In magic, this is a memory technique where the magician creates a narrative with a mythic or instructive subtext into which he steps, identifying with the experience to such a degree that it becomes personally meaningful. This assemblage of imagery can be a planned conscious endeavor or can occur spontaneously as the mind had an amazing capacity to build complex scenes with very little information.

Generally there are three types of patchworking: structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. Structured patchworking provides a complete narrative containing perceptual, emotional, and behavioral cues which one simply uses passively. Such patchworkings are extremely useful as training exercises especially when one is beginning to work with a new belief system which is unfamiliar; also, they are useful when read onto an audio tape by another person.

Next is the semi-structured patchworking which provides fewer clues and is depicted as a «sequence-entrance» technique. The place or location is established at which one enters the scene. For example, one might be directed to a castle and then left on your own to explore it to find an object or information; enough clues are provided to furnish enough information to build up a personal interest to increase one’s magical power. In semi-structured patchworking one has more personal freedom of movement and creativity.

In unstructured or spontaneous patchworking there may be only a three-dimensional design such as a Tarot card, or even a rune, or I Ching hexagram. The technique is to use the design or symbol as a doorway or gate to project oneself through it into the mythic landscape that lies beyond.

All patchworking techniques are used for training and developing belief-system familiarization to trigger one’s emotional and cognitive reactions to a level where the individual identifies immediately with the occurrence. Various types of patchworkings achieve this effect. In the patchworking of death, for example, the person feels himself dying, being buried, and going through the various stages of decomposition, which, at the very least, will remind one of the inevitability of death and perhaps reduce personal fear of death. Other patchworking can be designed for such activities as scrying, talking to entities, performing enchantments, and so on. A.G.H.


Hine, Phil, Condensed Chaos: Introduction to Chaos Magic, Temple, AZ, New Falcon Publications, 1995, pp. 66-67