Tag: Magick

When is it cultural theft?

By Ian 'Cat' Vincent | September 24, 2014 | Leave a comment

The Shadow (1994)It is, as I noted previously, an inevitability of working with pop culture symbol-sets in magick, that a certain amount of cross-cultural symbolism happens. Often this is condemned by the more purist practitioners as cultural theft; views on this across occulture vary, and the debate is far from over.

I generally fall on the side of the debate that says, Yes, respect cultures, don’t nick their ideas and forms willy-nilly — but once a symbol or practice has become part of common culture, it can’t be put back in the box. And if it’s there, you might as well use it. Once those symbols are enculturated, they evolve, and what they become is no longer quite what they were, and this is often a positive evolution. Continue reading


Call up not what ye cannot cast down: an occult look at The Possession of Michael King

By J Simpson | September 10, 2014 | Leave a comment

The Possession of Michael KingThe Possession of Michael KingThe Possession of Michael King
Directed by David Jung, 83 min, 22 August 2014

The Possession of Michael King is a found footage horror film. It follows the titular Michael King (Shane Johnson), a bitter atheist who, following the tragic death of his wife in a freak accident, sets out to make a documentary disproving the supernatural.

“The cameras will be rolling on me, 24/7,” King says in the prologue, “In the hopes that, if I encounter anything, anything at all, I will have found the first ever documented proof. I’m the testing ground — me, Michael King. So God, or the Devil, if you’re out there, prove it. Come and get me.”

Things quickly take a turn for the sinister as Michael King tumbles down the rabbit hole of the dark arts, leaving sanity and consensus reality behind. Continue reading


Spirit Boards for Beginners, by Alexandra Chauran

By Nicole Pippin | September 8, 2014 | Leave a comment

Ouija board, photo by AdelineSpirit Boards for Beginners, by Alexandra ChauranSpirit Boards for Beginners: The History and Mystery of Talking to the Other Side, by Alexandra Chauran
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738738741, 216 pp., 2014

The mystery of the talking board or, less commonly, spirit board is exemplified by its most mainstream version, the Ouija board. While talking boards have been used for spiritual practice for centuries, the Ouija board was “invented” and marketed in 1891, where its popularity was only overshadowed by its controversy and mystery. Is it a game appropriate for children? Is it a tool for divination and exploring the spiritual realm? Is it evil? Does it even work? Alexandra Chauran explores that controversy through her personal experience, citing expert opinions, and sharing other’s stories.

The language is accessible, and the reader is given all the information they need to comfortably navigate a talking board session. Chauran expands on the history and spiritual origins of talking boards from using a swinging pendulum to the more modern versions we have today. Continue reading


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