What is this?
Magick From Scratch is a blog about creating new ways of practicing magic. This means taking nothing for granted, questioning everything, and trying a lot of things out. It is not a blog about faith. A person of faith believes the same thing no matter what they experience.
The process I use is as follows:
- I observe and collect observations of others.
- I form hypotheses about why we observe those things
- I run tests (a lot) to see if those ideas might be true
Part 1 could include gnosis, observations about how practices impact people or any number of other things falling into the category of “paranormal.”
Part 2 is usually where I formulate new magical stuff to try out.
Part 3 is where I test my tech. Repeatedly.
I write about this because any person with enough curiosity, knowledge of the scientific method, and a little discipline can make magic work better.
As a side note, any new practices I develop are not what I think everyone should be doing. If you think that, it says more about you than it does about me. It’s an answer. And usually, I’ll spell out how I got there, in case you want a trail of breadcrumbs for how to create your own ritual art.
Important: I do not make money off of this blog. WordPress is just a social media platform for me, no different than Tumblr. That said, if you are rude to me, I will roast you, block you, and probably edit your comment to make you look extra foolish. Go ahead and start being childish. I’ll finish it.
The Theoi, Because…
If I found out tomorrow that Hellenic deities did not exist, or that they only wanted to deal with ethnic Greeks, or were evil beings who wanted to hurt humans or enslave humans, I would remove all Hellenic content from my blog.
That stuff is there because, near as I can tell, the Theoi are real, human-friendly, and capable of making changes in the world.
I’m pleased to study the practices of the ancient Greeks. I get nerdy about that stuff on my blog sometimes. Still, I only share or write about the stuff that facilitates healthy gnosis, healthy relationships with deities and humans, and healthy spirituality.
Also, I will not call myself a Hellenic Polytheist. If I said I was a Hellenic Polytheist, I would be stuck having conversations with Hellenic Polytheists about what is and isn’t “real” Hellenic Polytheism, and I actually don’t care.
The Theoi are real to me. No religion can ever be.
Ceremonial Magic Because…
Some people think Ceremonial Magic = Thelema.
There are schools of ceremonial magic that came both before and after Thelema. Not all of them have the same correspondences, the same philosophy, or the same set of rituals.
Ceremonial magic uses correspondences, certain conceits in terms of working the space, and certain methodologies or formulae. This style of working fits well with approaching magic as natural philosophy, so I use it.
I’m not claiming to be part of any tradition, lineage, or community. These things would be far too limiting. If I said I was a Golden Dawn magician, for example, I’d be stuck with their tech and correspondences whether or not they worked the way I needed them to.
My Current Impasse
It’s worthy of note that I found a system of magic that suits most of my needs. It’s not Greek. Beyond that, I can’t really talk about it, and not even because of any oaths of secrecy. Every time I try, the spirits of the system cleverly prevent it, and I get backlash.
I can only beg you, if you are reading this, and you run into me in person, to try and steal the things in the Big Green Binder, and we’ll just both hope that you are successful, that I don’t notice, and that the pages you take are somehow the right ones. I’ll be obliged to explain. I am now a World of Warcraft NPC. I don’t know what to tell you.
But anyway, if my recent writings sound unhinged and oblique, that’s why.
Re: Opinions and Facts
In all academia, papers, articles, and other publications represent opinions about ancient texts, the results of experiments, or worldly observations. I have had people dismiss my opinions by saying, “They assume that their opinion of the text is correct.”
Yes. You have successfully described the writer of EVERY SECONDARY SOURCE TEXT. If a person is commenting on a primary source, they are writing their opinion about what it means.
Also, if you comment with a “disagreement” that says the same thing as my entire third paragraph, that’s not actually a disagreement, you just didn’t read the post.
Lastly, if you are bewailing how every opinion you don’t agree with on the internet is “destroying” polytheism/magic/whatever? I get that you are angry, but I’m gonna go out on a limb that you’re angry at a lot more in the world than me, and I can’t fix that for you. Your fear and anger issues need to be hashed out with a therapist, not on a comments thread.
Black Lives Still Matter
People, especially people of color, and most especially black people, are still being killed (1) because certain police are looking for an excuse to commit a hate crime with no consequences, (2) because cops and their supporters think it’s ok for a police officer to act as judge, jury, and executioner.
The protests are still happening, even if you don’t hear about it.
Do not start with me on this topic. I will straight up fucking curse you.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the blogosphere and for the follow.Your support is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to seeing more from you and your blog
Have a great day, 🙂
This blog is amazing. I happened to stumble across it when I was trying to search for different ways to channel Hermes. He seems to have the same attitude towards you as well as He does towards me. Your recent post about a channeling session with Apollon and Hermes was entertaining! Love, love, loved it. Also, I’m sorry if I put this in the wrong spot. The mobile version of this site is confusing. Blessings!
Your blog is amazing. I’m very grateful to have found the Troubleshooting Gnosis section.
Thanks! Glad you found it useful.
I’m just here for the kittens. 😉
Thank you for sharing this work.
This came at just the right moment for me! I Googled “Apotheosis of Semele”– looking for a copy of that strange and wonderful mannerist painting of the same name and VOILA– there you were. Thank you for sharing your experiences regarding myth, practice and waking up to the wonder that is NOW- here (here Now!). What a delight!
Gods, I wish I could give this a 5 stars rating!
This is the first page of your blog that I’ve read and I’ve a feeling I’m gonna have a good time reading the rest of it. Love your style!
Hi, I was looking for an email or a way to PM you because I had something I wanted discuss and was curious about something, and you were one of the people that I thought could provide really interesting input on this.
But, I was researching deities that had been absorbed into the Roman pantheon lately, and that includes the Greek deities as well, and I was wondering how you felt about the Roman deities in comparison to the Greek?
So, for example, how do you feel in regards to Mercury with your close relationship with Hermes?
Anyways, love your blog and your posts and how thought out and articulate they are!
Religio Romana was the religion of about one quarter of my ancestors. Nonetheless, it’s not a religion that ever really appealed to me, owing to how the identities of deities work.
Mercury isn’t just Hermes. Mercury is Odin, and Lugh, and sometimes Thoth. Because of this, I almost feel like Mercury is an office, rather than a person. I would be very unlikely to try to work with Mercury as a deity. I’d call Lugh if I wanted to work with Lugh, or Hermes if I wanted to work with Hermes.
That makes sense, so since so many of the Roman deities had their identities added to from deities from other religions than just Roman, they work more as an office than an individual deity?
I’m the same way, but I’ve become really curious about how people who worship Greek and Roman deities feel about the other cultures, so thank you for your answer!
Hello! Just wanted to say that I’m so glad I found this blog. I’ve recently come out of a cult-like situation with a local pagan group at my college, and stepping out of something I identified with for a while has been incredibly difficult. I’ve always wanted to work with the Greek gods, specifically Hermes. This blog has given me renewed hope in spiritual practices and magic. I look forward to reading your next posts!
I’m sorry that you had a terrible experience with a Pagan group already. Unfortunately, every religion has its share of people trying to use spirituality as a tool to gain power over others. I’m glad that my blog helps.
Hey I found your blog while trying to find a way to remove a condition of mine that seems to remove my magickal potential. While these are interesting topics they don’t seem to help me out much. But your connection to several deities might have be a way i can solve my issue and gain an ability to use these subjects.
I have been told by my mother that i am a nul, which when i found someone who knew the subject they told me it meant Nullified. Basically they described it as a walking filter for spiritual activity, a kind of natural wall against all magick. I was thinking if one of your deities knew what this meant and if there is a way to overcome it how to do so. Then if you aren’t performing any experiments at the moment we could try to develop one on solving this conundrum. Because if all magick and reality is mentally malleable then theoretically i should be able to overcome this. Please tell me what you think.
I don’t even think I need to go to one of my deities. I think I know exactly what you are talking about. I don’t call these people “null” nor do I think that there is anything wrong with them. This describes my Grandmother, my brother, and several of my good friends.
You don’t hear a lot about this in the Pagan/Magical community because the vast majority of these people do not want anything to do with magic. But, if you are anything like the other similar people I know, then what you have is an ability you can learn to control, not a defect, and not something that was done to you.
We call the power “Cold Iron Touch” or “Anti-Magic.” It is potentially the most powerful defensive magic that exists. So much so that I actually intentionally taught myself to do it.
Provided that your will is not compromised (if you can say no to what you are told to think or do, your will is fine), and that you do not suffer from aphantasia (neurological inability to visualize or imagine sensory things), you can gain control over this power, and learn to turn it on and off. My Grandmother learned to turn hers off after she lost her son, and wanted very badly to be able to speak with him. She did that without any outside help.
If you have this power, then you should be able to do the following:
1. You can use it to end a possession in progress, making you potentially the best possible kind of warder.
2. If you join hands in a circle with a group of people under magical attack, you can stop that magical attack by causing the magic to simply not exist anymore. It’s not even like you are shielding them. The person attacking will have to re-cast the hex.
3. If someone tells you about a family curse in enough detail, you can cause that curse to cease to exist.
4. You can extend your influence around another person temporarily to end a spirit-hounding.
5. Any difficult to dissipate, powerful, unwanted energies can be grounded out into you, and they will just no longer exist.
Why is it stuck on? I couldn’t say. Usually, people develop this power in response to some seminal “nope” experience. My brother developed it in response to Spirit-Hounding as a child. My Grandmother was spooked when her father, who died in the war, came to visit her. One of my friends met a real-life vampire (I shit you not, boiled Christian Holy Water in his hand, provided by said friend) and noped his way right the hell out of that situation. One guy I know developed it because he was told that Creator was the only deity, recognized that the world was shit, and noped the hell out of Christian influences. If your mother was a magician, then your seminal “nope” experience may have happened in utero. Certainly, your mother seems to have a lot of ideas and stories about your anti-magic.
Be careful about the stories people tell you about yourself.
I worked as a teacher, and I know a good deal about developmental psych. Our self-concept is impacted by the labels people give us, the stories we learn as children, and the feedback we get. If I had a child and I told him fairly frequently that “you’re a swear-word person. You say swearwords all the time,” he would start to cuss like a sailor over time. Memory and self-concept are fragile and malleable, and it sounds like you’ve been hearing that you are a “null” from her for a while. Just starting to think about this as a power you have, rather than a problem you need to fix, is a good first step in learning to control it.
You should probably go back over your relationship with your mother, her relationship with magic (as you recall it), your family’s relationship with her, your personal traumas, and any lore/stories you’ve picked up surrounding being a “null” with a fine tooth comb. Try writing it all out and analyzing it in terms of where it connects to your sense of self, how it impacts you emotionally and the complex feelings you may have surrounding it.
If you find that there is no particular attachment to the narrative, then discard it. Use the power of “nope” to reject that narrative, and resolve to learn about how it works. That is, after all, the exact talent you are describing.
If you find that you ARE attached to that narrative, either through positive or negative emotion, however complex and conflicted, you’ll need to process before you can nope your way *out* of nopeville.
Ok thanks go giving me more insight on my existence and how this is not the curse i thought it was. I’m wondering how I tell if I am suffering from aphantasia because that seems like the first step to find out if I am suffering from that first then if I am not go through and gain control of this ability i apparently have.
Hey, no problem.
If you have ever had a mental image, you don’t suffer from aphantasia. Close your eyes and imagine doing something you like to do. Try to remember a show you watched, and see if you can remember the visual appearance of any of the scenes.
If you can conjure literally anything in your imagination, you don’t have aphantasia.
It’s extremely, extremely rare.
But yeah. I am doing a series of magical experiments right now. If you have specific hypotheses you want to test, or need help coming up with some, I’m down.
I am… going to be visiting this blog a lot. Ages ago we came into contact on your “Interview with Hermes: Death Sex and Politics” post, wherein I stumbled over your blog by googling “Goddamnit, Hermes” and very quickly came to realize we knew the same fellow and you were incredibly genuine — I think my wife also tagged you in some Thoth art of mine on twitter. Regardless, I’ve somehow fallen into taking on a teacher role for what I can only call a batch of upcomings that all fell together at once and there are very few blogs I have great faith in on a mix of good advice for practical occultism and good ethics and thinkie-thoughts to match in the modern age. They’re gonna have to expect to read a lot of referrals from here, hah. Thank you.
Frankly, I’d love to have you show up in our niche discord server, but I can’t exactly expect it. Rather than spamming a link of a safe space all over the internet, if you DO get curious my personal Discord is Minerva#0551 and we can chat there.
Never thought I’d see the day where I’d be playing the role of a teacher, and yet here we are. And your blog is going to be critical and super helpful guiding a cluster of new practitioners.
Congrats on your transition into the position of teacher!
Aside from having magical and spiritual students, I also worked as a grade school teacher for a number of years. I have to say, you learn more as a teacher than you do as a student. You learn about human nature and spirituality from a whole new perspective. It’s humbling. You will make mistakes. It will feel awful, sometimes. Unless you refuse to learn from it, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing a bad job.
The best teachers feel under-qualified for their entire career. It’s one of those jobs you do where if you feel like you have all the answers, you probably suck at it. Learning to love learning, and making peace with owning your mistakes and feeling like a perma-n00b is just about the only way to be good at it.
I’m glad the stuff I have written here resonates with you. A fair number of people read what I write here and decide that I am a danger to society, and that no one in their right mind should work with me. My work makes them really fucking angry. Every once in a while, though, someone applies the adjective, “useful” to describe what I have created. That’s a great feeling. Best compliment I can receive! And it’s why I create stuff in the first place.
Again, congrats and best of luck. I might well look you up later!
Heey I stumled apon your blog in search of finding a way to communicate with Hermes, as he visited my dream lately and I’d like to know why. I’m a very beginner in practising magic/wicca stuff. And I see you are quite close to Hermes, so I was wondering if you could ask for me? Maybe its a stupid question..
All the info on your blog is really interesting by the way.
It’s not a stupid question.
Always remember that Hermes is both trickster and messenger. If he has a specific message, trust me, it will get to you.
But sometimes he shows up because, “that person looks interesting! I shall poke them. Poooooooke.”
He’s friendly, and definitely not all business.
I would love a collection of your blog posts for prison tablets where they would be free for anyone in that state to read. If you have a MP4 or wanted to make a MP3 for the many low literate and vision impaired Pagans in prison, that’d be great, too. I work with 49 DOCs’ Chaplains or Religious Coordinators, plus some Mental Hospital and Immigration Detainment Center Chaplains, as the US clearinghouse of high quality, non-racist, inclusive Pagan materials. 100 prisons in Texas would show an hour video. The tablet companies have dropped fees so states with tablets and any IT help and working really hard to create multimedia Interfaith libraries available for anyone in the state’s prison, so it wouldn’t just be Pagans reading your PDF booklet. Please contact me! You are really great for this!
This is a very worthy cause! I can give time to this project in about two months, when my current writing and ritual project wraps up. Where’s the best place to email you?