Audience and Responsibility

Mike recently posted about audience, and specifically writing for audience, in terms of what topics should be covered and who might read what he writes. It's an interesting quandary and one I've occasionally thought about in regards to this blog. What do I choose to say? What do I choose to reveal? How responsible am I to my audience for what I write about? This isn't just about sharing magical techniques but also experiences on a variety of topics, many of which might be considered adult only.

My own take on it is that I already have written books about magic, including one that had an adult only audience in mind, as it was about sex magic. But even the books that might be inclusive of a younger audience are written for mature people (Go here for a great post on the topic of mature and audiences). I certainly feel some responsibility for the audience I am writing for in the books I've produced. I want the books to accurately represent my magical work and help people understand the process of magic and how they can better apply it to their lives. I don't feel responsible for how my audience uses the knowledge gleaned from my books, as my audience is responsible for their choices and experiences (much as I am responsible for my experiences and choices). How they choose to use and/or abuse what they get from my books is their concern and the consequences are also their concern.

When it comes to this blog, I have a different take. While I know I have an audience of readers (thank you so much), this blog is primarily a way for me to write about ongoing projects, discuss internal work and personal realizations, and other such things. It is as much for my benefit as it is for anyone reading it. I feel responsible to my audience in the sense that I want to authentically share my process and work (and even inner struggles) as a way of inspiring them, but I don't worry about who will or won't read this blog. I figure that for the most part, the people who read this blog are other practitioners of magic who want to read my insights on my work, but even if no one read this blog, it wouldn't concern me because it is a record of my work, for my benefit.

I find that when you are clear about the distinct purpose of a given tool you are using, it makes it much easier to use that too effectively. My books are written for other people. I may glance through once in a while, but I know the material in a very personal way and as such when I write a book I am not writing it for me, but rather as a way to shared refined perspectives and processes of magic. My blog is written for me and for other people, but more as a way of providing insight on the ongoing work. In a sense a book captures the end product of the process...and even though it discusses the process, it discusses from a perspective of finality, whereas with the blog there is a continual revision occurring. One is a textual artifact, the other is an organic changing entity in its own right. Each has their own value and audience in mind.

I trust that whoever reads this blog is someone who is genuinely interested in the practice of magic (though there have been occasional exceptions to that rule). There is little else that needs to be said.

Book Review Sphere of Art 2 by R. J. Stewart

This book is a continuation of the first Sphere of Art with some major differences, namely that the author introduces kabbalistic and alchemical aspects to the Sphere of Art working. I recommend this book with the caveat that it is a good idea to have some practical experience with kabbala and alchemy in order to fully benefit from the practical applications described in this book. The author does an excellent job of showing how  the sphere of art working can be refined via the disciplines mentioned above as well as how it can further be used in the magical work he teaches. The work he discusses is doable, but will take some time and discipline on your part...well worth it for the benefits involved.