I think that magic, when done well, is an art because, like art, a magic trick (illusion?) is something that someone worked really hard to make in order to amaze you. But like art, magic is something that you can also do for yourself. Why allow warlocks and hags to have all the fun?
DIY Magic is a collection in book form that seeks to answer from all angles the question, “What is magic?” The answer so far is that the things we define or look to as magic can in fact be distilled into a central experience: “a state where the mind lets go of the normal way of being and is opened up to an experience of existence as a whole that is bigger and without time. These states are all really different forms of the same thing, or if not the precisely the same thing, then near and adjacent territories in a realm that lies parallel to this one, reachable by many means.”
These are not quarters-from-behind-your-ears tricks your uncle would do–unless your uncle is really, really cool. Expect this book of “advanced self-psychology” to contain over 40 black and white illustrations by artists such as Tommi Musturi (above), Farel Dalrymple, Maureen Gubia, and Pete Toms.
The author, Anthony Alvarado, is a writer/poet who’s written numerous chapbooks of poetry and experimental writing, but you should definitely read his articles for Arthur Magazine that inspired this book. They include, but are not limited to an interview with an anarcho-primitivist and instructions on making your own sensory deprivation tank using a ping-pong ball and some household items. Order DIY Magic here.