This is a snippet of a conversation from Reddit:
Fantasy magic and “real” magic are closer than you think. Mathematically speaking, the Kabbalic tree of life is a tree in the same sense as a perk tree in Skyrim where the ontological basis doesn’t necessarily have to describe a vector of reality for prima facie, they are just “empty symbols” where they are given semantic meaning. To say it a different way, you can algorithmically traverse the tree of life whether or not you believe it to be real, so you can deduce that the relations are consistent and formulas derived from those relations are true regardless of it being real. In other words, magic trees from the Kabbalah and the perk tree in Skyrim work the same, abstractly.
Specifically, in Dungeons and Dragons, dice rolls are Markov processes and the act of magic shifting deterministic processes tacitly acts like a Markov Processes which is why real-world divination works so well with dice rolls and pendulums. The point is video game magic and traditional magic are not so metaphysically distinct.
I’m not sure why occultists have such a stick up their ass about tradition when logically, mathematically, and ontologically, it makes no difference beyond not ascribing to a particular culture. Is it really so important people conform their magical arts to an existing culture? You can do the calculations yourself. Via Cytoscape or Gephi, you can import the tree of life render, a graph and do the same for any skill/magic tree for an RPG. You can then use the software to derive various formulas and algorithms. I guarantee you they will be the same.
This is also not getting into the unreality and counter-factual basis of consciousness and intentionality, or you can think of it as I can think about a set of facts being different. For example, I can contemplate what life would be like if a different person had won in 2016. Whenever you pay attention to a thought about something that is not present, such as a thought about the future where what you think about the future may or may not be what happens, you are forming an intention rooted in unreality, so if you cast a spell and what you thought about, the intentionality, exerts an influence on something else, this is an example of reality being changed by unreality such that the unreal thing becomes real. In other words, the divide between reality and fantasy are intrinsically blurred if we hold that magic can make real an intention that is rooted in the counter-factual nature of consciousness.
I have found treating magic as a “game” is a great way to derive postulates about it because boards are intuitive ways to model domains, how things can move on the board are great ways to represent rules/relations, things moving around with no bias is Markov Chains, and the collective ways things can move on the board per those rules, are fields. Depicting magic as a game creates an intuitive way to construct complex spells since the structure of the magic is an inference. It’s basically what you get from say the pentacles of The Lesser Key of Solomon, because the shape is an inference of relations between edges and vertices ergo you have rules, see Abstract Algebra, where there are an infinite amount of congruent forms of that pentacle, so you have a type of field created from the quotient sets. It’s just a different representation of the game board.
In Skyrim and say Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Final Fantasy 13, etc what skills your character gets is based on spending points to move from one part of the tree to the other. The amount of points you must spend can be thought of the weight of the edge and the weight of the edge can be thought of as the magnitude of the vector. In other words, you tacitly have a concept of change and a magnitude of change, so you have a concept of energy flow. When studying the Mathematics behind geomancy, I noticed similar forms as with game mechanics.
The emphasis on magic being authentic of a tradition is merely emphasis on culture. My problem with that is that you get into the tacit implication that one culture is better than another for magic which starts getting into ethnocentric territory and a definition of identity via exclusion in occultism which you are sort of seeing reflected in racists whites suddenly flocking to Paganism and western occultism. Racism in pagan communities is starting to become a major problem. Not only does magic become more useful and aesthetically more pleasing when the metaphysics are looked at abstractly, it makes it more accessible….
…I am not particularly impressed with the metaphysics that underpins Western occultism because it is not very elegant, sort of clunky, and makes an inappropriate usage of stellation without any ontological justification for why they do so. Your complex seals, like what you see in astral magic, are really just recursively stellated star-polygons. Pretty but, I can’t figure out the metaphysical justification, so I just go “pretty shapes”. But, then again, that’s what happens when something is old and outdated. Fantasy systems tend to take advantage of what we currently know, are more interesting, and are more creative, so how D&D constructs the ontology for their spells is way more fascinating then boring Keys of Solomon and boring Abramlin text.