We’re humble sorcerers, not great politicians or social scientists. We’re certainly not revolutionaries, but we believe that remaining silent at this moment would be acquiescence to an unjust status quo. Thus, we want to make it clear where we stand.
We believe that racism is alive and real. That racism is not just in those who wear hoods and carry torches. It is pervasive and historic, written into the very fabric of our society’s culture and geography.
We believe that immoral violence is inflicted upon black bodies by institutions operating legally. That violence is most obvious in the form of sanctioned murders by police; but, it is also present in things as tiny as the higher rates of particulate air pollution in minority communities.
We believe these things are wrong. They are a disease at the heart of our collective existence, and a corruption upon all of our souls.
We acknowledge that we are part of the problem.
We acknowledge that we have not listened enough to those who have been oppressed in our name.
We pledge to do better.
There are many things that all of us can do to try to address these injustices. There are people who have been hurt and are being hurt who need succor. There are myriad organizations that need our money, time, and energy. There are protests that need bodies and voices. There are political offices that need candidates, and there are politicians who need to be supported or derided.
We’re not in a position to tell anyone else what they ought to be doing.
However, we know a thing or two about magic, and wanted to share a small bit of arcane practice that we think some might find useful at this moment.
It isn’t a hex upon evildoers or a protective spell, although there are many prominent magic users working to actualize those. Instead it is a personal bit of magic that anyone interested can practice, and which is based upon one of the most powerful and fundamental concepts in sorcery: bindings.
A binding is the linking together of two or more things. In our magical practice this most commonly involves material or symbolic objects brought into proximity with one another and tied together with ritual. Many talismans involve the binding of disparate enchanted substances. These are in turn bound to the bearer of the talisman through possession and possible adornment.
However, an even more powerful technique eschews the physical altogether. Our minds have the capacity for the most powerful form of binding there is: empathy. Through imagination, we can simulate actually living the existence of other people. In doing so we bind our minds to others. We come to care about people other than ourselves, and to appreciate the reality of their struggles in an intimate way. We are moved to action as if those struggles were our own, because they have become just that.
We never encourage the practice of magic as this is dangerous stuff. It opens one to emotions and experiences that one may not be ready for. It also risks the creation of a false binding, in which one is linked to an imagined existence that isn’t real. It may even harm the person one is connecting to as their lived experience may be purloined by empathic voyeurs. So, if you do employ this technique please be deliberate, careful, and sensitive.
And please do all those other things too.
Empathy is the beginning, not the end.