The Art of Magical Living

We live in a world of magic. It is truly all around us. It is in the wind that blows through the trees, in the rushing waters of a mountain stream and in the flame of a burning candle. There is magic in the hooting of the owl, the majestic stag as it trods through the forest, and the salmon as it leaps upstream. Even we ourselves are magical beings, each with our own unique skills and abilities. Whenever we chant an incantation, light a candle or burn special herbs to bring good things into our lives, we become vessels of magic. When we place quill to parchment, paintbrush to canvas, or fingers to a musical instrument we allow the magic within us to be expressed outwardly in creative ways.

As magical beings, we infuse magic into everything we do. It is truly an art to live this way, for one must become familiar with the ways of magic and the subtle energies that make it work. But, what is magic? It is both something we do and something we are. The popular definition of magic is “The art of causing change to occur in conformity with will” (Aleister Crowley). This definition has been analyzed, dissected and interpreted many different ways. My own definition of magic is “The art of partnering with the forces of Nature and the Universe to create desired change”. This includes utilizing our own inherent gifts and abilities. Magic is a creative force that is both tangible and intangible. Magic can exist in the melody of a song, in the words on a page or in the feet of a dancer. Natural settings such as a grove of trees, a field of lavender or a circle of stones can be magical. It is that quality that makes us catch our breath and we suddenly realize, “There is magic here”. We can learn to harness these forces, and use them to create positive change. We can use magic in practical ways through meditation and the casting of spells. To live a magical life is to feel the inner spark that draws us to the deeper mysteries. We can learn to appreciate the magic of the natural world as it is revealed in plants and flowers, trees and stones. We can revel in the beauty of magic as it is expressed in the moon, the stars and the planets. The belief in magic reaches back through the centuries, to the very beginning of human civilization.

Neolithic man would draw pictures of themselves capturing animals on the walls, in the belief that this would bring the animals to them. History tells us that the earliest records of magical folk were the wise-women and cunning-men who lived on the outskirts of villages and towns. They were knowledgeable in the healing properties of herbs and plants, often providing herbal concoctions and potions for those who needed physical healing. They also practiced divination and read the signs in the night sky. An old word for ‘Witch’ is pharmaceute, from which we get the word pharmacist. This links the witch to those who were skilled in herbal healing arts.

We are not bound by redes or ‘threefold’ laws, but are guided by our own intution and magical wisdom. We too can work with the magical energies of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. We can learn to see magic where others do not. Those who live a magical life walk between the worlds of the Seen and the Unseen. They find magic in the Light and in the Dark. They walk along the threshold where magical and mundane worlds intersect. We choose to live in tune with nature and the cycle of the seasons. Earth, Air, Fire and Water all contain their own unique energies. All aspects of magic can be found within these four elements. Every tree, flower, plant and stone is alive and sentient. Nature desires to communicate and interact with us. Through meditative and shamanic techniques, we can form bonds with various aspects of nature, which will in turn partner with us in our magic to create the changes we seek in our lives. To live a life of magic, we need look no further than nature itself.

Many people go through life with no magical awareness. Their daily routine seems to hold no magic, but it is there nonetheless. Even one’s place of work can be magical in subtle ways. Some people are predisposed to magical living, and it comes quite naturally. Others need a bit of study and practice, but anyone can live a magical life.

Let us move beyond any romanticized New Age “rainbows and unicorns” ideas of magic and begin to see magic not only as a powerful force for change, but as an integral part of who we are.

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