The phenomenological and experiential reality of magic.

“[Magic is] a category of exclusion, used to define an unacceptable way of thinking as either the opposite of religion or of science”.
— Karen Louise Jolly

Justin in 2019: Magic is mostly nonsense, but if it existed, it’s because some people have woo powers beyond my understanding.

Justin in 2020-2021: I am forced to accept that the phenomenological and experiential reality of magic is true, even if this doesn’t prove its objective existence.

The reason I am forced to accept this is because I reject that an objective existence is possible at all, therefore, all subjective experiences takes priority as the primary reality.

Since all modern magic deals with enacting experiential change (ie, of the mind in a world which is mind only), magic is therefore a real phenomena experienced by some peoples.

If Ontological Idealism is true, then the implications are more profound.

Magic is difficult to prove, because it is not a standardized experience, but is an experience everyone experiences for themselves as unique and true, even if other people cannot experience it.

It is much like a religious experience, or even a scientific one. Suppose you don’t take a mathematical equation on faith, not everyone have the ability to go and verify its veracity (to experience it for themselves), but if they did, they would be utterly convinced it really is true (despite the fact that math as a discipline is of course, a construct, and could be very wrong on several axioms).

Likewise, someone who has personally talked to Jesus would be unlikely to consider another cause for why they had (to them) an authentic theophanic experience.

The Red Eminence (A Lovecraftian Reinterpretation)


So, astute readers (do I even have any readers in these early days?) may recall my post some days ago about the validity of painting over public domain images (specifically classical art) in order to do something new, as part of a larger discussion on the validity of collage art, found art, matte paintings, etc.

Naturally, works of this nature are strongest when they act as a commentary on the original work; a lot of erasure literature and poetry creates satirical commentaries on the work in which they transforming.

A good friend of mine told me that this form of art is “Artist Reinterpretation”, and true enough, google yields a not inconsiderable amount of artists who have done similar things, albeit they don’t usually go the horror route.

I was a tremendous fan of H.P. Lovecraft and of cosmic horror in general, so this series of projects (I already have another one done) was cosmic horror themed. Your favourite classical works of art transformed into unknowable horrors.

The Process 

Rationale: His eminenceCardinal Richelieu (“The Red Eminence”) was a figure of significant bloodshed with his participation in the European Wars of Religion (the 17th century); where he notably came down on the Protestant side of the war, to curb the power of the Spanish Habsburgs. In all fairness however, the Cardinal was a product of his time, and I actually admired him as a Statesman—however with a monicker like “The Red Eminence”, and due to his noble bearing, sheer charisma, and political acumen; one cannot help but imagine in this Prince of the Church a supernatural creature, like Count Dracula. This reinterpretation was about revealing a supernatural version of the Cardinal, as a supernatural being.