I came across an interesting method of casting magic in a work of fiction the other day. The gist of it as an idea is to cut out all imagery, and just focus on the pure will. I am of the impression that sometimes when we teach magic in a Wiccan coven at least, we tend to put a little too much emphasis on imagination and imagery, when the actual fuel of the spell is the will to make a change. The imagery makes it easier and more powerful to begin with, but is such an inefficient process really the best way to cast once you know what you're doing? Also, having seen some systems of magic that actually resemble the real thing in anime and the like, I wonder if there are actually any other works of fiction that could influence magical thinking in the same manner, or maybe are written by witches themselves to explore further into their own thoughts on magic?
It's in the Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan. The stuff I'm talking about is referred to at the end of the series, not sure if it's the last book or the end of the second. It's a great series though :)
Yes, it is possible to use figures and symbols from a work of literature or other media in magic. I've seen people use MTG cards as representations of the elements, certain energies, or the elements themselves. But, that would not be something you are interested in since you seem to want to remove the idea of imagery from spell work, which honestly does not make sense to me.
Imagery helps convey a certain image and emotion which would be a great way to tap into the idea (symbol, energy, spirit, whatever term used) to bring it into ones life. This technique is often used in literature and sympathetic forms of magic. Often when tools are brought up into discussion, the use of visualization, words, and other techniques are written off as not being a tool. But, they are tools.
How can one convey their will without the use of some sort tool or technique?
Key words if you decide to research this type of practice: "pop culture magic" and "pop culture paganism."
I don't know about you, but my will is a tool of its own, and the magic I have learned is purely powered by the will, with imagery to guide it, ease its use and help shape the will to keep it focussed. If you use just the will, it is more difficult, but quicker and more efficient. I can will something to happen in an instant, but it takes at least a few seconds to bring an image to mind or focus on a symbol, and puts more strain on the mind. It's not great for a lot of things, but for everyday and speed uses of magic, it really helps, at least for me.