On the Topic of Magical Evocation

On the Topic of Magical Evocation May 30, 2018
picture of words from a book; transcription following
Mastering Witchcraft; Paul Huson on casting spells, pp. 31

Transcription: 

“Better results will always be obtained if you happen to subscribe to the religion from which your words of power derive, in the case of the Cabala, Judaism, or maybe unorthodox Christianity. However, always remember, it is only the awe, the shiver of excitement, aroused by the name or quotation, which is its chief magical value. If you can do this with an Arabic name of God, Roman Catholic saint, or Tibetan demon, so much the better. Go ahead and use it. Likewise, the name of your husband, wife, lover, favorite politician, film star, or most hated dictator will all be equally magically potent, so long as they give you that extra little kick to stir your deep mind out of its usual sluggish sleep. So much for barbarous Cabalistic words of evocation!”

Some Thoughts on Evocation

I fully intend to do a review of Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft, but a) I am not done with it yet, and b) it takes a lot of time to highlight thoughtfully as I go. Granted, this and that are two separate things, but my intention stands. I’ll review it. Not that there aren’t a ton of reviews out there already—says the author who lives or dies by reviews of her work—but hey, I’m new and I’m young (ahahahaha; okay I’m a novice, I mean), and my utter ignorance may prove inspiring for some of you late bloomers.

Welcome to the late blooming club.

So anyway, I really wanted to talk about this particular passage. It’s early in the book, pp. 31 of the 2006 reprinted edition, and it’s what inspired me to start highlighting. This block of text set my mind on fire. My friends, I shit you all kinds of not, but I have never ever highlighted an actual reading book before. So here we are. Defacing this book with absolute villainy and glee.

Come at me, bruh.

“That Extra Little Kick”

Before I started reading this book, I spent an afternoon binge-watching Aggretsuko. For those unaware, it’s the latest Sanrio offering (remember Hello, Kitty?) and it’s got a lot more for the adult crowd than you’d think. Although somewhat exaggerated in representation (only somewhat, mind), this binge-worthy series takes on sexism in the workplace, generational gaps, powerful women (punching up!), self-esteem, coming out as who you are, and recognizing when you are giving too much to a thing that is not giving back. Plus, death metal.

Mmhm. You read me.

That same day, I kicked back for some diving into witchy thoughts. And that happened. That passage. I read it, started reading past it, and stopped. Read it again.

I started giggling to myself. Which turned into chuckling. Then full on laughter. Because what sizzled into my imagination looked a lot like this:

Death metal scream: LIGHTNING GRANT ME YOUR VENGEANCE
Aggretsuko

This scene ended up being one of the more pertinent to me. I mean, who doesn’t occasionally vanish into the bathroom on a rough work day, pull out our custom karaoke mic, and death-metal scream into it to vent our stress? Or perhaps to ask the elements that be to give us a little boost of wtf?

No? …Nobody?

Bueller?

Okay, fine. Well, Retsuko does, and as I thought about how that scene made me feel, I asked myself, “So… I can screamingly invoke a cartoon cat/fox for that little kick?” F’reals, tho.

Nor, I figure, does it have to stop (or even start!) there. Here are a few ready examples that come to mind:

  • “Lady Gaga, I evoke your spirit; shine your starlight upon this circle and may we remember that baby, we were born this way.”
  • “I summon the will, the patience, the graciousness and the strength of Michelle Obama…”
  • “Amethyst, warrior of universes, grant me your awesome strength and never let me forget that my sisters and I are not alone…”
  • “Neil de Grasse-Tyson, may your wisdom bless this moonlit ritual upon this full moon, not a so-called blue moon because the moon isn’t blue and I recognize that…”
  • “Captain America, whose heart beats within the mostly-woke Chris Evans, watch over my friends and protect them from hate.”
  • Godfuckingdammit, Donald Trump!

Well, Huson did say horrible dictators count, right?

I forget which episode it was, but the podcasters at Circle of Salt once (or many times, maybe) talked about Pop Culture Witchcraft. They actually did mention Lady Gaga, now that I think about it. And why wouldn’t they? Lady Gaga arguably has empowered and recognized hundreds of thousands of aspiring, ambitious humans across the world. Sounds like serious juju to tap into, doesn’t it?

That podcast was the first time I’d run into a serious conversation about the concept, and I find myself often considering it. Academically, as it turns out. I’m more fascinated by the concept than I am drawn to invoking the name of Donald Trump to fuel my hex. (Although I don’t promise not to scream LIGHTNING GRANT ME YOUR VENGEANCE on occasion… So hey, what do I know about the future?)

I do know those evocations are awkward, by the way. I mean, I’m far less likely to call upon Chris Evans as I am, say, Moana’s adventurous spirit. But still…

So, tell me! Do we have any pop culture p-words about here?

About K. C. Alexander
K. C. Alexander is an SF/F author and very proud of smearing her bloody fingers all over the lines. She writes aggressive transhumanist sci-fi, co-wrote Mass Effect: Andromeda: Nexus Uprising, and may or may not be a witch. Like what she does? Want to see more? Check out her tarot reads and behind the scenes glimpses of her new projects. Every offer goes to support an author hard at work. You can read more about the author here.

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