Black Magic Part Three: Realistic Magic
Why do I want to write a contemporary fantasy novel focusing on real world magic?
It started in eighth grade. I suffered from depression caused by being the shy kid at a new school. I was miserable.
Then came buying some book published by Dover. What book, I cannot remember. But I remember writing for several catalogs of books they publish. Among the books I bought were: a book on the ferns of New York, a book on spiders, a book on parasites, a book on birds, a book on modern Algebra, an omnibus of three novels by H. Rider Haggard, and a few others.
It was in the general catalog that I first read about actual books of magic. Among them was The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. I was intrigued. I wanted that book.
Eventually, I moved back to the town I lived most of my life in. But I was still interested in magic. I bought books on magic from both Dover and my local Barnes and Noble. I amassed a small, but interesting collection.
My interest never went far beyond collecting the books. Trust me, the actual practice of many of these magical traditions is a pain in the ass. It takes a lot of commitment and knowledge of many obscure subjects.
I grew out of my fascination with magic in my freshmen year of college. Then, in an episode similar to one a year before, I threw my magic collection in the dumpster.
Have I come to regret that decision? No. Though it does make research into the subject more difficult because I have to interlibrary loan many of those books (or read them on my computer).
While I no longer have an active interest in the occult, my fascination for it has never quite gone away. The history is a rich mine for a writer. The French magical feud, the rise and fall of the Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, etc. are all very interesting subjects, whether one believes in magic or not.
I’ve focused exclusively on Western Ceremonial Magic. Why? I don’t know. I did toy with Wicca at the same time that I plowed into WCM. However, Wicca never appealed to me in the way that WCM did.
In a way, I suspect my desire to write a novel featuring real magic (or at least the magical systems present in the real world) is an attempt on my part to come to grips with my teenage flirtation with the occult. Only this time, I’m wondering what would have happened if I had taken things further?
Honor Gale is my expy. The reason why is the subject of my next post.