Lately I've been thinking about my approach to magical work and experimentation. I commented to Kat the other day that I am not someone who is focused on one tradition or spiritual path and I don't think I ever will be. I think of myself as a sorcerer scientist (fittingly enough the term comes from pop culture, specifically fantasy books). While I certainly have a background in magical practices, traditions, etc., I'm at the same time fascinated with contemporary disciplines and how those disciplines can be meshed with magical principles. This prompts a lot of my experimentation. So I've decided to come up with tenets that describe the sorcerer scientist, because I feel that in describing it, not only can I help myself better understand my own spiritual path, but also speak to those people who feel similar and don't feel they fit into conventional occultism. To do this, it's useful to define a couple of terms.
Magic: Magic is a methodology of manifesting a specific possibility into reality using specific techniques that help the person connect the possibility to reality. Magic is also a means for communing with the universe as well as entities that exist on other planes of existence, in order to either better understand the universe or in order to get help with turning a possibility into reality. There are a variety of magical traditions and practices that can be learned and experimented with.
Science: Science is a variety of contemporary disciplinary practices that provide specific perspectives for understanding the universe. For example, hard sciences such as biology or Physics provide perspectives and critical inquiry into the nature of life or the "rules" for how the universe works. Soft sciences such as culture studies or psychology provide insight into behavioral patterns and cognitive activities. There are a wide variety of disciplines that could fall under this term of science, including what people might traditionally consider art. For all intents and purposes, the sorcerer scientist recognizes that the categorization of science is used as a way of recognizing the integration of contemporary disciplines into magical work, as opposed to defining what disciplines could be considered science or art or whatever else.
The sorcerer scientist is interested in the techniques of magic and the disciplinary practices of the various sciences and how those techniques and practices can be melded together to enhance the ongoing work of the sorcerer scientist. The sorcerer scientist isn't interested in using science to explain what magic is, but rather s/he is interested in exploring what magic could be. The tenets of the sorcerer scientist are as follows:
1. Cultivate an active interest in various disciplines, both occult and otherwise in order to see how they can be merged together. The experimenter recognizes that having a broad foundation informs and inspires the magical experimentation s/he does.
2. Keep an open mind about what you learn, but also use critical inquiry to refine your work. Ask questions and examine conclusions carefully.
3. Experimentation is essential for the evolution of magic. Respect tradition and learn from it. Research in order to ground yourself in what others have done. Experiment to find out what you can do and get your own answers about yourself, life, the universe, etc.
4. Be your own authority. Create your own definitions. Work with others, but recognize that what they ultimately can offer is just their perspectives and experiences. You still have to come up with your own answers, and your own questions.