While I was at the Urban Mystery Skool I had the pleasure of performing a piece I created called Digital Spellcast. Listed below is a brief history of its creation.
At the beginning of the winter of 2014 something tragic occurred in my life. I separated from my husband of 5 years. The emotional trauma that hit me was so intense it launched me into a manic episode of epic proportions.
I had a work friend named Andrea (a rapper, who performs under the moniker Acid Orphan). She and I existed parallel to one another, with an amicable yet not particularly intimate relationship. One night we had to stay at our jobs until the wee hours of the morning for store inventory. As we were wrapping up, I was discussing astrology with the group. Andrea (a Virgo) made a skeptical comment about the topic of astrology. To that I replied (rather impishly), “that is such a Virgo thing to say.”
My comment angered her so much that I launched her into a manic episode of her own, causing her to trudge through the Philadelphia snow barefoot and take a $100+ dollar cab ride to her parents’ place in West Chester. While at her parents’ she began writing a short story that is really one of her finest pieces to date. It involved a deep analysis of the inner workings of society with a classification system for different personality types (we’re all either Emperors/Empresses/Emperxs, Oracles or Maniacs–but that’s another story for a different time). She realized she wouldn’t have written such a story had I not provoked her, and so she gave me a phone call which would forever change our lives.
We spoke feverishly about the cosmic plane and how the world worked. Suddenly life made so much sense to us and we felt this immense connection with one another. It’s difficult to explain outside of the throes of mania, but I think you get the picture. We called what we shared between us the Mega-Brain. This is the moment when our fates became intertwined. It was the moment our parallel lines intersected.
Once she left West Chester she came to my empty house in Fishtown where we began a month-long sleepover that would eventually evolve into another performance piece/immersive art experience we called the Cosmic Treehouse. During the first days of the forever sleepover Andrea and I shared many ideas, hardly sleeping at all. Keyed up, we wrote down every idea that occurred to us on pages and pages of computer paper with a red Santa marker. We compiled these pages into a book we call the Maniac Bible.
Naturally, compiling this list of ideas was very important to us, and within our manic logic it took precedence over going into work. One night (perhaps the first night?) we were texting everyone we knew, desperately trying to get our shifts covered to no avail.
I had been studying the principles of magic and spellcasting prior to this mania, and Andrea and I had been fervently discussing the intersection between magic and technology. It was then that we concluded that a text message is not unlike a spell. Think about it: you write an intention down on a tablet (in this case, your phone) and you send it out into the ether with the expectation that it will garner the results you desire.
I came to this realization; if a text message is a spell and technology is really just a form of magic, then we can harness that energy (or at least try) in order to get our shifts covered, right? So in that moment I came up with the following process:
- Find a spellcasting partner (in this case, it was Andrea)
- Write your intentions down on a piece of paper
- Both of you take a screenshot of the spell
- Take the spell outside and burn it, distributing its ashes into the air
- Go back inside, sit down and send one another the screenshot you’ve just taken
- Take a screenshot of your conversation, send one another the screenshot
- Take another screenshot of your conversation, send one another that screenshot
- Continue this process until the images begin to look like little pieces of ash
- Your spellcast is complete, sit back and wait for the results to come in
- Try to distract yourself
I should probably mention that this was during a full moon super moon. That’s sort of a side note, but kind of relevant to the story.
We went through this process and then went back into my living room to continue our prior conversation. Just as we began to forget we had even done the spell, we received a text message from three different coworkers at 3:33 am! All of them were offering to cover our shifts. Three had become a very important number to us, without any knowledge of its magical importance. We screamed our heads off, angering my tight ass neighbors. The spell had worked! We have performed many spellcasts since and they’ve always garnered positive results, and this is how the Digital Spellcast came to be.