In an age when everything is re-packaged for the internet, from taxi-cabs to healthcare, why not the occult? Connecting with peers to share empowering knowledge, improve one’s personal life, and thwart global oppression is something the internet is has been doing on many levels for decades. Jason Louv certainly thinks so.
He’s started his own online magick school called Magick.Me: not for Harry Potter fantasy, but for chaos magick. You, too, can surf the etheric waves between the old school occultists and the new wave of social media pagans, with Louv’s free book and numerous online courses. The Creators Project had a brief chat with Louv, to hear his thoughts on how the internet and magick are changing each other.
The Creators Project: How do Magick.Me’s free 10-day course and other programs differ from other chaos magick resources online? What is being offered here that isn't elsewhere?
Jason Louv: Magick.Me is for real people. There’s no dress-up, pretentious language, or goth antics. All of the woo and obfuscation has been removed, and the core of magick has been presented in a way that’s clear, practical and straight to the point. It’s also organized into short, easy-to-digest segments that can be watched on even the busiest professional schedule.
How does the internet play into this? Does the internet allow for magickal resources that wouldn't otherwise be possible?
The internet has completely opened the floodgates. In the 1960s and 70s occult revival, there was barely any access to good information. People had Carlos Castaneda and maybe a few Aleister Crowley books. By the 1990s, you could get the major books on magick at your local Barnes & Noble. But when the internet came in, it blew the doors wide open—not just for information access, but for previously isolated people connecting with each other. Now I can Google PDFs that just a decade ago I would have shelled out hundreds of dollars just to get a photocopy of. I can teach students from all over the world from my home, where previously I would have had to form some dodgy secret society. And that’s the road to terrible fashion blunders.
Now we’re faced with a new problem, which is sorting signal from noise, finding the material that’s valid, and putting it into practice. At the end of all that, what you come up with is a very beautiful, very precise spiritual tradition that’s like a cross between yoga and disciplined creative thinking, with the scientific method thrown in to keep people from deluding themselves. It’s wonderful stuff—magick is a very goofy and archaic word tacked on to a very important set of skills. Whatever your role in life is—artist, professional, student, anything—magick will help you master it by honing your mind and showing you how to access flow states, insight, and inspiration. Magick.me exists to distill all of this and to impart it, quickly, so that people can just DO it.
What are your thoughts about the "magick revival" happening online? I'm thinking about the K-Hole report, because trendspotting media is enamored with them, but more than that, like the magick-influenced sub-groups on tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc.
It’s not just happening online but in the real world, too. Obviously, the K-Hole report is a media prank, but there is absolutely a gigantic interest in magick among young people. Over ten years ago I predicted in Generation Hex that magick would become the next huge youth culture, and now it’s happening. Just look around in Brooklyn or Los Angeles or London, and you’ll see it everywhere.
Young people are born into a culture that tells them that there are no answers. They’re given a choice between postmodern nihilism, fundamentalist religion, or some kind of vague New Age kick. They’re saddled with enough student debt to turn them into lifelong indentured servants. On top of that, they’ve been handed the bill from previous generations’ mistakes—climate change, the economy—and told to pay up with resources they don’t have. So of course people are going to want magick: to make meaning in their lives, to empower themselves, to vibe themselves up to the point that they feel like they can make a difference in the world, because they live in a state of total spiritual impoverishment that their culture tells them can be fixed with a new iPhone.
How does Magick.Me fit into current evolution of magic online?
I think of myself as a temporary steward and caretaker of this material. I’ve put my own spin and presentation on it and communicated it clearly, but I certainly didn’t invent any of it. I have a duty to pass it on and properly present it to the best of my ability, because my teachers passed it on to me. In another generation, other teachers will teach the same material. That’s the magical current, and because of the internet I’m in the fortunate position that I can reach a lot of people instead of just a few. But this is explicitly not an evangelical thing or some kind of guru kick. I’m just making the material available for those who decide they need it.
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