In line with the previous thread I created in Kubus section, this one concerns the magickal attributes of power. Specifically, I'm talking about the Chinese Black Magic rituals and the usage of two specific items in them: a Skull and a Flute. As seen in the eponymous "Black Magic" movie, a White Mage using the flute was highly successful in a duel against a Black Mage who futilely relied on the skull to redirect, reshape and neutralize the energies directed at him. The Black Mage was driven away by the flute's hypnotizing sounds, suffered severe headache and disorientation. Furthermore, his very own charm, the skull in question, betrayed his host and attempted to escape (which was rather amusing to watch).
Now, considering what I said earlier about taking magic seriously, if we try to scrape off the fictitious surface of this film and instead turn our attentive look upon its origin in the face of historically authentic Chinese curses and hexes, will we be able to find an explanation, the key to the mystery of these objects and their relations? Why was the flute stronger? Why the skull could only emit smoke and pallid glow, releasing none of the energy transferred into it by its master? Surely we can't write it off as a simple "victory of good over evil"? And even if this precisely happens to be the case, it would be tremendously useful to know the implications behind this unique phenomenon.
To answer your question, macabre, i believe that the flute is a more dynamic source of magikal power(when correctly used) than the skull. If the black mage had chanted, and possibly combined the skull with other objects it may have been able to stand against the flute, but probably not. The flute is stronger , because it's power is amplified by the vibrations of sound, which we cannot avoid hearing, not to mention it also has the symbolic aspect, so it's power is double. the skull is a strong symbol, but what is a symbol compared with the sheer force of sound itself? sound which has the power to disrupt thought, and thus disrupt intentions and also meanings, ideas that must be formulated in the mind. a mind distorted by sound cannot creAte it's own intentions. I would argue that sound undermines the will of the individual, thats why sadly people often then follow the loudest/ they think they choose so freely, but infact they cannot live with the reality that theyare being manipulated by a force that is beyond their power to control (most of the time anyway).
Thank you, I find this to be a beautiful explanation, truly - projected sound is a terrible, indomitable force.
The exposure to audio component of ads and other media has already robbed many people of their thinking... The psychological pressure of sound is indeed massive, and even the strongest can only resist so far. It's difficult to say what is scarier in this case - the sheer musical tune or verbal component of the chants. Both can be very powerful. I'd like to note here that in their final showdown both mages chanted and prayed ceaselessly (and again, the White Mage prevailed, while also using a Kris (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris) dagger).
Also I forgot to mention that eventually the Black Mage even started bleeding under the flute's influence. (You can see it in this trailer youtube.com/watch?v=-CnoZJ9JltY near the end)
If we try to analyze this case through the prism of Mage: The Ascension terminology, both magi utilized a focus - a material object through which the magical power is channeled. In this, both had the opportunity to take full advantage of their mystical reserves. However, it is possible that the Black Mage was actually a so-called "Hedge Wizard" - i.e. he only practised magick by the means of predetermined rituals, which may be powerful, but tend to be static and open to countermeasures. White Mage was the True Mage, able to alter the flow of reality dynamically (which is represented here via flute and its intricate melody), he could invent and use magic "on the spot", directly against his opponent. This may also be explained in the context of "victory of good over evil" as Life is commonly seen as active force, and Death as negative, passive energy or even just Absence of Life (which is close to scientific, technocratic thinking). Though some mystics disagree, saying that darkness is not mere absence of light, but a force in itself. Here, it's likely that the creators of this movie tried to dilute the genuine references to the dark traditions with typical Western moral subset, hence the White Mage is seen more like a priest, and is both virtuous and victorious.