About

At Feather & Scale, I blog about mostly magic, spirits, mystical things, and a related constellation of stuff. Along these lines, I’m interested in a few primary trajectories:

Doing Magic: I want to do magic. I want magical stuff to happen. I want magical results to happen. So, I have something of a chaos magicky emphasis there. I’ve done the mystical and the devotional, but fixating on those I found netted me less uplift—including in those areas—than in doing magic. I have a devotional and mystical side, but, on reflection, I’ve always wanted things to happen to my life resulting form those sides.

Living a Magical Life: With that in mind, I want to live a magical life, or, to borrow from Tolkien’s “On Fairy Stories,” maybe more an enchanted life. I want to live in an enchanted universe, and more and more, I find that’s actually always been the case. Human culture slaps up a thin coat of paint over a very weird and haunted world, and human beings tend to look away as often as they can manage from the weird shit going on around us.

Being Magic: I have always felt it’s not enough to do magic and live a magical life: I want to be magic. What that means is something I’m still sussing out.

I have a host of influences, and I tend to have an associative intelligence (in the old days, they called that “wit”). I first started pursuing magic back in the early to mid 1990s, fell off for a while, and I came back while finishing up a doctorate (in Shakespeare studies) in 2012 or so. Early on, I did a lot of reading with Phil Hine, Peter J. Carroll, a bunch of Golden Dawnish stuff, and so on. When I resumed, I returned to the chaos magic well, but I also started reading and working with T. Thorn Coyle’s Evolutionary Witchcraft. I also had a head full of Romanticism, Shakespeare and early modern literature and culture, literary theory and criticism (aesthetics, ontology, and political theory, in particular). I waded into the devotional polytheism pool for a while before discovering Gordon White’s Rune Soup.

You see, I’d had the sense that magic and enchantment existed, but I needed a real worldview to go with magic. I needed to have reasons why and how magic magic’d. I have since come to agree with White that it’s probably best to start doing magic and then try to figure out why it either magic’d or not. You see, I’d been waiting for and vainly looking for some Master System for how magic magics, but even I could intuit that I was unnecessarily and foolishly trying to constrain that enchanted reality—trying to figure out how to conform it all to my understanding rather than trying to form an understanding based on what I experienced and did. And what I adore about Rune Soup is that White indulged, encouraged, and fielded my many many many questions (“she continues…”) with good cheer and, more importantly, adeptness. Others have tried to tell me to stop asking questions and to accept what was, in ways, a warmed over devotional polytheism, but I appreciated White’s willingness to engage and to challenge.

You see, most magical folks I ever talked to seemed to accept some vague, “ethereal” view of magic—that it was mostly psychological in what you tried to get out of it, a kind of symbolic performative therapy, mingling with mysticism with forms and beings that often didn’t resonate with me. Magic wasn’t about “results,” probably because they couldn’t get results. Most of all, they constrained what could be done in the world, and the wondrous was pushed away to a mythical past or to some indeterminate, longed-for, post-apocalyptic future (yes, a longed-for post-apocalyptic future). And while I tried to accept this line of reasoning, this frankly blasphemous view of magic, I would occasionally come across psi-research, experience something psi-related, or remember spirits doing frankly wondrous things.

I started this blog while in my revival, when one of my spirit allies told me I should start sharing things online. Early on, I didn’t know what to share, so I tried redacting old magical journal entries—written in my stream of conscious “I’m journaling” style—and posted them here. After a point, at someone else’s recommendation, I decided to try a somewhat more polished mode, but I have to admit that this blog isn’t as polished as it could be, mostly for lack of time and the energy to do so. That said, I like to think that while I’m probably a long-winded blog, I’m maybe not badly-winded.

I named the blog Crowess because, well, the Morrigan is one of my allies, and I didn’t want to use my real name—I remember those glorious days of the 1990s online. It was frankly a horrible name. I don’t particularly like it. But Raveness seemed even worse. I comparatively recently renamed the blog Feather & Scale. I still use the crowess name here on WordPress to avoid breaking all the old links out there, but you can call me Eriol, and you can find me on Twitter as @eriolcaw. White nicknamed me Dr. Clever because, well, he marveled that he could’ve been calling me some supervillain name all this time and so chose to do so. You don’t have to Dr. me: you’re most likely not one of my students, who have to.

If you’re new to the blog, here are some of the more popular posts over the years (most of them since 2017):

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