From one magic to another

When I wrote my contemporary fantasies, The Sun Singer and Sarabande, I was following the tropes of the hero’s journey and the heroine’s journey. The magic infused in these books was hermetic, that is to say, it followed old western magic traditions that were (and still can be) found in mystery schools, Tarot, the Tree of Life, and–in general–the western esoteric traditions.

Aeon Trump Card. Thoth Deck

There was supposed to be a third book named Aeon, yet I was unable to write it when I finished Sarabande because the protagonist was an avatar and I didn’t know enough to write a book from his point of view. I still don’t. But it’s time, now, to give it a try.

Meanwhile, I’ve written four novels–the folk magic series–that focus on conjure, also known as hoodoo. This magic follows some traditions that came out of Africa and, in this country, became blended with Christianity and Witchcraft. There are too many practices and beliefs here so summarize them, but suffice it to say, they are not part of western mysticism and traditions that go back to the Greco-Roman mysteries.

Apples and oranges, in some respects. Different ways of approaching the same truths, in other respects. I have a great appreciation for all the paths leading to transformation into being at one with the universe and understanding the powers we all have if we take time to find them.

I’ve been taking some time researching western esoteric traditions again as well as what I wrote in the two earlier novels so that events and intentions are consistent. I view the Aeon Tarot card (XX) as a step past the Sun card (XIX) where the seeker on the path has stepped into the arena of the actual universe “behind” the illusory universe we see with our physical senses.

Needless to say, I’m not an avatar, so I’m going to be relying on my imagination and intuition and a lifetime of experience with the Thoth Tarot deck to get this new novel into shape. Don’t hold your breath.  At any rate, I’m enjoying getting back the magic I started out with.


Malcolm R. Campbell’s latest folk magic novel is “Fate’s Arrows.



4 thoughts on “From one magic to another

  1. interesting — both finishing your series and invoking the tarot. I’m just getting introduced to the tarot, but I see that it can be enormously helpful to an author. The traditional “hero” storyline that is reflected in the tarot (rather than the slightly more basic one described by Joseph Campbell) should be compelling on a subconscious level. (Which is why at some point I want to use the tarot to write a book.) But I don’t know if that theory plays out in real life or just as a hypothesis. Best of luck with your book! Or maybe I should say, best of fun.

      1. I have a couple of books about the Tree of Life. It’s more complicated than the simple perusal I’ve been giving it, but once I learn the tarot, I’ll start on that. I hadn’t thought of using the tree of life for a novel template, but that should work, too.

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