Talker as a talker uses language, uses stories, and we use stories to assemble Talker. (Really, Talker assembles Talker from stories.) Some folks like to say Fetch likes symbols, and they mean sigils, visual symbols, things like that—but Talker loves textual symbols, words, stories, and more.
Of course, I’m not saying anything peculiar to esotericism. Psychology recognized the role of narrative in our personal psychologies: Freud’s talking therapy, Lacan’s mirror stage leads to people having to establish a narrative of their separation from everything else. We’ve also seen fairly narratological approaches: Jerome Bruner (Making Stories), Patricia Meyer Spacks (Gossip), and Erving Goffman (Stigma). Those narratives operate at the personal level (the biographies we assemble for ourselves) and the cultural (the stories and myths and legends our cultures assemble—from the banal to the sublime). This notion is also by no means recent: Giordano Bruno’s esoteric theories work along similar lines, to be frank, using memory palaces and Renaissance adaptations of classical approaches. We don’t like to acknowledge the validity of stories that fall outside our own, and we tend to call people whose narratives do so liars, whether or not they believe their narratives and regardless of their intentions. Iago turns his magic and glamours and storytelling and theater towards particularly violent and power-over ends while Rosalind tries to use hers to make a space for herself, as herself.
If I don’t want to rewrite my present Talker, my old Talker, the fairly non-magical Talker with someone else’s ready-made System—the GD correspondences and Hermeticism, baseline Feri’s particular gods and Max Freedom Long-inspired Hunan cultural appropriation New Ageism, Thelema and Crowley’s mash, Enochian, Wicca and its rather dualistic currents, etc. etc.—then I have to forge my own way.
At times, yes, this process feels a bit like reinventing the wheel.
And at times, yes, I have to think about, “Okay, what cultural appropriation am I doing here? Am I doing so?” Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, I can try to point to similar influences and how I can try to find my own path alongside them.
And sometimes I will start from one place and see where I go on my own. I see how the Tree of Life’s paths can branch out, but then I wonder, “Yes, but what about…?” I see far more the winding coiling mass of roots and trunks and branches and leaves—and it’s chaotic, sometimes overwhelming—so I trust to deep mind and Elaith/God Self, and see where I, the gods, my allies, etc. draw me.
For example, I don’t trust the neatness of the Tree of Life and its paths. The representation is far more a temple or columns, and while yes, the traditional representation is a starting point for exploration and knowing the Tree of Life, that representation shapes and mediates all further explorations using that starting model.
Instead, I stare at trees soughing in the wind, the fractal(ish) branches and paths—and I see how the trees swaying in the wind reflects something similar in my own self. Fetch sees and walks amongst the trees, probably sways and dances like the trees dance, while Talker—once stilled and aligned and collected (in trance)—momentarily starts susurrating and swaying as the trees do, and some language, some symbol, some path revealed by the trees opens.
Of course, Talker wants to articulate whatever she experiences there, and the result isn’t always neat and clean. It’s often poetic and wild and chaotic—inchoate. And I may then see after a point—sometimes years later—how I’ve found my own path that resembles Path 14 or Ansuz or Nemetona or even some Wyrm that Is Wise or sigil or symbol that points me, provides a path to, some immersive reality I can imagine and thus access.
Everyone should do this, I think—and please don’t mistake my extended treatment of this subject as some kind of hipster judgment about others following traditional paths and Systems. The nuanced and rich understanding that any experienced and dedicated Wiccan or Bhakti Yoga practitioner or hermetic or heathen or Sufi or what have you has attained reflects his or her rather personal path in those woods and countries and worlds of spirit.
For me, I am reweaving my Talker, Dariar, in the ways that—so far—have worked for me. In the past, I’ve dubbed Chaos Magick as a gateway paradigm—a way to get at certain magical realities and to approach the enterprise of magic and the spiritual. Chaos Magick acknowledges Talker is a body of stories and ideas, and CM tries to take advantage of that while demonstrating that those stories can be changed, switched out, and more. Eventually, though, I think many CM practitioners gravitate towards stories that speak or sing for them more persistently and more strongly than others. Or, Chaos Magick and its anarchist approach helps break down the old Talker’s inhibitions and psychic censor so that the magician begins to assemble a new and more resonant one. By the same token, I think Feri as a practice is very much a gateway practice: a set of imaginary and magic-as-theater tools and approaches that some people can use as a starting point to develop their own individual (and hopefully rich) practice.
So I have to say that I’m not Feri—as my About says, I draw from Feri, especially Thorn’s presentations of practice and theory, but I’m not Feri trained by any means. Nor would I call myself a Chaos Magickian. CM (in association with other things) gave me ways to think about and to talk about magic and self and the Otherworlds. And as I go along, I work to reweave Talker so that we can live the magical and empowered and emancipated life we want to live. We’re not there—but it’s a path with steps.
 Trust me, I’m not adopting the rather Protestant, Puritan, and Fundamentalist distrust of representation as “hypocrisy” and “lying” here. Mind you, if you’re using such things for power-over rather than power-from, then maybe “liar” is an appropriate term. But I generalize here.
 Yes, Shakespeare. It’s okay: the Shakespeare references are over now.
 I just pulled 14 out of my head and that seems rather appropriate, I suppose.
 I can only imagine some folks would look at my treatment of the “Guardians” with disdain and laughter and/or disgust. But I don’t think enough people read this blog for that to preoccupy me.