What is magic? Seeing the enchanted world

What is magic? Seeing the enchanted world

Ah, magic. It begins when we are young and small and the world around us seems huge, and full of mystery and discovery. We begin to enter this magical world. We make wishes as we blow out our birthday candles. We pluck a dandelion head, full of airy seed pods, then fill our cheeks with air and let out a mighty puff meant to send the “wishes” flying. We deliver our heart’s desire into the air where it may reach the fairies or the gods asking them to answer our windblown plea. We see a rainbow and ponder the pot of gold at the end of its arc. Everywhere we notice signs and symbols – the robin of spring, the first snowfall of winter, the first leaves of fall, or the smell of the grass on a warm summer day. It is in the nature of humankind to look for meaning and understanding, to search for and attempt to find harmony in all things, and to find some measure of strength and control over it all.

And so we come back to what is magic? Is it a thing? Is it an understanding and the subsequent exploitation of that understanding? For magic to a child is found in all things. As adults we can see it too, if only we remember how it was then to look and to listen.

You can practice candle magic unadorned – the simple lighting of a flame and the making of a wish. You can dress in robes, meet in groups, use incantations, potions, magic wands, full moons, tarot cards, runes. or other concrete symbols of the magical world. No matter how you do it, real magic happens when you allow yourself to become a part of a universal consciousness. The world of magic is in everything around us.

Most important in magic is inner stillness. For only when you are still and centered can you meld into the universal consciousness that is shared by every living thing. It is important to ask, to go slowly, mindfully into that world, for it can be torn by your entry and its framework disturbed. Think of a dreamer and you are both the dreamer and the dream. This is the start, the preparation for the work of magic. Attain this and you achieve what you desire with or without the accouterments. For beginners, and for those of us whose simple faith in magic’s existence has been tarnished, tools such as candles, wands, cards etc. serve to aid us in focusing our attention. The tools act as the birthday candles, the dandelion wishes and the rainbow. It is OK to use them.

Choose the tools that whisper their power to you. There are books about magic, and books are as good a place to start as any. Friends too can help in learning about the tools. But the choosing of exactly which herbs, incense, oils, wands, tarot cards, or candles to use for a given wish or spell, that should come from your inner voice. There is a feeling in your hand when you hold the tool. For instance, choose a wand that seems like an extension of not only your hand, but of your entire being. The scent of a particular incense or oil should bring a sense of contentment bringing to mind what it would be like if your wish came true. The tools should help to bridge the magical power within you to the magic in the world around you.

So what is magic? Is it something we do or something that surrounds us? Or is it something natural to believe in and to accept, like breathing in and out?

- Leni Santoro

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Salem's Moon welcomes many perspectives. The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Salem's Moon.