A common idea circulating within contemporary witching culture is the minimalism of tools.
Tools are just psychological props.
Tools are just place holders.
Any kitchen knife can be an Athame.
Any bowl a cauldron.
Any candle the hearth fire.
You don’t need tools.
I would like to challenge the above notions. Having worked both as a minimalist who has done all of the above in regards to tools in magic, as well as someone who also has come to works in traditional paths where there is a requirement in tools of a certain type.
I would like to reframe the way we have this conversation about tools within popular witching cultures.
Let me preface with an idea.
Magic is dialogue. A spiritual working is a dialogue between the worker and those they are working with, for, and against. It is a dialogue between the many selves within you. The Animal. The Talker. The Head.
It is a dialogue, each one unique, beautiful, and important.
When we work, we create dialogue in our work, dialogue coloured by that which we use to communicate.
I would like to take away the hierarchies we tend to construct for a minute. And simply observe dialogues as metaphors of magical creation. And magical creation as metaphors of dialogues.
There are many ways to say “I love you”.
You can say it with flowers, roses, and gifts of sweets and material affection.
You can say it with simple words, physical contact, soft sighs.
You can say it with a knife in hand, stabbing their chest in repeated thrusts, all the while saying “I love you”.
You can say it with moans, and thrusts, and sweating bodies gliding against warm sheets.
You can communicate it in silence. With gestures. With speeches of the hands, of the eyes, of the lips.
You can simply hold someone.
Magic, is like saying “I love you”.
Why are you saying it? How are you saying it? With what are you saying it?
Each manner is different, unique, arriving at the same destinations yet not.
How you communicate with your magic affects your magic. The choice of tools, of herbs, of working spirits. However complex or simple, all communicate your intents of the working in a different way.
Doesn’t mean they can’t all say “I love you” in a way that is meaning, successful, and powerful.
But sometimes the type of “I love you” needs dew drops collected on Midsummer morning, and bottled in a glass perfume bottle filled with your own tears of affection.
And sometimes, all an “I love you” needs or wants is a hug, a kiss, a sigh.
You can say “I love you” but there are different ways important to different contexts, peoples, and traditions.
Magic is many, many, many ways of creating dialogue with many, many, many peoples.
Jean Baudrillard’s essay, The Ecstasy of Communication discusses the change from the idea that object is a mirror of subject to that of object is a screen or network for the subject. He discusses through many forms, that man kind is losing public and private space, as all is being melded together through a system of spectacles being constantly pushed into our lives.
What the group discussed was how we could potentially change this. With technology such as TV, and advertisements taking up the modern world, how can we seclude ourselves from such an information overload? Is it possible to go back to when people put meaning into objects, when they were not used purely as just form?
Baudrillard discusses the “ecstasy of communication” as the single dimension we use to function to provide information. He discusses the loss of personal space and how all communication covers all parts of life, and has no boundaries to what it carries.
What the group found interesting was how this relates to architecture. As discussed in previous classes, the idea of advertisements taking over a building is a new issue architects look at when planning a building. When taking this article into mind, do architects now have to plan for lack of personal space? Do we have to over compensate for that? Do people want public spaces more or less?