Reality as it was defined is coming unglued. I am not afraid of that, exhilarated.
The first stealth magick was practiced by tribal hunters. This was undertaken well before the invention of anything like armour.
From the primitive point of view, the spirit of a thing could be misdirected before the thing itself saw you. One could spook a deer to be looking behind itself while you approached from the front. They perceived the world itself to run according to perceptual patterns so these patterns stood out more clearly.
The spirit of the deer in my first example was a sort of feel they would get for the deers behaviour. Its tendency to keep it’s eyes down but it’s ears moving. But they didn’t stop at simple things like that. They also observed that other animals would cue their prey in to their approach. They saw the entire land as listening to them.
Now as strange as it may seem, these observations form a belief pattern held across species. It was possible not only for them to read the spirit of the deer, and the spirit of the land, but they could sense changes in the spirit of the land. Mood shifts for lack of a better term, and could predict the behaviour of deer and other animals from that. Intuit where they had gone.
The reason for explaining the hunting is this. They would come to use it against the most dangerous game. They would eventually gain insights into the perception of other tribes, even their own people, and would use this in settling tribal conflicts, euphemistically speaking. Again no armour, just weapons, and not even especially effective weapons.
Deception? Deception in a sense, but it goes deeper because literally no one can avoid being deceived. We all live in a world behind a filter, within a shroud, and the powers that sustain this boundary of awareness are very real.
Rose coloured glasses. That’s one sort of filter, yes. All of magick of any type is a grand illusionary act, but it’s not really an act of deception because the revelation is often much worse. They call that the prestige in stage magic. It’s also known as glamour and weirding.
In fact, the Vikings gave a great deal of consideration to weirding. Their word for magick translated roughly as fate bending. Ones perceptual posture or attitude was seen like a body, an aura that surrounded the individual. Some were sort of twisted, gimpy. Some were stronger. All had potential to change.
An act of magick occurred to their point of view when your weird changed. When you manifested a potential that had an impact on the outcome of events like sudden inspiration in combat, say, or a seeming irrational but still very wise compulsion to do something out of keeping with tribal tradition.
I have seen this in cage fighting. One guy is very strong until he gets hit at just the right spot, and then his whole demeanour changes. Exactly.
Now stealth magick works with this force in people. Both by showing you how it works in you, and showing you how to perceive it’s action in others as well, you learn to hunt the shades. Originally, the term shade meant something like soul, and it was thought to have a connection to ones literal shadow. The shadow was seen to extend well beyond the body and change it’s form rapidly. They also noticed that people’s state of awareness changed in much the same way. So they practiced methods of observing the perceptual shadow, or the footprint of consciousness, and not only could they conceal their own presence from the person they were studying in that way, but they could come to give false impressions to their enemy. The shadow experiences could have the same impact as actual attacks.
How would you go about studying this? Well, hypothetical example. Let’s say you had a rival in your own tribe. Each person has a profile of automatic behaviours, things they do just from their natural temperament. These follow a cycle the same as ones shadow changes through the day. But even those things that aren’t strictly habitual arise from the behaviours that are, so they could anticipate what might happen even when the target was frightened, disturbed or angered even.
Now if you are focused, what need is there to shoot an arrow at your rival if you can make them believe they are being shot at?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.