Thursday, February 12, 2015

what you see is.....? It is hardwired into our cognitive DNA to see, interpret, and react. It's what Ad Agencies count on, what lovers count on, what manipulators count on. Think about the last advertisement you saw for the Humane Society : the shivering dog chained in the deepening snow, the tiny kitten with the wrapped paw, the sad eyes of the beagle starring hopelessly from a wire cage. We melt. Just melt. In the case of the Society, we are seeing actual images of abuse – it is the deadly serious voice over that pushes us past the edge. (“Why did they beat me?... “When will I die?”...). When I hear the opening strains of  “In the Arms of an Angel” the channel gets switched.

Above is a Roundup (weed killer) commercial from 1999. My friend and I were almost in tears for the poor victims of this spray. (There had been an earlier one which was even more heart wrenching).
Who would buy this beastly product that causes such suffering? Needless to say, weeds were depicted as a type of “lawn enemy” thereafter. The dandelion stares you down, gets sprayed, turns black and dies. Take that, plant-like Taliban. I surrender not a precious inch of grassy, American lawn!
The company that REALLY understands the impact of manipulated perception is IKEA. Check out this furniture ad:

 It says it all.
People do this, as well. I've re-learned this hard truth just recently. The right setting, the well chosen words, the perfect touch of pathos, and a manipulator can hide in plain sight. This can also be the foundation of very negative magic.
All of us, in the magical/magickal community, use “props” and create our stages. We know the impact of “setting”. I, personally, would love my Circles to be like this:
..but I usually end up with something like this:

Nothing wrong with that, but I want the area to feel like sacred space, not high tea. So, the lights get dimmed, the altar gets special treatment, flowers and herbs are brought in,'s not the living room of a senior village co-op: it is a space between two worlds.
Would we rather had our palms read in this tinker caravan:

Or THIS one?:
The mind wants the image, the vision, the perception of the “other worldliness”.
Valentine's day is Saturday. What creates the illusion of Love? Candlelight, roses, food, soft music, chocolate, enchanting aromas, food (I said that twice, didn't I). Individually, these things may be pleasurable, but not “romantic”, not “magical” the way they are when blended on a day devoted to “Love”..
So, what is my point? If you are the one setting the moment, make it for a positive cause. If you are weaving a “glamour” for yourself, be certain it is not to negatively impact others. Be conscious of the effect light, scents, music, and movement can have on yourself and others, and – be aware. Pareidolia is of both the mundane and mystical mind.
On the Sherlock front: Filming continues in London. We still don't have a whiff of a plot, but how iconic is this shot?

Meanwhile, here's something I want played in the church, or out the hearse windows, on the day of my burial:
And here is yet another parody that I particularly like:


Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone. Don't be fooled by what you see and hear!