When Tense Magicians Get Creative…

In my previous post I sought to wax philosophical regarding the way in which we as magicians try to work with dynamic tensions in our lives. We can use our art and magic to gain points of reconciliation, synthesis and blending, or we can let the dynamic tension go, reconciled in the hope that this more jagged energy will open up new vistas.

While this hopefully proved helpful and provided some sophisticated insights into the dynamics that generate and inspire our magic, I thought I would provide a couple of brief snap-shots of how I have used my own magical practice to manage during the Corona related limitations.

  1. Doodling as Spell-Craft.

As a young teenager growing up in Australia, I was an incessant doodler and would often receive encouraging feedback on Maths papers: “You would do a lot better if you spent as much time working on equations as you did drawing drum kits and surfboards!”

While capitalism may deride doodling as daydreaming with a pen in hand, I now see it as a powerful way of managing anxiety and unblocking creativity. If sigils are those stripped back symbols that we cast onto the ocean of the unconscious, I think that Doodles can be those sigils reverse engineered. Carl Jung, in his usually clever way, explored the way in which mandalas expressed the tensions and symbols present and emerging from the unconscious and for me doodles are a more punk-rock version of that. Here’s a nice Ted talk about doodling ☺ 

So if you are stressed or feeling blocked, unleash your inner automatic doodler and see what emerges. Here’s one of mine:

  1. Working with Slow Cut-ups.

I have previously written on this blog about the way magicians can use cut-ups to de-stabilise and transform the self. In using cut-ups we disrupt our attempts at coherence and linearity in order to improvise new expressions of spiritual creativity. I really enjoyed this recent documentary made by Carl Abrahamsson and Vanessa Sinclair about Genesis’ creativity and their take on cut-ups, and the way in which cut-ups allow us to write new stories of the self:

In re-visiting my own play/practice with cut-ups and its close cousin collage, I began to wonder whether I needed any more deconstruction given that the day-to-day challenge of getting through lockdown. In having to contend with the pressures of claustrophobia, limitation and compulsory interaction did I really want to use my old-style cut-up techniques to lob yet another psychic hand grenade into the mix?

Taking inspiration from the Slow movement I have started playing with cut-ups as a way of exploring multiple layers of meaning.  By layering I can acknowledge my own need for self-compassion as I move between the multiplicity of roles that the lockdown and my keyworker role demands of me. I love the centrality of the heart motif in the healing sigil that others have evolved in seeking to work magically with the impact of Covid-19. The cut-up both acknowledges the messy reality of my current situation and perhaps invites me to include new ingredients that will allow better self-care. 

Cut-up Sculpt for Self-Care

Shaking out the Body.

I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing the way in which my body is holding tension in response to our current circumstances. Whether it’s too many hours squinting at on-line video platforms or the relentless barrage of important but challenging news feeds, I have been aware of my need to get moving and allow my physical being to make sense of the almost endless cognitive download.

Sometimes I have sought the repetition of my running or even revelled in the luxury of an early morning (socially distanced) surf session. While I count myself fortunate to have access to both these routes, the place I have been going to most is dance. Perhaps inspired by my reading of his pacey and hilarious autobiography Porcelain, I have been revisiting the house-music back catalogue of Moby.

Here’s a nice video of Moby talking about his new album “All visible Objects”: 

Few things in my life are as vital as music and when I get the chance to lose myself in the range of emotions that it can evoke, I am aware of alpha-wave connections that allow release and some healing. Lots of very helpful research is being undertaken into how bodily based interventions allow us to process trauma. My friend Meg-John Barker has provided a super helpful summary of this over on their great blog:

Anyhow, these are a few of my own magical experiments that I have been carrying out; feel free to borrow them and mutate them as you see fit! 

Lots of Love,

Steve Dee

One thought on “When Tense Magicians Get Creative…

  1. Sophie Holborow says:

    Massively resource heavy and helpful blog. Thank you.

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