Above artwork: Visions by Nathan Dube.
My father is a unique individual.
He is one of the few conservative Christians I have ever met who at once will denounce paganism as satanic, magick as pure evil and attempt to justify said perspectives while simultaneously turning the volume up on Led Zeppelin’s Zoso album while we discuss such matters over the course of a few alcoholic beverages.
My father is also an amazing artist. His work, which is based around the use of stones, decorative concrete and glass fused into mandala like mosaics or sculptures evokes a deep sense of spirituality. Despite his deeply held conservative Christian beliefs, his work evokes more of an eastern sense of design.
Above artwork: Sculpture by my father
One afternoon, our neighbor stopped by after seeing some of his work and asked, what does it mean?
What does what mean? He replied.
Your stone sculptures… What do they mean? Asked our neighbor once more.
They don’t mean anything. “It’s just art” he replied.
I find this to be at once humorous and also insulting to my fathers own integrity. He knows damn well that it is more than “just art”. Speak to him about fractal geometry and he will passionately rant about chaos theory and the sacred nature of fractals as evidence of Yahweh’s divine creation of the universe.
Suggest to him that the universe manifests evidence of a creator and he will quickly agree with the sentiment and go on to say that said evidence suggests only the signature of a Christian God.
I have yet to enlighten him to the fact that Art is in fact, a form of magick.
I suspect he will quickly reject such an idea and defend his work as having nothing to do with the manipulation/communication of demonic or angelic forces.
Of course in my fathers view, magick is based solely around the act mentioned above. Suggest that magick may very well be a dramatized form of psychology (as Peter Carroll has suggested) and he will scoff at psychology as both a deviant and or demonic art within itself, while he pauses to turn up the doors self titled album commenting on Ray Manzarek’s emotionally charged keyboard solo…
Indeed what my farther fails to realize is that art IS magick.
Both accomplish the same goal of “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” (as uncle Al would put it).
And there he will exclaim, Aleister Crowley was evil! I have no interest in respecting his work or assuming any connection to art in general (regardless of it being true or not).
To this I would respond, well Miles Davis was an egotistical, self absorbed, womanizing jerk… However, this does not change the fact that he was quite possibly the greatest Jazz musician of all time. His work will forever influence Jazz musicians of the future whether they be Christians or Atheists…
Aleister Crowley may well have been evil on some level.
This does not subtract from his genius or the success of his work and the truth of the statement above.
Sometimes, assholes make/do amazing things that will inspire people of all types for generations to come. Enjoying and being inspired by art/music/magick from someone who was a complete prick does not/should not take away from the art itself.
The fact is that art effects people, it changes the psychology/emotions of those who view/consume it. At this most basic truth regarding art we see that art is indeed a form of magick.
To me the purpose of drawing such conclusions is to show that all people are magicians/artists.
All children create and view the world through a filter of enchantment. They fear not the judgement of an angry God. They see magic(k) in every moment of life and they “know” that the world is an enchanted place and that being present in this truth is not a sin.
When we grow up we allow belief systems to effect our minds and our decisions. Sometimes the child adopts the idea that I am/my work is not good enough. The idea that this/that is blasphemy and is not something I should pursue because the pastor/teacher/guidance councilor/parent/”god” said so…
Even Jesus said “for if you do not become like little children, you will not see the kingdom of heaven” and indeed…
The kingdom of heaven is within you.