Magic is a very old word. If you lived in England during the Middle Ages, you probably would have called somebody who did magic a witch and magic itself was called wiccecræft—witchcraft or galdorcræft or even dwimorcraeft. Before that, Druid was the term you used for someone who did magic. Somewhere around the 14th century, people began saying magic which came from an Middle French word magique which came from a Late Latin word magice which came from a Greek work magikos which came from an Old Persian word magush.
That Greek word is kind of interesting since it is the feminine of the Greek magos which means one of the learned priestly class. Magi is the plural of magus, so the three wise men were wandering magicians—more important than that, probably priests but still skilled in what people thought of as magic at the time. Magic didn’t have anything to do with Satan or mischief. Instead, it was more about priests, priestesses, and what served as religion. Magic, spirituality and natural science were mixed in a delightful and entertaining manner back in the day.
Today, some like to spell it magik or magick or majik and any other way you can think of to distinguish stage magic—tricks, legerdemain—from the real thing. To me a rose is a rose is a rose. But what is the real thing?The definition according to Aleister Crowley, an English occultist, is “The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the Will.” That leaves a lot of room. Boiling an egg would fit this definition of magic.
The spiritual element of magic is what is missing. You could say Spiritual Power instead of magic and be closer to what I think the word means though that would still fall short. Magic and praying have a lot in common. When you pray, you ask for help to manifest something. When you do magic, you use the power God has already given you to manifest that change. God helps those who help themselves. This is God saying, “Is your arm broke? Fix it yourself” so you do magic.
Magic is often divided into lots of different kinds of magic depending on the principle or items you make use of as you attempt to influence time and space. Sympathetic magic involves using items, words, rituals that have some connection with the outcome you desire—it’s all part of the like-attracts-like idea. You got yer ritual magic and yer folk magic, yer candle magic and yer crystal magic, yer kitchen magic and yer Earth magic. The key ingredient is visualization. Practitioners visualize the change they want to manifest, put faith in their power to change it, let that image and faith build, and then release it. Sometimes they say words to help it along, sometimes they do rituals, and sometimes they use objects or actions to magnify the energy. But the things they all have in common are the clear intention, the visualization, and the expectation or faith.
Strangely, quantum physics now tells us that quantum particles exist in multiple states—until they are observed. They’re sort of like the ghosts in the old Pac Man video game. Once you look at them (or visualize them), they are in whatever state you perceive them to be. So by changing your perception, you change their state. Sounds like magic to me.
What do you think? Are there limits to what we can do? Do you believe in magic? What’s magic to you?
Just Like Gravity continues to exist in stasis. I’m visualizing a real book, so it should be publishedf any day now!