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I.M.   MAGICK

By Taylor Ellwood

Recently a student of mine got me to get on my rarely used Yahoo messenger. I usually prefer AIM or MSN Messenger, but he told me had an idea for doings sigils in real time with another person while being online. Intrigued I got on Yahoo messenger and we loaded up a feature on it called Doodle, which can be found in the Imvironment feature of Yahoo Messenger. I quickly saw the potential this tool could offer someone who wanted to do sigil work with someone else far away.

The doodle Imvironment offers a variety of crayon colors to use as well as a choice on how thick you want the lines of color to be. Another added benefit of this feature is that you can save and print the sigils that you come up with, so that if you wish you don't need to merely share them with one person. Another added benefit is that you and the person can come up with sigils together, an effective exercise in learning to communicate online without the benefit of tone or body/facial expressions. I've found when using this tool that I've needed to start slow. You're using your mouse to draw the lines and until you master keeping it steady a quick hand will not necessarily make a good sigil. Fortunately there is an erase function that you can use to get rid of any attempts you feel don't make the grade.

The potential I find in this tool is that it's another way of doing online magick, where the magick actually occurs online, as opposed to planning what you'll do online with people and then doing the ritual offline at a synchronized time. With the Yahoo messenger you can not only make sigils on the doodle function, but can even use it to draw various arcane symbols or use it as the medium for phrases that will be chanted by the participants in an online ritual. The reason the doodle function is useful in the latter case is that you can keep the regular chat separate from the actual magickal ritual. The doodle function is where the ritual occurs, while the regular chat can be used to coordinate the ritual, indicate a bathroom break, etc.

Another way the doodle function can be used is as a way of providing an online environment. Draw some candles and other tools on the screen. While it's fairly obvious that these online "tools" are static and not the real thing, they can help set the mood for someone who is fairly good at visualizing.

This recent foray into Yahoo messenger has gotten me thinking about the other IM's that people use. By exploring the tools that IM's come with a person can become very creative in how they use an instant messenger to do magick. For instance with Trillian it's possible to download skins and likely create your own skin. If that's the case create a sigil you want charged, as a skin, and every time you get into a conversation with someone that sigil will be charged and fired by the conversation and by the ending of it. There are also games you can with the IM and these can be used to do magick, as you pour energy into beating the game, direct it toward a specific purpose beyond just beating the game. Even the action of chatting with someone is a networking you can use to do magick. As you send messages back and forth to each other, try to feel each other's energy, to get a sense of the person. Even if you've never met the person you're chatting with, it is possible to connect energetically with that person through the IM. I did this with Storm and with other people in my life, letting my energy flow into the online conversation to connect with their energy. Doing this is a really good way of fine-tuning the energy work you do with other people as it does allow you to get a sense of the person you're talking with. Try and confirm with the other person if s/he feels your energy or not.

If nothing else, take the time to explore the technology that you use. So many people don't even know how the technology they use works and what it can fully offer them. Your IM of choice can offer you an array of tools you can magickally, in fact becoming a ritual tool that you can use in your online workings. And by knowing the technology you'll know how to effectively use it to work magick, to do sigils, to connect energetically with people, and a whole host of other magickal functions that one can think of. And by learning how the technology you use works, you'll also be extending yourself magickally in another direction, as you'll be interacting with your computer, another ritual tool, or whatever technology of choice you prefer to use. The more awareness you have of what you use and how to use it, the more ability and power you have to manipulate your tools for uses that other people hadn't originally intended for those tools to be use. And that is the essence of creative magick and living.

Author Bio: Taylor Ellwood is currently pursuing his PH.D in Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice at Kent State University. He is the author of 'Pop Culture Magick' (available September 2004) and co-author of Creating Magickal Entities. Taylor is currently writing his third book 'Space/Time Magick' as well as more articles. Check out Taylor's webpage at http://taylorellwood.chaosmagic.com or his livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/teriel. Taylor can also be contacted at ashmage@hotmail.com.

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