November 4th, 2012

Magic and Star Wars and Daniel Boone

I was 17 the summer Star Wars came out (1977) and between the new urge to be a Jedi and the exploration of Castaneda’s books, especially “Journey to Ixtlan” and “Tales of Power”, I had all kinds of new inspiration to construct a magic system. I had read Eklal Kueshana, Siddhartha, every Conan and Cthulhu book I could find, and each was a gate to possibility. I had started like many do with The Hobbit as a gateway. And movies like Ala Kazaam the Great (Journey to the West) and The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao (Apollonius!) and the Sword in the Stone. How about the Bunyip in Dot and the Red Kangaroo? In those days of the 70s, where I lived in a rural state, there were NO books on ceremonial magic or Wicca or anything like it. Once in a while you might see a book on the afterlife by Jean Dixon, or a book on astrology or bigfoot. But no magic. So it was all on yourself to come up with something. And movies and books were big inspirations. Actually, some of it worked. Those worlds are each gateways. Maybe some of that is BETTER than all the Pagan 101 books out there now for the true gateway to the magical. To REAL magic.

As far as myth, Americans DO have it, but they cannot or will not draw on it anymore. First, the Native American stories are there (remember I am NA myself), and while one cannot steal another’s ceremonies, you can learn what spirits are about in your region and on your land from those tribal stories. The second thing is the truly American mythscape of Pecos Bill, George Washington, the Headless Horseman, Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink, Daniel Boone, hoop snakes, swamp witches, and Indian burial grounds. There are indeed authentic myths rooted in the American soil, whether indigenous (Native American) or plain old American which are half-forgotten and could be effective as any other gareway…