Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What does magick have to do with anything?

My Etsy profile says "Armed with mythology, pop culture, magic, yoga--and some really sharp felting needles--I pursue the deities, faerie folk, and strangely beautiful creatures hidden in humble locks of wool through a process that often feels more like conjuring than creation." 

How much of that is whimsy?  What do I mean by magick?  I have mentioned consciousness and magick previously in this blog, but I have kind of shyed away from talking much about it because I know it is scary to some people.  However, because of the nature and circumstances of my most recent adventures in the Wooliverse, and I wanted to address the topic head-on.

I am by nature a scientific rationalist, and a skeptic.   I do not believe in the "supernatural" (though as a skeptic I don't completely rule anything out.)  What use does a rationalist have with "magick?"  Or with things like the Tarot?  Or mythology for that matter? 

Mythology and Pop Culture are both great sources if imagery.  And Pop Culture is itself a rich of form of mythology (think Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.)  Tarot is also a system of symbolism (it is, in fact, a brilliant pictoral representation of the human psyche and our journey through life.)  Symbolism is a powerful way for the conscious and unconscious mind to communicate. 

When I say "Magick" I'm referring primarily to techniques that unite the conscious and unconscious mind, or at least allow communication to occur between the two in such a way as to stimulate not just creativity but self-awareness.  Training the mind with archtypal/universal symbols such as those found in the Tarot is one way to increase your ability to travel more deeply into yourself to find understanding about who you are, and why.

For me, creating things out of wool is a very primal and magical experience most of the time.  Felting is such a slow, repetitive process that even if I haven't initiated a new creation through ritual or meditation, I often enter into what I can only describe as a hypnotic state.  Many creative people--musicians, writers, painters, poets-- describe feeling this way when working.  I can literally lose awareness of everything else around me. 

I am a beginner as a visual artist.  I am a beginner in my practice of yoga.  I am a beginner, honestly, at "being P.J."  I have learned a LOT about myself the last couple of years while exploring the "Wooliverse."  I am slowly learning to SEE, and to be a happy person. 

Some things that come out of the process are dark, because those are aspects of myself that rise up and must be confronted.  Other things are whimisical and fun because I am that too.    Magic, tarot, yoga, explorations of consciousness. . . I have definitely known people who think that is all just "satanism" and I can only feel sorry for people limited by fear.  The scariest thing is really knowing yourself, both your ugliness, and the deep responsibility of your true beauty.  Those are things I'm dealing with in my practice--of yoga, art, and magick, whether the end result be a goofy looking brightly colored snail, or a hideous monster.

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