“Zero-sum games, such as chess, are games in which one only gains what an opponent loses. When players are also consuming the non-renewable pieces they are winning–i.e., land and oil–then the game can be very short indeed.” –Jason Louv, “Generation Hex”

In his introduction to “Generation Hex,” Jason Louv writes, ” Magic–the exaltation of the creative impulse–is an excellent framework for reorienting people towards creating solutions instead of fetishizing problems” (10). Sounds pretty good, right? As far as definitions of magic go, this one is right on without being problematic. This book is a collection of essays on magic by some amazing writers who give the reader an immediate insight into their personal magical consciousnesses. It is fascinating reading whether you are familiar with Aleister Crowley or Starhawk or neither. It reads fast, friendly and furiously. I’ve been tearing through the chapters so fast, that I had to put the book down to assimilate some of the information before I crammed more in my noggin. Another good quote:

“People often can’t see far enough beyond their own skins to conceptualize change without it being terminal–if one is to die, then the world must end as well; if one is to be judged, then so must the world; if one is to be enlightened, then certainly all must follow the same route” (13).

And so far, I’ve only quoted the introduction, so you know the individual essays are chock-full of good stuff, too. There’s a lot of talk about sigils which inspired me to make my own as I read, based on various things I want to manifest. Then yesterday I went to Golden Gate Park, specifically the AIDS Memorial Grove, known affectionately by me and my friends as the Dead Grove. I went there to scatter tarot cards among the nooks and crannies of the park; to tie ribbons from past years’ May Poles in the branches of the trees; to write my wishes and dreams on paper and hide them in the dirt or in holes in the trees. I ended up finding a wonderful trance space to work in and got to feed a friendly squirrel pecans (a very Snow White moment). I definitely found a spiritual release in all of my madcap ministrations. I enjoyed casting invisibility spells on myself to be left alone by the populace (and it worked too, the only beings who came into my circle were two 4 year old girls who quickly ran back to their parents after singing me songs of an unintelligible nature–at least to me, they sounded pretty though).

Anyway, I’m digressing in a major way, but that’s the kind of permission this book has given me. In addition to some new authors to seek out, I have multiple new ways to think about magic and how I choose to incorporate the invisible world in my visible world. Consider this quote by Scott Treleaven:

“Every gesture, no matter how personal is permission for others” (51).

And this quote:

“One never reaches home…But where paths cross that have affinity for each other…the whole world looks like home for a time.” –Frau Eva, in Herman Hesse’s “Demien”

So the things we do–every one of them–opens a door for someone else. I think that’s true. We empower each other. We mirror one another and find meaning in expression, expression manifested by a sense of play with each other. The creative impulse in you is mirrored in me. And while we’re crossing paths, we feel grounded, having found a home within each other. We are home for each other for a time. Perhaps, most importantly, we have become home for ourselves as well.

There’s so much to talk about after reading only half of this book. I’m savoring the rest as slowly as I can, but it’s really speaking to me. Books are the signposts of life, after all. I firmly believe you get the information from the universe that you need when you need it and the books I’ve been reading have been so helpful in informing my experience right now. So, discussions about mimetics, Simon Dwyer, ‘zines, Derek Jarman, Jean Genet, sigils and Machendraneth will have to wait as I devour the rest of “Generation Hex.” Of course, you are free to do your own research and we can compare and contrast together! More on Jason Louv’s incredible sojourn into modern magical practices when I finish reading it! IPSOS ABRAHADABRA IPSOS!