The Full Canvas and its Threads.
It's kinda spooky because I have been sitting on this post for a few days trying to figure out how to frame what I am trying to say without sounding whacky. Well, less whacky than usual. Then Rufus Opus posts this. It kind of comes from the opposite end of where I was going but it really hits the nail on the head.
More specifically, I was sitting contemplating the differences between the main thrust of classical western magic and folk magic systems like hoodoo. It occurred to me that western magic's preoccupation with language, symbol and sign-making (whether this be in the form of sigils, pentacles, barberous words, angelic languages or their equivalents), these all seem kinda like the aristocratic literary twin of the tangible sympathetic and very material processes of hoodoo.
And with that I mean to say, is, that the sympathetic gestures that are encoded in these sorts of hoodoo spells are a kind of manifest language. A kind of divine script that permeates the natural sympathetic signifiers found all around us and then seized upon and deployed in conjure. Sweet things, for instance, mean more than that yummy taste - in the magical context their potency extends far beyond the sensory experience of taste and on to the much vaster abstract symbolic value of sweetness itself. What it means when something is delightful, attractive, magnetic - or what it feels like when people get together in happiness. It's sweet.
That's all encoded in a cube of sugar just as it might be in the seal of Venus.
Yet the sugar is different - its language is direct, more primal. Sugar needs no translation. Sweetness is inscribed upon it wherever you go in the world, whoever tastes it. That essential quality, is what I am talking about. Those essential primal signifiers permeate all of creation, kind of like the fingerprints of God. These fingerprints are everywhere - in the stickiness of sticky things, the sharpness of pins, the sourness of lemons, the magnetism of lodestones - their meanings and values all fantastically capable of functioning with as much magical precision as any arcane cypher, any angelic script.
Rufus remarks: You take a symbol and do something symbolic with it, but you tell a story.
Exactly. These stories can be threaded together with the most common of objects; the winding up of thread; by cutting apart; sewing together; by setting aflame; burrying; nailing down or tying a knot. This vernacular of the ordinary when transposed to the magical context becomes the syntax of the Divine.
Considering what Rufus has to say about manifestation process through the spheres, it's not all that surprising that the magical materiality of this kind of sympathetic vernacular can be so effective when wielded skilfully. Perhaps the reason that happens is because these things are already manifest, and by employing them in spellwork we are able to pull on the very same threads woven by God throughout all of creation - that full canvas.
Oops, still came out kinda whacky.