc$ing at t$e gates o' 1ell itsel'6 %n 'act, s$o#ldn(t t$e o"ercoming o' s#c$ simple p$obias be a prere0#isite 'or anyone w$o wants to style $is or $er sel' as a magician6 %' we regarded magic as an art and art as magic, i' li&e ancient s$amans we percei"ed a gi't 'or poetry as magic power, magically bestowed, wo#ldn(t we 'inally $a"e some comebac& w$en t$e ordinary person in t$e street as&ed #s, 0#ite reasonably, to demonstrate some magic, t$en, i' we t$in& we(re so t$a#mat#rgical6 1ow empowering it wo#ld be 'or occ#ltists to steadily acc#m#late, t$ro#g$ s$eer $ard wor&, gen#ine magical abilities t$at can be pro"ably displayed! *alents t$e ordinarily intelligent and rational person can 0#ite readily accept as being tr#ly magical in originG readily engage wit$ in a way t$at c#rrent occ#ltism, wit$ its o'ten wil'#l and #nnecessary obsc#rantism, cannot manage! Mrgently e3pressed and $eart'elt t$o#g$ most modern grimoires most ass#redly may be, a s&im t$ro#g$ 2orges( Fictions or a glimpse o' 5sc$er or a side or two o' 8aptain 2ee'$eart wo#ld be m#c$ more li&ely to pers#ade t$e ordinary reader to a magically recepti"e point o' "iew! %' conscio#sness itsel', wit$ its e3istence in t$e nat#ral world being beyond t$e power o' science to con'irm, is t$ere'ore s#per/nat#ral and occ#lt, s#rely art is one o' t$e most ob"io#s and spectac#lar means by w$ic$ t$at s#pernat#ral realm o' mind and so#l re"eals itsel', ma&es itsel' mani'est #pon a gross material plane! Art(s power is immediate and irre'#table, immense! %t s$i'ts t$e conscio#sness, noticeably, o' bot$ t$e artist and $er a#dience! %t can c$ange men(s li"es and t$ence c$ange $istory, society itsel'! %t can inspire #s #nto wonders or else $orrors! %t can o''er s#pple, yo#ng, e3panding minds new spaces to in$abit or can o''er com'ort to t$e dying! %t can ma&e yo# 'all in lo"e, or c#t some idol(s rep#tation into ribbons at a glance and lea"e t$em maimed be'ore t$eir wors$ippers, dead to posterity! %t con7#res )oya de"ils and ,osetti angels into "isible appearance! %t is bot$ t$e bane and most
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belo"ed tool o' tyrants! %t trans'orms t$e world w$ic$ we in$abit, c$anges $ow we see t$e #ni"erse, or t$ose abo#t #s, or o#rsel"es! >$at $as been claimed o' sorcery t$at art $as not already #ndeniably ac$ie"ed6 %t(s led a billion into lig$t and slain a billion more! %' t$e accretion o' occ#lt ability and power is o#r ob7ecti"e, we co#ld $a"e no more prod#cti"e, potent means or medi#m t$an art w$ereby t$is is to be accomplis$ed! Art may not ma&e t$at w$is&/broom come to li'e and m#ltiply and str#t ro#nd cleaning #p yo#r crib!!!b#t nor does magic, 'or t$at matter!!!yet simply dreaming #p t$e image m#st $a"e s#rely earned >alt Disney eno#g$ money so $e co#ld pay somebody to come by and ta&e care o' t$at st#'' 'or $im! And still $a"e eno#g$ c$ange to get $is $ead p#t in t$is massi"e $ieroglyp$ic/c$iselled ice c#be somew$ere #nderneat$ t$e Magic Kingdom! *$ere, s#rely to )od, is all o' t$e implacable Satanic in'l#ence t$at anybody, sane or ot$erwise, co#ld e"er as& 'or! %n reclaiming magic as *$e Art, amo& and na&ed in a ,o#ssea# wilderness de"oid o' lodges, it is probable t$at t$ose made most #neasy by t$e proposition wo#ld be t$ose w$o 'elt t$emsel"es #npri"ileged by s#c$ a mo"e, t$ose w$o s#spected t$at t$ey $ad no art to o''er w$ic$ mig$t be s#''icient to its tas&! S#c$ trepidations, w$ile t$ey may be #nderstandable, s#rely cannot sit well wit$ t$e $eroic, 'earless image one imagines many occ#ltists to $a"e con'ected 'or t$emsel"esG seem some$ow cra"en! %s t$ere tr#ly not$ing, neit$er cra't nor art, w$ic$ t$ey can 'as$ion to an implement o' magic6 Do t$ey $a"e no talent t$at may be employed creati"ely and magically, be it 'or mat$ematics, dancing, dreaming, dr#mming, stand/#p comedy, striptease, gra''iti, $andling sna&es, scienti'ic demonstration, c#tting per'ectly good cows in $al' or sc#lpting scarily realistic b#sts o' 5#ropean monarc$y 'rom t$eir own 'aeces6 Or, li&e, anyt$ing6 5"en i' s#c$ abilities are not at present plenti'#l or e"ident, cannot t$ese timoro#s so#ls imagine t$at by application and some $onest labo#r talents may be 'irst ac0#ired t$en $oned down to a #se'#l edge6 1ard wor& s$o#ld not be a completely 'oreign concept to t$e Mag#s! *$is is not e"en *$e )reat >or& t$at we(re necessarily disc#ssing $ere, it(s 7#st t$e )ood/2#t/@ot/)reat >or&! M#c$ more ac$ie"able! %' t$at still so#nds too di''ic#lt and time/cons#ming, yo# co#ld always ma&e t$e ac0#isition o' pro'o#nd artistic talent and s#ccess yo#r $eart(s desire and simply spadge o"er a sigil! @e"er 'ails, apparently! So w$at e3c#se co#ld anybody $a"e 'or not embracing art as magic, magic as *$e Art6
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%' yo# are tr#ly, 'or w$ate"er reason, now and 'or all time incapable o' any creati"ity, t$en are yo# s#re t$at magic is t$e 'ield to w$ic$ yo# are most eminently s#ited6 A'ter all, t$e 'ast/'ood c$ains are always $iring! *en years and yo# co#ld be a branc$ manager! 2y #nderstanding art as magic, by concei"ing pen or br#s$ as wand, we t$#s ret#rn to t$e magician $is or $er original s$amanic powers and social import, gi"e bac& to t$e occ#lt bot$ a prod#ct and a p#rpose! >$o &nows6 %t mig$t t#rn o#t t$at by implementing s#c$ a s$i't we $a"e remo"ed t$e need 'or all o#r personally/moti"ated ca#sal c$arms and c#rses, o#r $edge/magic! %' we were accomplis$ed and proli'ic in o#r art, per$aps t$e gods mig$t be prepared to send s#bstantial wee&ly postal orders, all wit$o#t #s e"en as&ing! %n t$e se3 and romance sta&es, as artists we(d all ma&e o#t li&e 4icasso! >omen, men and animals wo#ld o''er t$emsel"es na&ed at o#r 'eet, e"en in >oolwort$(s! As 'or t$e destr#ction o' o#r enemies, we simply wo#ldn(t bot$er to in"ite t$em to o#r la#nc$/parties and openings, and t$ey(d 7#st die! *$is re/imagining o' magic as *$e Art co#ld clearly bene'it t$e occ#lt world in general and t$e indi"id#al magician in partic#lar, b#t let(s not o"erloo& t$e 'act t$at it mig$t also bene'it t$e arts! %t m#st be said t$at modern mainstream c#lt#re, 'or t$e greater part and 'rom most ci"ilised perspecti"es, is a *#pperware container '#ll o' sic&! *$e artists o' t$e age Aadmittedly, wit$ a 'ew notable e3ceptionsB seem intent #pon re'lecting t$e balloon/li&e $ollowness and conse0#ent obsession wit$ mere s#r'ace t$at we 'ind amongst o#r era(s go"ernments and leaders! ?#st a year or two ago, t$e old *ate )allery(s 2la&e retrospecti"e drew 'rom critics s$arp comparisons wit$ t$e 2rit/artists c#rrently in$abiting 2la&e(s So$o stamping gro#nd, obser"ing t$at t$e modern crop o' t#nnel/"isionaries pale w$en $eld #p to 2la&e(s ;ambet$ lig$t! *$e st#died and sel'/conscio#s Ncra-iness( o' *racey 5min is made tame beside $is $oly tyger madness, all accomplis$ed wit$in $owling/ range o' 2edlam! Damien 1irst is s$oc&ing in a s#per'icial manner, b#t not s$oc&ing to t$e point w$ere $e $as loyalty oat$s, "igilante lync$/mobs and sedition trials to deal wit$! ?a&e and Dinos 8$apman(s contrib#tions to Apocalypse At$e e3$ibition, not t$e sit#ation wit$ %ra0B are not in any sense a re"elation! >illiam 2la&e co#ld p#ll a 'ar s#perior apocalypse 'rom *$e ,ed Dragon(s sc#lpted crimson b#tt wit$o#t a second t$o#g$t! *$e modern art
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world deals now in $ig$/concept items, m#c$ li&e t$e related At$ro#g$ 8$arles Saatc$iB 'ield o' ad"ertising! %t appears to be bere't o' "ision, or indeed o' t$e capacity 'or s#c$, and o''ers little in t$e way o' no#ris$ment to its s#rro#nding c#lt#re, w$ic$ co#ld #se a decent and s#staining meal rig$t abo#t now! 8o#ldn(t a rea''irmation o' t$e magical as art pro"ide t$e inspiration, lend t$e "ision and t$e s#bstance t$at are all so mani'estly lac&ing in t$e world o' art today6 >o#ldn(t s#c$ a so#l/in'#sion allow art to li"e #p to its p#rpose, to its mission, to insist t$at t$e interior and s#b7ecti"e $#man "oice be $eard in c#lt#re, $eard in go"ernment, $eard on t$e stained )rand )#ignol stages o' t$e world6 Or s$o#ld we 7#st sit bac& and wait 'or praeter/$#man intellects 'rom Siri#s or Disney(s wal&ing w$is&/brooms or t$e Aeon o' 1or#s to arri"e and sort t$is mess o#t 'or #s6 A prod#cti"e #nion, a synt$esis o' art and magic propagated in a c#lt#re, an en"ironment, a magic landscape lac&ing temple walls and $eirloom '#rnis$ings t$at e"eryone tripped o"er anyway! Staged amidst t$e gemming 'erns and p#rpled steam/$eat o' a re/establis$ed occ#lt biosp$ere, t$is passionate con7#nction o' two $#man 'ac#lties wo#ld s#rely constit#te a 8$emic >edding w$ic$, i' we were l#c&y and t$ings got completely o#t o' $and at t$e 8$emic ,eception, mig$t precipitate a 8$emic Orgy, an indecent, rioto#s e3plosion o' s#ppressed creati"e #rges, astral co#plings o' ideas res#lting in m#ltiple birt$s o' c$imerae and radiant monsters! Fierce concept#al centa#rs wit$ t$eir legs o' per'#me and t$eir $eads o' m#sic! Mermaid notions, 'lic&ering silent mo"ies t$at are arc$itect#re 'rom t$e waist down! )enre sp$in3es and style manticores! Mn$eard o' and #ndreamed m#tations, no"el art/'orms breeding and adapting 'ast eno#g$ to &eep #p wit$ t$e world and its moment#m, acting more li&e li'e/'orms, more li&e 'a#na, more li&e 'lora to proli'erate in o#r pro7ected magic wilderness! *$e possible release o' '#sion energy made s#ddenly a"ailable w$en t$ese two $ea"y c#lt#ral elements, magic and art, are bro#g$t into dynamic close pro3imity mig$t 'airy/lig$t o#r 7#ngle, mig$t e"en $elp to ill#minate t$e mainstream social m#lc$ t$at it, and we, are rooted in! @ot$ing pre"ents #s t$rowing o'' t$e callipers and t$e restraints, t$e training w$eels t$at $a"e retarded magic(s 'orward progress 'or so long t$at moss obliterates its railway trac&s and branc$/line sidings bot$! @ot$ing can stop #s, i' we $a"e t$e will, 'rom rede'ining magic as an art, as somet$ing "ital and progressi"e! Somet$ing w$ic$ in its ability to deal wit$ t$e interior
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$#man world $as a demonstrable #tility, can be o' act#al #se to ordinary people, wit$ t$eir inner worlds increasingly encroac$ed #pon by a tyrannical, colonialist e3terior t$at(s intent on strip/mining t$em o' any dreams or 7oy or sel'/determination! %' we so resol"ed we co#ld restore to magic a potential and a potency, a p#rpose it $as barely ca#g$t a glimpse o' in t$e last 'o#r $#ndred years! >ere we prepared to ta&e on t$e responsibility 'or t$is endea"o#r t$en t$e world mig$t see again t$e grand and terrible magicians t$at, o#tside o' bland and ino''ensi"e c$ildren(s boo&s or big/screen and obscenely/b#dgeted e3tra"agances, it $as all b#t managed to 'orget! %t mig$t be arg#ed t$at at t$is ner"e/wrac&ing 7#nct#re o' o#r $#man sit#ation, magical perspecti"es are not merely rele"ant b#t are an indispensable necessity i' we are to s#r"i"e wit$ minds and personalities intact! 2y rede'ining t$e term magic we co#ld once again con'ront t$e world(s ini0#ities and m#r& in o#r pre'erred, time/$ono#red met$odI wit$ a word! Ma&e t$e word magic mean somet$ing again, somet$ing wort$y o' t$e name, somet$ing w$ic$, as a de'inition o' t$e magical, wo#ld $a"e delig$ted yo# w$en yo# were si3G w$en yo# were se"enty! %' we accomplis$ t$is, i' we can rein"ent o#r scary, wild and 'ab#lo#s art 'or t$ese scary, wild and 'ab#lo#s new times t$at we are mo"ing t$ro#g$, t$en we co#ld o''er t$e occ#lt a '#t#re 'ar more glorio#s and brimming wit$ ad"ent#re t$an we e"er t$o#g$t or wis$ed its 'abled past $ad been! 1#manity, loc&ed in t$is penitentiary o' a material world t$at we $a"e been constr#cting 'or o#rsel"es 'or cent#ries now, $as per$aps ne"er needed more t$e &ey, t$e ca&e/wit$/'ile/in, t$e last/ min#te pardon 'rom t$e go"ernor t$at magic represents! >it$ its nonce/case religions and t$eir 7aw/droppingly demented '#ndamentalists, wit$ its bedroom/'arce royalties, and wit$ its demagog#es more cas#ally s$ameless in t$eir "ile ambitions t$an t$ey("e been in li"ing memory, society at present, w$et$er in t$e east or west, wo#ld seem to lac& a spirit#al and moral centre, wo#ld indeed appear to lac& e"en t$e 'limsiest pretence at s#c$ a t$ing! *$e science w$ic$ s#stains society, increasingly, at its most 'ar/'l#ng 0#ant#m edges 'inds it m#st resort to terminology 'rom t$e &abbala or 'rom S#'i literat#re to ade0#ately state w$at it now &nows abo#t o#r cosmic origins! %n all its many areas and compartments, all its scattered 'ields, t$e world wo#ld seem to be practically crying o#t 'or t$e n#mino#s to come and resc#e it 'rom t$is berser& material c#lt#re t$at $as all b#t eaten it entire and s$at it t$ro#g$ a colander! And w$ere is magic, w$ile all t$is is going on6 %t(s trying to 'orce o#r boy'riend to come bac& to #s! %t(s scraping cas$
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toget$er to 'end o'' t$e blac& $ole in o#r plastic, trying to gi"e t$at pric& t$at o#r e3/wi'e ran o'' wit$ somet$ing terminal! %t(s ma&ing s#re t$at *een >itc$ sl#mber parties go s#ccess'#lly! %t(s p#tting wispy @ew Age people into contact wit$ t$eir wispy @ew Age angels, and t$ey(re all, li&e, :@o way<, and t$e angels are all, li&e, :>$ate"er<! %t(s attending all o' o#r repeated rit#als wit$ t$e ent$#siasm o' a patron come to see *$e Mo#se *rap 'or t$e se"en $#ndredt$ time! %t spends its wee&ends trying to read o#r crappy sigils #nder t$eir obsc#ring gla-e o' 7i-, and in retaliation only p#ts #s into contact wit$ o#tpatient entities, comm#nity/care 5lo$im t$at rant li&e wino scientologists and ne"er ma&e a lic& o' sense! %t(s at t$e trademar&s o''ice, registering magic seals! %t(s $andling an introd#ctions agency t$at represents o#r only c$ance o' e"er meeting any strange )ot$ p#ssy! %t(s o'' getting #s a better deal on t$at new ,ena#lt, $elping to prolong t$e wretc$ed li'e o' o#r incontinent and blind pet spaniel )andal', networ&ing li&e cra-y to sec#re t$ose 1arry 4otter 1ogwart(s *arot rig$ts! %t(s still attempting to sort o#t t$e tra''ic 7am res#lting 'rom t$e Aeon o' 1or#s $a"ing 7ac&/&ni'ed t$ro#g$ t$e central reser"ation and into t$e so#t$bo#nd carriageway, $it $ead/on by t$e Aeon o' Maat, w$ic$ spilled its cargo o' blac& 'eat$ers onto t$e $ard s$o#lder! %t(s not s#re t$e &etamine was s#c$ a good idea! %t(s sitting loo&ing ner"o#s on a t$o#sand boo&s$el"es between li'estyle inter"iews wit$ necrop$iles and 'as$ion retrospecti"es on t$e Manson 'amily! %t(s $anging o#t at neo/na-i 7amborees near D#sseldor'! %t(s wondering i' it s$o#ld introd#ce a :Don(t As&, Don(t *ell< policy regarding t$e 11t$ Degree! %t(s ad"ising 8$erie 2lair on ac#p#nct#re st#ds, t$e w$ole o' %slington #pon Feng S#i! %t(s pierced its coc& in an attempt to s$oc& its middle/class 1ome 8o#nties parents, w$o("e been dead 'or ten years, anyway! %t wis$es it were Da"id 2laine! %t wis$es it were 2#''y! Or, 0#ite 'ran&ly, anyone! >e co#ld, i' we desired it, $a"e t$ings ot$erwise! ,at$er t$an magic t$at(s in t$rall to a 'ondly imagined golden past, or else to some l#ridly/'antasi-ed 5lder )od t$eme/par& a''air o' a '#t#re, we co#ld try instead a magic ade0#ate and rele"ant to its own e3traordinary times! >e co#ld, were we to so decide, ens#re t$at c#rrent occ#ltism be remembered in t$e $istory o' magic as a 'an'are pea& rat$er t$an as a 'ading sig$G as an embarrassed, dying m#mbleG not e"en a w$imper! >e co#ld ma&e t$is parc$ed terrain a teeming paradise, a tropic w$ere eac$ t$o#g$t mig$t blossom into art! Mnder t$e altar lies t$e st#dio, t$e beac$! >e co#ld insist #pon it, were we tr#ly w$at we say
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we are! >e co#ld ac$ie"e it not by scrawling sigils b#t by cra'ting stories, paintings, symp$onies! >e co#ld allow o#r art to spread its $oly psyc$edelic scarab wings across society once more, per$aps in doing so allow some lig$t or grace to 'all #pon t$at pained, benig$ted organism! >e co#ld be made a'res$ in o#r 'res$ #ndergrowt$, stand rein"ented at a tr#e dawn o' o#r 8ra't wit$in a morning world, o#r paint still wet, 7#st/$atc$ed and g#mmy/eyed in 5den! @ewborn in 8reation!

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Alan Moore @ort$ampton 31st December, 2002! M!>! 11!03!1+

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