07 April 2015

Pop Culture Magick: Con Edition - Part I

The weekend before last I attended the ever glorious Emerald City Comicon (ECCC).  There is no better place for a pop culture magick (PCM) practitioner can go to fuel their practice than a convention.  In this post I'll talk a bit about how you can work a comic/pop-culture convention to better your PCM practices.  In my next post I'll talk a bit about what you can do magickally to improve your convention experience. 


One of the best things about doing PCM is the availability of magickal tools.  You can take toys, t-shirts, art, and swag of all kinds from your favorite fandom and turn them into magickal tools (see an earlier post for more info).

There is no greater concentration of potential magickal items than on a convention show floor.  There were hundreds of amazing vendors of every possible description at ECCC.  You could get everything from custom artwork, plushies, action figures, swords, clothing, armor, jewelry, and more.  I saw things that I didn't even know existed being sold on that show floor. Come prepared with a solid budget or you can get yourself into a lot of trouble.

I made two fun purchases this year.  I found the booth for one of my favorite comics, Kill Shakespeare, quite by accident while trying to escape the crush of the Friday afternoon crowd.  They had some incredibly fun t-shirts available, including one of Shakespearean villains.  If you're a fan of this blog you know that I love both Shakespeare and working with villains in my magick.  Next time I need to do a spell that requires the potency and scale of a Shakespearean villain I know what my ritual garb will be ;)

My most exciting (and priciest) find was a licensed replica of Harry Dresden's original shield bracelet.  If you haven't read any of the Dresden Files (oh for shame!), they are an urban fantasy series about a wizard-for-hire living in Chicago who battles baddies of all shapes and sizes.  One of his most important tools is a charm bracelet where each charm is fully imbued with a potent protection spell.  I plan to charge each of the charms on my bracelet to do exactly that.  Not only will it have the power of the intent that I put into it, but also the power of the belief of all the readers of this 15 year (and counting) series - talk about taking advantage of power that's already sitting there ripe for use.

Another incredibly useful PCM tool that you can often only get at conventions is custom artwork.  Many artists will take commissions for custom work at or before conventions.  If one of your favorite artists is available take advantage of that and have them make a piece whose components you can use in your magickal works.  Imagine the prosperity spell you could craft using a piece of custom art as a focus.  As a bonus, art purchased directly from the artist almost always has stronger energy than art that's gone through an intermediary - less energy dilution good!

The options are just about endless in for this sort of thing and it's a great way to both improve the potency of your magick and support your favorite artists.

Energy, energy everywhere! As far as the mind's eye can see!

The energy at a convention is utterly unlike anything else.  The closest thing to it would be a major concert or sporting event, but sustained over several days rather than just a few hours.  There are so many overwhelming emotions pouring everywhere: excitement for all that can be done, joy at seeing your favorite writers/artists/actors, frustration from waiting in lines, etc.  That nearly unlimited energy can be harnessed if you take care.

In most ritual magick you set up sacred space, call on helpful energies and entities, raise energy, and then direct that energy towards your goal.  At a convention you can kind of skip all that and just scoop up the copious energy around you and send it off to wherever it needs to go.

Of course, just because energy is strong and available doesn't necessarily mean it's in tune with your goals.  The energy of a bunch of squeevy dudes drooling over pinups probably won't help you ace your feminist theory class and the energy of a vendor arguing with convention staff won't help your prosperity spell.  Take your time to walk the floor to feel out the energies.  Find the energy that feels most sympathetic to your goals and take a bit from that area.  If you're doing a spell on the fly just be sure to walk through that area when you need to gather energy.  If you're setting up for a larger rite you can always charge a stone, sigil, or talisman while walking through that area.

You can also utilize the energy in panels in pretty much the same way.  Most actors and audiences put off a tremendous amount of energy during convention panels - the more exciting and dynamic the panel, the more energy gets thrown about the room.  You can either come in with a plan to use the type of energy you expect to be generated in the panel, or you can do something on the fly if particularly juicy energy starts flowing.  
I had the pleasure of seeing many panels featuring truly kick-ass women at ECCC.  If I had wanted to so a spell to enhance my self-confidence or assertiveness I would have been absolutely spoiled for choices with so much empowering energy around.  Of course I didn't think about it at the time because I was too busy fangirling.  I'm ok with that.

Sweet Tesla is that...?

Conventions are also filled to the brim with major and minor celebrities.  They're one of the few places where you actually have the chance to interact with your idols - be they artists, writers, actors, etc.  Getting to meet a beloved celebrity (however briefly) is thrilling and at a con you almost always have either an autograph or a photo to take away from that meeting.  That little token can be used (mindfully) as a focus for sympathetic magick. I had the great please of having photo's taken with John Barrowman and Clark Gregg this year.  If I ever need to do a spell for confidence or accepting who I am I've got the perfect focus.

There is on SUPER-HUGE caveat to any magick involving living human beings as symbols - don't mess with the people themselves!  Similes are your friends in this type of magick.  By all means do a spell to "have strength and poise like Haley Atwell when she played Agent Carter."  Do not do a spell to "have Haley Atwell's strength and poise."  Do not suck energy out of your idols; they have enough demands on them already and do not need you making things worse.  Also be careful not to project your expectations onto a celebrity.  Just because they created your favorite character does not mean they act like or have the values of that character.  Celebrities are just people, often charismatic and brilliant people, but still just people.

Part II - Con Survival

For similar info check out:
Pop Culture Magick Index
Magick at Concerts


  1. (Christina, gamer geek from Pcon here.) I love your Dresden shield bracelet! I don't have HIS in amazing replica like that but I did take his idea and run with it, charging 3 bracelets to wear on my left wrist as shields in different settings (including a chainmail one for everyday and dancing, and an elegant laboradite I can wear to work).

    1. I do something very similar with pendants. It's very handy to have pre-charged talismans that can be worn to work without anyone ever knowing they're magickal. I also tend to favor labradorite for a lot of my anchored shields :)

    2. Labradorite is one of my major working stones too!

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