What Magic Is (And Isn't)
The idea that most people have about magic is derived from myth and movies, from bards and books. Witches with cauldrons, Wizards with wands, Sorcerers on high crags drawing down lightning… that sort of thing. Apparently, the popular view is that magic is totally unnatural. Only certain rare, accursed folk, or those who have made pacts with devils, can use it. More often, one is born into it, and mere mortals have no hope to learn it. Nor could a mortal stand against it, if some mischievous user of the Black Arts decided to make a mortal bald, or barren, or dead. At least, that's how it was back then.
Magic is some supernatural force that passed away with the coming of Reason. It is a remnant of an age long gone, when fairies weren't gay, sprites weren't soft drinks, and brownies weren't baked in the oven (unless of course they were trapped there through folly). Magic is a remnant, a single shard from an old broken mirror that once reflected our superstitious nature.
If we accept that magic has been depicted accurately in the accounts of the bard, and in the legends and lore passed through time to us from our exquisitely superstitious ancestors, we must conclude that the passing of the age of magic was a glorious day for the average man. Those who could wield the weapons of the magical arsenal could have dominated the lands of their dwelling, if they chose to do so. Their passing put men on firmer ground. No longer did men need fear the Wizard on the hill, or the Witch in the woods. No longer would the Nine Fates be turned harshly against men by the subtle manipulation and placation of a malicious Sorcerer. No longer would the herd take sick and die, following the sidelong glance of a hateful, vengeful crone who knew the method of the "evil eye".
But, what if that idea of magic was wrong? What if the stories that we've heard were fanciful fabrications based on misunderstanding, told from the perspective of superstition?
Indeed, our conception is tainted with fable. Yet, the truth is no less inspiring. For magic is nothing more, nor anything less, than the process that created our universe.
Whether we want the responsibility or not, we are little gods in training. We are co-creators with "Him". Each and every day we have the opportunity to be spiritual (to walk in the spirit, not the flesh), and to think and feel and act according to spiritual principles… to be guided by our True Selves.
That which has been called magic is the process by which we sow what we shall reap. There is no mystery to it, and no avoiding it. It doesn't even matter if you intend to do it. You do it every day. We all do. Unfortunately, most of us are terrible at it.
The thing that sets the Mage apart from anyone else is that he or she has taken the time and spent the effort to learn how the process works and how to do it consciously. That, in a nutshell, is magic.
It doesn't matter if you believe in "God", or a Creator. It doesn't matter if you don't. The fact remains that we are energy beings in an energy system that responds to our Will, our Mentation, our Passion and our Actions. Those are the four forces in each of us that are wired into the machine. We are submerged. Immersed. We can't unhook, and we can't shut down.
The universe is not static. It comes to be, moment by moment, as if the world around us were recreated continually. Ask the physicist just how accurate that statement is. The building blocks of matter are not static. They are ever changing, ever realigning, ever coming to be in a constant swirl of intense activity. The next moment coming to be is determined by the framework of patterns around which that moment will form. Those patterns are determined by myriad Cosmic influences, but some of those patterns are generated by and are responsive to the energies of the four forces innate in man… Will, Mentation, Passion and Action.
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