I ingested a lot of Alan Moore media when The Watchmen movie came out this month, and I really loved his take on magic (in the sense of spells and incantations, not card tricks) in a interview with Stewart Lee. The magic topic starts at about 5:30 of part three. (Part 1, and part 2 if you want them.)
I suppose the thing with magic is that a lot of it is about writing anyway. “To cast a spell.” That’s a fancy way of saying spelling. Grimoire, the big book of magical secrets. That’s a French way of saying ‘grammar.’ It’s all about language and writing. It’s all about incantation. It’s all about all these things. And so magic, really, it turns out to just be a continuation of the stuff I’ve been doing anyway. Using certain arrangements of words or images to affect people’s consciousness.
I decided to keep that for my multi-year quest about how to communicate. Magick and neo-paganism is a minefield of gender terrorism and cultural appropriation, a bring your own analysis situation. But still, folks who are into magical spells do have a lot of ideas and practice related to speaking intentionally.
After keeping it on my (giant) reading list for years, I finally read Stone Butch Blues recently, and I saved this quote about semi-applicable resources.
I felt as though I was rushing into a burning building to rescue the ideas I needed in my own life.
It’s been a pretty good spell so far— I say it a lot when I’m getting inspired by a book that has a lot of problems and maybe embarrasses or enrages me. It’s good for books written by druids.