What is Magic? - An Objective Discussion
For many of us, our very first exposure to the idea of magic is through fairy tales. Whether those fairy tales are in their Hans Christian Anderson form, The Brother's Grimm, or good ol' Disney, they all carry the same themes. Later in our adolescence, we experience our exposure to magic through books, movies, and TV of our own choosing. We see lightening bolts shooting straight from wands and witches doing magic with her pointer finger or even just with a wiggle of her nose! While these depictions of magic are really fun and entertaining - they are not real. They're grandiose representations of ancient forms of spirituality - spirituality that formed as we evolved as humans, our minds growing curious, and for the first time asking ourselves, "Why?" From this question, we developed an understanding of the world around us through the oldest form of religious sermon - storytelling. Storytelling that developed into beautiful mythologies of entire pantheons. A means for obtaining the ever present need for connection with the earth we emerged from. For a culture that has a history of being so afraid of anything remotely pagan, we sure are obsessed with it. Maybe it's the spirit of our pre-christian civilization days calling us home. Maybe it's simply our wish to experience the magnificent. Then again, it could just be the innate human condition - to want more from this life than meets the eye. That question is a complicated one that I'd be happy to discuss with you in the comments. The question we're talking about today is whether or not magic is for you. That answer is for you to determine, but I would have to say, "yes!" The question of why? Well, did you ever think understanding magic involved anthropology, psychology, and a little Quantum Physics?
What Magic Is...
A Means To Understand Our Connection to the World Around Us
Magic is everything. It's where science and God sit at the same table. It's a way for us to make sense of our lives. You see, when we were first trying to understand the great order and operation of things, we created Gods & Goddesses. Now, I may get some slack for this from my polytheistic pagan brothers and sisters out there, but these are my beliefs which are strongly rooted in factual Science, Psychology, and Pantheism. Anyways, back when we were trying to understand why the sun set and the moon shined in the night - we created Deities. These Deities we're magical personifications of things that we now know and understand to have scientific explanations. Hence, before we understood science, we had magic. They are one in the same. Science is Magic. Magic is Science. Magic was what painted the sky red in the morning reminding sailors to take heed in their journeys at sea. Magic was a tribe's medicine man or a town's local witch healing people with herbs. Magic was the herbs themselves sending you on powerful vision quests. All of these things, we know know to have understandable scientific explanations, but that doesn't make them less magnificent. It certainly doesn't make them any less magical if you redefine what society has taught you to think magic is. If you are a person who's practice includes the worship and honoring of deities, these deities continue to represent the beauty of all factors that come together to create our universe.
Magic is also Synchronicity. It is The Butterfly Effect. Carl Jung, who introduced the idea of Synchronicity, believed life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order. One thing can seemingly effect another without rhyme or reason. The idea of Synchronicity can be further explained by an area of Quantum Physics, a fundamental theory in physics which describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles. Synchronicity comes in with the idea of Quantum Entanglement. Quantum Entanglement is a phenomenon in which pairs or groups of particles that have been in contact with each other seem to remain connected over vast distances. When actions are performed on one of the particles, corresponding changes are observed on the others. Many would disagree with these statements saying that Quantum Theory has nothing to do with magic. However, I believe that in understanding this very respected idea, we can understand how our words, actions, and emotions can effect the world around us. Even in our smallest states of existence, everything in life is constantly coming into contact with one another and causing change.
The Law of Attraction
Using and creating magic is, at it's core, using the power of your mind and actions to manifest an outcome. This is, essentially, an idea that we've heard a lot about over the past 20 years and is known as the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life. I must confess, on my journey to self-discovery, I read The Secret, a book published in 2006 that caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey and skyrocketed. The Secret focuses on the Law of Attraction to obtain the things you want out of life. This idea can be argued as fact by understanding how the empowered mind looks, views, and interacts with the world. One who devotes time to their own peace - will obtain it. The novice pianist who practices it will eventually become proficient. The magic worker who lights candles, burns incense, and performs ritual to create change in their life will be more likely to manifest that change because they have empowered themselves to "be the change", so to speak. When you set your intention and visualize it, you are more likely to become it. When you say, "I will manifest and attract an abundance of money into my life" You open yourself up to seeing monetary opportunities that may have been overlooked before. You open your heart to receiving and saying "Yes!" Is this magic? Absolutely! It's magic as you understand it now.
So, Why All The Accouterments?
If magic is something that we can all tap into, if it's something we do everyday without realizing it, and if it's weaved into the very make up of our universe - why do we use tools to manifest it? From candles to crystals, witches and other magic workers alike, use certain tools to aid in their magic. I ask you, Why not? Why not enhance your experience and further connect to your mission? The use of ritual tools is seen all throughout our world's many religions. Catholicism, which I'll reference twice as it's an incredibly ritualistic religion, uses tools like robes, chalices, incense, and bells. These tools are used to elevate the ceremony or ritual. Do you need them? No. But do you need to season your food? Do you need to dress up for special events? Do you need to have hobbies? No. We do these things because our experience in life is what we make it. We do these things to better enjoy our existence. These tools help us believe in ourselves and manifest with our own power. It's believed that certain tools do hold certain "powers". Their powers are what they represent and what ideas they call forth to the ritual. The use of tools are a powerful addition to your magic work that allows you get the most out of every spell, prayer, ritual, or ceremony.
How to Create Magic...
One does not need a specific religious doctrine or practice to use and create magic within their lives. Being a part of a spiritual community does, however, help you feel connected to your mission and provide you with people to bounce ideas off of. I recommend looking into Pantheism for all those who relate to what I've talked about today. Pantheism is the belief that the universe is in some sense divine and identifies the universe with God but denies any personality or transcendence of such a God. It paved the way for more great modern movements like Transcendentalism. At it's core, all one needs to create magic is intention, emotion, and action. We create magic everyday without even knowing it, setting the wheels of our requests from the universe (or our deities) in motion. If you connect with the idea of gods and goddesses you might want to look into creating magic as a part of a polytheistic religion. Wicca is a very popular polytheistic religion for witches. One does not have to be a practicing Wiccan to be a witch. One also does not need to be a witch to work magic. Among many others, you can identify as a Magician, a Lightworker, or a Conjurer. There are no restrictions on your religion or lack there of, to practice magic. Even Abrahamic religions, such as Christianity and Judism, have their mystics and miracle workers. Devote Catholics believe that bread and wine are literally turned into the blood and flesh of Christ. This is magic, friends! Magic is available for everyone.
Thank you so much for reading this with an open-heart and mind. Feel free to keep this conversation going by leaving your constructive thoughts in the comments. We would love to hear about your own personal journey with magic and what led you to practicing.