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Author Topic: Magic in Steampunk?  (Read 5505 times)
Zeppelin Admiral
Canada Canada

Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!

« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2017, 09:07:46 pm »

"The Anubis Gates" was written by Tim Powers, not K.W.Jeter. Just to be clear. Powers also wrote "The Stress of Her Regard", which edges over more into horror fantasy but is strongly evocative of Victorian/19th century England and Europe. See

Well known Victorian/Edwardian mountaineer, chess player, poet (mediocre, if truth be told), magician and explorer Aleister Crowley defined Magick (he preferred the older spelling to distinguish what he was interested in from mere stage magic, or conjuring) as "The Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will," in his 1929 book "Magick in Theory and Practice". And if we weren't paying attention the first time, on the next page he gave us a secondary definition: "Every intentional act is a magickal act." The key word here is of course "intentional".

Behaviorists, and those more recent psychologists who basically accept the Behaviorist position without saying so in so many words, claim that there is no such thing as an intentional act; all human actions are conditioned responses to stimuli - or programmed actions, in short. I suspect that Crowley would have agreed that most human actions are indeed "programmed" and thus not intentional; but he would have maintained that intentional action is not impossible per se -just very difficult. Thus any human act that is not programmed is by definition intentional and has magic[k]al power.

Following on from this, I have, for myself, redefined Magic as the conscious, intentional creation of new realities.

This would seem to mean that all artistic creation, whether painting, sculpture, music, poetry, or genuine craftsmanship, is magical in this sense.

By this definition, then, Steampunk is a form of Magic.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 09:09:29 pm by Athanor » Logged

Vero vobis dico, qui quaerit, inveniet eius. Et saepius, parum volet.

"Truly I say to you, he who seeks, shall find. And quite often, he shall wish he hadn't."

              - Elias Ashmole Crackbone.
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