“Necromancy Manual in the Cambridge Library” was the first video of ESOTERICA’s randomly recommended to me on YouTube. ESOTERICA, hosted by Dr. Justin Sledge, has been a joy in my life while writing and learning about occult texts, so I’m grateful for the recommendation and happy to share it with fellow occultists. As the channel description says, you’ll see “content relating to topics such as alchemy, magic, mysticism, hermetic philosophy, theosophy, the occult and more using the best academic scholarship currently available.” Dr. Sledge’s overview of the variety of topics mentioned is insightful and I love his little jokes too (He doesn’t seem to be a fan of the publisher Brill). Sledge’s critical and humanistic approach to these occult topics is so refreshing and helps make “occult academia” more than just an aesthetic. He also leaves a list of recommended readings in the description of each video.
“The primary power of water is in assisting the creation of forms for the expression of consciousness, providing nutrition for their continued existence, and physical purification.”
Mark Stavish – The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing & the World of Natural Magic (Pathways to Enlightenment)
When I started practicing, I wasn’t really into using water because I learned about how hazardous it can be to your materials and health if you weren’t careful. It is quite useful when it comes to enchanting, however. Many glamours, enchanted teas, purification spells and curses use water as a fundamental tool. Water represents so much more than just emotional energy. It also represents intuitive and psychic abilities, the concept of flow in many contexts, like time, memory, life, death, and more.
Stavish claims that water is very sensitive to psychic energies, so when using it in alchemy or otherwise, it’s important to adhere to your intent or motivation when casting energy or charging any kind of water. To be honest, I am a bit sick of the word “intent” in witchy and metaphysical circles and I know there are other practitioners who argue that intent isn’t everything. I do agree with that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It’s great practice honing one’s intention through the enchantment of an item and water, I’ve noticed, will absorb every bit of that focus. There’s something about water that is incredibly malleable. I suppose you could say that about any of the elements. I’ve been studying the functionality of water magic along with studying the role of poison in the metaphysical sense. Poisonous substances function very similarly to water, although it can take many forms, such as an herb, a liquid, or a gas. In regards to its liquid form, those studying the poison path have expressed that there are benefits to the use of poisonous and psychotropic herbs to aid in meditation and spell work, such as making tinctures, hexing/cursing, and building up one’s immunity in some way. All elements have a shadow side to them, and I find that poisonous liquids is one of those shadow elements that also provide an alternate view on intent.
Understanding our intent for casting anything requires intense reflection. I’m one of many who wrote a poorly thought out incantation leading to poor results. I kept spell writing techniques in mind afterwards, but I think a big issue was the intent. I’m not sure if anyone else thinks this way, but sometimes when I try to push my craft to do things that are more “positive” even though my craft doesn’t specialize in things like love, protection, harmony, etc., I realize the motivation just isn’t there. In this instance I was sort of “poisoning” myself with false positivity. I didn’t use any water for this spell, but I wish I had. I needed that reflective element to help me check in with myself before casting.
So, those are my thoughts and experiences regarding water magic and enchanting. I’ve been using water more often this year and it’s helped tremendously. Additionally it’s inspired one of my recent art pieces: Poison Becomes Power (which you’ve probably have seen on all my socials).
Words Written: 2240 Current Word Count Total: 91,203
Research Topics: – GOAT DEMONS! – First and final draft plotting/organization ideas
Additional Work: – Polished some character design/backstory – Made major editing changes
Work Process: Well, first of all, I have some amazing writing music (the tracks by Raydar are SO GOOD).
Second, holy shit. I had a lot of fun! I love writing fight scenes! Doing my research the other day certainly helped (Bless you, Tolkien!). Although I know I’m really going to have to go back and consider my diction more carefully when I’m in second draft mode, I certainly feel like I made a breakthrough. Magic is hard to choreograph, especially when it involves so many demons and the undead…and wielding elements in a way you HOPE doesn’t remind people too much of Avatar: The Last Airbender (I don’t even have a lot of martial arts in this chapter). Still great though.
I also noticed, compared to some authortubers I checked out today, I don’t really organize my plot with sticky notes or on a board or whatever until doing the second draft. I have written some chapter summaries down and it helps me link to past chapters, but I can’t really plot the whole story from beginning to end with notes or stickies because it’s still fresh in my head. When I write it out, it just sort of happens. The character arcs and main plot just flow. I usually pause when I’m fleshing out lore or a character background, but that’s about it.
Okay, I’m really exhausted. I wrote for four hours straight. Hella proud. Good job me.
What I’m going to discuss is nothing new to fantasy writers. I’m just expressing my excitement. I discovered a more analytical way to explain the magic system of my world without infodumping. Because if you’re going to be a hunter of mages and witches, you better know your s**t. Although my hunters fight fire with fire (literally and figuratively), I don’t want the combat scenes to be the only way my audience sees magic in action. As someone who performs witchcraft, I know there’s so much more to magic than fighting, healing, cursing, banishing, empowering, and the like. There’s a way you should study magic where you do your best to understand its limitations and potential when it flows through yourself and others or else things backfire and get messy. I think the best magicians in history and now are the ones who developed a sort of classification for types of magic that are not just informative, but also personal while avoiding permanence. There should be a balance or correspondence like the hermetic teachings emphasize. I don’t believe all magical techniques are meant to be uniform because sometimes magic is just an experiential whirlwind, but there’s something really tantalizing and sexy about analytical breakdowns for the sake of efficiency.
Or maybe my sapiosexual, Aquarian energy gives me weird kinks. I don’t know. Don’t judge me.
So, I just shared an article I posted today! It was a very enthusiastic review/recommendation of S. Kelley Harrell’s Runic Book of Days, which I strongly recommend to baby witches or pagans on the rise in norse shamanism, but ultimately, this is a blog about my progress as novelist and I’d like to discuss my thought process and construction of magic in my fantasy/scifi story. Rune magick has helped me with my confidence as a person, but definitely gave me inspiration as a writer.
Primarily there are two magic systems in this genre: hard and soft. My novel, Spirit Strings: Initiation, actually fixates on these systems because one is praised while the other is considered dangerous and I have my protagonist decide the truth of these magical systems for herself. The use of rune magick in my story, although they aren’t the Elder Futhark (yet? lol), would be considered part of the hard system, I think. Two videos immediately came to mind and I think if you’re reading this as a fantasy writer, you’ll definitely benefit from watching them. A YouTuber known as Hello Future Me made a concise video on the soft and hard magic systems. If you’re trying to figure out what direction you want to take with your magic system, I recommend giving them a listen. He’s quite silly, but I think he explained the systems wonderfully.
Anyway, conflict, cooperation, and consequence are essential in a story’s plot; if your story has magic, following the Sanderson laws is a good place to start. For my story, I really wanted the use of magic to be a controversial and stressful topic because the ability to wield it lives in everyone and facing the responsibility of using magic can be twisted into either oppression or empowerment. That is commonly seen in fantasy, of course, but I’m striving to go beyond character development. I want a psychological shift in my characters and I want my audience to wonder who’s going to snap, this way, as I reference Sanderson’s first law, my audience’s understanding of magic won’t bring a detrimental effect to the plot whether they want or expect hard magic or soft magic. As an Edgar Allan Poe fan, my knowledge of the supernatural, paranormal, and psychology wasn’t expansive when I was introduced to his work, but I was still allured by his writing because I connected to his commonly used first-person narrative voice. He wanted me to be right beside him while he experienced what terrified him. Audiences understand fear, stress, and other very common human instances. So when it comes to the magic system, yes, it’s important to have those foundational laws and thorough world building, which I’m definitely aiming for, but as I write, I want the magic system to be fueled by strained perceptions. I want the “cost” in hard magic to feel like suffocation. I want the “sense of wonder” in soft magic to reflect falling helplessly into the dark unconscious, the abyss of the psyche.
I want this because maybe you and others have ventured there before. I certainly did while working with rune magick guided by The Runic Book of Days. In my article, I spoke about the springtime, but in my novel series, you’ll get a glimpse of my bittersweet winter. I’m not trying to be edgy; just being honest. I relish in the fact that I trudged through my cold unconscious and survived. I still visit from time to time enthusiastically.
I recently published this article as an excuse to explore a book of symbols I completely forgot I had. I learned about how a corpse can be a candle, how skulls make good cups, I discovered a new belief, and that image you see in the thumbnail is an actual lion-serpent with an interesting history. I made the summaries of each discovery short and tasty so I hope you’ll give it a look and find it to be an interesting read. The Hand of Glory is my favorite.
Additionally, this is another one of my favorite research topics. In fact, it’s something I’ve been looking into since I was a kid. I was sort of in love with Jean Grey from X-Men and Raven from Teen Titans, which led me to wonder about the possibilities of telekinesis. They’ve influenced the creation of my main character in my novel as well. I’m sure most of us have felt silly for trying to lift something with our minds (I have tried many times…I still try sometimes; don’t judge me), but there’s a report I found that claims success so I had to explore that. I also came across a really good video about how our thoughts and emotions affect our body and even though that may seem like a “Duh!” kind of topic, the information I found really highlights the importance of mental and emotional health, but I also couldn’t help but compare the power of our emotions and thoughts to the structure of how telekinesis could work…supposedly.
If you’d be so kind as to like my Facebook page too, that would be appreciated. I don’t even mind doing a follow back. 😉 Leave a comment of your page below if you’re into the same stuff I am.