Here is a short and simplified definition of magic as it pertains to this site and the lessons herein, along with quick commentary on a few essential terms.
Magic is, prior to specific definitioins, a threefold thing:
- a force or phenomen
- a practice or act
- an explanation or cause
More precisely, the phenomenon of magic is any combination of natural, paranormal, causal forces that instigate, preserve, and fulfill conditions and circumstances that are generally believed to be impossible or implausible.
As an action magic is the process of altering or maintaining reality in correspondence to the will of the magic user by means and methods which are not currently understood by science.
Something is said to be magic or magical when it is explained to be the result of magical forces or magical activity. A bit redundant this line, but necessary in the spirit of thoroughness.
Some Common Terms Defined
- Practical Magic is magical work aimed at getting things done in day-to-day life, i.e. finding a mate, producing money, thwarting an enemy, and so forth.
- Esoteric Magic is the application of magic toward spiritual refinement, personal development, or the experiencing of the fantastic (such as astral travel etc). It is also “magic for the sake of magic”, or casting a spell for the sole aim of having the magical experience.
- Ritual Magic or Ceremonial Magic (also called high magic) is the very formalized practice of magical work within structured frameworks to include set times and locations along with a host of other rules and orders.
- Folk or Natural Magic (also called low magic) is informal, magic on the fly if you will, with minimal structure and restriction.
For a slightly more specific explanation check this article from Bag of Agates.
If you haven’t already done so, sign up for our online magic course. You’ll get a solid, basic education for beginning your magical journey, and you can study at your own pace from anywhere you like.