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A Guide to Witchcraft in the Blockchain Era

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Facing page from Chaweon Koo, Spellbound: A New Witch’s Guide to Creating the FutureSmith Street Books, 2022 (All images courtesy of Smith Street Books)

Many years ago, during a period of great turmoil and loss in my life, I was with a friend who identified as a witch. She performed a divination ritual for me that left a deep impression on me as it represented a series of events that would unfold in my life for about ten years. used to hide their identity as witches, but in this post-pandemic era, more and more people are reluctant to publicly declare this aspect of themselves. The rise of “witch” in , at least in certain circles, has helped shed the stigma of the phrase.

Spellbound: A New Witch’s Guide to Creating the Future (Smith Street Books), author Goo Cha Won is drawn by Cling Demetrio, contributing to the growing literature on modern magic and witchcraft. With rich illustrations and a multicultural perspective that encompasses both Eastern and Western traditions, readers interested in this craft will see and understand the wide range of expressions that magic can envision, including in the context of new technologies. It is useful for

spell boundThe chapter is organized by five Chinese. Wuxing, often translated as “elements” or “phases”: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. Each chapter is organized along the stages of Western alchemy. Nigredoor burning; albedo, or flashes of insight.When Rubedothe refined form that remains.

Facing page from Chaweon Koo, Spellbound: A New Witch’s Guide to Creating the FutureSmith Street Books, 2022

For example, in the chapter titled “Fire,” Ku traverses time from ancient caves to modern VR spaces.of Nigredo This section begins with the fires that our Homo sapiens ancestors used to navigate the Lascaux caves in France. There they painted ghostly animals that are now famous in art and cultural history. The author uses this story to explain the roots of the ritual in modern magical traditions.

of albedo The section introduces the idea that rituals can and should be attractive. As Ku reminds us, even the lotus position in meditation is itself a form of performance. “For witches who pave the way,” she points out. BTS video playlist

of Rubedo The Fire section explores the idea that rituals can enter the metaverse, giving new meaning to everything from sacrifice to creating sacred spaces. tradition. She is not afraid of change and technology. “

Facing page from Chaweon Koo, Spellbound: A New Witch’s Guide to Creating the FutureSmith Street Books, 2022

Koo combines reflection, meditation, and exercises, accompanied by Demetrio’s rich illustrations that bring the book’s concepts to life. For example, a figure of Femme meditating with hair sticking out of an astronaut’s helmet reflects what magic looks like on the moon. In considering what magic means today, the koi, a symbol of luck and perseverance, speaks to Ku, who believes that magic is basically about mastering our mental focus. Observation floats. This is perhaps the most important lesson for creating a better future.

One of the most daring design elements is the author’s use of layout to emphasize certain aspects of the text. Words slide along the text and wrap themselves in a circle or spiral. This puzzled me at first, but I had to pause, rotate the book, and move to make sense of the phrase. The materiality of the book is reminiscent of Ku’s writings about the material world. This means that we exist in a body and in the physical world. A book is not just a pathway of knowledge, it is a physical object that we hold in our hands that we can flip through, twirl, and thoroughly treat.

spell bound It’s a pleasure to read from start to finish, but it works best as a reference, a beautiful object in itself to peruse for inspiration. Readers can glide from topics like incense and his NFTs to lucid dreams and Tibetan chod meditations (death meditations in which one imagines one’s body being chopped up and eaten by spirits and demons). I can. Both as an introduction and as a provocation, each of these topics has the potential to awaken the reader’s curiosity as to the breadth and scope of the realms explored under the umbrella of witchcraft.

Facing page from Chaweon Koo, Spellbound: A New Witch’s Guide to Creating the FutureSmith Street Books, 2022

Why is modern magic so prevalent today? Indeed, we live in highly uncertain times, and the spiritual solace that magic provides can help us through turbulent times. As archaeologist and historian Chris Gosden claimsmagic has played a role in human society since before science and religion, helping us understand how we shape the world around us, which in turn shapes us. , one particular observation from Koo helped connect the 21st-century witchcraft phenomenon with a larger movement toward media, technology, spirituality, and the decentralization of identities.

“Witches are inherently decentralized,” she writes. “There is no witch council to rule as authority over everything. Instead, with more powerful nodes holding more code, magic moves quickly peer-to-peer. But no matter how small, every node can be traded within the ecosystem and perform magical rituals.This is exactly how blockchain technology works.”

Spellbound: A New Witch’s Guide to Creating the Future By Chaweon Koo, Illustrated by Kring Demetrio (2022), published by Smith Street Books, available online and in bookstores.

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