The Probability of Magick.
If you toss a coin you have a 50/50 chance to either get head or tails, and the more you toss the coin the more accurate you can predict the outcome of how many heads or tails you’ll get — and because there’s two sides of it the probability of the outcome will be 50% either way. The more choices, the less accuracy, but it’s always possible to do a pretty accurate prediction if you’re aware of the number of times and the numbers of choices. Then you have the old experiment with filling a jar with marbles or candy: the more people you ask to guess how many objects there’s in the jar, the more accurate you can predict how much the jar holds. It’s the law of large numbers — or the wisdom of the crowd.
This is usable in magick, or whatever you want to call it. It’s about being aware to the degree you’re not aware of what you’re doing anymore, just like creating a sigil, burn it and forget it — do it enough times, and chill about it, and the better the result will be. Okay, I know, this is abstract! But let’s say you’re a psychic; if you meet one person you can pretty much guess things about that person, and some of them might be correct and probably more of them will be incorrect — but do it a hundred, two hundred times and you’ll see that people in general are alike, with similar pasts, presents and futures, and you’re knowledge about them starts to turn almost unreal in accuracy. Maybe you notice things subconsciously, words and sentences, how people say certain things, body language and your own experience from other people’s past experiences — suddenly these things comes together like a puzzle, and even being unaware of this form of collected wisdom of the crowd you can start predict the life of other human beings.
There’s mathematics in everything, and looking at the world through numbers and probability you will gain more and more knowledge and be able to shape your own future in the ways you want it to happen. Just don’t focus too hard on it, let it all run through your system with no thoughts — and it will go smoother. I’m very interested in synchronicities and what they can tell, and I’m slowly learning to analyze them more carefully and not just looking at them as a quirky, goofy form of getting closer to magick. At the moment I’m working on a complicated television project: on a very short amount of them we had to find six haunted places that all had to fit into our shooting schedule and format of the show. There was one date where we just couldn’t lock a location, but I still had this feeling that if we just keeping going, digging deeper and more intensive, this place will come to us as it was getting closer to the actual shooting.
Yeah, very stressful — but I found some relief in this, which comes from experience of doing similar things over a long stretch of time. When it was nine days left I suddenly found a place in the UK, I sent them an email — and they showed interest! But lo and behold, it was cancelled… and then locked again and then cancelled! Frustrating! But something told me this might be our choice in the end anyway. Somehow the pieces would fall into place and it would be the perfect place for us. At one moment I sat there, after the last cancellation of this wonderful location, and did some random searches of it on the net — just because I was curious. I saw something interesting, a photo of the house with a Dalek in front of it; the robots from Doctor Who. Cool I thought, because I love old school Doctor Who and did a new search, the name of the building and the name of the show — and found out that one of my favorite adventures with the time travelling doctor had been shot at this location in 1975! Wow, that’s fun! But it really didn’t matter because we wouldn’t film there anyway… sigh. Well, until I searched some more and found the dates when the scenes at the location was shot in 1975 and it was the exact same dates as we had planned to shoot at it now, this year!
Then I understood that it all would fit into place — not just because of the same dates and Doctor Who, also because I’ve done this a hundred times already, and looked on so many locations over the past few weeks — with a density of searches that it’s unheard of, that the probability of us landing this place was higher than ever. And yes, suddenly my colleagues called and they had sorted everything out and asked if I could try to book the magnificent, medieval building a third time — which I did.
I decided to trust the synchronicity because I’ve seen it so many times before, and follow it to the happy end. It’s somehow connected the law of large numbers, or the wisdom of the crowd, but on an individual level of experience. I remember the first time I read a book about chaos magick, I think it was Phil Hine, and he spent the whole first chapter mapping out the mathematics of this abstract science — and now I understand what he meant. Probability is magick, mathematics is magick — and having more experience from following your instinct actually improves the result it what you want to achieve.
The more you know about yourself the better you can use your intuition to work with for example Tarot or Randonauting and the more experience you have from other people the better you can read them. Transform the law of large numbers into the wisdom of the crowd and you’re on to something. I’m not taking away the power of magickal thinking at all, this is merely a way to enhance it — and make it even more effective. I’ve worked with many psychics for example, the worst ones are those who only think about themselves and therefore predicts things that they only themselves can relate to — then it’s up the client to read in what they want in that, but those who know themselves AND others have a way better outcome than their more shallow colleagues — and therefore have a genuine talent.
You can call it supernatural or you can call it science — but to me quality magick is the best of both worlds.
Fred Andersson is a Swedish author and television freelancer. Soon his second collection of essays is out, but until then Homo Satanis: How I Learned to Love Satan and other Insights from my Childhood is available on Amazon.