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Monday, July 20, 2009

Conscious Reading

I read an interesting article a while ago, but the message of it has only just begun to sink in. It was a list of “newbie mistakes”. The very first entry was about reading. Just because something is in print either on or offline, does not mean it is the solid truth.
Currently, I’m processing all sorts of “raw documents”, or things I’ve copied verbatim from other sources. These are my research, my base if you will. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read the same basic thing over and over. And yes, sorting through this all will be tedious.
I’m excited, actually.

Anyway, back to my point. Think of this like writing an essay. I’m going to use colour magic as my example.
So, your first task when writing an essay is to pick a topic. Okay, that’s easy. Let’s say our topic is red candles and their uses in magic.
After we have our topic, we venture out into the world and gather everything we can on red candles. We get a little bit about how to make red candles, we get some places where we can buy red candles, and of course, we get a lot of information on their magic use.
Okay, so we have all our research together. Now what?
Now we begin to critically read the information. We look at each piece of research in detail and find similarities throughout the texts. For example, let’s say we have three pieces of information concerning red candles. Let’s say one of the pieces says “Red candles are very strong candles. They aid in gaining strength, sexuality, and aggression. Use with caution.”
Let’s say the second piece is just a list of properties: “Sex magic, courage, aggression”
As you can see, the two lists are similar.
Now, onto the third list. “Red is a good colour for love magic. It is a very muted colour.”
What?
This goes against the other two lists, not to mention has any interior decorator ever said red was a “muted” colour?
So, in our research, we can keep the first two pieces, and toss the last one.
Well, we have our research, now to write the essay.
The best essays come from experience, but we all can’t always test out our magical theory before putting it into practise, so we rely on the research we’ve found interspersed with what we know. My mom watches a lot of decorating shows, so I know a lot about colour theory. Great, I can use this knowledge in my essay.
“Having too much red in a room, according to psychologists and designers, can make people more aggressive and hungry.”
Does this knowledge correspond with the facts I found in my research? Yes!

That’s what conscious reading is about. It’s about using your gut instincts and personal knowledge to back up whatever you find in your googling or stumble-uponing. Don’t take everything at face value.

DISCLAIMER

A lot of my information is directly copy-pasted frm my own Book of Shadows, collected over the past couple of years from a variety of sourses. I try to credit where I can, and I try to paraphrase and change words around without changing meanings as much as I can.
IF YOU SEE YOUR INFORMATION HERE: Please let me know, I'll be more than happy to credit you. The best way to contact me is to leave a comment on the post, and I'll be sure to edit the post as soon as I get the message.

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