Alan Moore on Art and Magic

Yes. Remember that when I say that magic and art are equivalent, you should not construe that I am saying that magic is only art; that I’m in some way attempting to downplay magic by conflating it with something everyone believes is commonplace and possible.

What I am actually saying is that art is only ever magic, that all of the spectacular rewards said to be achievable by magic are attainable through art, and all of the nightmarish horrors and dangers reputed to be implicit in magic are similarly attendant upon the artist or the writer.

Approach your work with as much awe, compassion, intelligence and practical caution as you would bring to an encounter with a supposed angel, god or demon. Art can kill you or can drive you mad as certainly as any of the six dozen performers in the Goetia of Solomon and if you doubt me then consider all the crushed or suicided artists, poets and performers, easily as long a list as that containing Edward Kelly or Jack Whiteside Parsons.

Art and magic are perhaps the greatest human works and are an interface with the eternal. Take them seriously; take yourself seriously and remember that your art and magic are as big, as powerful, as dangerous and beautiful as you yourself are able to conceive of them as being.

Don’t pursue them in the hope of wealth, power, fame or notoriety, or as a style accessory, but for their own sake. This is the meaning of devotion and if properly applied it can transform you and the world that you exist in.

Oh, and find yourself a god or its equivalent or, better, let a god or its equivalent find you. I would suggest a god with good hair, although that may be merely a personal preference. Good luck.

From Alan Moore: The art of magic at Pagan Dawn


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