A few weeks ago I, and a lot of other people, saw the new Ghostbusters movie. As a child of the 80s I was a wee bit skeptical at first but ended up loving it. To quote one of my dearest friends, “I didn’t know women wielding proton packs was what was missing from my life.” Of course me being me, my first thought coming out of the movie was that I just have to work with these characters in my magick - they’re just too awesome not to. Let’s take a look at the four main characters and explore some of the many ways they can be worked with in pop culture magick.
***spoiler alert - this post will contain spoilers for the new Ghostbusters movie***
Erin is a mainstream academic with a thirst to prove herself, to gain acceptance, and have her work and value acknowledged by those around her. As a professor, Erin would be an excellent ally to call on for matters of scholarship (study, exams, learning, etc.) as well as navigating bureaucracy (there are few establishments as political and overwrought as higher education) . Her struggle for recognition also makes her an excellent ally in workings designed to help one gain legitimacy, to be valued for your work, and to overcome obstacles. I would argue that Erin would also be extremely helpful in workings of self-acceptance and self-esteem. Throughout the movie Erin struggles with the conflict between being what’s expected of her and what she truly is. She progresses from hiding her thoughts and values in order to be accepted by the establishment to expressing her true beliefs and taking the risk of really standing up for herself. Though she can be a little timid at times, Erin is an excellent ally for anyone who has to work in mainstream culture.
Abby is a significantly less mainstream academic who is willing to take risks and buck authority in order to achieve her goals. She is bold, passionate, and unapologetic in her approach to life while also being a fiercely loyal friend. Abby is a fantastic ally for any work that involves going around authority or otherwise subverting the establishment. She can also be called upon for help standing up for oneself and holding onto the courage of your convictions in the face of adversity. An unapologetic approach and unhesitant embracing of her own weirdness also make her a good ally in workings of self-esteem and empowerment. The strong commitment she shows both in pursuit of following her dreams and in support of her friends makes her an asset for workings of endurance, loyalty, and determination. Abby isn’t afraid to take risks, which can cause problems when caution is needed. Call on her wisely.
Patty is a municipal historian, blue collar worker, and possibly the human embodiment of common sense. Where many of the other ghostbusters live in a world of theory and academics, Patty’s feet are firmly grounded in the practicalities of everyday life. Patty is an ideal ally in matters of practical problem solving, creative resource acquisition, and working with people. Her practicality and resourcefulness also make her an excellent ally in matters of project planning, divining hidden difficulties, and general preparedness. Her grounding and connections to place also make her helpful as an intermediary in workings to bond with the spirit of place for a given locale. Her courage and willingness to try new things are well tempered by common sense, making her a very wise helper in determining whether to take a given risk. Patty may not be as flash as some of the others, but she is the rock that can help you with everyday life.
Jillian is the mad scientist of this bunch. She’s a brilliant combination of Marie Curie, Tony Stark, and Victor Frankenstein; a fearless scientist, a brilliant engineer, and a mad genius with little respect for safety or the laws of nature. Jillian is an excellent ally in workings for inspiration, creation, anything involving the manipulation of science or technology, as well as workings to bend the laws of physics. Where Abby is unafraid to go around authority or bend the rules, Jillian acts as if authority and rules are utterly meaningless and simply does as her brilliant mind tells her. Call on her when there are no f**ks to be given. Keep in mind that, while totally awesome, this blindness to caution or safety does make her a bit dangerous and more than bit reckless.