The Queen of Hearts: An Interview with Alice Hart

alice

Below I present to you an interview with witch, author, artist and all around amazing human being, Alice Hart. Alice has a very practical, down and dirty, get shit done and “fucking DO MAGICK” attitude that I find refreshing in today’s sea of armchair magicians. This is so far, my absolute favorite “interview with the magus” despite the different headline….

Q: What do you consider your greatest magical achievement?

A: To be honest, I don’t believe I’ve achieved anything that I consider truly great. I have a bunch of personal achievements and they mean a lot to me. I fought hard for them. I used what I knew and explored in magic to get myself off the streets, leave a very abusive relationship, and confront my own toxicity…but I don’t feel like any of that could be considered great. Maybe I’m overly-ambitious but until I’m a well-known author of a book series, explaining how magic works (from my perspective) or making some kind of positive impact on global television, have influenced at least hundreds of billions of lives with my art, physically saved a life, or successfully built a portal to another world…I have yet to touch greatness. And while I accept that humbly as a present situation, I’ve promised myself that one day I really will do something that will be considered great long after I’m dead.

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

A: Most of my personal heroes and favorite villains are fictional or mythological. The very first “hero” that captivated me was actually the goddess Hekate. When I was first starting out just understanding what was going on with me (I was experiencing my first taste of the supernatural), reading about tales of a ghost queen finding her home in the wandering roads of night comforted me. Another was Hermes…initially because he’s a giant troll in Greek mythology. But then I found his deeper roots in Thoth and Metatron. The Hermetica is still one of my favorite books. For awhile in my younger years, I considered myself something of an adopted daughter of these two. Looking back on it now, who isn’t?

I have heroes that aren’t fictional, though. And going straight into pandering mushiness, most of my heroes belong to CMG or DKMU. No matter what anyone says about the Pit or it’s reluctant friend, the Spider Web, those two groups have pushed me to do more, dream harder, and make those dreams a reality. I owe the members of both groups a lot and they constantly inspire me. Although, I did see something about a ‘My Little Pony’ DIY hoodoo-honey jar posted on CMG recently and this made me puke a little inside my mouth, god bless the Internet.

Q: What is your favorite work of fiction?

A: Oh shit, asking the real questions here, ha! The multi-verse is my favorite work of fiction and all of you are my top-list books! No, no…mildly joking there. My favorite work of fiction is “Runaways” by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. I read it when I was still in high school and the idea of finding out your parents really are evil (super villains), acquiring strange powers, and striking out on your own was attractive to me. Along the same vein, I like “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton. Even more so that she was published during a time when female writers were frowned upon. Can I just toss in that I love fairy tales on the whole? All of them.

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

A: If you’re asking how important is focusing on visual aids or suggested images while performing a spirit evocation, it can definitely help. But not everyone channels their particular set of gifts around a visual aid, mental, or not. Some people need to dance during a spirit evocation, some need to sing. Some need to wear an outfit. Others need to feel. All of these things are valid. In fact, I’d encourage someone to pursue what captures their imagination first before they trust in a “sure-fire” method. Sans the child abuse, different strokes. They communally create a masterpiece. Ultimately, you’ll get the most out of your spirit evocation if you stop trying to construct how you’ll do it. You put out the call by even having the idea of calling the spirit, now be receptive to the energy. If you wanna dance, dance. If you wanna sing, sing. If you wanna chant in barbarous tongues at three a.m. in the middle of a crossroads (or technically private property) with a candle and a dagger while in full regalia surrounded by a home-made chalked alchemical circle you designed 30 mins beforehand, do it. Do the magic. Do it.

If you’re asking how important it is to achieve a corresponding physical manifestation of a spirit during evocation, then I’m gonna defer back to elements of the paragraph above. Everything has it’s different strokes and one evocation done by one person will not be the same as the other unless they’re operating underneath certain paradigms or structures (i.e. the more plodded out, precise, ceremonial magics). That isn’t a guarantee, however. Sometimes the manifestation will be a feeling, an odd whiff of cigarette smoke/spice in your nostrils, a random gift from a stranger soon after that corresponds to what you were attempting to call. I’d say that those more subtle manifestations are a victory too and a sign that the work was done. Physical manifestation might happen during one evocation and not the other. Sure, full physical manifestation is one of the golden gooses of spirit evocation. Most people want to believe in what they’re calling enough to interact with it on a tangible level. I believe a huge portion of people (regardless of how logically they think) want to believe, in the corners of their mind, that after doing their evocation, good ol’ Amaterasu or Belith or in my case, Rumpelstiltskin, will come striding through their door. The trick to doing spirit evocations, in my opinion, is to perform your calling with that state of mind that they very well could come bolting through the door like the Koolaid Man…then accepting that sometimes spirits and Source has other plans, no matter how true-tested your will is.

On a side note, I feel like the more structured magics could provide someone a better chance at that physical manifestation but I doubt that it’s always guaranteed. Sometimes those off-handed evocations that you didn’t think too much about have real power to them. Coming from someone like me who’s written a story and then met their own physically manifested character in this real world soon after, sometimes you’re better off with the more subtle approaches spirits, and magic will take than something you’re trying to push for. But ahhhh, where’s the fun in that right?

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

A: Jumping right off that ‘aaaah where’s the fun in that’, there is a forest in Olympia, Washington called the Evergreen Forest. It that particular swathe of woods, people have left all sorts of tokens and offerings to nature, and reality is a little soft. If you spent enough time out there with all the weird shit people have hidden in the ferns and upturned hollow logs and root systems, your mind probably would jump to magical thinking a tiny bit more. In this setting, I found it necessary to chase down a Goetia demon, during the winter of 2014.

I guess, let me rewind? I moved to Washington in September of 2014 after a pep-talk from another Goetia spirit (Phenex). Situations after the move and synchronicity revolving around the image of a white hind lead me to attempt contact with the spirit known as Furfur. That demon has been known to take the form of a deer and so, being a dumb ass, I decided to fuck the magick circle and go find him in the Evergreen Forest. I drew his sigil on a piece of paper in red and silver (his colors) and stuck that piece of paper in my pocket. Then out the door I went, into the forest, where I began to run off-trail and into the untamed parts of it.

Surely, that’s where you’d find a deer right? Why not Furfur?

This is the part of the story where the audience can see it coming but the main character can’t? I’m sure whatever cosmic director there was orchestrating that bullshit had the creepy music bumping. Well as I was wandering alone in this forest, compelled by some urgency to follow a particular pathway through the ferns and swampy areas, I almost fall into an abandoned septic tank. One of my legs got injured but it’s a good thing I heard the plastic crack before my feet fell. I jumped in time to rescue most of myself. Maybe I’m crazy but instead of discontinuing my mission to contact Furfur, I took it as my green light to go harder. So covered in shit and scratches and bruises, I called Furfur to me, even though I was scared shitless. And I can’t remember if I was shaking with fear or anger more but whatever. I called that Hellish Earl anyways. I got the answers I sought but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Oh well, such is the case when it comes to most issues about love. Furfur left in a huff and left me to figure out my shit. And my actual shit because one foot was covered in it…

That was a very long walk home. And despite having explored magick since I was 16, I think I’d always considered it half a joke until that moment. The whole ‘ahhhhh, where’s the fun in that’ comment should be noted here because doing a spirit evocation without the proper prep, knowledge, and etiquette really bit me in the ass. Pretty sure Furfur was being nice to me even because that situation could’ve ended a lot worse. It struck me that death was a real possibility when grabbing hold of those magic threads and that we, as a species of magicians, still have eons left to learn about. Oh fuck this is real, indeed. Even the fluffiest white light protection could have dangerous, real, and unintended ramifications. So when you decide that magic is your solution, arm yourself with the knowledge that magic isn’t safe. But sometimes it’s all you got against the world.

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

A: Ink. Because with art and my mind, I can create, sustain, and destroy entire universes. I was doing that way before Rick Sanchez. (You heard me you inter-dimensional bastard!)

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

At the age of sixteen, I escaped from the toxic clutches of my grandparents, and had a near-death experience. The trauma from running away and meeting the afterlife only to come back here (to Earth) catalyzed my entryway into the world of magic. I woke up in a psych ward with understanding and senses I could not explain. The more I tried to ignore them and pretend that nothing was happening, the more driven these paranormal phenomena seemed to get for just one moment of attention. For the sake of example, I was seeing dead people, and hearing what they had to say.  I was scared of telling anyone. Foster care in America makes it clear that under no certain terms should you ever trust your social worker, therapist, foster parent, or sibling. Their way of handling anything deviant to their grasp on “what’s healthy and sane” is to lock away, bind, purge, and medicate heavily. Until you’re nothing more than a zombie with lots of medical bills, a patient for life. More than being frightened of what was happening, I was determined to never go back to the psych hospital. In a little room in wine country, with the background of screaming foster parents, I clung to the hope that I wasn’t crazy. That there had to be another answer for what was happening to me.

Then one day, just when I’d had enough, and was about to give up…I met a girl-let’s call her Melissa-and immediately, she picked up that something was wrong. Her particular gift was a stunning spectrum of empathy that extended into physical healing. She got me to open up honestly about what I was experiencing. I expected her to laugh at me or worse, turn ashen, and tell a teacher. Instead, she introduced me to the idea of being psychic, and began going over grounding techniques. High school became very interesting after that day. I started seeing my “curse”, my clairvoyance, as a gift. Whereas foster care was desperately trying to convince me of the opposite. Later on when I had more grasp of it, I began to treat it as a strength that I could study and use. I met many more people at that particular high school in that particular town all waking up to strange experiences of their own. We kind of banded together and taught each other. We were a family. The moment that we graduated into doing spell work both individually and as a group, they could’ve made a teenage supernatural drama show on the CW about us. We made our town strange and then it made us strange. Terry Pratchett said that the plural of “wizard” is “war”. I can’t find the lie in it. That’s exactly what happened. We split apart, going our separate paradigms and paths. Some of us never to meet in this life again. I departed that town on the path of magic and haven’t looked back.

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

A: A couple of years ago, maybe circa 2012 (?) I would’ve said “You’re not alone” and some trite advice on unlocking the door to magic inside yourself. But times are changing, there’s therapeutic chakra coloring books in Safeway being mass produced for sale, and I’m not gonna waste your time telling you that a new world is reforming. You, aspiring magician, have probably figured this out. It’s why you’re on the path you are currently. No, my advice would probably be the opposite now.

We are alone. All of us. All we have as a united species capable of making tools and manifesting dreams into possibility and possibility into form (the marker of the magician however you cut it)…is ourselves. We are all we’ve got right now. There will be no helping, wiser hand descending from the sky to deliver us flesh pods from the fires we’ve created for ourselves. We are all alone and so I urge you, aspiring magician, to throw yourself into life. To savor every ounce of joy and sadness that you can experience! Don’t just like something-love it! Don’t just do something-DO SOMETHING! The change in the world has already happened, veil has already been ripped, we are living in the pre-notes of a magician’s world. So step up! Rise, magician! Reach your hands deep into the thrones of earth, hell, and spirit-become Source-and roar your divine refrains and unholy rages into the uncaring vacuum of space! While we as immortal beings have forever to live on in different lives, we only have this life right now. Don’t hold back for a single second…because in the end, we are alone, and we are the only ones to remember us.

Q: What are your current magical endeavors?

A: Oh man, so…I might’ve Philip K Dicked myself into a story that I’ve been writing with a friend. It started out as a silly roleplay about fairy tales that I wrote with a friend, developed into a whole world with complex back story, and then proceeded to haunt my imagination until I began writing it in earnest. From the minute the words left my brain and translated onto an electronic page, shit in my life started getting funk, and it wasn’t until I’d already committed to the story when I realized what was going on-oh also, meeting the character I was writing about might’ve stimulated those mental bridges. So basically I’m in the process of completing a (projected) 180 chapter hypersigil and utilizing it to drag a theoretical “fictional” world closer to this one, incepting it, until there is no difference and I am actively living in the fairy tale I’ve written about myself. Sure, I’m giving Don Quixote a run for his money! Sure, I’m walking a fine line between true results and apophenia. But I’ve already started writing and I can’t stop until it’s happily ever after or bust. Although it is odd having your characters show up channeled in people that you meet that eerily match the things you’ve written…ah the eccentricity of the magician-bard’s life, huh? Dare you to try it. Pick up that pen/cil or sharpie and really write the story you wanna become.

Also, if you’re interested in reading more about my hypersigil and the results I’ve had (including meeting that character person I wrote and later….somehow became a person?) go to:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/grabyourquill/

For now it’s just a Facebook group but who knows where this creative endeavor will bring me. Each chapter I write is a new piece of this mystery I’ve stumbled upon and frankly, some days it’s maddening. If I’m Alice, I’ve certainly found a rabbit hole worthy of taking a plunge in.

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

It already does. My understanding of magic is that it isn’t segregated from the mundane. We do rituals every day. We take a shower-a cleansing ritual-to brew coffee-an energy revitalization potion-and use our phones-a magic mirror-to talk-a series of secret, arcane codes and sigils-to function-further physiological miracles animated by magic-and live. Having a huge group of people all agree to a certain set of laws is a magical spell. Setting those people all under one set name and creating boundaries upon which those people may operate…is a spell. And so the actively ruling governments (which civilians like myself and maybe you, reader, never get to see the real time movements of as they happen) and those people running it are just the most successful at weaving spells. Any person or organization that has/is successfully influencing masses of humans/the global human consciousness and direction is a powerful magician.

Down to a more culturally relatable example, Katy Perry is a magician. David Bowie was a magician. Alan Moore is a magician. Hilary Clinton is a magician. Vladimir Putin is a magician. Your unusually lucky friend…could be a magician. Your gardener who seems to make the plants grow just a little bit bigger? Magician. That asshole prick that seems to run into you every time something shitty is about to happen in your life? Magician-possibly a vampire-but let’s not get into the spoopy spoopy skeletons underbelly of Creepypasta’s growing stranglehold on reality right now. What I’m getting at is this, everything in life is held together by the threads of magick which create and dictate this physical experience.

Where we differ is how we use those threads we have access to, and what resources/opportunities are available to us to make it easier or harder to manifest these spells, these driving motives, these dreams…into life. There is a growing stark divide and the masses of magicians (humans) are growing restless pulverizing the most poorly-given of us, dreamer magicians in their own right, and struggling.

This poverty is consciously created to distract the majority of dreamers and dreams from becoming true, ensuring a fixed set of agreed realities upon this world. So I believe the focus of magic right now, as the underdog in this power struggle of global mages, is to believe in your dreams so fiercely! So determinedly! So zealously that you burn and by that light? Ignite a million other flames in the wake of your burning. Life is short. Death is certain. There are no others out there and if they are, no doubt we’ll experience the same issues we have with each other only with a species likely to hold disdain for how we operate. We are stuck on a rock that’s poised to destroy us and systemically cleanses entire forms of life . We are a species that suffers from amnesia and can’t remember where we come from or why with no clear answers and much like a starter Pokemon, is hurting itself in it’s confusion. And the magicians in charge seem to wanna toss us up as a sacrifice and everyone’s throwing each other off the tower as they try to climb up to the top where they’ll be “safe”. All we have are these inspirations, the experiences we have, the things we do, the dreams into actions that we make real no matter how lofty or low. Believe in your dreams because it’s a valued resource. Because there are whole governments and committees and boardrooms of richer, more influential, more powerful magicians dedicated to capitalizing and using your dreams to their benefit, to ensure their dreams become reality, instead of yours.

Magic is what makes politics and world events so start casting for shit to happen. It’s already happening. Magic has been there from the very start and it’s in our dollar bills and our elections and our Golden Globe Awards-holy shit especially there-and in the music we listen to and the cornflakes we’re fed. The biggest mind trick ever played on us anxious half-monkeys was convincing ourselves that the divine doesn’t move in this world.

Q: What do you have planned for the rest of 2017?

A: Besides my hypersigil conundrum? I’m settling into my new apartment in Seattle, Washington and prepping from a very spoopy DKMU Halloween complete with spiders and a feast for all the dead ancestors of magick. Other than that, I’m kinda open, and letting this hypersigil project see where it takes me.

 

Julian Crane

Julian Crane

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