Magick is a difficult word. If I use it, it attracts a degree of negativity by Narps assuming I want to wax lyrical about something they perceive nonsensical, if I try to form a new term to shoehorn the topic in in a reasonable way (to bypass the prejudice) then the jargon critique comes in.
So I’m sticking with it and in a sense yes this is a theory about how Magick ‘works’, but as part of a larger project it should be remembered that even though such theory is necessary it does not entail that anything magickal ever actually obtained at all. Such a theory is a plug-in to a phenomenology that says you cannot extirpate the appearance of the magickal and hence inchoately such theories are always buzzing around our Narphood.
This buzzing refers to a kind of flickering that I feel is slowly being honed in on. This flickering is the flickering of the agnostic disjunction: our endless, almost arbitrary, culturally conditioned choices in the face of a variety of phenomena that we do not really know the answer to.
The point is that if magical effects obtain then the ontology that emerges seems to be necessarily something of this kind. Words are able to connect directly to what they designate. Designation itself is only sensible in a magickal universe, if this is not the case then Wittgenstein is correct all the way through (meaning is just use). That is, how can designation actually designate a particular thing if it does not actually connect with it metaphysically. Any weaker version means designation can be tricked by counterfeits. This does not mean to say we cannot be fooled and neither does it simplify the issue (a bewilderingly strange overlaying of pneuminous threads can occur in such situations).
The notion of words connecting to their objects is well known throughout magickal grammar. Knowing things/spirits true names, sympathetic magick, paper remedies (a homeopathic variant) all draw on this notion. In the pneuminous theory this is accounted for by the way the accretions attach together and by the assumption that information can alter the vectors in some way.
Vectors are generally only capable of supporting certain grammatical structures. A clothes peg is not a vector, the vector is prior, the clothes peg accretion (concept) attaches itself to the vector, which is compatible with this attachment. This fulfils the meaning as use requirement -any vector that can take the clothes peg accretion can be a clothes peg. The clothes peg accretion also has a rough shape as image to it.
If though I want to make the clothes peg into a voodoo doll of my enemy (with or without augmenting it) the simplest means to attach the accretion of my enemy to the peg is to call it their name. The intentionality of the naming means the pneuma of the enemy is necessarily attached to the peg-vector. This connection may be very weak. Magick acknowledges that such pneuminous connections exist harmlessly all the time. The ritual part of the process is exactly the technology that alters the pneuminous threads such that the vector-takes strongly on the enemy accretion. Once the accretion of the enemy is attached to the vector-peg, actions performed upon the vector-peg will affect the enemy as desired (maybe). As even practicioners will acknowledge, magick is no hard science and all results exist at that pataphysical like level of the individual occurrence. The level of connectedness of operation and result will vary from synchronistically staggering, to making a certain sense of the request being enacted, to pretty much nil, to outright backfiring. All of these can be comprehended from a magickal hermeneutic framework with little impinging sense that whole business is a nonsense (though magickal practictioners experience agnostic disjunction just as much as hardline materialists).
The key point about the means of action is its relation to the accretion of pneuma. Some forms of magick are performed by the accreting of one accretion onto a vector which already contains an accretion commonly considered appropriate for it. Of course what is commonly considered appropriate can vary wildly from culture to culture e.g. in animistic belief it is grammatically sound for a vector to hold both stoniness and spiritness -the two may be bound together. So we might rephrase it to say in modern western culture this kind of magickal operation is common. The doctrine of signatures is another example, normal accretions are attached to the vector, plant, herb, but also others e.g. looks like an eye, is blood red etc. These simple pneuminous threads may be just that, idly picked up pneuma that loosely attaches. However with the gaze of the doctrine of signatures these images disclosed from the plant become its messages of healing properties. The accretion of this healing property becomes attached to the plant accretion.
It is interesting to note that this suggests two modes of accretion attachment to the vector. One mode attaches to the vector directly and as such conceals alternative accretions, the other attaches to the accretion (and hence to the vector). In the case of the DoS it is the latter. The plant is still plant, but also plant as healing plant possessing this property (good for blood etc).
The implication being that attaching pneuma to a given vector somehow alters the vector in the direction of the pneuma attached. Nothing has to be said about how this happens, if it were true that would be for physics, all that needs to be acknowledged is that this is how it shows itself. Neither does it say that if I call a stone a cat many times it will turn into a cat, but it does say that the repeated effort to see catness in the stone does actually attach cat-pneuma to the stone. Of course this implication repeats the (sort of) tautology of designation: the vector which allows the possibility of ‘hammer’ then forms the hammer accretion as attached to certain vectors. If the magick effect occurs this means that hammer actually makes vectors with hammer accretions attached to them more hammer like i.e. the natural process of naming has the same mechanism as a magickal one, the difference is simply that no attempt to disnature the vector is involved -because the object is mistaken for the vector.