I adore Tommie Kelly, there's no two ways about it. I don't always agree with him, but what would a good friendship be without some dynamic tension?
Anyway, I'm very happy to announce that Tommie and I sat down and had a chat (that was not without some difficulties... probably need to have a better election for it next time 😎) about magic, mostly about me and my experience and practice of it, though we touch on some conceptual things here and there. The purpose of the podcast series is to talk to the people who do the magic; find out the whys and the hows and the whats (these are my own words). And I had a great time doing it, and it made me think about things, some things that I haven't necessarily considered putting into my own words. Like: what is magic? Defining that for me, which is something I probably should have done a long time ago, was a good thing. And I will have to have a longer think on that and perhaps write some of that down. I don't write anywhere near as much or as often as I ought.
All that preliminary out of the way, I did want to say a couple of things about my appearance.
Aesthetics. Magic, though it is, for me, a way that sentient creatures interact with the cosmos, is an art as most forms of communication are. We lose sight of that: that communication is an art form. We take communication for granted. We shouldn't. But my point here is that I trace everything back to that memory of church because of the aesthetics. That moment had a profound impact on me in many ways, and a lot of it is the aesthetics of the whole affair. I knew that church well, and it is not like my memory of it in many respects, even though my memory is distinctly of that church. Maybe it is the perspective of the very small me that makes the whole place seem larger and darker, and more...sacred. For whatever reasons, that moment profoundly shaped many things for me.
Obtuse. That's not really an insult. Ok. Yes, yes it is. But taken in levity, the way it was delivered, one would hope that people would understand for what I was reaching. I immediately go on to say some of the things I feel about the historical Golden Dawn and some of its more recent incarnations, and that bit is largely respectful and acknowledging of the debt that modern occultists owe to the system. But Chaos Magic was a direct rejection of lodge style magic, and that style with its acerbic wit and more than irreverent stance is where I feel mostly at home. So I hope I didn't actually offend anyone with that off the cuff remark which was an attempt to wittily circumscribe my complex history and feelings in a way that might fall more than a little flat.
Rational. I adore my parents. They don't get a lot of play in the talk here, and when they do... it might not come off as flattering. If you don't know my dad, that bit about the nuns may not come off as funny as it does if you do know him. And they are rational. and amongst the smartest damn people I know. And they took care of me in such a way that I have never needed to rely on practical magic to see that my basic needs are met. I'm lucky in that. I have never needed the magic in ways that many people do. I'm lucky that I get to talk about it on the internet and theorize and opine. I have the utmost regard and respect for those people for whom practical magic is a necessity and even more so for those people who hold positions of respect and are relied upon by a community and who need their magic to be reliable in ways I can only dream of. I'm lucky that I have never needed that. And I credit my parents for that luck. Their hard work and rationality has given me the freedom to be as irrational as I care to be. Thank for that, Mom and Pop.
I think that's about as much me-splaining as I want to do.
I told Tommie long ago that we should get on Skype or something and talk, I'm glad this has finally happened. And I hope we get to do it more.
Find the links for the episode and to Kadmus' blog below.