The Exorcism of Fredson.
Anton LaVey wrote a lot about what he calls greater magic, the form of ritual you do when you want to focus your energy on a specific, greater purpose - sometimes involving dramatic performances. In LaVey’s case that could be wearing black robes, black candles, pentagrams, symbolic sacrifices, devils’ horns and so on - everything to create a form of psychodrama (also championed by masters like Alejandro Jodorowsky and Aleister Crowley), to set oneself in a special mood. That’s how they do it in the Church of Satan (my description above is very shallow, just read LaVey’s texts on greater magic and rituals and you’ll get a better and more in-depth look into it than what I can offer), but it’s of course possible to do it in every way you want. For example, read John Higgs’ amazing book The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band Who Burned a Million Pounds, where Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty did their own rituals, often never understanding why they did them, but still made it an integral part of their world.
Very few of my friends, even those close to me, know that I have a past as an illusionist: an entertainment magician. I started in my late pre-teens and worked myself up to a quite successful semi-professional illusionist specializing in everything from birthday parties for kids to drunken parties for adults, and in-between circus performances, some minor television appearances, street- and close-up magic and even in a lot of churches, up in front of the altar - to the annoyance to some more conservative people. I once met a member of the Pentecostal church in Östersund who honestly asked me if I used “black magic” to do the miracles I did. That was one of the many reasons I started to distance myself from the Christian environment.
I lost count how many shows I did as my alter ego, the magician Fredson (I know, I know…), but it’s probably somewhere between 500-1000 performances over the years. But towards the end I started to feel depressed about it. Either performing in front of spoiled, noisy kids or in front of drunk, spoiled, disgusting adults - it drained my energy. These groups are basically the same for me. The more performances I worked the less happy I became, and I began to say no instead of humiliating myself in front of people I wasn’t fond of in the first place. But people continued to call me, and I was Fredson for everyone I met. Everyone asked me to do a trick, and I hated it so much. It sucked my energy to the degree I couldn't take it anymore.
When Markus Widegren and I decided to make a movie, a feature length movie named Kraftverk 3714, I saw my chance. We would conduct a ritual to get rid of my life as an illusionist, to make it all end once and for all. For a few of our short movies I’d created a character named Caspar, a spoof of Fredson, or maybe how I started to see myself after all those years pulling rubber chickens out of handkerchiefs and magically linking and unlinking steel rings. So, Caspar also became a part of Kraftverk 3714. In the scene where he appears he performs almost a whole show (the unedited version of the show is included on the DVD as a bonus) and at the end he, mysteriously, make himself disappear into a disturbing unknown. He appears again during the last minutes of the film, but as a changed man.
The purpose of the ritual was to set me free through the work of art, desire and performance and it worked. After that I never performed as an illusionist again, people stopped calling me and I felt free for the first time in years.
What we did there was a ritual, but it’s greater magic (maybe the correct definition is chaos magic) also worked because I wanted to. I wanted it all to end. I didn’t want to do what I’ve been hating so much anymore, just so I could make someone else happy. It might have been my first step to take control over my own life and see myself as the leading man and not a humiliated supporting character.
Kraftverk 3714 is an interesting film by the way, filled with rituals, magic, fringe technology and ideas, spells and symbolism. If you can find it, give it a shot - maybe you will be able to unlock its secrets.
#magic #greatermagic #ritualmagic #chaosmagic #antonlavey #kraftverk3714 #markuswidegren #higgabam #nagu #writing #ellowrites