Magic to the People

Creating Magic

scrolls 017

Time is running out. Tomorrow—Friday, at the end of the night—the funding campaign for Magic to the People closes. Whatever we’ve raised by that time is all we have to launch it and start helping people.

And we’re precipitously close to our $2,000 stretch goal. Can you help us meet it?

Magic to the People has now been featured on Huffington Post and a dozen other websites. It has people excited, even people who have never had a spell cast. And it has sparked discussions about ethics both inside and outside of the magical community.

In short, it’s already doing the work we want it to do: change the way we think about magic, and use magic as a tool to change lives, with no barrier to entry.

This is your chance to help make it a lasting phenomenon. Please head over to the Magic to the People campaign and throw in your contribution. Please share our campaign with the world so more people see it. Let’s start changing lives.

Standard
Magic to the People

Magic to the People: Q&A

Shrine at Rogue Chateau

Shrine at Rogue Chateau

Last week I announced the Salon of Magic at Rogue Chateau: a street ministry offering low-cost magic rituals to the people who need them most. In the coming month I’ll be running an Indiegogo campaign to fund the Salon. So far, response was overwhelmingly positive.

The questions also poured in. I wasn’t able to reply to every comment individually last week, so here are a few of your great questions about the Salon, with answers:

Is it safe to invite strangers into your home?

Honestly? No.

While I’d love to trust everyone who comes to me for help, the truth is New Orleans is a very dangerous city. However, in most cases the Salon won’t be inside the house.

This wasn’t clear in the original post, but Rogue Chateau has a private, walled yard I call the Courtyard. Most of the time, all of my spells and ceremonies will be held there. The gate will be open during the appointed times, with a sign out front, and no one has to enter my home.

In rainy weather, however, the Salon will be inside. This is Creole culture. The front door opens directly into the bedroom and that’s where business is conducted. During those times, I’ll use my best judgement; if anyone seems dodgy I will, of course, put safety first.

The Courtyard of magic.

The Courtyard where spells are cast

What about other magicians?

In theory I’m competing with other local practitioners. But I’ve reached out to a number of them and they’re excited about it. Hiring a magician is usually pricey, and the people I’ll serve are unlikely to be poached from the existing customer base. It’s a different audience.

What do your clients put into it?

Successful magic requires the recipient to put in some effort of their own. Since my “clients” won’t be putting in much money, this is a good question.

First, I think that even putting a dollar in the hat represents great dedication for some people.

Second, I will often instruct my clients to activate the spell by making offerings of some sort: burning a candle over the sigil they receive, or doing something in particular. They will be actively involved, and personally accountable for helping shape their future.

Why do a funding campaign?

While I expect not to see much revenue from the Salon—that’s not the point—it does come with up front costs. They include:

  • Publicity. New Orleans is a very word-of-mouth town, and printing fliers and signs will be key to advertising the service.
  • Business line. I will get a dedicated business line so that clients aren’t calling my personal cell phone.
  • Ingredients and offerings. Spells call for all kinds of things. Normally I’d add the cost to what the client pays, and hunt them down on an as-needed basis. With the Salon, I’ll need to have lots of basics on hand and I can’t expect my clients to underwrite the cost.
  • Shrine. The Salon will need a small but functional outdoor shrine. This is where I’ll make offerings and cast spells: a lot of blessings will pass over this altar. I really want to have a sealed envelope with the name of the Salon’s donors in it, on the altar, so they get blessings every time we do a ceremony.

If you have other questions please leave a comment and speak up. Suggestions are welcome too! I expect to launch the funding campaign by the end of the month, running through much of January, and if it succeeds I can start services before Valentine’s Day.

What do you think?

Standard
Business, Spotlight

Magic Scrolls at Altmagic

I don’t talk about this much here, but I practice ritual magic.

Even though I don’t believe in anything supernatural, I’ve observed profound effects from traditional magical ceremonies. As an art form magic captivates me; as a spiritual practice, it’s hard to surpass.

For a long time I struggled with how to practice and share my magic in a way that’s authentic. Too often when you talk about magic you draw out the weirdos. Other times it brings you under attack from those who think you must be a fraud, or crazy.

Last year I began to combine my magical practice with my artwork. I realized that I can make large, high quality works of art and enchant them. Each piece is nice to look at on its own, and the traditional spells I design them around (and cast on them) add a powerful new dimension to them.

So now I hand craft magical scrolls that can be hung as fine artwork.

For the last three months I’ve blogged about the process at my new business, altmagic.com, with the promise of scrolls to come. At long last the scrolls are complete and ready to ship.

Want to add magic to your life? Check it out: Magic Scrolls Now Available

Some other altmagic posts that are fun to read are:

Three Magic Spells That Are Proven to Work

Looking for Potions at the Witches’ Market

Finding a Carpenter in Mexico City

I don’t plan on promoting altmagic here often. I’ve worked hard to build an audience that includes a range of theists, atheists, humanists, skeptics, believers and faithful. In keeping with that I like to keep my occult peanut butter out of our philosophy chocolate. But if you know people who enjoy art, artwork, or the occult please tell them about altmagic. The more you share the link, the more the word gets out.

I also tweet the best links I find about art +/- magic throughout the day via @altmagic.

In Rogue Priest news, I’ve been going after atheists a bit lately and it’s time to turn the tables. Stay tuned for an upcoming post aimed at bad spiritual ideas instead. It’ll go live as soon as my science inspector finishes the fact checking.

(And how cool is it to have a science inspector??)

Standard
Adventure, Mexico City, Travel

Adventure at the Witches’ Market

Everyone seems to love it when I write the stories of my misadventures on the road.

Last week was one of the best yet. Did you know there’s a secret bazaar in Mexico City where witches, priests and wizards gather to buy and sell magic ingredients? I’m not even making this up. I’ve never been to anywhere as cool or special on earth.

You can read the full story of my trip there—and the hunt for magic potions—over at my atelier, altmagic:

Potions at the Witches’ Market

Please share the link so others find it too!

Standard