[LMB] Spirit Ring - about magic and power

Peter Hews Peterhews at protonmail.com
Thu Sep 2 21:51:58 BST 2021

On Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 at 13:31, tidsel via Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email.
> ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
> On Monday, August 23rd, 2021 at 11:08 PM, brazee howard at brazee.net wrote:
> > > On Aug 23, 2021, at 1:29 PM, tidsel via Lois-Bujold lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk wrote:
> > >
> > > Magic is power. Is this power either good or evil in itself? Apparently, the church thinks so, and takes upon itself the power and right to judge which is which, and control.
> >
> > I wonder how this relates to powers that we have in our universe.
> They just are. Like nature which can feed you, or crush you, with equal lack of intention. We are just a bit of atoms among all the others in an incomprehensible dance.

This is the other theory of magic, which I refered to at the start, and which is the one that shows up in most modern fantasy: magic is an impersonal power controlled by the magic-user but capable of extraordinarily complex effects, like the Force with apps.  Alternatively, magic-users are hackers of reality.  They know the cheat codes of the Universe, the backdoors to give themselves administrative privileges so they can rewrite the source files.

Crowley, the originator of a lot of modern witchcraft theory, seems to have switched between believing in impersonal power and in supernatural help.  (Nobody could accuse him of being narrow-minded.)  In his writings he often maintained that magic was simply the imposing of ones will on the world - the power of belief on steroids.  But his diaries show that when he really wanted to get stuff done (generally, make money,) he called for the help of the gods (usually in their Classical forms) rather than trying to do his own heavy lifting.

Peter Hews

Oh better far to live and die under the brave black flag I fly,
Than play a sanctimonious part with a pirate head and a pirate heart.

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list