This card was born of a quote by early 1900’s philosopher, Walter Benjamin. The full quote is as follows: “Mediation, which is the immediacy of all mental communication, is the fundamental problem of linguistic theory, and if one chooses to call this immediacy magic, then the primary problem of language is its magic.” This idea greatly influenced Austin Osman Spare, eccentric occultist and artist of the early 1900’s (huge magic inspiration of mine) and it is, to my knowledge, one of his root philosophies in founding the theory of chaos magick.
At this current place in time, words are as powerful as they have always been, if not more considering the speed in which words can be sent across the globe and beyond. If you think about it, it used to take months to send a letter between cities, even longer internationally. And if you wanted to speak with someone directly, that travel could take years. I anticipate the delay made communication much more intentional. People had time to think about what they wanted to say. It eliminated petty behavior and generally brought forth logical and level headed truth, and I can imagine, quite a few people found closure inside of the travel itself, only to turn back to their starting point. The faster the exchange in communication became, the less intentional the language. Words began flowing out of people, unfiltered and unquestioned, and it left our species in a state of suspended animation, having to self-interpret fast words with no intended meaning. If we are to believe in our own ability to create the world around us, as well as our brain’s capacity to imagine and create a landscape of it’s own, then we must believe that the expressions of that landscape, for example, our words, hold as much power as the mechanism itself. If our brain is a laser gun, our words are the laser produced by the gun. They create change, they impact beyond our control, and they act as a satellite signal to all universal forces, drawing in exactly what you call for and ignoring what you don’t. It is wise at this place and time to focus more than we ever have about how we bring forth our thoughts into reality.
The place where I grew up was small. I don’t mean physically small, but in mindset and in culture. The people there wanted small lives and small houses, but loved big families and big cars. They had a big god that swallowed them whole, and big secrets that buried them deep, but few words to explain why they felt the way that they did, if only to say that what they did was because so many people before them had done the same. Thought patterns, beliefs and actions seemed to be almost inherited. Everyone lived the same life and everyone feared the outside. I don’t know what my early life would’ve looked like without relatively easy access to information, be that television, books, film, the internet, music. I only say that because I am aware enough that it genuinely shaped me. Charmed, The Craft, Sabrina, The X-Men, Enya, the Barnes and Noble New Age section, early 2000’s websites dedicated to love spells and hexes. All of those things were windows into an outside world, a world I longed to see and fully be apart of because what I knew at home was not enough. Or maybe not that it wasn’t enough, but that it wasn’t for me. I never belonged. It wasn’t even ever a feeling of not belonging, it was a knowing that this wasn’t where I was going to make a difference in the world, and it wasn’t where I was going to learn the most. For example, the public schools did not allow the Harry Potter series to be in my library and they made the executive decision to tell us about the Christian creation theory as opposed to evolution, because there was NO way God would’ve ever let us be apes. That made no sense, but the entire human race spawning from 2 people absolutely did. Naturally. I spent quite a bit of time with my maternal grandmother growing up, who I lovingly referred to as Grandmama. We lived with her for a number of years and I loved Grandmama, even though she could be cruel to my mom. She was never cruel to me. She inspired me quite a bit and taught me more about magic than I ever thought possible, considering she was a devout Christian. And I mean devout in the sense that she’d protect and defend to the death the one section of the bible the pastor preached the most on Sunday’s, which was usually the story of Jesus. A great story, but not the FULL story. I had a number of magical experiences as a child that widened my oversized eyes and flipped my world upside down and she for some reason talked me through them, saying they were God’s gifts. And she wasn’t wrong. I just think, even then, my intuitive understanding of God was just bigger, more expansive and inclusive than her’s. She encouraged me to spend time in nature, out in the woods, talking to the plants and the animals and learning what was poisonous and what was not. She taught me how to look at the silent cues of nature, the gentle whisper in the wind helping you find your way home. And in a way, she prepared me to enter the wilderness on my own, in both literal and metaphorical ways. One thing I will never forget, and this has worked every single time, is when you see a branch on the ground that has a crossroad or y shape, walk towards the direction of the y and you will find water if you are thirsty. This strange Appalachian/Native American hybrid magic became second nature to me. Her great grandfather was 100% Cherokee Indian and the evolution of this ancestry slowly climbed it’s way into the Red Top mountains, one of the most magical places in the world I’ve been. For no particular reason, other than that what I’ve seen and experienced there in my lifetime is not of this plane. Hands down. I think that general mountain energy, all over the world, tends to make people a bit odd. They just care about different things and they listen VERY closely, and so I followed suit. I started listening too, in different ways, almost like how animals can feel a storm before it hits. It honestly became psychic. There were so many moments of prediction and premonition, especially in my dreams, something to this day I still experience. I would tell Grandmama about these moments every time they happened. I remember one dream I had about this big yellow church hat that was so big, the woman wearing it couldn’t fit through the front door, and sure enough, that next Sunday, someone in the congregation wore an oversized yellow hat and couldn’t get through the front door of our church. There were also a number of experiences where I would get these deep gut feelings as I was awake that something was about to happen and then it would, right then. Cars honking their horns, alarms going off, people walking into a room, people saying specific things on tv. The thing is, I always knew they were about to happen, but I never said anything about it. I never spoke up and I never told anyone about those moments and gut knowings, not even Grandmama. I don’t know why, they just always seemed more like a psychic observation. Like, it’s going to happen anyway and it happens so often that it’s not going to matter if I speak up. One Saturday, I spent the day with Grandmama, just me and her. She drove one of those very excessively large Lincoln town cars that looked like a vampire would drive it, except the color of it was “Champagne.” But for my small 8 year old body, it was awesome. Warming seats, all leather, seats that laid completely flat. The city where Grandmama lived was always so bizarre to me. It would go from complete middle of the woods nowhere, to in the center of a city with businesses and restaurants in the matter of 1/2 a mile. There was this one section that I always closed my eyes through. It was a massive 4 way intersection that cars were always zooming through at high speeds. The massive part was how long it took to get through the intersection. It was so open and it would take cars extra time to get through, which meant getting stuck at a red light was a nightmare. I swear the red light would last for at least 6+ minutes. We passed through this intersection on our way back to her house and there were a few times we got stuck at the red light. One time, we were stopped for what felt like an eternity, but sitting in front of us was a beat up Ford pick up truck, covered from the wheels up with mud and dirt. 2 people sat in the cab, while the bed of the truck was occupied by a beautiful dog, a seemingly Rottweiler/lab mix. The dog was sitting very still staring off to my right, sitting patiently in the back of the truck waiting for traffic to continue moving. In that moment as I watched the dog, my heart began to race and it was as if a movie began to play before me on an invisible screen inside of my third eye. I saw the dog jump out of the truck. Now, this didn’t happen in reality in that moment. There were no indications that the dog would jump out. This was just a glazed over, deep vision moment, and the second I came back from seeing that, I was so overwhelmed with panic that I shouted in the car with Grandmama, “That dog is going to jump out of the truck!!!!!!” And quite literally, the second that I finished saying that, the dog stood on all fours, turned around and jumped out of the truck, walking slightly too far into the other lane of traffic, instantly being run over by, ironically, another beat up Ford pickup truck. The sight was horrific, and without too much detail on the matter because animal violence is gut wrenching to me, the dog was killed in a fashion no animal should ever be killed. After I said it out loud, my hands covered my mouth as if fire had shot out of it. I felt immediately guilty, as if I had made that happen. That I had somehow gotten into the dogs brain and invaded its’ psyche to convince it to jump with my words. I began to cry, which my grandmother assumed was because the dog had been killed. And yes, that did make me cry, but it was also that it was the first time I had ever spoken a prediction out loud. And because I did, something violent happened. I hurt an animal. I couldn’t stop thinking that maybe if I wouldn’t have spoken up, the dog wouldn’t have jumped. I think that was a major moment in the calcification of my throat chakra. Learning to not speak because every time I spoke up, it would be chaos.
It took me nearly 20 years to unpack this memory in full and it was truthfully as I wrote this entry. But re-examining this moment as my current 27 year old self offered a clarity I had not yet attached to this tale. The truth of the matter is that even when we know things, even when we feel things and predict things, when we have something to say and when our mouth wants to move, it isn’t always our job, our purpose, or our duty to speak it aloud. I say that bluntly, fully knowing and experiencing many moments where my speaking up changed the course of action. But I think it’s important for us to consider that perhaps an invisible fire does shoot out of our mouths when we speak. Maybe then we can fully revive intention, so that the fire can turn to wind. That term is thrown around so loosely, but in my opinion, intention is everything. It is motivation, decision, inspiration, energy. It is the foundation of magic and spellwork and it SHOULD be the foundation of language, even thought it so often isn’t. Intentions are equal to the directions we choose to move in as well as the things we allow ourselves to have. But most importantly, it’s the things we attract, both good, bad, and neutral. The most impactful intentions, the most impactful words and spells, are specific and consciously said. They have purpose, form, direction, and meaning. If we allow ourselves to speak to the universe and to speak to others in cryptic fashions, we will never be fully heard or understood the way in which we intend. The primary problem with language is it’s immediacy and if magic is immediate, the the primary problem of language is it’s magic. Your words can be the wind in someone’s sails, but they can also be a boomerang in a room full of mirrors. How different the world would be if everyone collectively took an extra beat before statements and responses. I think we would see more understanding and I think we would see cleaner magic. And like whispers in the night, this card stirs up the sentiment, “Be careful what you wish for.” Or at least, think about what you wish for before you wish for it.