Many people today are not even aware of the existence of magic outside of books and movies. Everyone is of course familiar with the stage magician and illusionist, with his mesmerizing card tricks and other assorted trickery. As a child I couldn’t get enough David Copperfield and I’ve always found Houdini very interesting. Prior to my young adult life my only reference point for real magic was the idea of “devil-worshippers and witches” , as described to me by well-meaning but clueless Sunday school teachers.
The Real Deal
Isn’t it curious how the art and practice of magic, the journey of shamanism, the path of the mystic, have managed to survive for millennia now, through the modern era and right to this post modern shit show we inhabit today? The deeper how and why of that is for another article, but in short, it survived because it’s f-ing real, and the keepers of the secrets have continued to pass them along to the next generation.
In terms of what magic is, i.e. the how it works kind of definition (well, somewhat), check the article on this page. This post is more about how you go about producing magic (truncated version) and too… sort of… how it works.
Let me get that last bit out of the way right here: we can’t tell you for sure how magic functions, as we cannot open the side panel and observe the mechanics in process. I can tell you a spell forms your ideal on the Astral or Causal plane and by Will you bring this image down a spiral ladder of Elements or energy phases, but I can’t demonstrate that objectively. Any discussion of functional nuts and bolts outside of you the magician, so to speak, is purely conceptual, to help you build focus and frame methodology.
Work Ethic, Not Destiny
Magic of any sort is a skill. Yes, you may have a certain level of talent or innate aptitude, but you must learn and practice to fully realize your potential. Don’t worry if you lack inborn talent; I sure as hell did. I began this journey as a clumsy oaf who couldn’t manifest anything but frustration and creative profanity.
Don’t buy into the idea that you must be born a wizard or witch in order to take up the art. That’s simply horseshit. I have a friend (owner of my favorite metaphysical shop) who calls this sort of thinking magical elitism. I do believe in the notion of “wizard born” or “witch blood”, that is, genetic / familial predisposition toward magic, but this is little different from a family with mechanical or athletic inclination running through the generations.
Any human being has the capacity for psychic development, mystical practice, or the study and application of magic. Ultimately your work ethic and not your inborn destiny or lineage will determine how effective you are as a weaver of arcane tapestry.
Formal or Casual Methods
Formalized magic takes place in ritual or ceremonial settings. Everything, literally, from the direction you face for certain movements to the placement of each item involved, is set neatly out in a formula specific to the work at hand. clear orderliness and structure permeate this art.
Natural or folk magic is done often on the fly, spontaneously or as a general practice throughout the day. Fewer rules and more flexibility, perhaps in exchange for less “reach” into the unseen realms characterize this practice.
Desire and Consciousness
All magic begins with a clear, if not burning intention, linked either to desire or requirement. Next, an empty state of mind and being. Clarity and presence in the now, and a full focus of mind, feeling, even body toward the goal or intent.
The magician enters a state of concentration, presumably having chosen his or her methods and tools ahead of time. Concentration lends to meditation, entering an altered state of consciousness, from where one – through education and practice – will enter into other realms of existence.
Maybe these other realms are layers of consciousness, or they could be among the multiple dimensions physicists like String Theorists try to explain to the rest of us. Whatever they actually may be, they serve as the formative medium for the reality we wish to produce with our Work. We create precisely what we want in the other and through specific methodology bring this ideal closer and closer to manifest reality here in our material world, until at last it lives alongside us.
Hopefully this makes some semblance of sense to you. If not, just hang in and keep coming back, or following the email course. Something brought you here, so don’t give up without at least giving that something a chance to explain itself through insight and revelation gained with a little perseverance on your part.