How Pop Culture spreads Magic

cosmology In Spirit Speak by Ivo Dominguez Jr, the author shares an interesting cosmology of the different levels of Deity forms in a diagram, which also shows the context of where humans fit into the picture. At the top you have a unitary being, which you might think of as the universe. It encompasses everything. Then you have mediators of that being which include such beings as deities, angels etc, all of which perform specific functions and channel specific aspects of the unitary being into the universe in a manner that is more comprehensible to us. Then you have ancestors, dis incarnates, etc., and finally the humans at the bottom. It's a pretty fascinating cosmology and you see some of it in other models of esoteric practices, but what I really found fascinating is that I've seen the same model presented in Raymond Feist's Riftwar series.

The Riftwar series is a fantasy series written by Feist over the last 2 or 3 decades. He doesn't really get into the cosmology of it until the Serpent War Saga, but in that saga the characters discuss the nature of magic, the universe and deities and what's presented is fascinated because it discusses how the deities are mediators of the universe, while also being shaped to some degree by their interactions with mortals, and specifically by how the mortals mediate or comprehend them, which brings up an interesting point to consider about mediation. Mediation is a two way street. While we our opening ourselves up to mediate a force, we nonetheless are also bringing to bear our own perspectives about that mediation. In that sense mediation is an interpretation of the force being worked with.

In any case, as you read Feist's series more of the cosmology is revealed. The universe is treated as an entity in and of itself that learns from everything that exists within it, while the various deities are representative of forces and concepts mortals deal with. Some deities are further removed than others and as a result the mortals interact with the lesser deities in order to connect with the greater deities. All of this is similar to the cosmology that Ivo describes in his book. With that said, there is one distinct difference and it's this: Feist's work is a work of fiction, while what Ivo is describing is his actual system of spirituality. Nonetheless, there is a sharing of esoteric concepts in the fiction, and it is doen in a manner that plants seeds in the reader and helps them understand the concepts if they later encounter them in esoteric non-fiction. Certainly as  read Ivo's description of his cosmology, it made more sense to me because I saw certain elements of it expressed in what I'd read in Feist's fiction that were similar to what Ivo described.

Pop culture can be used to convey esoteric knowledge and secrets in a manner that may not be fully accurate, but nonetheless presents enough information for people to get something out of it. In Paranormal Media, Annette Hill notes that paranormal media such as books, shows, etc., is becomingly increasingly popular in mainstream culture, and certainly if you look at the profusion of television shows, paranormal books, and other types of esoteric themed media, what you see is an increasing interest in occult topics. Frankly, I think this a good thing, as it enables esoteric techniques and concepts to be shared with people who may not identify as occultists now, but may be open to exploring magic in their lives. And of course what you read in pop culture can also inspire magical experimentation, as it has in my case.

Pop culture is a viable medium for sharing esoteric concepts and secrets with people who aren't necessarily practicing magic at this time. That such information is becoming increasingly prevalent speaks to the fact that it fulfills a need for our society at large that likely can't be met through mainstream religious practices, which are less about empowering individuals and more about presenting a top down approach to spirituality that expects people to lessen themselves for the deity they worship.

Book Review: Paranormal Media: Audiences, Spirits, and Magic in Popular Culture by Annette Hill

In this book, the author discusses the growing interest in the paranormal and how the media has cultivated and fed this interest. She also examines the role of the audience in paranormal media and how that audience simultaneously provides skepticism and belief to paranormal media. It's a fascinating book which explores how contemporary culture is increasingly exploring the paranormal, magic, and other topics as a way of understanding the mysteries of the universe. If you're interested in paranormal studies or want to understand why the paranormal is becoming increasingly popular in mainstream culture, this book will provide some answers and also show how contemporary audiences are engaging with the paranormal.