I am breaking my third person code for the sake of full disclosure: I’m a sucker for time travel. I love it. The Doctor (from the program Doctor Who) is my perfect man, and once or twice I may have deliberately stomped on a butterfly to see what happened and whether it forced the TARDIS to materialize (as far as I can tell, nothing. Possibly George W. Bush but I can’t take all the blame for that one.)
So when the chance to read Space/Time Magic by Taylor Ellwood crossed my path, you can imagine me – with pigtails – raising my hand while jumping up and down in my seat. The following may read more like one long squee rather than an actual book review.
Ellwood lays out a magical practice based on the theory that the nature of human consciousness allows us to move backward and forward in time. Memory as its own paradigm holds more potential than we might expect: within our brain we have a map that allows us to locate, and possibly travel to different points in the space-time continuum (travel through perception.) Ellwood lays out a possibility heretical and seductive: that magic workers can change the past.
I like it.
I also believe that the concepts presented can work, although measuring results sounds tricky. A good chunk of this type of magic involves changing memory if not history: this makes the matter of record-keeping a strange thought not impossible consideration.
Along with the sigil magic approach, Ellwood suggests techniques inspired by artwork, comic books, music and television. While out of context the idea that a television makes a useful magical tool sounds absurd, Ellwood makes a compelling argument.
Space/Time Magic strikes exactly the right balance between a how-to and a magical theory book. The prose reads so clearly I can forget about the writing and consider the ideas. The research also convinces me to re-examine my own beliefs about the possible and the impossible.
I highly recommend this book, especially to those who need to work on challenging personal assumptions. This idea of infinite possibility is exactly what every magician must absorb to practice successfully.
~review by Diana Rajchel
Author: Taylor Ellwood
Megalithica Books, 2010 (2nd ed.)
144 pages, $19.99
Please also see our other review of this book.