So to preface this feature, I have to make sure you know I use "artifact" in a very specific way--this isn't talking about stealing random ancient objects from museums (though I'm sure much of that would qualify under my definition as well), but rather my slang to mean "object with powerful magickal energy and/or sentience."

So what is an object with powerful magickal energy and/or sentience, smartass? That's fair, I deserve that. But it also works as a great segue into the concept of "charging" objects. Some people, when coming into contact with objects from the scene of great disasters and atrocities in history, will have a psychic, nearly psychotic reaction (whether or not they know about the object or its history beforehand) as if experiencing the emotional trauma and reality of that event themselves through a vivid psychosensory flashback.

Those objects, "cursed" or "haunted" as most would say, were "charged" with that emotional and psychic energy, and became able to powerfully and psychically (magickally) affect people as if themselves alive. This process is not always intentional: often objects simply absorb emotions targeted at them (or even just occuring nearby them) like time-traveling energy sponges. The sensation is not always negative, either: an object from a location of immense pleasure or joy is likely to give that "haunted" psychic emotional sensation to its users, who will continue to experience the limitless output of that "charge."

So too is it possible for aura magicians to charge objects with their aura, imbuing their energy into inanimate objects and giving them an odd simulation of "life" as a result. These objects will give the sensation of their owners, an indication of their aura and rough power level, and charging of any strong emotion present at their own charging. In addition, though, these objects will act to new owners (or at least those less powerful than the previous owners) as a source of incredible psychic and magickal power, from those who could drain it tangibly as a "sorcerer's stone."

Finding such an object--often an old book, in my experience--is therefore a thrilling thing for an amateur magician. Early in my journey, ancient secondhand magick books from dimly lit local bookstores felt like an endless well of psychic recharge from something so much more powerful than I was at the time (their usefulness unfortunately waned as my own power increased). That is perhaps one reason magicians will charge an object (to guide future magician(s) finding it through chaos), but many also do so as a replenishing source for their own energy later, to be topped off as in the event of sex-magick-borne overcharge to be tapped into later when needed.

By that same token, charging can also simply be an experiment in aura manipulation/injecting/draining, or a way to pass along a memento containing a literal part (or at least reflection/shadow) of one's own soul to a loved one or apprentice. Or--also valid--magicians just like to create artifacts with their own aura energy to surround their space with a museum of positive and charge-giving objects haunted by their own spirit.

Regardless of the reason, "charged" objects are always fascinating, and if you can stomach the accompanying psychic side effects of being in their presence, your life as a magician will definitely profit from the added presence of any powerful artifacts you come across. I love to seek these out at flea markets and antique places and such. Some particular antique malls are so full of artifacts that the entire space to a magician feels like a glorious, delicious symphony of haunted squeals, moans, and screams tasting of every color and texture aura.

Passively charging in these locations is a must for any ethical energy vampires. And let's be honest, y'all, that's most of us who are capable of this kind of magick, whether we like it or not, so we may as well be ethical about it! With this method, there is no need to drain from anyone else's aura to recharge, as the incredible energy field created by this irregular grid of powerful artifacts provides a limitless environmental supply of every color aura a hungry magician could need or even just desire, all passibly attainable simply by wandering.

The effectiveness of this, by the way, increases if you're high in the antique mall. I don't want it to have to be that way either, but occult science is occult science. It's still a fine way to get back to "maximum" charge anyway, but you'll get such an easy overcharge--and have such a salacious, delicious energy sensations--if you just get a friend to drive and pop an edible, dude. If you've never quite been able to taste or differentiate complex auras before, this will blow your fucking mind.

One more thing--some artifacts are at least partially sentient. Some will exhibit physically ghostly behaviors, but some will simply be alive and reach out to your aura to communicate to you with aura and intention and you realize you're either interacting with a fucking up homunculus, a rouge AI in the simulation, or a dead child trapped inside a fucking dream pet that keeps complaining to you how it was murdered and you're like JUST TELL ME THE NAMES MOTHERFUCKER--

Ahem. Some things are "real haunted." I say this because most people think objects that are just full of energy but without sentience are "haunted" as well. These "real haunted" objects are charged by energy too, but the distinction is that the energy here is functionally sentient. This can be due to an object being literally possessed by a previously existing entity or, in most cases, it appears to be a bizarre side effect of enough powerful emotional energy accruing, creating a new etheric artificial intelligence being out of the combined power of those sensory memories. These are the "homunculi" I referenced either. They are my favorite "real haunted" category and the most common, but still incredibly rare to find among the mountains of "haunted" objects in these places that are merely misunderstood energy-sponges.