Interview with the Magus: The Kite

The Kite is based in Wales and is an Adept of the Illuminates of Thanateros. He is also an Awenydd of the Anglesey Druid Order and a Bard of The Order Of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

Kite presents workshops and rituals quite a bit. He and his magical partner Soror Brigantia will be presenting at the Occult Conference in Glastonbury 17-18th Feb 2018.

Check out his website, the Kite’s Cradle, on www.thekitescradle.com, and find him on Facebook as Alyster Austin.

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

A: Mid-thirties. At the time I despised occultism and spooky stuff, but I already had an established practice of regularly taking on board some new outlook for which I had absolutely no affinity. This, I reasoned, was the way to ensure that I was engaging with something totally new and not simply variations on what I already felt comfortable with. Magic, in particular, I wouldn’t have touched with a shitty stick, and only reading Robert Anton Wilson and Pete Carroll persuaded me that it would be remotely worthwhile. And here we are.

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

A: As a boy, I became fascinated with Bruce Lee and his Jeet Kune Do, not so much a martial art as a methodology of life, a lived-out philosophical exploration. But I was too young to follow it up much. That was later. In the meantime, as a first generation punk rocker, I heard Johnny Rotten explaining that he had no heroes as “they’re all useless.” I took on board the need to live without relying on heroes or role models and explore and express what you yourself are actually about. Went well with JKD concepts, as it turned out.

That said, I’d run out of space to mention all those who’ve inspired me along the way, but it’s a humbling exercise from time to time to recall where your good stuff came from.

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

A: Right at the beginning of my magical career I did a Tarot spread to divine the course of the coming year, and it predicted a quite unpleasant and long drawn-out period of … well, I won’t go into it, but it wasn’t exactly cheerful. My heart sank. And in doing so, I realised that I accepted the divination as accurate and that I would indeed be seeing consequences unfolding for a long time ahead. Whatever else I’d be putting up with, I’d have magic that worked. And so it was.

Q: What do you consider your greatest magical achievement?

A: Killed a newspaper once. We took a shot at Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Wanted to give it a good shake and see if we could break it. A quite dangerous ritual, as it turned out. Anyway, a massive scandal over spying on mobile phones broke out, Rupert had to give up semi-retirement and take back control of the Empire from his son, and a major Murdoch UK Sunday newspaper, The News of the World, was closed down. Days, was all it took.

Great’ magical achievement, though, is more than how loud a bang you can make. For someone, just keeping their lives out of the dumpster is victory. For some, it’s Illumination, union with the whatever-it-is. For others, the feeling of contributing, as when people who have all but died in car crashes or come down with aggressive cancers have made full recoveries because of you.

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

A: None. It’s very impressive when it happens, especially if more than one of you can see it, but it’s not what the evocation is for. The Intent, the thing you want to achieve, is what the evocation is for.

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

Up to you. There’s a degree and focus of involvement for everyone and no need to insist that only one is best. As you can see, I’m not above tinkering with events, but my own priorities are to restore a magical dimension to our failing culture. In freeing itself from religious control Western culture has thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and it needs magical wisdom as much as it needs to see results.

Q: What are your current magical endeavors?

A: I’m an Adept of the Illuminates of Thanateros, the original chaos magic organization, and as such it’s busy busy busy, and a current theme seems to be networking us magicians of all stripes so that together we can be more effective at restoring magic to our culture. My personal stuff at the moment is Welsh mythic magic, geomancy and a thorough reworking of the Decans of the Zodiac.

Q: What do you find the most useful about chaos magic in light of other traditions?

A: I tend to characterize chaos magic as an approach to magical traditions rather than as a tradition in itself. In practice, using techniques and concepts from various magical traditions is always an object lesson in how arbitrary they are. You learn to choose them for their usefulness rather than for their alleged truth. This frees me up to do magic rather than tying me down to pointless debates about who’s got it right. Now that’s useful!

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

A: It’s there in the question: get started. Too many people just sit at home reading about magic. I sympathise with the common need to know what you may be getting into, but it’s like learning to drive: you have to get behind the wheel and get down the road. Only then will the words make sense. Just please don’t treat it as a hobby. That’s underestimating the size of what you’re biting on. It will bite back.

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

A: There isn’t one. The one essential for magic is the magician. If you need a special tool for something, the Magician will acquire it. If one technique is essential, the Magician will learn it. The Magician makes all the rest possible.

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

A: We don’t get ‘em around here. Maybe Jehovah’s Wet-nurses once in a blue moon, or fresh green Mormon kids, but I can’t be bothered with afterlife insurance salesmen these days so I just close the door on them.

Julian Crane

Julian Crane

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

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