Magic and Narrative

Taylor Ellwood has an interesting discussion regarding magical work and narrative structure.

The way words are used and even the format of the text can set up pacing for the book. For example, if you use a lot of dialogue you’re usually trying to move the narrative along. The same applies for action sequences. Now if you apply this to magic, think about why you are doing magic. You’re typically doing it to make a connection, create a change, or work through your internal crap. Ask yourself how you are directing the narrative. What are you paying attention to and what aren’t you paying attention to? What could you change that would allow you to discover what you aren’t noticing?

There have been thousands of gallons of ink spilled on relating ritual to a narrative structure. This is pretty spot on. And as a storyteller myself, it is very easy to see magical work as constructing a personal narrative. Or editing one, as it were.

The narrative flow of a given magical working is an arrangement. You cut out what doesn’t fit, and you put into place what does fit. Then you tie all those elements together and you tell a story to reality that embeds the possibility you desire into yourself as the magician and reality as the recipient. The result is a manifestation of magic. Pretty simple really, but its made complicated by the attachment people have to descriptive elements which are really just placeholders to describe something they represent. If you understand what’s represented, you can get rid of the place holders and work directly with the source

Your life is a story. There are many, many threads that weave through it — plot arcs, of you will. Some of them are never resolved, some of them depend on the actions of other people, and some of them will take you where you want to be.

I’m not big on predestination or fate, but I do believe that there are patterns that suggest where things will likely end up. Certain story arcs can have predictable outcomes. When you do magic, what you are doing is editing those outcomes to introduce more interesting or beneficial ones.

The fun part is that much of magic ritual in itself acts out certain stories or narratives. And the stories we chose to enact are what allow us to edit the story arcs we’re facing. This can work by either enacting the scenario you wish to insert into your narrative, or by acting out the role of an editor and simply dictating the changes you want to make.

It’s your story. Make the edits you want.

The way words are used and even the format of the text can set up pacing for the book. For example, if you use a lot of dialogue you’re usually trying to move the narrative along. The same applies for action sequences. Now if you apply this to magic, think about why you are doing magic. You’re typically doing it to make a connection, create a change, or work through your internal crap. Ask yourself how you are directing the narrative. What are you paying attention to and what aren’t you paying attention to? What could you change that would allow you to discover what you aren’t noticing? – See more at: http://www.magicalexperiments.com/narrative-flow-and-magic/#sthash.np3NRUzx.dpuf
The way words are used and even the format of the text can set up pacing for the book. For example, if you use a lot of dialogue you’re usually trying to move the narrative along. The same applies for action sequences. Now if you apply this to magic, think about why you are doing magic. You’re typically doing it to make a connection, create a change, or work through your internal crap. Ask yourself how you are directing the narrative. What are you paying attention to and what aren’t you paying attention to? What could you change that would allow you to discover what you aren’t noticing? – See more at: http://www.magicalexperiments.com/narrative-flow-and-magic/#sthash.np3NRUzx.dpuf
The way words are used and even the format of the text can set up pacing for the book. For example, if you use a lot of dialogue you’re usually trying to move the narrative along. The same applies for action sequences. Now if you apply this to magic, think about why you are doing magic. You’re typically doing it to make a connection, create a change, or work through your internal crap. Ask yourself how you are directing the narrative. What are you paying attention to and what aren’t you paying attention to? What could you change that would allow you to discover what you aren’t noticing? – See more at: http://www.magicalexperiments.com/narrative-flow-and-magic/#sthash.np3NRUzx.dpuf
The way words are used and even the format of the text can set up pacing for the book. For example, if you use a lot of dialogue you’re usually trying to move the narrative along. The same applies for action sequences. Now if you apply this to magic, think about why you are doing magic. You’re typically doing it to make a connection, create a change, or work through your internal crap. Ask yourself how you are directing the narrative. What are you paying attention to and what aren’t you paying attention to? What could you change that would allow you to discover what you aren’t noticing? – See more at: http://www.magicalexperiments.com/narrative-flow-and-magic/#sthash.np3NRUzx.dpuf
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One response to “Magic and Narrative

  1. Pingback: Magic and Narrative | Practical Pagans

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