Interview with the Magus: Scarlet Grace

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Below I present to you an interview with practicing witch, writer and proprietor of the Unseen Seraph blog, Scarlet Grace.

Q: What do you consider your greatest magical achievement?

A: This is probably going to sound like a huge cliché, but what I consider my greatest magical achievement is self growth, and the realization that the most persistent obstacles in my life are created by none other than myself. That it’s my own shortcomings and my own limiting beliefs that are limiting the effects (or the longevity of the effects) my magic can have.

Q: Who are your personal heroes, those who most inspired you on your own journey?

A: I don’t think I have any actual heroes. Ok, maybe The 10th Doctor.

Seriously though, I don’t have heroes in the sense of people I look at and think “I want to be like him/her!”. But there are many people I admire and many people who inspire me, in all areas of life. Nikola Tesla and Carl Jung have always inspired me, from a very young age. Mozart, his music and his correspondence, have been an inspiration. J.S. Bach has been a big influence. David Bowie too. If I had to name authors and philosophers, the list would get really long.

When it comes to modern magicians I think the people who have inspired me the most -each in their own way- are Jason Miller, Gordon White and Jake Stratton-Kent. My friend Akelta Wilde, her work with demons and other realms has influenced me a lot. Dain Heer, the co-founder of Access Consciousness, has had a life-changing influence on me. I am constantly inspired by his ability to change people’s lives.

Q: What importance, if any, do you place on full visual manifestation of a spirit during evocation?

A: I don’t believe that full visual manifestation is that important. I’ve done evocations where there was a full visual manifestation but it didn’t produce much in terms of results, and I’ve done evocations where I was pretty certain no one was there, only to find out later that what I wanted to achieve had happened already, while I was busy doing the evocation.

That said, I believe experiencing a full visual manifestation at least once can have a tremendous effect, especially for the magicians who haven’t had any highly weird experiences before so they keep having doubts about magic and the existence of spirits. It can also potentially be traumatic though. Some things you cannot un-see, and -depending on the person- this is one of the things that could break you.

If you’re looking to build a relationship with a specific spirit though, it is important that you have some way of communicating with that spirit. So a visual or auditory manifestation would help a lot (though there are still other methods of communication that can be used to achieve this).

Q: What was your first “oh fuck, this shit is real” moment in your personal magical practice?

A: That’s hard to say. Not because I haven’t had such an experience. One the contrary, it’s because I had many such experiences at a very early age. Up until I turned 7, I could remember my past life in great detail for example. I also remember lying in bed as a toddler, and spirits appearing in my room. And those are just two examples of many. I’ve had “oh fuck, this shit is real” moments; in fact I still do. Even though I expect my magic to produce results,a lot of the time I am still very surprised and awed by what manifests or how it manifests. No matter how many times I’ve experienced it before, it just never loses this sense of wonder for me. But when you’ve grown up having experiences that prove that the world is a lot bigger bigger and a lot stranger than most people around you believe, you can’t really pinpoint a specific experience that validated it because you weren’t ever thinking from the point of view that this isn’t real.

If I had to pick an instance where I directly caused something to happen though, I’d say the first such profound moment would be when I was 13, and I tried to call the spirit of a person I admired a lot, who I had never met while alive, and asked her to visit one of two people I knew in their dreams and answer my questions to them so that they could transfer them to me later on. The two people barely knew each other and weren’t aware of any of this (one was a relative and the other was my French teacher); I picked them because they were the only two people I knew at the time who got regular visits from their ancestors or from friends’ relatives who had passed. That night, both of them had the same dream, where the spirit appeared to them and told them everything I wanted to know. That was highly weird.

Q: What is one piece of magical tech you could not live without?

A: My connection to my familiar spirits and the spirits that walk with me.

Q: At what age did you start practicing magic and why?

A: I was doing things like energy work, meditation, creative visualization and working with the dead during most of my childhood, but somehow that wasn’t magic in my mind. I did my first actual spell when I was 13. I had spent the previous 3 years reading Harry Potter and wishing Hogwarts were real. So one day I came across a foreign magazine with an article about teen magicians and wicca. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep for 3 days. I couldn’t really find anything though on how to practice magic other than the occasional imported magazine article and a few books I persuaded my dad to let me buy online from the UK with his credit card. Most of the stuff I did back then was basically visualization with candles and incense. I wouldn’t call myself a practitioner until after high school, when I went to college and I finally had access to better information and materials.

Q: What is your advice to the young aspiring magician just getting started today?

A: Spend less time talking about magic and more time practicing. Books are great, and having a community to discuss said books and your practice is great and very important, but they can’t replace actually practicing, experimenting and figuring out what works best for you. Don’t reject everything traditional because it’s “old” and everything new must be better (often times it’s not), but at the same time don’t get so tied up in tradition that you become unwilling to even consider the possibility that something non-traditional may work equally well. Learn how to say no to spirits.

Just because a spirit calls doesn’t mean you have to answer if you don’t want to or if you already have a full court. Don’t assume that just because a spirit brought something into your life that they know best; that it’s the best for you. If it’s not what you want, if it’s not good enough for you, you can say so and ask again. If you keep trying to change something and it keeps failing, then look for the crap that’s inside you that’s creating it rather than at the outside world. Learn the art of negotiation; it’s a vital skill for both human and spirit relationships. Don’t be irresponsible, but don’t be afraid to get your fingers burnt either. Have fun with it.

Q: What are your current magical endeavors?

A: Right now I’m planning the creation of a spirit house for a city spirit (that is, the spirit of a city I love and can’t visit often enough). It took me a while to collect enough of the materials needed but I think the time has come to make this happen. I’m also doing research for a chapbook on the evil eye that’s still in the planning stages, so I’m experimenting with methods of removing the evil eye that I hadn’t tried before.

Q: How do you respond to Christian evangelists knocking on your door at dinner time?

A: It’s weird, but this doesn’t happen to me. We mostly have Jehovah’s witnesses knocking on people’s doors here. They knocked on my door once, and I invited them in. Something really freaked them out; I can’t even think what because there wasn’t anything truly bizarre in my living room. I think it was that small statue of Zeus; that’s the only thing I can think of. Anyway, they just excused themselves and left in a hurry. It’s been 6 years now and even though they do occasionally come to my building and knock on people’s doors, they have never knocked on my door again.

Q: What effect and focus do you think magic should have upon politics and world events?

A: I don’t really think magic should or shouldn’t have any effect. It’s just another means to an end. I do think though that to be able to have significant effects upon politics and world events with magic, one needs to actually know the mundane ways those things work. You need to know the key players, as much as possible about what’s really going on, who benefits from what and in what way, the processes involved, everything. It’s also important to have access to the people and places, so that the magic can have a link to the physical world. I think a lot of people use political magic as an outlet for their frustration, without taking any of the above into consideration. And while that is good for their mental health and their stress levels, I don’t really think that kind of vague and UN-targeted magic can have much of an effect. For such magic to have significant effects, one must be willing to get involved (the mundane way) and to figure out exactly how what they’re trying to influence works, what dynamics are in place, what can and cannot be influenced.

Essentially, you need to get close enough and know enough about it to know which pieces of the puzzle to target and in what ways. For anyone thinking of using magic to influence politics, my advice is to start locally. Get involved with what’s happening locally, get to know the different groups and what they are trying to achieve as well as how they are going about it. Figure out who the key players are and what the dynamics of the situations you want to change are. Then use magic in combination with mundane efforts. That way you will be able to figure out what is working and what isn’t. If you just try to influence something on a global level it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to draw any useful conclusions, or have much of an effect. Start locally and build up from there, both mundanely and magically. And don’t discount the effect local changes can have on a national or global level. Every change has to start somewhere, and a victory in one town or one city can cause a chain effect and create a huge shift.

Julian Crane

Julian Crane

Musician at Jabooda and Dubious Monk's Synchronicity Project
Author, Wizard, Social Media Professional, Musician, Foodie, Occultist, Husband.
Julian Crane