30 January 2014

Pop Culture Magick for Geeks - Who's Your Doctor?

In my last post I talked about some of the general ideas involved in working with pop culture characters as part of your magickal practice.  Any level of thought can create a link between yourself and the astral version of a character, but it really helps to dig a little deeper.  Before you begin working with a character it's important to decide which version of the character you want to work with.

Say you want to work with The Doctor (like I do).  The first thing you have to ask yourself is which Doctor?  Not only are there thirteen different regenerations to choose from, you've also got to look at the different versions of the Doctor that you find in things like comics, novels, and video games.  No, fanfiction versions do not count - unless you're crazy - and it's totally cool if you are. The older and more popular the character the more versions you're likely to come across; how many versions of Batman can you think of off the top of your head? 
You also need to decide if you want to work with a living character or a static one.  When I say a living character I mean a character whose canon is still evolving - particularly characters in active series where new material is constantly being put out into the world.  Living characters are still evolving and changing, so you have to keep potential changes to their natures in mind when you work with them.  It's slightly easier to work with a static character, like one from a completed series or a standalone film or book.  The character of Gandalf isn't going to be changing much, if at all, (even with new movies being produced) because the canon of his character is firmly etched in the works of Tolkien.  You know exactly what you're getting with a static character, thus making it easier to know who they might behave magickally.  Either way, know the version of the character you want to work with as thoroughly as possible so you know what you're getting yourself into.

What about characters you've created yourself?  We're working with popular characters because of the enormous amounts of energy that have been poured into them over the years by thousands of fellow geeks.  However, working with a character that we've created ourselves is essentially working with a thought form we've created and endowed with extra personality.  Oh yes my friends, chances are your half-orc barbarian in a five year Dungeons & Dragons campaign has had more thought and energy put into it than your average servitor.  Gaming characters (particularly pen and paper RPGs) also have the added bonus of available, customizable, figurines that make great simulacrums.

Many of us have put more energy into our gaming personae's thoughts, abilities, and actions than the average person would strictly consider healthy. Like when World of Warcraft has to remind us to log off and talk to our families - you know what I'm talking about *gives you a good stare*.  Gaming characters have the advantage of being malleable; we can turn them into just about anything we want them to be.  This means that we can purposely create characters with the aim of eventually using them in magickal workings.  Need a familiar to help with healing magicks - create a healer character; need help with protection - how about building a paladin?  But, of course, working with gaming characters has a unique problem: they occasionally die.  This can put a damper on things.  It's not so bad with MMORPG characters, they're designed to be resurrected ad nauseum, but sometimes when a pen and paper RPG character dies they're pretty much gone forever.  There's no rule saying you can't still work with the astral energy of a "dead" character, but the energy is different.  Just something to think about.

Basically, know what you're getting yourself into before working with a character. It's the same rule as with working with any power outside yourself - if it's got the ability to think it's got the ability to do something unexpected, so do your homework and be prepared.

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