If process is the methodology of magic, experience is the art of magic.
When I talk about experience, I’m talking about engaging your magical work on a sensorial level, opening yourself to the subtle nuances of magic as it expresses itself in your life.
Experiential aspects of magic can happen during ritual workings. In fact a lot of magical workings are purposely designed to engage the magician sensually in order to alter the consciousness and prepare the magician for the spiritual workings, but ritual is just one example of experiential work in magic.
I purposely referenced the art of magic because I’ve found that a lot of magic can be found in how a person engages the senses using art, writing and music, whether through participation or creation. The artistic engagement of magic is the evolution of magic from ritual, which nonetheless draws on ritual as a way to ground the artistic work.
A significant amount of my own magical work is done through art, primarily through writing and painting, but also through some work with sound. I’ve also used memorization with ritual for experiential work as well as moving and stillness meditations. All of this experiential work with magic has demonstrated to me that part of the evolution of magic can be found in how magicians use their senses to fully engage with magic and how in turn magic expresses itself through the magician and the mediums of expression the magician is using in their magical work.
I wrote the process of magic to explain the methodology of magic and show how magical workings could be broken down and modified and then put back together. I think you have to understand methodology and process in magic, but where my work is taking me now is further and further into experiential aspects of magic. Inevitably though I recognize that the process and art of magic will come together, but exploring each as distinct aspects of magic is worthwhile in order to appreciate what magic and the magician can do.
It’s also fair to say that my focus on experiential aspects of magic is as much about reinventing myself as magician as well as my relationship with magic. To stay static is to stagnate, yet I will admit my stagnant period forced me to question everything I know about magic and start exploring some directions I previously hadn’t considered. By choosing to go down some new paths I’ve already found a renewed appreciation for magic and discovered anew the wonder and mystery that drew me to it in the first place so I could ask and answer questions.
Now through my experiential work I’m continuing to ask and answer questions while testing what I know about magic by going back to the edge, back to the unknown. The experiential aspects of magic are seen, felt, and heard, but so much of it is expressed in generic terms that don’t do justice to the experience. It’s the limitations of language, but limitations can be worked around and transcended if we’re willing to open ourselves to the full range of experience and that’s where my own interests lie, in discovering how best to express the experiences of magic, the art of magic, and then how to bring that together with the process of magic.