Some of my current pop culture magic workings

Drake There's a lot of conversation going on right now about the validity of pop culture magic and spirituality in the blogosphere. If you want to see my response to it, go here. But I figure for this post I'll talk about some of my current work with pop culture magic. While my magical practice isn't as focused on pop culture anymore, it's still a significant component of how I practice magic. I'm pleased that more and more people are integrating pop culture into magic, as it is necessary for the evolution of magic. So below are a few case studies of what I've been up to.

Nathan Drake: Discoverer of lost items

At the beginning of this year I discovered the Uncharted video game series. While the first game was a bit lackluster in my opinion, the second and third game are amazing. You feel like you're in a movie. Even the musical score supports this feeling. In playing the game I felt like I got to make a connection with the main character and there were three traits I felt were useful: His ability to find artifacts that were lost (you collect them throughout the game), his problem solving abilities, and his luck. So I figured if I ever needed to I could call on his help for finding something I've lost. I've had three occasions where I've needed his help. Once was to find my phone (I'd left it in a restaurant) and the other two times were to find keys. Now I imagine that all of you know how frustrating it is to lose something and not be able to find it, especially when you need it. In each case, I started humming the theme song of Uncharted to evoke Nathan. Then I asked him to find the objects in question and show me a map of how to find them. Each time I did this, within a couple minutes I got a map that showed me where to go and each time I found the item in question.

I figure if I'm stumped about a problem I can also call on Nathan to help me discover possibilities for solving the problem. I haven't had to as of yet, but I'm sure I'll need to. And he's lucky...he's fighting scores of goons and who know's what else and he always comes out on top, so that's something else I figure I can draw on.

Kratos: Time and Time Again

If you're familiar with the God of War series then you know of Kratos. What's fascinating about Kratos isn't just the fact that he's the archetype of rage and vengeance (as well as the God of War), but the fact that in most of the games time is an element that he uses to his advantage. The most recent game, for example, allows the character to construct or deconstruct items, while in other games he is able to slow down time. Pretty nifty skills. While I already have some Time Dilation techniques I can use, I'm never one not to experiment or explore an idea that's presented in a different way. So in the case of Kratos its involved actually calling on him to slow or speed time up for me, which has been useful for reaching several business appointments. I could do it myself, but the point was to see what he could do. When he does it, he projects a cone of greenish energy that is used to either speed up or slow down time. It's projected into the environment, but doesn't effect me. And as with Nathan I hummed the theme music to evoke Kratos.

Those are examples of working with pop culture entities and I used them to show how such entities can be used to effect events as opposed to just personality traits. But I'd be remiss in not including a practical pop culture oriented technique that the magician could do him/herself.

Sharing Images

Something I've noticed with blogs is that if you include a picture its more likely to grab the attention of people and get them to go and read your blog. There's nothing inherently magical in that, but it's occurred to me that one way you can charge sigils is to simply share a picture of the sigil on social media. You can even embed the sigil into a picture if you'e got the right skills and then people can charge it up for you. Each sharing of the sigil fires it off while also charging it with the attention of the people who look at it, like it and comment on it.

So those are a few pop culture magic workings I've been working on. There's a few I haven't shared either and those will have to wait until I write the next Pop Culture Magic book. There's a lot to explore with pop culture magic if you have an open mind.



Re-branding myths

I'm currently re-playing the God of War video game series. Its one of my favorite series and part of what I like about it is that it re-brands the Greek myths. You're playing a character who fights all the Greek Monsters and challenges the Titans and the Gods and runs into the other heroes of Greek Mythology. You're experiencing the Greek myths through the lens of Pop Culture. You see this replicated in pop culture a fair amount. Whether its Marvel comics with their exploration of Thor and Norse Mythology or various video games that explore different mythologies from a modem perspective, there is a re-branding of myths that occurs. And there is also the infusion of new contemporary myths, such as what we find with Batman.

It serves as a way of introducing people to cultures and mythologies they may not have encountered otherwise. And sometimes it inspires research and study to find out more. Purists will argue that a game such as God of War is inaccurate because it reinterprets myths and inserts a character that was never part of the mythos. There is truth to that statement, but that's why it's a rebranding of mythology as opposed to the actual myth.

The re-branding of mythology is good because it shows us how timeless the myths are and how we can't leave them behind. We retell them, we reshow them and maybe we change them a bit, but nonetheless we are influenced by them and the power they have in our lives. They live on in us, not only in the reading of the original myths, but the reinterpretations of them that are created in contemporary culture.

A reflection on God of War

I've been playing God of War 1 and 2 in preparation for the release of God of War 3, out later this month. There are two elements of this game that always stand out to me. First, just how much the game draws from the cheesy 1970's movies. Even the monsters look like claymation, which I personally think is cool. Having watched those movies when I grew up, I have a fine pop culture appreciation of what GOW is based off of. But the other element that always stand out to me is what I consider to be the extremely accurate depiction of the capricious nature of the Greek gods. If you read the myths about the gods, they as often punish as they reward and even the gifts they give are ultimately double-edged. For me, a game such as GOW is an opportunity to retell and reconnect with such beings.

And that is really the power of contemporary technology. It provides us new ways to connect with old paradigms, and at the same time births something new, which comes to be as evocative as what had already been there. It's not that GOW is a better version of the Greek myths (far from it) but rather a reinterpretation, with a new kind of interaction provided as well. And there can be something magic in that...all depends on the perspective you bring to it.