One of the things you’ll hear a lot from magical practitioners is the importance of doing the practical things. It’s no good doing some fancy spell for a new job if you don’t also fill in the job applications. There’s no point doing magic to transform your life if you aren’t willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the work to transform your life. Magic is an expression of intent, so if you don’t act on your intent, you aren’t going to persuade yourself (much less the rest of the universe) that you take what you’re doing seriously.
However, there are more layers when it comes to doing the practical things, and those in turn call for being alert to the risk of unconsidered magical thinking. When we don’t know how something works, we may unconsciously conclude that it is in essence a sort of magic. I see this a lot around the idea of talent – this irrational belief that people are good at things because they have innate powers that magically enable them to do things. What really gets things done is enthusiasm and a willingness to work. You won’t magically become a great singer or artist by doing spells to become talented. You can however focus your intent on developing your enthusiasm and willingness to dedicate time and energy.
I am inclined to relate to magic as something I want to invite, rather than control. This is very much related to how I feel about life. I don’t need to control everything. I don’t need to make things happen in a specific way. I’m also an animist and I don’t feel easy with the idea of imposing my will on anything other than myself. When I invite magic, it is often because I’m trying to figure out how best to do things. Trying to clearly see the present is often an issue for me. If I can act well, and harmoniously with what’s going on around me, my scope for getting good outcomes greatly increases.
I invite magic in the form of inspiration. I seek ideas for my creative work, and for my life as a whole. Inspiration relates to all aspects of life and everything we do benefits from us having ideas. I find that having a flow of inspiration helps me feel enthused about life and improves my motivation, which all also helps considerably with keeping the depression at bay.
I’m interested in inviting magic as it manifests in beauty and wonder. Experiences that give me those feelings also give me a sense of enchantment in my everyday life. The more open I am to being enchanted by what’s around me, the more scope I have for noticing the small joys and wonders.
There’s also a great deal of magic to be found in experiences of relationship and connection. Moments when wild creatures meet my gaze. Feelings of synchronicity. Finding I’m on the same wavelength as the other humans around me. Any time I’m doing something tangible there are opportunities to feel connection and for something to be shared.
Inviting magic is an everyday choice. It’s about deciding to have a particular kind of relationship with the world. It’s not enough to want wonder and enchantment, we have to do the things that make it possible. Showing up in a way that invites magic also means we’re more likely to be able to be magical for the people we encounter, and that’s entirely wonderful when it happens.
February 7th, 2023 at 10:35 am
Synchronicity. It doesn’t happen often, that I see, but perhaps this is where the magick is, alas I repeat yourself.
February 7th, 2023 at 7:42 pm
This might be something for me to come back to. It’s certainly not there all the time for me, but there have been occasions when it has felt like being carried by a wave.
February 7th, 2023 at 12:38 pm
Not a Druid, but sympathetic. Such an interesting tradition.
February 7th, 2023 at 7:17 pm
I have never seen my spell casting as imposing my will on magic. More like the magic acts like an extension of myself into all that I do. I allow myself to grow and be myself to the universe and acknowledge myself. Like being fearless in school or social scenes and not caring what others think. That’s a type of “mundane” magic all in itself.
Ditto on the ethical considerations though. I make sure I work well within the frequency of what is natural. I do not take what doesn’t belong to me. I let nature brings me the bounty that was meant for me. I do however slightly disagree with the idea that we don’t have an inner power that grants us our talent. In Santeria and Yoruba practice in general, we have the Ashe (Ahhh-Sheh) the Primal Life Force of the Orishas (Gods).
They created everything with their own Ashe. When we were created, each of us was given our own individual Ashe. And based on what our Ashe or Grace is, we develop a soul and also our talent. Some Ashe is magical, and it causes people to become witches. Even if originally they didn’t exhibit powers, but they wanted to learn those powers, fate brings them to that knowledge.
Others have Ashe for healing and become great doctors or alternative healers. Some Ashe for music or even prophecy. It’s similar to the Awen in Celtic religion I suspect. But the point is, not all Ashe is “active”. That’s why some people are born with powers already active and others have to study and develop to activate it.
So you are right but so are the others who call it a gift or power. It’s both. Ashe transcends all known energy. It’s tied to the very soul of a being, to their future and destinies (there can be many). So for me it’s a bit different.
Much Ashe for you 🙏,
February 7th, 2023 at 7:41 pm
Not a tradition I know anything about, so, huge thanks for sharing your knowledge in this way. It’s a really interesting perspective with a great deal to offer.
February 7th, 2023 at 7:58 pm
Yoruba people live in Nigeria. When they were kidnapped by the Spaniards and Portuguese and I think even the North Americans, they had to hid their religion behind Catholicism. So our Gods are hidden behind Catholic Saints. For instance the God of Thunderstorms, Fire, Magic, and Warriors, Shango is known as Saint Barbara in Cuba. Most people are confused because he’s male.
But our Gods are transgender just like the Greek Gods who can also assume either sex. What’s interesting is Saint Barbara is a Catholic Saint frequently used by the church to attack Pagans. Because she was supposedly murdered by her Pagan father for converting to Christianity. But now she’s being used by a Pagan religion in Nigeria to hide the identity of an African God! 😂 So whenever the slaves were being “christian” and praying to the Saints, they were actually asking their Gods to give them the power to one day kill their slave masters. Some of the Orishas or Yoruba Gods exist in West African Vodoun as the Lwa and then Haitian Vodou as the Loa.
So there is a connection between Santeria and Vodoun in that we share some of the same Gods. Though some practitioners are so Christianized that they refuse to acknowledge these are Gods not “saints”. When something is done as a tradition for so long it takes a while to realize things were done differently due to the climate of the times. We don’t need to pretend to be Christian anymore. But many of our elders were raised to see ourselves as
“Christian, just a different type,”
And even though we have tons of evidence and research behind the fact that we are Polytheist, not Monotheist they won’t listen. But new elders are rising up to challenge the Christianity in our traditions and are trying to restore the religion the way it was. Many of us are taking trips to Africa and getting initiated in Nigeria to learn the authentic religion. It’s a fascinating, but controversial history we have. Something similar happened with some Polytheist groups in Europe who converted to Christianity but kept using traditional magic under a Christian guise if I am not mistaken.
February 8th, 2023 at 9:49 am
Thank you so much for sharing this – this is not stuff I know very much about at all.
February 8th, 2023 at 4:33 pm
Most people don’t, it isn’t usually taught in schools. This is something our elders conserve and help teach so that we don’t forget. It is taught in a few scholarly books and also in a few museums. In Cuba the Slaves formed Cabildos (Councils) to decide how to teach or what to teach. Somewhat like how the Vatican Councils sanction official doctrines.
Only they had to form them in slavery and they had to communicate with each other all over the island. And then from there collect the opinions of all the elders and do secret divinations. Imagine doing all of this in secret conspiracy for centuries without a single slave master finding out. Plus they picked up new techniques and spirits along the way. Something Voodoo in America and Santeria in Cuba have in common, is how we both work with spiritualism and psychic development and also Native American spirits.
A lot of people use images of Chief Black Hawk in American Hoodoo for protection. And Santeros have indigenous spirits to watch over their properties. They will feed them bananas because that was one of our cash crops in Latin America. The banana is to feed the guide. Since we lost our knowledge of traditional ancestor shrines, the Cabildos formally adopted the use of Spiritism and Spiritualism and especially to follow Allan Kardec’s type of spiritism.
So you will see us using Spiritist altars with cups of water and a book of selected prayers by Kardec.
February 13th, 2023 at 6:57 am
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