Humans are naturally empathic creatures. We can easily understand the emotions of others without claiming any ESP ability. When someone around us is upset or depressed, often times we can just feel it on them. Likewise when someone is happy that emotion just seems to flow off them and into us. In fact if you lack these abilities, the psychological community labels it as an anti-social disorder.
The entirety of art is based on the strong empathic ability of humans. The goal of art is to create a piece that can continually express what the artist intends, and manipulate the empathic ability of the audience to make them feel certain emotions.
Because of this art usually has an energy signature of their creator. A good artist will put a certain intended emotion into their work. However it’s possible for an artist to leave an entirely different energy signature than what was intended. And it’s possible for thier to be very little or no signature where an artist was just going through the motions.
Weird Al is interesting because sometimes his song parody has a much stronger energy put into it than the song being parodied. This was the case with Star Wars Cantina, and it’s especially true of his new song White and Nerdy.
Between different mediums the method of tapping into the energy signature differs. It’s a bit different with a song than with a book, and neither are like a poem, or a movie. The mudane method of empathically being effected by these works only taps the surface of what is possible, and is rather simple to do. Still many people may have trouble achieving an empathic connection to certain mediums, but may be quite adept at doing it with others.
A practitioner can go quite a bit further though, twisting themselves into the work and pulling energy out. The true energy of the work can be found, and with much greater ease and a much greater intensity by a practitioner. A practitioner is also able to find thoughts and ideas which the artist may have, usually unintentionally, buried inside of the energy signature of the work, since energy can carry ideas inside it.
This method can also be used to establish a link between the practitioner and the artist. A practioner, if they wanted to, could utilize a living artist’s work to establish psychic contact with them, walk into their dreams, or direct magick at them. Although most of these things would be considered immoral by most.
If the practitioner is dead but still exists in that same form, the works can be used as a means to contact their spirit. If they have moved on, it can be used to find the remnants of who they were within the Akashic record.
Channeled works present another interesting, and at the same time dangerous, use of this power. A practitioner reading a channeled work (or looking at one in the case of pictures) can tap into the energy of whatever the work was channeled from, and if it still exists that energy can be used to form a link into it and open up the channel. This can help the practitioner to better understand the channeled work, and it can also be used to gain new channeled information from the same source.
This is, however, very dangerous. Many of the channeled works out there were created with the intent of finding those who would be able to restablish the link, and then utilize the person for their own ends. The things on the other side of the channel may wish to decieve or mislead the practitioner, harm or destroy them, drive them insane, or any number of other nasty things. Some of it may be done intentionally. Some of it may just be a neccessity in achieving some end. Once the link is established, some may become violent and/or harass the practitioner until they get what they want. This is an area where the practitioner should be cautious.
At the same time though, it’s very possible for an adept practitioner to accidentally reopen a channel just by reading a work. This is one of the reasons why just reading a grimore can be very dangerous. A practitioner, when reading a text on magick, should always be prepared for the possibility of channeling something they don’t want.
It’s not strictly art that carries the signature though. Emotion is the key, not the act of creativity. Personal letters, emails, and blog and message board posts can easily hold an energy signature, especially when the author was strongly moved by the ideas behind the words. Home movies can capture the energy signature too if the emotions in the room are strong enough. The same goes for a photograph. With home movies and amatuer photography the energy signature may not be connected into the creator, but rather the people on the film and the subject of the photograph.
This is why photographs are useful in working magick against someone. They give the practitioner a means to either form a link or strengthen an existing link via the signature of the photograph. The same can be done with film, although it’s less common.
Once again I’ll go back to the point that I’ve brought up several things that a person can do with this ability that would be considered very immoral. The most important reason to do this is that a practitioner needs to know about these things, because there is a strong possibility that someone else will try to use these methods against them, and they need to be prepared for that eventuality.
Secondly, none of these methods are evil in and of themselves. They are tools, and by having these tools at their disposale, even if they’re never used, the Magus is more versitile and thus more proficient. These tools can very easily be used for some immoral end. But they can also be put to some good purpose. It’s the same as any physical weapon. It’s neither inherently good nor evil, it is the act in which it is used that makes it so.