One of my favorite horror movies. Best viewed in HD when available.
I reiterate, no person involved in magic should skip reading W.W. Jacobs “The Monkeys Paw.”
For a lot of reasons.
Of course Sir Chris was a close friend of Dennis Wheatley and was full of his rather bonkers ideas, but this is still so much fun to watch.
Highly creative persons are no more magicians than they can levitate or raise the dead at will. Occasionally there will be overlap; a practitioner of magic will also be a highly creative professional in another unrelated realm. This is the exception rather than the rule.
Yet when you think about it, is it really a big asset for a self-proclaimed wizard to be talented at making shit up with ease? It might actually be a strong negative, like a “creative and whimsical” brain surgeon. It helps arm those who claim magic is deceit, or the product of an overactive imagination.
I blame Walt Disney, who helped popularize the notion that magic and the imagination were the same thing. There is too much conflation, and too much redefinition; and it is making clean research difficult. Magic is not a metaphor for something else. It is what it always has been; the mortal production of marvels by spiritual means.
True wizards begin their careers when everyone else’s are winding down with retirement in sight.
This is because magic is about wisdom as much as it is about power, and all the discernment in the world cannot compensate for the lack of experience of youth.
There are no “boy wizards”, nor ever were.
I would have disagreed with this thirty years ago, but now I know better.