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My declaration: I am a Magician.

After learning the joys of cooking over the course of 2011, and accepting Chaos magic in the fall of the year, I enjoyed a wonderful New Year of cooking for guests and casting sigil magic – both of which were hugely successful. I believe I am at a new level of experience (so to speak) in cooking magic, and I am confident that I can proceed as an experienced beginner and not a neophyte. Therefore, I am announcing to the world at large:

Yes, I am a magician!

I am practicing a version of Chaos magic that I simply refer to as cooking magic. Not only am I cooking some good food and actually receiving compliments for it, I'm enjoying great satisfaction and even happiness that stems from my cooking. This, to me, is magic. It's the feeling of knowing that I am making my own creations, achieving satisfaction from them, and using them to help others (even if it's simply by making a pizza for the neighbors who live downstairs, or by cooking turkeys for homeless political activists on Thanksgiving day). This is my magic, and it's a kind of magic that I am proud to embrace. The tools of my magic are among the most ancient of magical items – cast iron pots and pans, steel knives, herbs, meat and vegetables, and fire. The spells I cast are recipes, and the results of my magic are a conjuration of wonderfully delicious food that I gladly make available to my friends, family, and lovers (if any). Just as important, I find cooking to be a good way to practice meditation, as a way to explore my inner self, fend off loneliness, learn to stay calm in times of stress (especially at work), and feel good about myself. This as good a reason as any to practice magic.

This is Chaos magic because it comes from my inner self. I am not bowing and scraping to any gods, crystals, mystical "energies," astrological charts, tarot cards, or anything of that sort when I make my magic. However, I do respect these forms of magic, and their practitioners. I have never considered it part of my nature to go out of my way to offend others (though it does happen), unless I feel that magic is being used to intentionally hurt others (can you say "Scientology," boys and girls? Or how about "conservative Christian politics?"). One of the points of Chaos magic that I am still developing for myself is the idea that belief is a tool: the ability to literally change my belief to meet the environment I am in. However, I have taken the first steps in this direction, and I feel that this will help to enhance my cooking magic as well.

If there's one thing I've learned in the past year, it's that the only true magic is the magic you make yourself. But the world is filled with many kinds of magic, some of which I have experienced and want to experience more. I am enjoying this and it makes me feel good. This is as satisfying as any religion I can think of, including the ones I have followed in the past (Roman Catholicism and the Church of the SubGenius). Therefore, until or unless the time comes that I decide I am finished exploring this path, I am declaring myself to be a Chaos magician.