From my perspective the question of whether or not magical operations “work”, are real, etc. is a malformed query. I think of the old “syntax error” message I used to get when fiddling around and trying to create a program on my Tandy 1000. (That’s right. I’m old.)
I do understand the place where the above question originates, so I’d like to unpack it and provide a reasonable answer to those with a sincere interest. I’m always eager to help those who think they may have an interest in learning more about both the magic of our ancestors from around the world and the modern practices used by an estimated 3 million plus people alive today.
I have no time to waste convincing people who have already made up their minds. Nor am Interested in proving any of this to the idle skeptic. Why should I care about validating my path for another? I’ll save you time answering that one; I don’t. Not even a little.
Is Magic Real?
Most definitely. The practice and refinement of the various magical arts have spanned at least several thousand years across every culture that has ever been touched by the light of our Sun. Strong evidence suggests magical practice was present during pre-history, as part of the life during the stone age.
Do you find it likely that our ancestors, who fought Saber Tooth Cats and preyed upon Wooly Mammoth with stone weapons, were the type to trifle with foolery and nonsense? I have to suspect they were immensely practical, as their survival required as much.
It seems strange to me, to fancy past cultures had the wherewithal to erect pyramids, build aqueducts, map the globe, and determine the orbit of the planets in our solar system, yet possessed the glaring weakness of giving enormous importance to rubbish ideology and practices that, one would have to suspect if magic is nil, never produced any affirmative results.
Seriously. Can you imagine 5,000 years (conservatively) of human endeavor in a field of study & practice that yielded not one single intended outcome?
I recognize this is but circumstantial evidence at best and, honestly short of even that. It’s little more than an appeal to probability and I suppose even that is strong language. I’ll sleep fine on that score and I’ll tell you why.
Magic is without a doubt demonstrable and will bear consistent, predictable results when performed skillfully and in the appropriate manner for the circumstances at hand. It is also irrevocably unscientific due to the inability of its proponents to establish and prove the mechanism or mechanisms in play.
In other words, because we cannot place a magnifying lens over the engine and point conclusively to the astral doohickey that swings this pulley and causes that event to initiate some final process, it is by definition impossible to prove magical operations within our current understanding and application of science. To which I say: Yeah, ok then; let’s move on.
How can I be so flippant on this point? Drop back 120 words and read that sentence again, then join me in the next section.
So, Magic Spells Do Work Then?
I’ve already been clear about the repeatable and reliable nature of magic. I will elaborate a little to drive the point home.
The whole business of asking if magic works, as I stated at the onset, is a bit tough to respond to directly because it’s almost a non-question. It looks like a question. It rolls off the tongue like real query, it just fails to compute on my end.
By “work” do we mean are the processes involved functional and sound? Or when people ask if magic “works” are they inquiring about the success, as in production of intended results, of magical processes?
A magic spell or whatever kind of magical operation is being considered, can be effectively executed to the extent the following criteria are met:
- A competent operator must be present.
- Correct tools and resources need to be on hand.
- Timing, environment, and other circumstantial requirements should be accommodated.
- Factors impeding success are mitigated, before which of course they must be identified.
You should reasonably be able to expect good results if all the above are checked. Item #4 may at times be impossible to fulfill, and a whole series of articles could likely be written to this point.
What if the operation fails to achieve or brings about variant results from what the magician desires? Does this mean magic in fact does not “work”?
Consider an analogy where we exchange magician for comedian and swap magic for comedy. Surely no one would ask the clumsy question “Does comedy work?” but let’s push that aside for now.
We might say that comedy ought to be successful if:
- A skilled comic is on stage.
- Sound equipment, lighting, props, etc, are in order.
- This is all taking place at a comedy club or other venue where comedians often perform.
- Known hecklers are barred entry and the crowd is given free booze to cheer them up.
If the comic, let’s say a seasoned professional, gets on stage and bombs in excruciating fashion, are we to throw our hands up in disgust, claiming we knew all along this whole comedy thing was horse shit? In fact we all know comedy as a phenomenon and a profession are both very real, just as we know from common sense and contrast applied to the list above there are myriad possible reasons for this poor comedian’s bad night on stage.
Does Gardening Really Work?
Here’s one more for your consideration.
Imagine you’re the lead spade of a small but professional gardening crew and I’m your new hire. You send me around to the far end of the property we’re working on to plant three Abelia. After considerable time I haven’t returned for my next task, so you head over to check on me. To your befuddlement, I’m standing over the three plants, which are still in their containers, and scowling down at them with a look of supreme frustration.
“What in the world are you doing, man?” You have to ask.
“What am I doing?” I fire back. “Trying to get these damn plants in the ground. This is crap. I knew all this talk about gardening was nonsense!”
Upon careful and no doubt stunned examination of the situation you find I was completely unaware of the need for tools. I don’t even have a spade with me, much less have a clue how to use one. I grunted at the mention of manually removing the rootballs from the plastic pots and muttered something about how I thought they were supposed to climb out on their own.
You probably consider this a totally absurd comparison but I assure you I see the standardized “but does magic really work?” in the same glorious light.
Does gardening really work? Can people really install and maintain shrubs and trees in a lovely, designed setting that’s agreed upon ahead of time?
Imagine my embarrassment if the answer were no, having been a professional gardener for 20 or so years. Most certainly gardening is a true art that brings much beauty into the world, but it requires skillful workers, quality tools and materials, and a good deal of patience and precision lest you end up with dead plants, erosion problems, and insect infestations.
Why should magic be held to a separate standard from this or any other worthy pursuit?
If you have an interest, give yourself six months to thoroughly investigate the matter. There’s a ton of quality content online and at the local metaphysical shop. Try a few things and see for yourself what it’s really about.
And by all means drop me a note if you want. I get bored just sitting around with more money than god, you know? Ok that’s crap I wish I were loaded like that but that”s a puzzle I’m still working on. Anyway, holla.