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Topic: Where did everyone go?
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Aug 16, 2019 09:36AM)
A lot of people who posted frequently on the bizarre site are no longer posting, where did they go? Did I miss the memo? Anyway, I really miss them and wish they'd post more frequently again.

p.s. Remember, this is the bizarre site so being dead is no excuse to not post.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 16, 2019 09:47AM)
Forums always wax and wane with posting. People get busy, or bored, or they get tired of drama, or they want more. Personally I've been stepping back from a lot of social media/computer use in general as I find it becomes a massive time sink.
Message: Posted by: Winks (Aug 16, 2019 10:19AM)
Check that mass grave you have in your backyard, Willi.
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Aug 16, 2019 06:00PM)
Well for myself ,
I've been busy working on putting together Bizarre Hauntings & ECSS plus other upcoming performances such as the Poe festival and Poe's Magic, and another Sc night
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Aug 16, 2019 07:14PM)
I remember a few folks saying they were going to populate other forums as this one was becoming more about product hawking and reviews verses serious talk about the art. Whether or not that's true, I believe that is one of the reasons.
Message: Posted by: chmara (Aug 16, 2019 11:21PM)
A number of us older folks now only communicate by Spirit Bell or Ouija board. Seriously, many magi do not become interested in the bizarre for years until they discover the roots of magic. The too, there is a better code of secrecy among sharoing members of some other boards when it comes to complete discussion and method.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Aug 17, 2019 12:07AM)
As I look right now there are twelve members browsing the Café .. When I started it was never less than 50 at any time... :sun:
Message: Posted by: Julie (Aug 17, 2019 01:54AM)
It was 7 just a moment ago. Must be the hot weather... (AND the older folks go to bed early.)

Julie the Younger :)
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Aug 17, 2019 03:36AM)
Just posted concerning an Amazing Johnathan documentary on Hulu, but no one cared enough to comment.

Why post if no one gives a flying flea?
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Aug 17, 2019 06:43AM)
[quote]On Aug 17, 2019, KOTAH wrote:
Just posted concerning an Amazing Johnathan documentary on Hulu, but no one cared enough to comment.

Why post if no one gives a flying flea? [/quote]

Because it let's them know it is there in case they are interested. Maybe they were like me and don't have Hulu, but still appreciate the heads up.
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Aug 17, 2019 08:15AM)
Willie, glad you appreciated the heads up. Not having Hulu didn't stop you from commenting

I think the reason has deeper roots
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Aug 17, 2019 09:48AM)
[quote]On Aug 17, 2019, KOTAH wrote:
Willie, glad you appreciated the heads up. Not having Hulu didn't stop you from commenting

I think the reason has deeper roots [/quote]

You may be a little too sensitive on this. Most comments would be about the documentary, not that you posted it. I have posted several times but got no answer to the post I have made. Anyway, don't think anyone did it on purpose to upset you. I know I didn't.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Aug 17, 2019 02:23PM)
I have also been missing our lengthy conversations with wise Mages but have taken some time to go over the older posts. Personally I think that it might be the fact that a lot of topics have been covered and people don’t want to go over the same things when they have been discussed already. The wealth of stored knowledge of Bizarre on the Café is incredible.

I like to imagine that there is some secret forum somewhere that is healthy and rich with new posts from the Elders and sadly I havnt gotten an invitation (maybe it was lost in the mail) . I value our time together here, be it social or creative, and am looking forward to our friends returning eventually and continuing this Bizarre creative space - it is unique
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Aug 17, 2019 04:43PM)
I used to enjoy a conversation when I started a thread but now mostly people just view things and move along it seems
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Aug 17, 2019 08:04PM)
Apologies to all, for my being such a whining ******.
I should think things through more considerately before posting

How many more friends can I ailinate before nightfall?
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Aug 17, 2019 08:26PM)
[quote]On Aug 17, 2019, KOTAH wrote:
Apologies to all, for my being such a whining ******.
I should think things through more considerately before posting

How many more friends can I ailinate before nightfall? [/quote]

No problem. You can't alienate friends. We are here to listen to your concerns and walk with you. It was a valid concern and I think some friends responded. Stop being so hard on yourself. Everything is fine.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Aug 17, 2019 09:37PM)
[quote]On Aug 17, 2019, KOTAH wrote:
Apologies to all, for my being such a whining ******.
I should think things through more considerately before posting

How many more friends can I ailinate before nightfall? [/quote]

I didn’t take your post that way at all - I’m happy to hear your point of view
Message: Posted by: Al Desmond (Aug 18, 2019 12:48AM)
Well, I was busy almost dying in July, so I have an excuse.

Most of the time, when I post, my comments are about scripting or sharing an idea about better ways to present an effect.

I really wait until people have purchased a product (including myself), maybe reviewed, had some time to play with it and then I may jump in with some ideas.

Like my scripting to Luna, or Tim "Duel," Lillian's Diary, Dan's "From Hell," my variation on "White Star," (with new props), scripts which I have freely shared with Café members. My "White Star" script was even included in Jim Magus' new book.

So I jump into the back end of the forum, after a prop has been discovered, purchased and played with.

I'm a writer, not very creative on the prop invention side of things (although I have had a few tricks on the market over the last 40 years).

That's my reason for not always posting here.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Aug 18, 2019 06:06AM)
[quote]On Aug 18, 2019, Al Desmond wrote:
Well, I was busy almost dying in July, so I have an excuse.

Most of the time, when I post, my comments are about scripting or sharing an idea about better ways to present an effect.

I really wait until people have purchased a product (including myself), maybe reviewed, had some time to play with it and then I may jump in with some ideas.

Like my scripting to Luna, or Tim "Duel," Lillian's Diary, Dan's "From Hell," my variation on "White Star," (with new props), scripts which I have freely shared with Café members. My "White Star" script was even included in Jim Magus' new book.

So I jump into the back end of the forum, after a prop has been discovered, purchased and played with.

I'm a writer, not very creative on the prop invention side of things (although I have had a few tricks on the market over the last 40 years).

That's my reason for not always posting here. [/quote]

Al, dying is no excuse, and almost dying is less. Lol
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Aug 18, 2019 12:15PM)
38 right now on a lazy sunday …. :sun:
Message: Posted by: Al Desmond (Aug 18, 2019 06:10PM)
[quote]On Aug 18, 2019, weepinwil wrote:
[quote]On Aug 18, 2019, Al Desmond wrote:
Well, I was busy almost dying in July, so I have an excuse.

Most of the time, when I post, my comments are about scripting or sharing an idea about better ways to present an effect.

I really wait until people have purchased a product (including myself), maybe reviewed, had some time to play with it and then I may jump in with some ideas.

Like my scripting to Luna, or Tim "Duel," Lillian's Diary, Dan's "From Hell," my variation on "White Star," (with new props), scripts which I have freely shared with Café members. My "White Star" script was even included in Jim Magus' new book.

So I jump into the back end of the forum, after a prop has been discovered, purchased and played with.

I'm a writer, not very creative on the prop invention side of things (although I have had a few tricks on the market over the last 40 years).

That's my reason for not always posting here. [/quote]

Al, dying is no excuse, and almost dying is less. Lol [/quote]

Willie, you always put things in perspective.
Message: Posted by: reese (Aug 18, 2019 06:58PM)
I went to Schenectady.
Message: Posted by: viktorbc (Aug 18, 2019 11:39PM)
I think many are going to Facebook Groups and other sites.
Message: Posted by: Septimus Hexx (Aug 21, 2019 11:00AM)
There used to be some interesting exchanges and as an amateur who doesn't perform much I tried to share what I thought were some useful bits - not tricks, but ideas that people could pick up and use such as the poison garden in Alnwick or the calendar pub in Bolton. There were a few other good contributions, but as someone said earlier, a good number of the posts were on commercial tricks or books which were either limited, out of print or very expensive. Still enjoy viewing from time to time
Message: Posted by: Schaff (Aug 21, 2019 01:57PM)
I do a lot of forum reading, but not much posting.

I should probably participate more. After all, I may owe some debt to the community :) When I do post, its often to ask for advice. I always seem to get good advice from the folks who actually post :)
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Aug 25, 2019 01:07PM)
I know there are a lot of people just checking in here that don’t post and that’s cool but it would be great if more would join the conversation- we need fresh blood, uh, I mean perspectives.
Message: Posted by: sibbie (Sep 1, 2019 07:59PM)
I do quite miss the days of discussion with Dr. Spektor, Gede Nibo, Doug Higley, and others that posted regularly though I do not make my rounds as often as I did in the past.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Sep 1, 2019 08:44PM)
I really miss Gede Nibo,
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Sep 22, 2019 10:17AM)
;) plus a lot of us are working ECSS, Bizarre Hauntings, october coming, ;) (Vampire events), this time of year is a bit hectic
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Dec 21, 2019 03:37PM)
I’ve been leaning into Tarot readings for the sake of readings, and studying some of the more traditional origins of the magical arts these last couple of years...

HOWEVER- when this Magician needs to shapeshift into the trickster for a performance or gig, I tend to reappear on here! I miss the spooky banter in these regions I should tune in more often
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 2, 2020 01:15PM)
I remember posting here on at least two occasions about a clear trend towards (what I saw) as a pretty obvious decline in the quality of posts here - and by extension, a decline in our art.
On both occasions I was greeted by the old (and increasingly desperate sounding) 'things have never been so good'. I am sure this cry will once again follow my post this time - and then with another 'where did everyone go?'

There are two levels in which this must be looked - the local and the global.

On the local level, this forum was hijacked by dealers. One in particular who used it as a shilling-post and a shop front - followed by a rather distasteful journal of demise. After the drama was over, all of this left a bad taste in peoples mouths. The fact that these practices seemed to be supported by the administration of this forum. left many to distrust this as a place for honest discourse. When this forum was little more than a shopfront for dealers (and yes, to some extent, I do not exclude myself), it was almost impossible to generate any form of serious discussion regarding our art. I remember making quite a few posts that attempted to discuss something deeper than 'wow, this new product could start a religion' &etc. I would take time and thought in constructing these posts only to see them buried within the hour by hysterical marketing. In the end, I gave up - and I suspect many others did too.

There was another curious by-product of all of this marketing and the hysteria that often accompanied it. I noticed that people were becoming too attached to props and products than they were to the fundamental foundation of magic: Thinking and invention. Props are just that - 'real' magic is in the mind and in the practice. The holy grail is a state of being, not a physical object (the promise of which lives in the potential of a future purchase).

How do we revive this - how do we get genuine discussion of our art re-established? Frankly, I think it is too late. Too many have gone elsewhere - have abandoned what was once the hub-city, for their own villages. Far too many have gone altogether. If we were to be optimistic, the answer is simple - if we truely want deeper discussions - then discuss more deeply. I do not think it is more complex than that.

This leads to a greater malaise and one that is more difficult to tackle.

I can only speak from my own observations here - and to not testify to the extent of their validity. However, I have been kicking around for a (very) long time. And like all of the other 'old timers' here - we have weathered many storms - we have seen the art of magic in decline with almost clockwork regularity. We have also seen it consequently revitalised. To me these times seem different. From my perspective, I am only aware of decline - the general public (outside of isolated Meccas for magic) really do not care for magic (*as traditionally presented*), they are bored with it, they have moved on. The reason for this I feel is a mirror of the consumerism that caused the decline of this forum. Fewer and fewer magicians perform - and from those performances innovate. More and more magicians consume in their isolated bubbles. What was once an art-from is now a hobby on a ever shrinking island.

If I am correct, how do we tackle this dilemma? The obvious answer is to make magic relevant to our audience once more. This process must start with an honest and insightful analysis of the current situation. I do not think we are yet ready for this (as will be demonstrated in the 'I am doing just fine' posts that will follow).
If we can accomplish this, we then need to examine what actually touches peoples lives - and connect to it. It is my belief (backed up with observation) that people are still intrigued by magic, yet do not see what we do as 'magical'. I think that there is (and always has been / will be) a gaping hole in the individual's psyche and in the psyche of the society. Whilst a ramping up of consumerism seeks to fill this need - it never can. It is my belief that deep down inside, people seek some kind of spiritual connection (I am not a religious person, and am very suspicious of organised religion - I speak of something else). They express this in a hunger for mystery and explanations for existence that cannot be provided by their current paradigm. In short, they crave magic - but the true magician has left the building, and is left by a guy who can guess your pin number.

Like all art-forms, if magic is to survive, it needs to be refreshed and reinvented. In the past significant individuals have done this, and magicians have thrived in their wake. I look around and fail to see the germination of this rebirth - all I see is stagnation.

The question for me is (and has always been) 'how can we once more become magicians?'
How can we authentically connect people to mystery and to something greater than their material lives?

How can we bring authentic magic into their lives?

Should we manage to do so, I strongly suspect that this would be the wellspring for a revitalisation of magic. Without this, we are just a few old-timers hanging onto the past.

I feel that I know the cause and the solution (Of course, I could be wrong, and I would not want this to come across as an arrogant statement). Unfortunately, I feel it is others that need to figure all of this out. Because of the conditions I have described, magic is no longer a career for me, but an occasional hobby. However, we can remove the blockage from the well-spring. If we are honest in our observations and have a willingness to think creatively, discuss and transform - we can see ourselves as the custodians of the future of our once great art. While we wait for 'the old ones' to return, we could be using that time to become the creative force behind the revitalising of magic ourselves.

Sorry to sound so negative, and to be so blunt - but y'know... Nigredo is the first stage in the process of transformation.

Either that, or.... We have never had it so good!
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Jan 2, 2020 01:36PM)
I agree Chris, and have said it myself more than once, the Café' has become a market place for the dealers and not a place to discuss the real magic. If you make a negative or less than great comment or even ask a pointed question about a product, you get flamed upon by either the creator or their followers or both. Who wants that when you are trying to express your opinion or ask a question?

Even the Crypt lacks participation, here. I guess another reason is that it is easier and takes less energy to buy the next greatest and latest prop you found at a flea market that is only one like it in the world than it is to discuss the harder and more creative issues. I do understand why people are dropping off and wish it could be revived, but like you I do not see it happening unless things change.

Thanks for your sharing.
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Jan 2, 2020 01:55PM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2020, Christopher Gould wrote:

The question for me is (and has always been) 'how can we once more become magicians?'
How can we authentically connect people to mystery and to something greater than their material lives?

How can we bring authentic magic into their lives?

Should we manage to do so, I strongly suspect that this would be the wellspring for a revitalisation of magic. Without this, we are just a few old-timers hanging onto the past.


I always appreciate your insight- and I’m So happy you’ve chimed in. I agree with much of this, and frankly that has been a huge reason why I’ve been a committed reader and intuitive worker these last few years, opposed to a “Magician”. And no, it’s has not been about the pursuit of money or attention or power (there are far better vocations for either of those things hah) but my path has entirely been for the sake of authentic magic.

People crave wonder. People crave stories that stimulate hope, magic, mystery, and empowerment. People need to be shown that the doors to our worlds of reality CAN be knocked down and opened- and it is our responsibility as Magi AND artists to be that figure on people’s crossroads. And to become that requires thought, discussion, and community. I’ve been so grateful for those past moments on here where I’ve experienced that true community, and mentorship- and those discussions never needed to even deal with a product!

But I am also grateful for my in person network of readers, astrologers, and metaphysical practitioners... it is through my magical discussions with them that I realize the world of wonder and magic is actually awakening. It is happening now- in this Aquarian age. Readers and witches ARE the influencers of this new era. I’m experiencing that first hand. And it’s fascinating to turn towards this beautiful realm of theatrical magic and see that there is a stagnation. This world of storytelling and wonder is leaps behind how people ARE interacting with authentic magic, at the moment.

It is my belief that integration is of the utmost importance. If a Magician has clarity, integrity, and fire it doesn’t matter whether wonder is being stimulated by a TT, or a deck of tarot cards. With my colleagues, I talk about how The Magician fills the shoes of MANY archetypes. Magician as healer. Magician as trickster. Magician as artist. Magician as shapeshifter. Magician as Orator.... ALL of these positions hold great great power. To elevate our craft is to harness these avatars in ways that go beyond hobby or consumerism. The magicians call is a clandestine one- how are we uniquely rising to the occasion?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 2, 2020 02:32PM)
Here you echo my thoughts exactly. There is much work to be done - *if* we can awaken and put redundant ways of thinking behind us.
To me this is of especial importance as our civilisation stands at the cross-roads between complete self-destruction and true enlightenment. You speak here to the need for the magician to become the authentic magician - and by extension there is the implicit question of why are we doing this - what are our goals and what is the meaning behind what we do?

These days I have one foot in magic and one foot in more metaphysical ideas. I have reached the point where I do not see any seam between the two.

If the metaphysical community are doing the 'real work' (and I suspect you are right) - then what role does the performing magician have in the awakening of authentic magic? I think there is an answer to this question....
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 2, 2020 02:41PM)
"how are we uniquely rising to the occasion?"

This is the central question, powerful questions need to be addressed by the right people to receive them.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 2, 2020 04:19PM)
You don't tackle this collectively at first...

go into isolation and manifest what is within you, make your own rules, break your own rules, make some new rules...

on and on and on it goes...where it stops?

then you can all start sharing again, and new villages get built with a fine warning from the past to remind you to play as dirty as you want, as long as its agreed upon at the start...muddy your hooves and spurs and tails, but be dirty openly...

every new thing starts from within...

I apologise for the metaphors - I am blaming myself as I've started a new project of writing 13 folk-horror based poems and its good fun
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Jan 2, 2020 07:47PM)
Iain is also right. It takes an inner brewing, a percolating, an individual sense of placement and alignment in the craft and the world around us.

Perhaps we have arrived at the Hermit in this proverbial fools journey- but does that detract from the quality of community insight along the way? I know many of us in the bizarre depths feel a deep sense of nourishment and fired synapses when we can engage in discussion and stories. I for one want more of that. I miss that, as it was a huge reason I was so drawn to the bizarre community in the first place.

BUT ALSO- I do believe that over saturation of consumerism has left many performers stuck in this “Give a man a fish” side of the coin. Youngin’s in the craft (yea, I’m aware of the irony with me saying that, but I’ve been a practicing/working magician for the better part of 14 years) need to develop a palate for learning the fundamentals! These are but the foundations of our magical future and everything built before it. This goes for the world of “real magick” too! So many baby witches are out buying tarot decks and crystals every week and absolutely neglecting to read and learn the foundation- the real tools of the craft.

I do think that visibility inspires action. I agree with Chris as far as “being the change” ... I want this to be a welcome space for real thought and community, and I am more than willing to lay those bricks anew.

Alas, Hell wasnt raised in a day!
Message: Posted by: David Eichler (Jan 2, 2020 10:05PM)
What is one's motivation to learn magic? To be magical? To touch magic?

The cobbler's children have the poorest shoes.
Healer, heal thyself!
The therapist whose personal life is in shambles.
In order to give love, one must love oneself.

These old adages appear in many forms, and speak to the notion that we must be able to embody that to which we truly aspire.

I believe in order for us to touch others with magic, we must do our own inner work, to be able to experience the magic which lies within each of us. It goes, hopefully without saying, I am not talking about tricks.

Part of the beauty, for me, is using some of the pieces of art which creators have shared to help blur the lines for how we perceive reality. Sometime props are not needed. This art takes many forms. Study is the work of the serious student. Much like play is the work of the young child (a la Piaget). In order to get to play, we must do our own personal work.

Thanks, Chris, for bringing new life back into this thread!

Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Jan 2, 2020 11:05PM)
Beautiful thoughts, David!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 03:53AM)
Whilst I agree with Iain - to some extent - I think that there may be more than one Noah still kicking around on the ark. The starting point is always the self, but when actorcoop says "but does that detract from the quality of community insight along the way?" I feel more resonance. Discourse and the sharing of ideas is how not only magic is gestated, but it is the way that we as humans evolve - in this age of personal (and isolated) achievement and acquisition; we are in danger of forgetting this.

From where I stand isolation lies at the root of our malaise - not only in the lack of momentum of this forum and the art that brings us here - but more importantly in society at large. People feel isolated - trapped behind the screens of their mobiles phones - (paradoxically) isolated from others, from the planet they live on (until their neglect causes that planet to kick back), and from themselves. If there is to be a new magic, it's purpose should be to reestablish connection - between the mage and the audience, between the person and that which is greater than their individual self. In essence this has always been the role of the magician - if we realise this, we can do some genuine work in tipping the scales from self destruction to contentedness and enlightenment. For me, this is the call of the true mage - but the mage has freedom of choice in hearing this call.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 05:03AM)
I think people need to discover their own world before they can share it and understand someone else's...you need to have your own insight and something to say and share first (imo) before you can swop those worlds and see what comes out of it...

there is too much reliance on others supplying the treasures and that can be a shortcut to creativity...

The digital screen brought you all together too don't forget...

Imagine sharing ideas and then saying "I have this world to share I just need someone to make me *this*"

And you build a village of those that can tell tales, those that can build, and so on...one can't get by without the support of the others...which also helps alert the community to thieves and scamsters ..

Going back the outlaw years, the amount of people who complained to me behind the scenes yet never spoke out for years, they also need to stop doing that. They all bare a small responsibility for not doing so. They got ripped off and never outed it, then the next one did the same and onwards. Adding to the creation of the monster.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 05:37AM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2020, IAIN wrote:

there is too much reliance on others supplying the treasures and that can be a shortcut to creativity...

This is very true. Creativity is the core - and the gestation of creativity is an internal process. However, creativity flourishes in discourse.
Any creative idea I have had is really a shared creation, not only in the old 'we stand on the shoulders of giants', but also that the incubation of these ideas (the good ones!) has been in the community who used and developed these ideas, and fed back to me what they had found. If I ever posted here about any of my work - I am pretty sure that eliciting creative feedback was the intention. Alas, this does not happen anymore.

So, yes - looking within and nurturing your own creativity, and creative responses is the first step. However, I also feel that if magic is to be revitalised, it needs some sort of communal vision and discourse to allow that vision to actualise.

In the end, I am not even sure this will happen, or indeed if performance magic is the most appropriate context for it to happen. My hope is that magic still has a role to play in the greater picture - just for 'old times sake'.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 05:48AM)
As for the whole marketing issue.

I think this has a role to play too - perhaps this is the sole role of this forum - and the real work is happening somewhere else (if indeed 'real work' is happening at all - I have no idea).
It is all a matter of balance - reading and using the ideas of others should be a creative act, one that spurs your own creativity - not a one-way act of consumerism. Clearly, the latter is what has developed in this forum. In 'the old days', if an interesting piece of work was put out, it was discussed and ideas evolved from them (or was I dreaming?). I the absence of this, all we are left with is vapid hype - and now, not even that. I always felt that the whole outlaw debacle was an opportunity to burn down the house, sweep out the ashes and rebuild anew. So yes, if people value concourse here, they have a role to play - as do the administrators of the Café. In reality (it seems to me) when the house burnt down, most people fled the fire.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 05:57AM)
I would suggest to ignore the communal side of things. Everyone agreeing on the same vision just doesn't sound...fun!

You need to disagree, to stand your ground, to fight for what you feel is "magick" and then compare and contrast with others!

Look at Dali, he even disliked most other surrealists. And they'd be nowhere without Dada. And Dali was a brilliant 'straight' artist for quite a while...

Everyone needs to create their own kind of magic first in my opinion. Then you can share your own gimoires between each other and enjoy the shock!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 05:58AM)
And you don't need to use this place at all... I've had untold.small tiny groups for all kinds of things...dead easy to do on Facebook, no one gets to hide and everyone is on the same level...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 10:30AM)
Wasn't Dada and Surrealism both groups of creative individuals sharing a philosophy?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 10:54AM)
Dada first, but it was individuals with something to say who eventually joined up in an alliance...then when that imploded, some of it carried over to surrealism...

Expressing individual feelings
Then finding other like minded people
Who then decide to formulate some rules and definitions

All I'm saying is, you can't often have a group with a collective of individuals who each have something unique to share...🤓👍
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 11:29AM)
My thesis at Art college was on Dada and Surrealism - by the time I came to lecture on the subject, these guys seemed like old friends! Remember though that Dali was thrown out of the movement for being too arrogant (i.e. too much of an individual - or prat, depending on your take). Interestingly, a lot of the Surrealists were interested in Magic (not the 'is this your cards?' kind). They were of their time (or rather, a response to their time) - but it would be interesting to see how some of that Dadaist or Surrealist spirit would play out in contemporary magic.....
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 11:35AM)
But both groups fragmented, splintered and broke up...it's the nature of the beast to an extent...

You've probably read the book on surrealist parlour games! Primed for mentalism...

Dali was a huge egotist but thankfully had the talent to back it up I suppose...who else would design and cast their own gold coins...or design the tarot for his wife despite hating it...

I think communities are both good and bad I guess... But I definitely believe it's the nature of creative forces, it becomes a thing and then sooner or later it implodes or explodes and becomes something else...

But for me, it's far more about and individual doing what they believe in first rather than the other way round
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 11:36AM)
What should modernist bizarre look like? Can't be the same old ripper, folklore and booktests...what happens when you survey the wreckage of what used to be? What does it say about 21st century life?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 11:50AM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2020, IAIN wrote:
What should modernist bizarre look like? Can't be the same old ripper, folklore and booktests...what happens when you survey the wreckage of what used to be? What does it say about 21st century life? [/quote]

Indeed - we wallow in our own stale ideas at times. I think the whole point of my first post was to ask this very question - and to tentatively hint at an answer. ;-) (I would like to cross folklore of that list though - I think there could be some very important work that could be done with that idea - and work that would resonate today - for me the interesting premise (or use) of such ideas would be to connect the 'audience' with their natural context - hmmm, let's think.....)

Yeah, I do have that book, it is a potential goldmine for 'routines' for sure. More fundamentally, it could indicate different forms of presentation, if read carefully.

...dammit, don't get me thinking of magic products to hype here again!

...I can make far more money as a road-sweeper.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 3, 2020 12:31PM)
I think a 'modern bizarrist' should look to be more like a shaman. Not in the spiritual leader sense (unless one is qualified to be such) but in the connection to natural mystery sense. In my experience modern audiences are starved for a feeling of real mystery. Not the brain candy of grand illusion that dominated when I was a kid but the feeling of experiencing real mystery. Something that hints at greater things and allows us to ponder the universe again.

I think in times of distress we (humans) revert to a state of mind that just wants to feel innocent and curious again, instead of the stress of dealing with what's going on all around us in the real world.

But I am probably very biased in this regard.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 12:34PM)
....But also very right ;-)

If there is to be a new magic, I think it is to be found in such ideas, I feel.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 3, 2020 12:39PM)
I personally feel the best "new" magic in the coming years will actually be quite old.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 12:50PM)
The distress that people feel is the distress of disconnection. Disconnection from their inner-selves, from each other, form society and from the world in which they live. It has always been the role of the magician of Shaman to maintain these connections - in a world devoid of real magic, the connections break down and become purely economic.

As you allude to, there are many in the field of magic who call themselves 'shaman', when sham-men would be a better term. I expect that the shaman that remain are still quietly at work. I certainly would not call myself such - even if I had an expensive book to sell. So, although I feel this is the path, what are the first steps? What is the role of performance magic in this context? How can we forge a magic that not only connects with people in a genuine a deep way, but also employs the skills we have developed and the context we work in. From where I stand, the single most important advantage that the performing magician has is that they (sometimes) perform for an audience - that is, have the opportunity to reach more people at any one time.

These are desperate time, not only for magic, but for the continued existence of our world, so one wonders if it is already too late. Yet, we are still operating in this world and are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.

I would dearly wish that there were enough out their to forge this new magic - a trans-formative and genuine magic. If so, we need to move quickly.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 12:51PM)
(what a Debbie downer I am!)
Message: Posted by: Dr. O (Jan 3, 2020 01:03PM)
No Debbie Downer at all. Thought provoking ideas long missed in these halls. Take heart. Not all is lost I feel. There are more of us quietly at work on the Craft than reflected in Café posts.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 01:20PM)
My turn to be Debbie....

how many people would connect with a "shaman" and how many would laugh or poo-poo it out of hand? is it more about niche markets? I tend to think everything is a niche market nowadays unless you wanna be totally corporate and do the Bill Hicks phrase...

I tongue in cheekily challenge Chris to write a bizarre Maniphesto (i'm claiming that spelling btw), just like the Dadaists and others did...a call to arms, probably Ditko looking too! :)

the reason I am interested is that a) I started out as a bizarrist without knowing it b) folklore, ripper, escaping a curse, a curious rapping its all been done (wait for it) to death (cue skulls, pentagrams and smoke)…

so why not kick out the jams and clean out the cupboards... if I were thinking about modern day bizarre, I'd look at tech in weird ways - some keyboards let you swipe from character to character without lifting off your finger and it attempts to intuit the word you are likely trying to spell...but...if you close your eyes and just draw symbols, you generate digital automatic writing y'see... and that for me is fun and interactive and likely to make all kinds of people wanna try it...

i'm not saying ignore everything, but if you want to create and rejuvenate, you have to remember that the first sign of madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results...

do and say the same things differently that reflect current times...using things that some people don't recognise... the 80s is quite a while ago, even tech from back then would look somewhat mysterious and odd now... even 70s stuff and using those gyro-pattern makers as a means of design dupes...

ooooh but they're haunted and they may act like a planchette and draw out a massive group-think mandala...

and so on...and I've not even had a whisky yet...

anyway, enough from me, I'm off to try and write some poetry again....
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 03:07PM)
Write a manifesto - that indeed would be a fine thing. Indeed, I was working on something very similar. In the end, I disappeared up my own bum-hole and relegated myself to Jung's second phase of life.
I am quietly writing and hoping for some posthumous fame among a band of fifteen or so hardy souls.

I think that what I am trying to say here that there needs to be some new blood - yet I look at a rather anaemic corpse, wondering where that blood is to come from (unless it is fake blood presented in an 'authentically aged' skullcap). Perhaps, Bizarre magic is not the gestation point - I once thought it was, as some of the more interesting minds gathered within its boundaries. Perhaps, all those skulls, Jack the Rippers and Victorian trapping *are* what Bizarre magic is about - well, there is the title for a start. Personally I think that the world is already dark enough, and does not need magicians to reinforce that darkness and propagate it - but - hey, that's just me!

If Bizarre Magic is not the seed-bed for a new direction, then where is it to be found?

I know of many who have moved on from Bizarre Magic into the more 'Metapysical' realm, and perhaps this will turn out to be the answer. My own encounters with the metaphysicals have not always been good - this could well be down to the particular people I met. So, at this time I am more interested in the interface between performance magic and authentic phenomenon. I think that there is a lot of interesting work to be done in this field. Even in this, "best "new" magic in the coming years will actually be quite old" rings true. The most authentic of Mages and Shaman are known to have used methods that we would recognise today - not to deceive - but to act as a 'trigger' for authentic magic.

I am quiet worried about the claim/truth that the clan has dissipated, to work in their own isolated huts. Yet, I can well understand how this has happened - and well understand why this forum is an inappropriate central hall for any revival that *may* occur. My feeling is that we all need to come together, rather than break apart. If there is to be a 'new magic', I believe this will take a lot of work and strong central hub to organise this work and share ideas about it.

I *could* write a short manifesto detailing what this new magic should be - but I am not sure that I am the right person to do so. If it is right - it will happen.

>To Iain - I was going to strongly disagree with you when you said "how many people would connect with a "shaman" and how many would laugh or poo-poo it out of hand?" - then I think I understood what you meant. I have not encountered any resistance at all to ideas that may be outside of people's current paradigm - indeed, quite the opposite (bear in mind that I am only a casual and accidental performer these days). But yes, I do not think you have to grow a beard (sorry!) and wear a long white gown to be seen as a practitioner of a 'new magic'. This practitioner should not look odd, or wear a hokey theatrical costume. I feel that s/he should be camouflaged in society - so that there are no narcissistic ego problems that may occur when wearing horns on your head, but more importantly, that what s/he does is approachable and sincere. A new magic should not isolate people, but it also should not be timid in what it tackles, or how it tackles it.

(IMO - as always)
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 03:08PM)
Iain - you should never *try* to write poetry.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 3, 2020 03:34PM)
If one were to go around tossing the term shaman around then yeah, they'd probably not be taken seriously.

But if one allows the concepts of shamanism to be a silent script and simply acts that way without the declarations - that's a different thing.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 03:44PM)
I totally agree - I think I was referring to the popular craze a few years ago of people 'tossing the term around' and a lot of people (particularly in mentalism, as I recall) with some some of messiah complex.

"But if one allows the concepts of shamanism to be a silent script and simply acts that way without the declarations - that's a different thing." - absolutely.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 04:37PM)
Would they not just label it as per their own life experiences and bias?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 05:01PM)
Usually not - especially if they are having to integrate something that exists outside of their existing frame of reference.

....Thinking about this a little more (and in my experience ONLY) - I find there are two vital (and related) factors.

1. not to come over as some sort of superior being.
2. to centre the experience on the person that you are working with.

i.e. you are facilitating the *possible* experiences of the members of the audience - rather than showing them you mystical powers. A great deal of this can be quite a grounded experience, in an odd sort of a way.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 3, 2020 05:36PM)
Yeah but Chris is saying use it as your silent script, act and behave and engage with others, using it non overtly...

So you're not saying I iz day shaman...but you're hoping others will kinda arrive at that...

I don't think they will. Unless they are au fait with such things and understand what looks and sounds like a... shaman's duck?

But what about the rest? I think it falls into finding a niche and then the rest is personal biases and experiences.m..

People are pattern seekers. They'll seek to join up the dots until it makes sense...or reject it if they can't.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 06:10PM)
Well, why would you want anyone to think you were a Shaman anyway?

As to the rest, I can only speak from experience, and have never found a problem in this. My aim would be to extends peoples current frame of reference, not to conform to it. If you come across as genuine and authentic, then I do not see how this would arise?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 06:11PM)
For me, the focus is *always* on the experience that I am facilitating - never on the person facilitating it.
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Jan 3, 2020 06:26PM)
I’m on the edge of my seat, frankly. I leave my computer for a day and come back to all of this! Ha!

I do agree that each mind in a community MUST have time to grow and evolve individually, BUT we wouldn’t know how our vision compares and differs if we don’t have other minds, creators, and creations to engage with. As Faulkner said: “Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” Genius cannot always be achieved in isolation.

However- isolation and self alignment, and the ability to put the blinders on is INTEGRAL for inner-clarity. I believe the individual process is usually the second step on the way to creation. You’re right, Iain. Without working quietly with our inner center, we cannot hear our unique voice and vision. And everything that surrounds can serve as a frame, or a context, or a niche to bear in mind but not adhere to entirely. A community think space (or story space, or village square) feels very much like a lighthouse to me... free to come and go as one pleases yet there is always a light on and a place to dock.

Now- onto Modern Bizarrisism. First is my bias, and then I’ll share a few thoughts:
1) personally, I don’t care for tech centered material, especially since I do believe we are craving more empathy and connection “beyond the screen”. Tech can be so helpful to elevate ones work, but I don't personally find it an engaging premise for magical performance... the only exception may be in a mediumship demonstration, where a bit of tech physically proves a link has been made and spirit is coming through... Windbridge Research Center has been doing some fascinating tests over the last few years, and they’ve discovered in one EEG study that mediums mental states are different when they’re communicating with the deceased... there’s possibility here.

2) While “shaman” shoes are definitely niche, I feel like witchdocchris is on to something. Not everyone cares or is seeking shamanic medicine or insight- but the role of the spiritual/worker is starting to resurface in the modern context. Readers and rootworkers are using social media to engage with new audiences in new ways. There’s been a recent idea that readers/healers/magicians are the new influencers of the day. Gone are the days of the old school mediums and psychics- a new type of magician has entered the scene, and people ARE engaging with magick now more than I have ever seen! I don’t believe that our audience is too far ahead- I believe that magical performers are wayyy behind the curve.

I recommend getting to know some of these wonderful moderns readers, astrologers, and magicians work. Instagram is an excellent place to start. Gabriela Herstik, Marcella Kroll, Oldeways, Haus Of Hoodoo, to name a few... when I think of Modern Magick workers, these are who I think of. See what these workers do, and especially how they engage with their audience.

3) Another big piece of the Modern Bizzare puzzle may be a difficult one to discuss, but I think it’s absolutely necessary- cultural appropriation. We are left with an important task to entertain and transport people to magical, beautiful places- but audiences are increasingly recognizing that exoticism and binaried narratives can feel stale and problematic..one of the reasons why the role and aura of the Reader has shifted has been because of a conscious effort to approach the magical arts from an educated and inclusive fashion. THIS is modern. When I started meeting true rootworkers and conjurefolk, I was reflecting on how many “voodoo” routines in magic were just wrong. Inaccurate to the folk workings of those tools, and more importantly an inaccurate reflection of a culture that still holds and cherishes these practices. When we can’t be respectful to these cultures and practices in our magic, then we give our audiences no choice but to see us in a certain light- as a cheap novelty.

The same goes for mentalism that is structured around methods where “women think this, and men think that.” The h*ll they do not— not modern audiences. In order to push our craft forward, we must catch up to how people are CURRENTLY engaging with wonder and magick. Audiences want to feel included and respected. We must create a safe vessel for magick to happen within. That is also the role of the magician.

... I’m sure I had other thoughts but I’ll let them unfold as we continue lol

Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 07:39PM)
Well isn't it nice to be part of a discussion where I agree with everyone (more or less)? There is something of a novelty about this!

I share you dislike of modern technology being introduced into magic Cooper. Perhaps I am being a Luddite here, but everywhere I go I see people just blankly staring into their mobile phones. Only last week, I was walking with my wife and we were watching someone riding a bike through town- her face fixed on the glowing screen
'she is going to fall of her bike' one of us said - and sure enough, she did - but the odd thing was, that as she fell off her bike she somehow managed to keep the phone in front of her face as she fell - as if she was cataleptic. There she lay on the ground still staring at her phone - we assumed that she had hurt herself and rushed over - but before we could get over there - she slowly picked herself us and got back on her bike and rode off - not for one second did she break contact with screen in front of her face.

Technology is a wonderful thing (in the right hands), it allows us to have this conversation from our various locations across the globe - it is a wonderful tool for discourse and connections - or it should be. However, to me it sometimes looks like enslavement - a false illusion of connection and a tool for superficial, unreal social discourse. As I hope for an awaking of consciousness, I see technology serving a different purpose.

I'm not a great fan of mobile phone tricks!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 3, 2020 07:41PM)
A lot of what you say here gives me food for thought. It is well past my bedtime -so I too will continue this conversation tomorrow (before retreating back into my comforting shadows!)
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jan 3, 2020 08:26PM)
What should a modern bizarre magician look like and act like?

That is easy, be yourself. The weird stuff you do should be natural and real. You should be an open and real person that people around you want to talk to and listen to.

The bizarre magic should be woven into your life and as you grow and learn more you should become more and more interesting as a person. Never stop learning, never stop growing, work every day to be a little more interesting.

Read, read, and read more, learn new things, not just magic, but things that are interesting and things that bring you happiness.

Other things that are importing is learning how to listen to people you are interacting with, being very self aware of how you are coming across ( are you being interesting or are you being a complete bore )

What you do magic wise should fit who you are.
Message: Posted by: Winks (Jan 4, 2020 12:06AM)
This whole cell phone electronic evolution is why I have rid myself of every peice of electronic gear and prop and have returned to the books and the presentation. The reason for so much decline in this as well as main stream magic is because it is no longer magic. It is far too often an electronic prop. I don't pat myself on the back in any way for getting rid of all the props; rather, I just want to enjoy what looks like real magic. Prof BC had a Phantoms presentation at the last ECSS that was just what I am talking about - pure magic. Props no longer hold any interest for me - and obviously for others - bacause of what is too easily explained by current electronics.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 04:44AM)
I'm not keen on magic apps etc

I don't want people to misconstrue my automatic writing thing on a phone...

My point is, it's the most commonly carried object these days and it contains so much...important messages, photos and so on.

There's metaphors to explore, and we should not run away from it...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 4, 2020 10:55AM)
The intension of my original post was to just put out my thoughts (right or wrong) about what I saw as the demise in this forum and how I feel this links to a (potential?) demise in magic as an art form. Yet - this was followed with some interesting posts making some very valid points - and it is quite exciting/encouraging to see the emergence of some deeper thinking here.

Yet, I am also sensing something else.

I think there is a danger of a schism developing - between more traditional Bizarre magic and what I would term a 'New magic'. This is not to say that either are 'wrong', and I strongly suspect that a Bizarre magic forum is not the ideal place to develop the ideas that some have alluded to. I think there already exists an understanding that magic should *appear* more magical, but this is not what I am talking about, or what I suspect Cooper and (the other) Christopher refer to. I speak more of how genuine phenomena - 'authentic magic' can be incorporated into a traditional performance setting. This assumes a 'belief' (or expereince) of this authentic phenomenon, that some may not have - and that is fine.

I will pitch in *a little* about what I mean, and then (probably) leave it at that. My hope is that those of a like mind find a home and do the work needed to actualise a New Magic. [I must stress that there is nothing inferior about traditional performance magic, for the purposes of entertainment. It's just different to ideas that I find myself entertaining these days].

The 'New Magic' of which I speak - is indeed 'Old Magic' - but infused with more contemporary research. I call this Authentic Magic. These ideas originated in discussions I had with Nyama Possessor - before he mysteriously disappeared [something that still concerns me greatly - so if anyone knows of his whereabouts, or indeed, if he is ok - I would really appreciate any information]. In this context we called it 'Magical Reality' (to link it with the literary tradition). Liminal Magic is a good term too.

[I have spoken on this subject for some years now - but working in a vacuum has led to these ideas never really developing , beyond my own personal opinions. So, if you have heard me rumble on about this before, and fear boredom - you should turn away now!]

The idea here is explore, research and employ 'real magic' - authentic phenomenon, *within* the context of a more traditional performance magic.

For me - there is a lot of ceremonial clutter that surrounds what has become to be called Magick. I speak from expereince, as this is where I started, only crossing over to performance magic due to a lack of concrete results. Partly, these lack of results were my fault, as I have since validated the authenticity of such things to my own personal satisfaction. However, it was also the fault of various authors who I now suspect were living out some sort of fantasy, and knew little more than I did. A lot of what I studied back in those days were the product of people clutching at straws, or the result of me not having the space to truely understand what I was reading.

It was only by stepping back - armed with the structure that performance magic had given me - that I started to look at the whole picture, and start to join the dots. I am now at the point of not only validating the authenticity of 'true magic' (to my satisfaction), but also - I am beginning to understand the mechanism behind it - or, dare I say; the physics. I must stress the word 'beginning' here, as these are really complex and challenging ideas. Sometimes, I fear that my intellect is not up to the task. This means that (casual) performance of magic is a good laboratory for testing out these theories. My fear is, as an old guy (hurtling towards his 70's - gulp!) there may not be enough time to resolve all of this - which is why I say that others need to carry the torch. Also, a lot of this is emergent thinking, not only among Magicians, but also including the more cutting edge physics and those working from a more scientific basis in ESP, the nature of consciousness, and other 'paranormal' phenomenon. (Will we see the casting way of the 'para' - in our times? - If we survive, I think this is a distinct probability). In this work, it is crucial to investigate and explore these ideas in a group - for peer review and validation - also, because the sheer amount of research, which is beyond a single person.

So, why 'contaminate' this with the 'deceptive arts'. Or more fundamentally - why do it at all?

I am clear about my own motivation - it is a desire to be part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem. A casual look at the world, and it is clear that we are devolving into chaos - into a society that values greed over sharing, hatred over compassion and love - fear over hope - all of these (and more) can be expressed by the single word 'connectedness'. (As I have mentioned before) we have become disconnected from ourselves, from each other, from society, and from the world that is our home. The *inevitable* result of this route is self-annihilation. As I look around, all I see is people enslaved into a system that is destroying them.

On the other hand, I sense a genuine awakening of consciousness - two counterbalancing forces.
I do not see this entirely from the perspective of a traditional 'new age' raising of consciousness (although I not undervalue this), but something that is emerging globally - as much in science as in meditation groups. Those who have read 'The Tao of Physics' back in the day, will know that both physicists and mystics from ancient traditions are beginning to talk of the same fundamental laws of the universe (it is also worth revisiting the Kybalion - as everything is laid out there so succinctly).

'Entertainment' is (surprisingly perhaps) a good vehicle for spreading this raising of consciousness through direct expereince. When someone has had an expereince that lies beyond their paradigm, there is no going back - and we can (with the insight and the will) touch many people.

For me, magic was once something that was a route to self-gratification. Now I see it as a *potential* contribution to consciousness expansion and from there to survival of the species. I no longer have any interest in being the Great Wazoo - there are more important things that we can be doing.

[I realise that I am sounding quite mad at this point, but I do not really care - the anonymity of the internet protects me!]

Let us fantasise for a moment and consider that there *may* be a grain of truth in my ramblings. Would this transform magic, and what would this magic look like? Would this elevate our magic from the negativity that that is part of that which is choking us - and lead to something more valuable?... A magic that *has purpose* - a magic that had an integral *meaning*? Of course, my answer is that it would. Your opinion may differ - and that is fine.

Why not just becomes a Wizard, Shaman or guru then? Why hang onto the raft of traditional performance magic? For me, there are many reasons for holding onto that rope. Firstly, people are already working in this sphere (and are better equipped for that work). Also, as mentioned before, the context of a performance means that more people can be affected in this context - and more rapidly. Also, 'entertainers' can touch people who would never entertain the idea of making contact with something that did not conform to their existing belief system - or, if they were more open minded - simply would not have that opportunity. There is a more practical reason too....

Anyone who has dabbled in real Magic (and has validation) will know that Magic is anything but predicable. It is not a tap that can be turned on (and when turned on, something more surprising than water may come out!). To get to my point - magic rarely works in a structured setting (such as a performance). Here, as with countless Mages of old - we can employ the mechanics of a trick as a 'convincer' of something genuine. Or, put better - we can use our art as a 'trigger' for what will be authentic Magical phenomena.

The (inevitable?) consequence of what has been defined as Bizarre magic - is to scare people, to frighten and depress their spirits. Are people not already frightened and depressed enough?
[ref: 'Darkest routines ever...' - just a few threads down]. What if instead of this, we could elevate and enlighten people - give them hope, rather than a quick scare?
You may say that I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one.

In conclusion - I think that a New Magic is needed, that it is *vital*, no only to the revitalisation of magic itself, but also to contribute to a revitalisation of the world we live in. In many ways, Bizarre magic has always been the home to more creative and open thinkers - do I think it will be the home to a new magic? Although historically, this is feasible - I doubt it.

(although I hope that time proves me wrong).
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 4, 2020 11:00AM)
Let me challenge you (or some of you).

How would you produce authentic Magical phenomena - within the context of a traditional performance. Let's start there.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 12:49PM)
More random thoughts... I'm not trying to annoy anyone! I'm just talking about a subject I used to care a lot about...

if you want a metaphysical or real thing, then become it...no need for any specially made "anything" other than traditional items within its own literature (spoken or otherwise)… just do it and live it and be it...you'll still find an audience and you'll definitely be able to make money doing it too...no need for gimmickry, sleight of hand or mouth or anything like that...

before we had other language and terminology and better understanding, we had ideas, and "well, its got to be xyz!"... lets consider this...

you naturally know people's moods and what are sensitive points in their life, you don't have to say a word - you just 'notice'. you are brave enough to share it with that person, and that you "sense that xyz is wrong" and they gasp! how could you know! now, that person has personal/family experience with say psychic types - and they tell you, that you are an "empath"... so you are surprised and interested...they take you along to people's houses and you maybe share what you notice and people are amazed, and you feel pressure to be kind and not fully say what you pick up...blah blah blah

but, what if you had a terrible childhood and you naturally picked up the knack, dare I say skillset of being able to unconsciously detect these emotions - that doesn't make you an empath in all those people's terms. it just means you learned how to survive terrible situations on a daily basis and kinda can't help yourself as you do it...

so lets say the magick is real too, what are its implications? and what are the rules? its kinda easy to say "oh its very variable" - which may be true. but why is it so wild and variable, and if so, does that contradict say, witchcraft? mix these ingrediants, do it with a good heart, say these words and cast your energy and intent along with it and it works! if there's always caveat or get out clause then I'd want to ask why...if its too much of a caveat, then why not just make a wish or toss a coin for your answer (by the way, if you do, they are really canto stones!)…

what if all the things someone believes in, are just self conjoured magick, which is really a mixture of bias, wish fulfilment, belief, and self-fooling thoughts because its comforting to believe in that self conjoured magick… and what if they've come up with that magick because it helped them and now they believe it can help others too! yikes! that's a dangerous road...because there's very little means to measure the outcomes...they might smile and go yes, very helpful, and then collapse next day...we will often never know... but then if you DO know, because you're a client list kinda person - then what are your responsibilities? very often people do harm when their aim is to do good... I would guess this is a lot easier for those with the mindset of just "doing it" and its a liveable life...

derek akorah died today, the scouse leather trousered psychic who was kinda famous in the uk - he was an absolute shambles, yet...consider why he was so popular... if that's the road you feel you need to tread, and maybe because you wanna help - I would consider that a massive danger sign personally...

how do you deliver a pleasurable, interesting, mysterious experience without anything...and with it all tied up together with your personality...you often want to deliver an experience - one that people will understand enough to come and watch and the understand even more after its done, hoping to make them see you again or book you and so on...


i'm not sure you can have your cake and eat it, which is a shame cos I like cake...but I hope there is...

there's plenty in life right now that is bizarre and haunting, dare to talk about it and create some kind of magick out of it, or...create magick to take people away from the harm of it for a while... but whilst they are with you, what are you doing there?

@chris - I used to really like the "I am but the conduit" kinda angle, I felt after a while, it became a little underwhelming for those watching...so how do we make a professional conduit using magick, engaging, original, and modern day? or do we stick to the capes and hats and skulls? :wow: :pirate: :)
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 4, 2020 02:32PM)
Iain - there are a lot of good thoughts here, and a few points that I feel compelled to answer (purely from my own standpoint - not as an edict of truth).
I want to start by saying that I am by no means an expert, more of an adventurer. These are just the findings of my experiences - the truth that we all hold is no more than that.

> "if you want a metaphysical or real thing, then become it...no need for any specially made "anything"

I totally agree, that is Magic in it's purest form. Perhaps what we would call prop-less magic. True magic resides within (and with a connection with the unified field...). If this is so, then there should be no need for props. I feel that this should be the 'gold standard' and what we aim for and your example speaks of the most powerful tool we have: empathy. However.....

> "but why is it so wild and variable?"

It would take me a LOT of words to answer that. But, it is a good question - so I will try to put something down (it makes less sense when abbreviated). To work with real Magic, you are connecting with something outside of space/time (think of, say - quantum entanglement as an illustration of the idea). This - that you are connecting to simply has no idea of distance, no idea of time - from this dimension, these things are irrelevant. On 'the Above', time and space do not exist as they do for people living solely in the material world. It's not like ordering a pizza.
Things tend to materialise *when* they should. What you *want* may not be the thing you *need*. I have had quite a few 'results' to experiments, but none of them were predicable. But all of them made perfect sense in the end.

This may sound like a cop out, and from your universe, it may well be. My belief - and that is all it is - is that we are all expressions of a unified field - yet when we are in a material existence, then there are several levels of what we call 'reality' - this would take a book for me to explain - but the fundamental point is that each of our 'realities' is unique to us - as you put it "
bias, wish fulfilment, belief, and self-fooling thoughts" - as you know, we all live there at some level.

Alternatively, *if* these beliefs include a unified field of existence on a metaphysical plane - then this field is constant and not delusional - and genuine contact with this will lead to awakening, rather than delusion.

This said, your point is a good one. There is always a constant danger of 'ego contamination', and we have more than one example of this in magic! With study and experience, I think (but cannot *know*) that it is fairly easy to feel (and profoundly so) when something is authentic. Am I self-delusional here? Maybe. It is impossible to say when the question is looked at from a material perspective.

Count how many psychoanalysts are themselves in need of therapy, or how many marriage guidance consultants come from failed marriages, how many magicians are sorely in need of magic. It is certainly not a question to dismiss.

So - if the unified field of magic is irrational from a material standpoint - if the rules of space time doe not apply, then this is why we sometimes need techniques that 'real' Mages have used since the dawn of time.

This is why (for me) what we used to call 'a trick' (in the old days!) can be a mechanism for focusing and triggering a Magical event. That is all it would be (in this context) - a trigger - the 'real work' is what is done with what it triggered. (in my many years of expereince now - this is the very thing that most magicians ****-up - or rather, are no aware of).

I have thought (and written) a great deal on this - many years wresting with this subject and experimenting with it. Still, in the enormity of this, I am still no more than a baby sucking its thumb.

One safeguard to the psychological contamination to which you speak - one that I find useful -even if you as a practitioner are damaged (and we all are, to a greater or lesser extent) is to take the focus from the ego of the performer and place it in the expereince of the other. This is something that I feel is difficult for many magicians (and I do not exclude myself from this).

> "derek akorah died today..."

...Not my role model.
Seriously though, these people do unimaginable damage. Not only to anyone that come into contact with, but to a serious study of these things. However, thinking about it - is that true? Akorah and his like are entertainers. I am sure that most people would put them in this category, and not take them seriously at all. The danger comes from people 'playing with fire' and messing with something they do not understand - then inflicting this on other people. I have lost count of the awful things I have seen when an amateur 'psychic' (or even a magician doing a 'psychic effect') plies his or her 'art'.

> "How do you deliver a pleasurable, interesting, mysterious experience without anything..."

Well, that is the key question, and a focus of research for anyone contemplating restoring a 'New Magic'....

> "so how do we make a professional conduit using magick, engaging, original, and modern day?"

I honestly do not think that this is that hard - I find that people are totally engrossed when such things are presented to them - it would surprise me if anything else were true. Perhaps it is a matter of context?

When you dig into these things, they are enormously complex and deep, I feel sure that I have failed in answering the good points that you have made adequately.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 02:46PM)
I would disagree about your "they are entertainers" about the fry, akorah, stokes guys...

I think they are taken very seriously by many people...

As for the rest, hmmmmm 🤓
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 02:48PM)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 03:01PM)
Hopefully my hmmm didn't read as disrespectful...I was just hmmming cos I'm not sure how to reply 👍
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 4, 2020 03:19PM)
I normally like to approach *everything* with an open mind. That is I take things in innocently, as if it were true - y'know, chew it around in my intuition a bit (the subconscious is non-critical). Then come back and think critically about it - this non-dismissive way of thinking can open you up to ideas, that your preconceived mindset would not allow.

...but I had problems with that guy on Youtube!

On the other hand I have recently been looking (casually) at the topic of remote viewing and (related really) into Edgar Casey. Both of these things I would have told you were utter junk, just a few years ago. However, I kinda got hooked by the banned Ted talk with physicist (and child magician!) Russel Targ


Really due to a bout of depression after a family tragedy - y'know, moping around, going down various youtube warrens. Not taking it seriously at all really - then something sparked in my brain - I kinda *get this* - this thing that I once thought was hogwash - I am still in the 'open phase' and have not critically evaluated it yet. But it kinda illustrate some of the things I have being talking about - certainly more than Derek Acorah does - or the guy with the funny voice!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 03:21PM)
If you've not read mind reach by outhoff and Targ, then you should...

I've tried the Cayce techniques and they are fun. For me, it's just the imagination and when I've read up on the brain, psychology and so on about that field, it reinforced a few things to me...

Sorry you've had depression to deal with mate 🤘🏻♥️
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 4, 2020 03:36PM)
Well over the depression now - just dealing with the aftermath! I am pretty philosophical about these things. We are here to smell the flower, but also the manure they grow out of.

I have been frantically dipping into what I can find about Outhoff, Targ and others - have not chanced across the book you mentioned - now on my list ;-)

I find Cayce (yup misspelt it up there - Birmingham education!) genuinely intriguing (who would have thunk it?) - maybe it IS imagination and maybe imagination is the key?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 4, 2020 03:40PM)
Imagination is my base explanation...it's a very wild and dangerous thing as well as a generous and wonderful thing...

And! There's science behind it too...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 4, 2020 05:05PM)
Imagination combined with critical thinking is the key.
It is an imbalance of these two that gives us problems.

(well, we sure have hijacked this thread - we should be out there hyping the products!)
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Jan 4, 2020 06:22PM)
I don't think you hijacked it, I think it has been a valuable contribution. Like a good funeral, it takes others to make it a FUNeral.
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Jan 4, 2020 07:25PM)
[quote]On Jan 4, 2020, Christopher Gould wrote:
Well over the depression now - just dealing with the aftermath! I am pretty philosophical about these things. We are here to smell the flower, but also the manure they grow out of.

I’ve been in the same boat, and feel the same way. Our hearts and minds wear a coat of many colors. And you, like many of us I'm sure, use it as creative fuel. Once we get back on our feet there is much to share. That’s a big reason why I’ve been leaning back into THIS side of the craft.

Alan Moore, author of Watchmen, V For Vedetta, (and many other modern graphic novel masterpieces) hits the nail on the head with this discussion:

“There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman”
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 5, 2020 05:48AM)
Alan Moore is an interesting guy (but also a complex one, if you get my drift).

To some degree, I agree with the sentiments - yet both art and words need a context to make them Magical. From where we sit, both have been subsumed into our capitalist world as financial commodities (i.e. Fine-art is an 'investment'), or tools for selling commodities. Obviously both images and words serve other functions. But - are they truely magical in our current world? Art, words and magic serve a different function now than they once did, when Shaman crawled through very difficult underground conditions to receive the visions that they made such wonderful images from. Sacred images that stretch through the millennia - for us to wonder over in our less magical times.

I was trained as an artist, and taught art for many years - yet I am not sure that I managed to do something that could be called authentically Magical. I can only think of one instance where my students and I actually used art in a Magical way - and this was entirely due to 'ritual' and context. This is a tale I have told before (more than once), so some may of heard it. But, like all good tales, it is worth the retelling.

*Many* years ago now, the headmaster of our school had the idea of circulating tutor groups (each teacher had a tutor group to register each morning and on each Tuesday morning had to teach some sort of moral lesson to them - whether the tutor was up to that task or not).
So here I was on a Tuesday morning with my own tutor group of artists packed off to a science teacher while I had a group of science students, who had absolutely no exposure to, or interest in art. Not relishing giving a one hour tutorial on art history to people with no capacity for visual thinking; my students and I came up with an alternative....

The reluctant science students came in and took their seats, and austere as possible, I started lecturing on the Baroque period of art. At the point were the students were exchanging negative glances and fidgeting, a small group of strange figures entered the room - each wearing the sort of black hooded clock that would make a trad Bizarrist proud - each wearing a blank white mask - each carrying a rope in one hand. Each took up their position behind the students; one standing behind me. Slowly, this figure raised its hand, then slowly put it on my shoulder - as soon as contact was made - I slumped over the table, as if dead (a position I kept up for a full hour, so the rest of the tale is from reports given by my students). One by one, the other figures extended the rope and without verbal instruction, the confused science students grasped the other end of the rope - and by such means, were led out of the classroom into a 'sacred space'; the school's theatre - which was pained black - had a 6 X 10 foot piece of paper taped to the stage, and was surrounded by flickering candles (no one had invented 'health and safety' yet). For some reason we had decided to keep one poor soul in the classroom, staring at the disabled Art teacher, for the whole time!

Not a word was spoken, but after a few minutes - one of the science students picked up one of the paintbrushes that were set out - and started painting. It is reported that soon after, all followed suit and as the time went on - all inhibition had been cast aside, with students painting frantically, using their hands and feet and flinging paint around. When time was up, the candles were extinguished and the science students once more felt the rope in their hands - and thus, were lead back to their seats in the classroom. One of the hooded figures took its position behind me and (re) placed its hand on my shoulder. As if nothing had happened, I sat up and continued the lecture from where I had left off.

Then the bell sounded, signifying a return to the normal world that the science students had - momentarily - left behind.

As a coda to this, my students and I spent the rest of the day making a finished painting - elaborating on the painting that the science students had started, without losing their original work (we wanted them to think this was what they had painted!). The finished painting would not have looked out of place in an ancient Magic-centred culture, and was hung up in the lobby we used as an art gallery.

Who knows what the science students thought of this, or what experience they had had - I suspect it was a magical one.

[This was also my most successful magic show.... And an indication that what we define as a 'magic show' could be far more imaginative and well... Magical.]
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 5, 2020 05:50AM)
From what people have contributed in the latter end of this thread - are seeds being sown... perhaps?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 5, 2020 03:16PM)
Great discussion, folks.

To clarify something -
[quote]Yeah but Chris is saying use it as your silent script, act and behave and engage with others, using it non overtly...

So you're not saying I iz day shaman...but you're hoping others will kinda arrive at that...[/quote]

I don't actually worry about the conclusion the audience draws about me. They will label the performer with whatever term best fits their experience - that's human nature.

When I talk about using a silent script of being the shaman I am more referring to using that concept - the sacred clown/healer concept - to guide the decisions about what, and how, to perform.

Art is the manipulation of symbols in order to create a response - thoughts, emotions, or both. In my opinion. The way to be a modern conduit of the magical is to focus on creating the magical experience for the audience, regardless of the method (to ethical extents, of course). Sometimes one might need to be a bit silly to do that. Maybe one has to get scary. Maybe one has to talk about sensitive subjects like death. The point is that the artist shouldn't shy away from those tasks but should embrace them in order to create and express on a deeper level than the brain-candy most entertainment ends up being.
Message: Posted by: Tone (Jan 5, 2020 09:10PM)
And here we are once again!

"Are we here? We have always been".

Such a refreshing thread, honestly.

Thank you @Actorcoop for bringing up Alan Moore ~ I often consider his creation John Constantine's "synchronicity wave traveling", especially as it relates to contemporary Magick.

Like many here I suspect, I too dabble in many creative outlets, but always return to the noble Art of Magick.

I love the direction Chris and others were bringing Alchemy Moon years ago. Gemini Artifacts and Lebanon Circle seem to be carrying the banner from what I can tell, but as has been discussed in this thread, the dealers and artisans can only bring (very) wonderful props and premises ~ it is upon us to actually CONDUCT the wonders.

The conundrum in my opinion lies in the mechanics specific to our Art. When I see a beautiful painting or sublime musician, the technique is not hidden under layers of deception. I know these are only pigments or notes, but the effect can be otherworldly. When I'm deep in an honest discussion of beautiful coincidence, I don't want to take advantage of the conversation and and bring out two Bicycle decks. As controversial as he may be, I absolutely agree with Andy of The Jerx when he points out how anti-social these magician behaviors can be.

Speaking of The Jerx, I find aspects of his thinking exhilarating. Effects that take place over several days (!), basking in the absolute delight of the inexplicable rather than simply "fooling" someone. His approach leaves no question that something SPECIAL has happened, and often times his approach assures that something truly special has happened indeed.

Another angle entirely is the often wonderfully presented "storyteller" presentations of Christian Cagigal via Eugene Burger and Robert Neale (among many others). This is a safer way to present Magick that I quite enjoy when done well, but it downplays the "special" and "weird" substance of the experience. This is a recent realization, to be honest. It makes effects much easier to present because they become visual aids the story rather than truly astonishing moments in and of themselves.

I absolutely love your described classroom painting effect Chris ~ THAT is the weirdness Magick needs in my lil ol' opinion. What made the Black Lodge in Lynch's "Twin Peaks" series so captivating was that it was NOT the predictable supernatural anyone could've envisioned.

Thank you all for your thoughts here. I'm expecting to see more "old timers" of the Café's spooky realm to surface for this reunion party :cheers:
Message: Posted by: Lucien Astor (Jan 6, 2020 11:00AM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2020, IAIN wrote:
What should modernist bizarre look like? Can't be the same old ripper, folklore and booktests...what happens when you survey the wreckage of what used to be? What does it say about 21st century life? [/quote]

Too bad Dr. Spektor/Bruce isn't around anymore. This was the ethos of what he was trying to do in the last few years he was here. Maybe 21st Century bizarre needs to elicit and evoke dread topically; climate change, shootings, right-wing populism. This is the absurdity and horror we confront, more than monsters, demons, and the safe scares of theatre.

[quote]On Jan 2, 2020, Christopher Gould wrote:

... On the local level, this forum was hijacked by dealers. One in particular who used it as a shilling-post and a shop front - followed by a rather distasteful journal of demise. After the drama was over, all of this left a bad taste in peoples mouths. The fact that these practices seemed to be supported by the administration of this forum. left many to distrust this as a place for honest discourse. ...[/quote]

Exactly this. I suspect many of us are labouring in secret, reflecting & creating in the solitude of what Crowley often called "a great magical retirement".
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 6, 2020 03:51PM)
That whole episode created a problem that is, to this day unresolved.

I was encouraged to read what Nick Birch had to say regarding his initiative to form a 'good practice alliance' of dealers. This will go a long way in restoring 'consumer confidence'. We should all thank him for this idea (indeed, I think we have!)

However, there is something more. I look at this forum and still see that it is massively over-weighted in regards to product selling, as opposed to serious discussion. ...and yes, when I cast my mind back, I feel some degree of hypocrisy in saying this, and cannot exclude myself. Also, I would love to get back here discussing my work, if it was worth doing so... This, not to hawk my wares (I am seriously uninterested in this aspect), but to encourage critical feedback and the creativity of the community to help grow those ideas.

So in my opinion (and that is all it is) there is a responsibility for the remaining dealers to treat this forum with respect (*if* respect is an issue). I am not saying - wouldn't it be great if all the dealers f'ed of and died. What I am saying is, wouldn't it be wonderful if dealers were sensitive to the balance of discussion vs product promotion? More importantly, wouldn't it be TRULY wonderful if respondents to these type of posts were more creative and intelligent - something more than "Yes, I agree, this product is great, you should buy it.". I am sure that all the dealers here would benefit greatly from this, and, I suspect, are hungry for more interesting responses. It is not that dealers hawk their wares here that keeps me away, it is the lack of balance, the rising superficiality of the posts. (sorry to shoot from the hip again - buy hey!).

Do I think this will happen?... Frankly, no. I am a great believer that things evolve into what they were meant to evolve into. In the case of this forum, perhaps it will evolve into no more than a dealers front window (as it has existed for some time now). Perhaps that is fine, and perhaps we 'old timers' should just accept this and stop crying into our beards!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 6, 2020 03:59PM)
Chris, I liked it when you had your own forum...it was good fun and you kinda did what you're describing...

You could do it again, and very easily on Facebook quite easily. Private, invites only, real names to stop shills and rip off-artistes etc..

And it was what I was talking about, it was "yours" and we just dropped by...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 6, 2020 04:35PM)
Been there, done that, got the tea-shirt! ;-)

Looking back, here were the problems.

First of all, I could never really shake off the idea that it was *my* forum (I guess calling it the Alchemy Moon forum did not help!)
[The first forum I ever set up - when I would have called myself a 'Mentalist' never had this problem, Famously, I was thrown out of that one!]

This led to (again in retrospect) too much reliance on my presence there. If I stopped posting, well - pretty soon, everyone else did. Also, I (erroneously) felt that I had to answer *everyone's* post immediately after it was made (which only exasperated the condition). This lead to the next problem....

Burn-out. At some points, I must have been spending 80% of my time maintaining the forum, 10% of my time actually working on new stuff - and the remaining 10% staring blankly at a spot on the wall.

There would be two motivations to doing this again (even if this will never 'be a thing'). The first is to once more engage in intelligent discussion and ideas sharing/growing. And the second (more selfishly) to get feedback on stuff I was working on, as I worked on it.

[I did set up a secret group - specifically to do the latter. I thought it was a great idea, actually it was a repulsive one - and thus, the group soon went silent. What a horrible idea (in retrospect) to set up a 'me' group!]

Also, frankly - are there enough minds floating around to support and maintain such a group? Momentum is always the issue, one that has killed more than one fine 'alternative' forum.

I would perhaps join such a group, but have no interest in starting one up. Frankly, although it is great talking to old friends here again - I am missing the shadows already! ;-)

Facebook? You talk of the Devil sir!
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Jan 7, 2020 01:54AM)
[quote]On Jan 6, 2020, Christopher Gould wrote:

Facebook? You talk of the Devil sir! [/quote]

“Aye but the devil is a wily one, you cannot deny it.”

Were a Facebook group to emerge, I would certainly answer that siren song. Frankly, I’m all about keeping It here, and enriching one singular space.... if a house need some TLC, we don’t board up the windows and move out- we tend to the wounds.

But regardless of where we whisper in the shadows, I hope y’all know my door is always open for a good discussion. My eyes and ears are always here for feedback, thoughts, and causal listening to any ideas and anecdotes. And sometime (when it’s time to write about my work and share with all of you) I would be humbled to ask for your eyes and ears as well!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 7, 2020 02:49AM)
You should always talk of the devil...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 7, 2020 03:52AM)
I tend to agree with you Cooper. For magic to thrive, it needs a central hub - somewhere that acts like a giant magnet to attract anyone working in the area, as well as encouraging any new blood to keep the veins of magic in healthy circulation. This is particularly true of our fragile subset. In the anaemic state I find magic at the moment, any fragmentation would be fatal.

There needs to be somewhere where a pulse can be taken.

However, this is not the right place for more secure discussion. For example, I would be more than happy to help you with your work Cooper, and for you to help me with mine - but I am certainly not putting any of my work in progress up here - and this will apply to you too. And as for the crypt? Make fifty posts here (or whatever it is) and then share your more treasured ideas? Well, I need more security than that. If anything the crypt (when anyone posts there) is what this forum should be.

Facebook is clearly not the place for this either. Not that I mind Mark Zuckerburg reading all my books before they are published (even though I quit Facebook some time ago - he already knows everything about me - good luck with that Mark!). Facebook is designed for superficial and (often idiotic) chat. Many have posted about the archives of the Café and how, even when in stasis now, the student of the art can research and cast his (or her?) net into deeper waters when more fish were swimming.Could the same be said of Facebook? We need to think in terms of generation, rather than weeks.

I still think it will take major surgery to raise the corpse, and maybe having this place as a dealers shop front will keep it on life support. I *do* think that if real work is to be done, magicians should look elsewhere to do it - using this central hub as a gateway - a gateway, rather than a destructive method of siphoning blood out. I would support such a move, but I an not the guy to do it.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 7, 2020 03:53AM)
Iain - was that a meme? ;-)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 7, 2020 04:46AM)
I disagree with the Facebook comment. For years I've had private groups on there and they work a treat
Lots of good filters and controls. Separate albums for each project etc. Search function is spot on.

I've had at least one on the go for a decade. One for resources, one for ideas and another to refine presentations...

Personal choice I know :)

But I find it very easy to manage and set up. And no bugger can see anything unless I've invited them
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 7, 2020 04:46AM)
[quote]On Jan 7, 2020, Christopher Gould wrote:
Iain - was that a meme? ;-) [/quote]

Much like love-aids, anything is a meme if you want it to be...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 7, 2020 04:47AM)
I actually have an idea ready to go that would suit a coin or ring (gimmicked)...I have a couple of themes too...
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 7, 2020 05:21AM)
(actually, I use a word whose meaning I don't understand - no matter how many times I look it up!)

As you know Iain, we have chatted on more than one occasion, these chats were enormously creative and fun, yet nothing ever really came of them (if that indeed is an issue). This was neither of our faults, but I think chats between two guys tend to end up this way. For a true creative growth, I think there needs to be more at the table. (I am talking in terms of resurrecting the art here, not in the context of normal, healthy discourse).

Having said that, you can hit me up anytime if you want to chew ideas.

....just not on facebook ;-)

(I really cannot bear reading the idiotic comments that people tend to make on there - but maybe I accidentally ended up in idiots corer, and the intelligent guys are thriving in a sector that I am not aware of? )
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 7, 2020 05:39AM)
Yeah, but...

If you don't engage not accept any/many friend requests, you never see it! Plus you can even accept a friend and then immediately make it so that you never see their posts/comments...

Anyway... I think we never progressed anything because of life stuff from both sides, it just happens eh...

I've just started a new project with another guy, hope to get that finished by march, non magic relates but...has the potential to be...

I've gotten good over the years at setting up a project, sorting deadlines and delivering a finished thing...

You would have seen them if you were on the book of faces 😜👍🤓

All art projects too, including an attempt at sculpting lobster boys hand!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 7, 2020 05:54AM)
I am sorely tempted by the Lobster boys hand - especially if you stick them on this guy ;-)
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Jan 7, 2020 07:00AM)
[quote]On Jan 7, 2020, Christopher Gould wrote:
(actually, I use a word whose meaning I don't understand - no matter how many times I look it up!)

Having said that, you can hit me up anytime if you want to chew ideas.

....just not on facebook ;-)

(I really cannot bear reading the idiotic comments that people tend to make on there - but maybe I accidentally ended up in idiots corer, and the intelligent guys are thriving in a sector that I am not aware of? ) [/quote]

I have discovered that there is intelligent life on earth, but I am only visiting.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 7, 2020 08:39AM)
The ability to have meaningful conversation on FB is largely dependent on the ability to have a gate keeper with a firm hand. I am part of a few communities that keep things in line and those are very productive groups.

That being said I still don't particularly like how the conversations are archived and navigated, myself.

There are a couple bizarre forums that are active and have quality content. Again I think the key is a gatekeeper to keep the membership somewhat restricted and ensuring the discussion stays on point.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Jan 7, 2020 09:01AM)
I agree - especially on the problem with archiving on Facebook.

Whilst I agree, I will hold my ground on a need for a central hub - a village centre, that these huts are connected to.
There is also something I do not like about the secrecy aspect. Security is obviously important, also you want to keep the undesirables out. At the same time, what are these groups? Where are they? How do I get admission? I am not really talking about myself here, but for the many that (may) be coming into our art and would benefit / contribute. How would they even know that these secret clubs even existed?

When I was running the Alchemy Moon forum. I came up with this structure to attempt to address this problem. There would be an open forum for general discussion. (it started as a place for people who had bought my stuff to discuss it and get feed back - in retrospect - bad idea - it should have been something not linked to products - in fact, I think I tried to 'put this right' towards the end). Anyway - the 'outer forum' was open to all. It was still a place for serious discussion, but obviously not a secure place. (not worried about the 'general public wandering in and 'knowing how we did it' - I seriously do not think this is an issue. If people are interested enough in magic to seek out a forum and actually read it - then they are future magicians).

Behind this was a more secure area - people would be invited here an the basis of what they had contributed (quality, not quantity).
Withing this, there was a third tier - anyone could set up a private room and invite who they wanted into it. This gave the ultimate security for people to discuss and evolve their work with those they wanted to invite.

A lot of good work was done there, and I still think that it is a useful idea for a structure. Except - I now think that there needs to be a central external hub - as the first stage 'recruitment centre' - I guess, this is why I am less annoyed about this place purely serving the function of being a dealers shop-front - even as this, it could serve a function, if a coherent structure lies elsewhere. I really do not think this will happen, historically, magicians seem to like their secret clubs - to the point where the whole 'guardians of the secrets' get entrenched, in a sometimes unhelpful manner.
Message: Posted by: critter (Jan 7, 2020 07:45PM)
There is a tremendous responsibility running a Facebook group that if something someone else posts on your page gets reported it can affect your personal account. I used to get temporary bans all the time because of things other people posted.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jan 7, 2020 09:38PM)
Facebook sucks. I have permanently severed myself from their blood-sucking ways.
Message: Posted by: GlennLawrence (Jan 9, 2020 12:36PM)
Never had to sever myself from it as I never went on it in the first place! A long time ago someone described Facebook to me as a high school reunion that never ends. I figured I could do without that....
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 9, 2020 10:33AM)
This has been a terrific thread...and I'm sure what Brooks had in mind for a dynamic forum. You guys are amazing when you get going. :-) :-)
I used think I had a lot to contribute...then I got OLD haha. Now I just make GIANT FLEAS as pocket zibits...
and that's ok...it's what I do...but this thread reminds me of when I had an a more proactive brain. :-) :-)
Keep it rolling.
Message: Posted by: Papa Legba (Feb 23, 2020 04:36PM)
[quote]On Aug 18, 2019, Slim King wrote:
38 right now on a lazy sunday …. :sun: [/quote]

52 at this moment, 22.36 GMT 23/2/20 (Sunday)
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 5, 2020 01:20PM)
I thought about what I posted just above...It made me think about being 77. Up to when I was 75, I had all kinds of cool ideas and new concepts...THEN...because of some mobility issues, it dawned on me that the ACTS I was building and and writing would never be performed except in my head, I just was no longer able to 'get out there' and perform.. (Yeah I know, sucks...whatever)..so I concentrated on what I COULD continue doing and that is making Zibits and Props as the Hands still functioned better than ever (the legs be ***ed). :-) The mind sill works at Warp 9 but not for coming up with stuff I'll never do/use. Just wanted to clarify for the 2 or 3 who wondered :-) :-).
Message: Posted by: dorian_faust (Mar 6, 2020 11:41AM)
[quote]On Mar 5, 2020, Doug Higley wrote:
I thought about what I posted just above...It made me think about being 77. Up to when I was 75, I had all kinds of cool ideas and new concepts...THEN...because of some mobility issues, it dawned on me that the ACTS I was building and and writing would never be performed except in my head, I just was no longer able to 'get out there' and perform.. (Yeah I know, sucks...whatever)..so I concentrated on what I COULD continue doing and that is making Zibits and Props as the Hands still functioned better than ever (the legs be ***ed). :-) The mind sill works at Warp 9 but not for coming up with stuff I'll never do/use. Just wanted to clarify for the 2 or 3 who wondered :-) :-). [/quote]

Have you ever thought of releasing these concept routines?
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Mar 7, 2020 01:02PM)
Doug, I hear you man. After my stroke that killed me momentarily
There are many other stories out there of magicians and people in a similar boat.

EdSolomon always told me, geting oldis not for the timid.,
But since there is only one alternative, we must carry on asbest we can, and continue to offer out thoughts and ideas.

Message: Posted by: takeachance (Mar 8, 2020 05:58PM)
I would luv to see more routines from the creators within the bizarre community along the lines of Druid/Indigenous style magik involving the environment rather than the more common themes of death and evil. It would come from creative storytelling with perhaps gimmicks already available rather than inventing any new ones.
Message: Posted by: supercool (Mar 11, 2020 02:13PM)
I haven’t been on here in many years. Just now remembered my pass word 😁
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Mar 17, 2020 04:10PM)

Time passes oddly for the bizarre
Message: Posted by: Tim Dowd (Mar 31, 2020 11:14PM)
Greetings from LOCKDOWN on the island of eternal spring
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Apr 1, 2020 05:32PM)
Aloooooha from Hawaii - we’re on lockdown but the weather outside is beautiful. Hoping the best for all of you.