One of the appeals of pop culture magic is that you can develop your own magical system around pop culture you like. However developing such a system does require some understanding of how magic works. Also a pop culture system of magic is different from a pop culture magic working. It's much more involved than just doing a working. Understanding that is important, especially if you choose to develop a system of pop culture magic. When you develop a pop culture system of magic, you are developing a framework for working pop culture magic regularly with the pop culture you are drawing from. You aren't just doing a working to solve a problem, but instead are integrating it into your life as a regular practice, a part of your spiritual and/or magical identity. The following are considerations to keep in mind when developing a system of magic around pop culture.
1. What pop culture will you use? Not every pop culture lends itself easily to being used in a system of magic. You want to pick pop culture that resonates with you, but is also something you can graft onto magical principles in a way that makes sense and isn't forced. Additionally if your pop culture lends itself to fitting into correspondences this can be helpful in the development of your system. With that said, what can be interesting with a pop culture system of magic is your choice to buck convention and do something different that doesn't necessarily fit into conventional frameworks of magic.
2. What is the mythology of the pop culture? The mythology of a given pop culture can also be an important aspect of your magical work. The mythology provides a cosmos to work with that helps to flesh out the frame work. In fact, you may find that the mythology plays a central role in the development of the magical system. For example, when Storm and I were developing the Dehara system, part of the work we did involved putting together a mythology that could be integrated into the framework of the Sabbats and consequently set up a way to meaningfully work with that system of magic year round. Having the mythology in place enhanced the Dehara system of magic.
3. What are the rules of your pop culture? Some pop culture has specific rules, which may consequently effect the system of magic you develop. Remember that the development of a system isn't just what you want in the system, but also whatever else is relevant to the pop culture you are drawing on. For example, if you were to put together a system of pop culture magic based on Once Upon a Time, one rule you'd have to deal with is Magic always has a price. That's an integral rule of the mythology of the show (and in my opinion, makes it less useful as a system of pop culture magic).
4. What does this pop culture mean to you? This last consideration is very personal, but important because of how personal it is. While you could work with any pop culture you come across, in my experience working with what has meaning to you, especially on an emotional level is helpful for really connecting with the pop culture spirits you work with. Regardless of whether the magical work is purely practical or devotional, its something which ought to resonate with you, at least if you're going to make a system out of it.
What are some other considerations you would apply to developing a pop culture system of magic? Why?
The latest episode of magical experiments podcast features Tara Miller discussing health and magic.