The magick man who’s worked on Buzz Aldrin’s Mars colonisation efforts, Google’s AI programme, and a book about occultist John Dee
Our world is nothing without the idea of magick, and Jason Louv is someone who knows this best. Louv spent most of his early 20s travelling the world as an occult missionary, attempting to combat the materialistic, capitalist vision of the world he had been sold. He’s dedicated his life to magick. He’s worked as a book editor at iconic occult publisher Disinformation, collaborated on books with Genesis P-Orridge, worked on Google’s AI programme, Buzz Aldrin’s plan to colonise Mars, and now he’s running the world’s only online school for magick.
In 2018, a time where it seems there is an Age of Aquarius desire to unlearn what society has taught us, follow our own path, and discover our “true will”, Louv’s online school Magick.me – an online school for magick and witchcraft – helps students learn everything from astral projection to the ancient divination practices of I-Ching and meditation techniques that “Wickedest Man In The World” Aleister Crowley swore by. Louv also has a new book out called John Dee and the Empire of Angels, a biography of the occult practitioner John Dee. We caught up with Louv to talk about the importances of meditation in a post-Trump world, why it’s important not to behave like 90s movie characters, and the chaos that can come with being a new witch.
Why did you decide to choose to write a biography about John Dee’s life? What makes him different to other iconic occultists?
Jason Louv: This book is the story of magick. John Dee is the most central, important pro-generator of the entire Western magick tradition. I don’t think we can understand magick without understanding John Dee. This book is the big picture, it’s the story of what magick is – understanding all of it! He spent 10 years talking to angels who gave him the whole system of magick. What I’ve demonstrated clearly in this book is that magick hasn’t only been a secret in the West but it’s been kept for the elite and hidden behind closed the doors, for people like the rossicrucians and free-masons.
Why did you decide that now was the time to create the digital school Magick.Me for magick/witchcraft, to guide young occultists?
Jason Louv: It was when I understood there was such a profound mainstream interest in magick, because when I started practicing it was an extreme underground activity. It was full of bizarre, extremely eccentric people, it was a ‘wrongside of the tracks’ pursuit but what I began to realize from writing about magick is that people really want this information. I’ve spent 20 years pushing magick information out into the public in the hope that it would cause a psychic renaissance. I assumed that it wouldn’t ever happen and as you know in the past five years it’s taken off. Magick is a part of the cultural discussion as we have brought more focus on the importance of young women, people of colour and queer people. I always thought magick was going to be a secret, and that has changed. I figured that if young people are going to start doing it then I might as well show them how to do it right.
“I always thought magick was going to be a secret, and that has changed”
Are you referring to the moment around 2011 and 12, when witchhouse became a sub-genre and occult imagery came into fashion again, in this ironic 90s nostalgia-tinged way?
Jason Louv: I think that was the beginning of it. I found that time to be hilarious. My first book Generation Hex came out in 2006 and in that book I predicted that “magick is going to be the next big youth culture” and then it happened. Witchhouse was definitely the beginning of a cultural shift, in bringing those occult-aesthetics back into the public eye. The whole throw-up .gif art, camp horror aesthetic totally misses the point but it was a good start.
There’s a lot of mean people in the occult community who are competitive, self-serving, and ego obsessed – it can make people want to step back and not get invovled.
Jason Louv: For anyone who has seen The Craft, do not act like Fairuza Balk/Nancy Downs. You shouldn’t want to aspire to be like that character when you do magick. I have compassion for people like that, I’ve been through the stages where I’ve yelled at the world and said “I’m powerful”. It’s because I felt so powerless inside. Magick becomes a path of service to others. Buddhism has such an emphasis on being of service to your fellow beings and that’s when the real magick starts. You have to stop asking yourself “How powerful can I be?” and start asking yourself “How can I use this to help others?”
Do you think Magick.Me/Ultraculture are both symptoms of the Age of Aquarius?
Jason Louv: 100 percent. We live in a magickal time - whatever you want to call it - The Age of Aquarius, or The Aeon of Horus. I think that we truly live in the golden age of magick. This is the best time in human history to be practicing the occult. This is the first time in human history where people have been publicly been able to talk about this stuff, people used to be burned at the stake. We have access to so much information – that was just not possible in the 90s.
“For anyone who has seen The Craft, do not act like Fairuza Balk/Nancy Downs. You shouldn’t want to aspire to be like that character when you do magick” - Jason Louv
I feel like we need to take a moment to appreciate how cool it was that Marilyn Manson was talking about Crowley on MTV in the 90s and really televising the occult in a dangerous way, and hacking the planet…
Jason Louv: I don’t think we should underestimate the effect of Marilyn Manson on American culture. People want to reduce him to the image of some stereotypical goth kid’s god but growing up in southern California in the mid 90s, you can’t really understand what it was like to see Antichrist Superstar, and all the occult imagery.
Do you think magick is an important skill to have in a post-Trump world, an era of misinformation across media. Do you think magick is about being more hyper-conscious and being selective about what we consume?
Jason Louv: It’s a very important skill to have. Magick is about controlling the chatter of your mind, and so is meditation – you need to focus your mind and life on one thing at a time, meaning that your whole life becomes about achieving what you truly want and not what someone else wants for you. You don’t have to be what school, parents, culture or some nonsense YouTube genre has taught you what to be and how to think. The skills of magick and meditation, and training the mind are just training the body like you’d go to the gym. I can’t think of a more valuable skill in our current world. I think the reason groups like the alt-right have been able to claim so much mind share and terrority because people don’t have any defences, because they’ve been living in nihilism. Everyone’s just seeking love and connection, and wholeness.
“In my life, I’ve noticed that queer or queer-identifying people seem to be more in tune with the spiritual side of things” – Jason Louv
A lot of my young queer friends have theories that a lot of witches are queer-identifying because they are open to the spirit world, and the gender of the person doesn’t matter, it’s about a soul to soul connection…
Jason Louv: I think that is a real thing. There is a great book called Blossom to Bone that is about gender-variant shamanism that goes back thousands of years. I think people who are magickally inclined are invariably open to shifting their personality and experiences. Genesis is a great example of someone who optimises experiences. In my life, I’ve noticed that queer or queer-identifying people seem to be more in tune with the spiritual side of things.
What are some hot magickal tips?
Jason Louv: Get out of a fear mindset, and get into a playful/curious mindset, because that’s the frequency of intelligence and evolution.
Get serious to commiting to at least 30 minutes of meditation a day, a baseline practice, adding magickal techniques that you can learn at me will help you.
Focus on what you can give, instead of what you can get. If you go into the idea of magick that you are trying to make life better for yourself and the people around you, you are going to get back more then you’ve ever bargained for.
Identify your will. Get obsessed and clear with what your will is, be as serious about that with the discipline and seriousness of if you were in charge of a multi-national corporation. Treat things the same as if you were the CEO at Google.
Understand magick is a process. It’s not instant gratification, it’s a way of living your life in a way that maximises the outcome you want