Drawing is a skill which most of us would be familiar with as occultists. Spare and Dali amongst others were accomplished at the task.
So the question arises, how important is the skill of drawing to the practice of the occult?
Looking at history, it is interesting to see at what lengths various religious and political institutions went to suppress and persecute ‘the left’. For example, left handed behavior was strongly discouraged along with creativity and free-thinking. Yet sadly, given their agenda and taking into account the insights provided by neurobiology, they were certainly on to something.
It is generally understood that the profile of our nervous system is determined by what traits we inherit and what we DO. Drawing on a regular basis changes our nervous system, much like meditation. Often there is a belief that you can either draw or you can’t but this is as non-sensical as saying you can’t run because you’re not an athlete. In addition, many people are discouraged from drawing because they don’t make money from the skill, likewise just because you can meditate doesn’t mean you have to make money from it.
Drawing, like meditation, promotes dominance in various parts of the nervous system which are conducive to magick and discouraged by day-to-day activity.
Approaching the Skill of Drawing
The skill of drawing can be divided into three processes:
- Random or Automated Drawing
- Observational Drawing
- Constructive Drawing
The first process would be familiar to anyone who has read Spare or Jan Fries work. You start by drawing aimlessly and produce images un-intentionally. If the skill is used for an intended purpose the intent is applied sub-consciously through sigils.
The second process involves simply copying an image in any degree of precision. This process relies heavily on concentration and the trance-state produced can be likened to the magical-trances outlined in Liber Null.
Thirdly, constructive drawing involves the construction of images with conscious intent. This process relies heavily on the artists “symbol system”.
The second and third processes can be differentiated by understanding that in the second process, the artist is drawing a pineapple, while looking at the pineapple but not thinking about ‘the pineapple’. The artist is focused on the lines which differentiate color, light and shadow. In the third process, the artist would draw a representation, symbol or map of a pineapple without looking at a pineapple (assuming they know what one looks like).
Drawing promotes mental qualities useful to the magician and can provide another valuable avenue to self-discovery.
Edwards, B. (1999) Drawing On The Right Side of The Brain (Rev. And Exp. Ed.)
Rose, C. (2006) The International Review of Neurobiology Vol. 74: The Neurobiology of Painting.
Loomis, A. Successful Drawing.
Dodson, B. (2007) Keys To Drawing With Imagination.
Fries, J. (1992) Visual Magick.