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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Real Magick ON RPGs: I Got my Albion Softcovers... Sort of.

On the evening before I left home, I found a note from the postman:  there was a package waiting for me.  I was pretty sure it was the Dark Albion softcovers from Amazon that I'd been waiting for.

This was a problem.  I knew for sure that if I didn't pick them up somehow, it would be impossible that they'd still be around in a month's time.  The Uruguayan postal service just doesn't work that way.
Unfortuntely, to get someone else to pick it up, I'd need to fill out an authorization sheet, with their ID number, AND leave them a photocopy of my own ID card.

Here was the problem:  it was 7pm when I got the notice.  Every conceivable place that might have a photocopier was closed.  Furthermore, I was about to go to a Masonic meeting I couldn't avoid, which would last until about 1am, and then hightailing it out of town the next morning at 6.45am, long before any of the aforementioned photocopier places might open.  Such are the complexity of living in a latinamerican country.

So, I quickly messaged the friend of mine who would be watching the house, and got his ID, and filled out the form.  Knowing it was a longshot beyond that, I quickly did an invocation of my own augoeides, or tutelary spirit (what is often called the "Holy Guardian Angel" or "HGA" in modern magick).  Having invoked, I then shifted myself into the astral plane, creating a mental image of the area that I was about to go to, the neighbourhood around my Lodge. My goal was to see if there was any direction, indication, of anything within about a 2 block radius that would be open and have a photocopier (a highly unlikely prospect).  I immediately got a sense of the spot one bus stop beyond my regular stop to go to Lodge.

So off I went. I knew there was in fact a grocery store there, but was absolutely certain (having gone often) that they had no photocopier.  As far as I recalled there was no other shop there except a florists, and certainly nothing that would give me cause to have any expectation of a postiive outcome.
So when I got off the bus, I look over at the opposite corner and see that there is in fact a very small kiosk (the sort of place that sells cigarettes, cookies, only very basic stuff).  It seemed impossible to me that this place, that I'd never stepped into, would have a photocopier, but it was really the only credible chance.  And in spite of having never even merited my notice before now, the moment I stepped off the bus the corner kiosk seemed to jump to my attention, as though astrally illuminated.

I stepped in, finding the usual (fairly meager) selection of basic necessities this kind of third world answer to the convenience store tends to have:  newspapers, some sweets, flasks of booze, a small fridge with cold drinks, nothing fancy.  There was a young woman at the counter; I asked her "this may sound really strange but do you by ANY strange chance have a photocopier?"

I swear to Christ this next bit happened exactly this way: the young lady grinned as if overjoyed that I had asked, saying "why yes we do!" and she stepped out of the way, waving her hand the way a game show presenter might when Pat Sajak just told you that you'd won a new car, and there right behind her counter there was an apparently pristine small size photocopier.  It was as if years ago on some whim the shop owner had thought it would be a great investment for his little shop to have, only to have had it laying there untouched since that time because who in their right mind would even imagine a corner kiosk like this one would have a photocopier? 

So there you have it.  I got my photocopies, left them at the house for my friend with my authorization for him to pick my mail up, and headed off into the sunset (actually, the sunrise, but whatever).

And today, my housesitting friend sent me this:

Magick, baby!


Currently smoking: Lorenzetti Poker & Image Latakia


  1. A close one. I was less lucky than you: my copy arrived while I was on vacation and when I got to the post office it had already been sent back (it seems) the day before.

  2. This is the sort of anecdote that would, in a different context, result in an involuntary committal:

    "OK sir, so what you're saying is that your...tutelary spirit-"

    "Oh, we call them 'HGAs' in the modern magick biz, but yes, you're correct."

    "Right. So your, um, HGA granted your wish to find you a - photocopier?"

    "Well, not quite, officer! I merely invoked the spirit, then shifted into the astral plane. Then I used my magickal senses to locate the copier. Really, it's easier to do than it is to explain."

    "Ah - I'm sure you're right. Would you mind stepping in here for a moment?" (motions to RPNs)

    1. The difference between magicians and madmen is often just a question of results. And if you've been following my "real magick in RPGs" article,. you'll note that I try to emphasize that the 10% of magicians who actually DO shit, and aren't just posers or fakers, pretty much constantly have to straddle the line between certain forms of insanity (obsession, narcissistic solipsism, depression, disconnection from social convention) and actual effectiveness. It reqiures an enormous amount of daily basic discipline, and the use of certain technique to anchor yourself in normality, to avoid those problems. Unfortunately a lot of people get into magick because they want to avoid discipline (and get some kind of short cut to power/success) or because they have an antagonistic relationship to normality (and really want to be 'special' or freak the mundanes or break social rules/conventions) and so a great many fail at this balancing act.

    2. Tldr; I'm not insane because I'm a real wizard and all those other wizards are fakers.

      Got it.

      Have you thought that maybe, just maybe, people would take your paranoid ramblings about the dudes from the Forge trying to take over gaming more seriously if you also didn't wtite about being a real life wizard?

    3. Given that my "ramblings" got me into a position where I got to help define the newest edition of D&D, and (as I put it in an entry not very long ago) you and all the rest of the hobby are now living in Pundit's World, I don't see how any more seriousness of taking would really be called for.

      Of course, all of that was magick too. It is the art or science of causing change to occur in conformity to the will, and I changed an entire hobby with it. I'm hardly the first wizard to do that, mind you. Alan Moore comes to mind.

    4. Did you consult on D&D5? You know, I had totally forgotten, you mention that so rarely.

      Art and science are real tangible things, and in the case of science empirically proven. You playing quidditch in the astral plane to find a copier off your normal bus route is neither. Religion, lifestyle choice, alternative belief system, maybe.

      Putting your delusions of grandeur aside ("Pundit's World", lol), and the fact that I think you are a terrible voice for the OSR, I am willing to concede one major point in your favor: you don't censor or silence those who disagree with you. I don't think it makes up for everything, I think you're full of shit on most things, but it counts for alot.

    5. In case you ween't aware due to a lack of general education, and lest I be accused of taking credit for other's words, "the art or science of causing nge to occur in conformity to the will" is a now classic definition of Magick, originally by Aleister Crowley.

      Again., in the case of this sort of operative magick, you could also say (and this is my own wording now) that magick is Intentionally Engineering Coincidence.

      And yeah, the hobby is Pundit's World now, the rest of you are only living in it. D&D has become what i said it should be, the OSR has become what I said it should be. Change has occurred, in conformity to my Will.

  3. Give him a break: this is what the Pundit believes in, it works out for him, what else is there to say? It's not like any of the large world religions are any LESS ridiculous than Thelema magic...

    1. "Parasite" back there said that in some context my talking about spirits and the astral plane could theoretically get me committed. He failed to point out that if, instead of basically talking about the human potential to expand the senses and operate on multidimensional levels, I had said "I prayed real hard to Jeezus and he blessed me with a photocopier!!" I could probably make a serious run for Governor of most Southern U.S. states.

      The main difference, I think, maybe even more so than one of historical familiarity, is that society always reacts (as a collective) with bile toward a wizard because the wizard suggests he has the capacity for the seemingly miraculous through the operation of his own powers. It suggest to the collective masses that he's better than they are, rather than the 'humility' of thinking that the creator of the entire universe gives a shit about whether your sports team wins the big game.

      That's why they hated Jesus, after all.

      But of course, magick is not a kind of elitism, other than maybe in that same meritocratic sense that you could suggest chess or violin playing or sports are a kind of elitism, where people who practice really hard are going to be better at doing it, and some people may have a bit more of a knack for it than others. Magick, unlike religion, does not imply that certain special people are god's special elite chosen; it is all about being human and the potential of what what humanity is capable of doing.

    2. And as my story in this entry highlites, a lot of magick is just doing on purpose what any other human being has had seemingly happen to them by accident.

      Operative Magick is mostly Intentionally Engineered Coincidence.

    3. That is really interesting. And no, I am not being sarcastic.

  4. Magic is real, folks. I'm also a believer and practitioner. Not in the exact same vein as RPGpundit, but pretty close. Sim sala'bim!