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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Where did everyone go? (36 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Al Desmond
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Secret Mountain Lair in Conifer, Co
1455 Posts

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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.


Al, dying is no excuse, and almost dying is less. Lol


Willie, you always put things in perspective.
reese
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of Hell
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I went to Schenectady.
viktorbc
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Delaware
532 Posts

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I think many are going to Facebook Groups and other sites.
VINCE WILSON

Bizarrist, Hypnotist and Paranormalist

Profile and more: www.vincewilsonmagic.com
Effects for sale: www.shadowbizarre.com
Septimus Hexx
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79 Posts

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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
Schaff
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Fargo, ND
135 Posts

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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 Smile When I do post, its often to ask for advice. I always seem to get good advice from the folks who actually post Smile
Lo Pan
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Haven't slept in weeks - but I now have
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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.
sibbie
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East Coast
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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.
weepinwil
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I really miss Gede Nibo,
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
gothicmagic
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Ubiquitous
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Smile plus a lot of us are working ECSS, Bizarre Hauntings, october coming, Smile (Vampire events), this time of year is a bit hectic
Vlad ^0^
One of The Founding Fathers of The East Coast Spirit Sessions
www.Gothicmagic.com
actorcoop
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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
*I knew you were going to read this
Christopher Gould
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in special pants.
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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!
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
https://www.geminiartifacts.com
weepinwil
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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.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
actorcoop
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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.


Chris,

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?
*I knew you were going to read this
Christopher Gould
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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....
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
https://www.geminiartifacts.com
Christopher Gould
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"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.
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
https://www.geminiartifacts.com
IAIN
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england
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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
actorcoop
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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!
*I knew you were going to read this
David Eichler
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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!

David
actorcoop
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Beautiful thoughts, David!
*I knew you were going to read this
Christopher Gould
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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.
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
https://www.geminiartifacts.com
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