Magic in the Modern Day World

I`ve been told that yesterday`s post made me sound easily distracted. ^^;; That`s not so wrong…mostly it was that I do not want to think about what to do next. I like where I currently am, and what I`m currently doing…

But anyway, today`s post was supposed to stay on topic. And that topic is magic in the modern day world. I finished that essay that I mentioned before. ^_^ If you don`t want to read about magic, I don`t mind if you skip it, since from this point on, that`s all this post will be, is the essay. (and yup, for spell check reasons I gave up on writing magick with a k. XD )


Magic in the Modern Day World

              When you hear the word `magic`, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Knights and wizards? Dungeons and Dragons? Something a little more realistic and historical, like the Salem Witch Trials? Is `witch` one of the first things that you think of? And if it is, which witch are you thinking of? Are you thinking of the fairy tale witches, the one that kidnapped a baby in return for lettuce, the one that fed the pretty princess a poison apple? Or are you thinking of the old religion witches, the pagans, wiccans, Celtics and others? The latter still exists, and is the witch that still uses magic in conjunction with the modern day world. The former likely never existed.

How, you might ask, does something that sounds like it belongs in medieval times and fairy tales work in the modern day world? Did magic ever really exist, and if it did and does, how does it work in the modern day world? The first answer is simple. Yes. Yes, magic has existed for a very, very long time, and continues to do so today. It can work in the modern day world because it has adapted and grown, much as anything else that exists over a long period of time. Nothing can stay static. Things that refuse to change do not tend to last long. So while there once were midwives who dabbled in magic, herb wives, shamans and the like, with that as their only job, modern day witches, pagans and shamans, in addition to magic, do things like go to school, work a 9 to 5 job, have families and are concerned over the current crisis in America, or whatsoever country that they live in.

Perhaps the best explanation of how magic exists in modern day life should start with a definition of magic itself. The definition of magic, however, is a fluid thing, changing depending on who or what is defining it; chances are that no two sources will define it exactly the same way. In this case, the closest you can get to a universal definition is by checking the dictionary, though that too is irregular. Comparing two dictionaries, there can be more than two definitions. But it is a place to start. Checking your Funk and Wagnall`s will give you the following definition:

  1. sleight of hand

      Av.  Magically

  1. Of the nature of magic; having magical power; magical
  2. any supposed supernatural art; necromancy

As you can see, the first definition refers to a separate kind of magic entirely, no less great, but not the magic currently under discussion. The second and third definitions are merely changing the intended word into other forms. Out of those options, the last one, then, seems the closest to actual magic. But it is still not quite right. `Supposed` supernatural art? This dictionary clearly does not actually believe in the existence of real magic. Much as many modern day people also do not believe. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even dictionaries, so a second source needs to be checked, a second dictionary, Merriam-Webster. They have three definitions, one of which is the same, and one of which is similar:

1a.the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces

   b :magic rites or incantations

2a: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source

   b :something that seems to cast a spell :enchantment

3: the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand

Here, it is the last definition that refers to that other kind of magic. The first definition now is much closer to what magic is under discussion, the kind that some people mix into their everyday lives.

Charms, spells, magic rites and incantations? You might ask. How do those fit into the modern world and daily life? What would an example of that be? Instances of daily magic can be little prayers and greetings to deities as you go about your day, praying before you eat your food, your bedtime prayers before you go to sleep. Yes, something that small is magic. Magic is not big and showy, as books, tv and games depict it. Magic is, by Oxford dictionary definition, “the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.” If you take away the first four words, you have a meaning devoid of opinion. What it really comes down to, as implied, is willpower and energy. The `power` that that definition refers to is energy.

All right, you might say. Magic is actually energy. But what kind of energy? The answer, is that it is energy that you move according to your will. And this can be done in several ways. As the main people who use magic are witches, think, what do you know about Wicca? The main rule in Wicca is “An it harm none, do what ye will”, and this applies to all forms of magic and daily living. So then, magic is energy that you move to your will so long as it harms none. And that `none` is very firm. It includes yourself. You cannot cause harm to yourself either. Why? Because harming anyone or anything creates a kind of negative energy.

Negative energy brings the discussion to briefly touch upon the rule of karma. “Ever mind the rule of three, what ye give out comes back to thee, three times three.” To explain more simply, whatever kind of energy you manipulate and move to your will, directing it will eventually return to you threefold. Or nine fold. And negative energy is, as the name dictates, not a very nice type of energy, and one that you would not want returning to you several times over. Negative energy is what can cause things such as sickness, and potentially accidents as well.

Doing harm creates bad energy, all right. But where, however, is this other energy, this positive energy magic, created, and where does it go? And how does that affect day-to-day life? The answer to the first part, is everywhere, anytime, all the time. Magic can be created in anything. A small breeze, children practicing chorus for a performance, a delicious piece of cake. As magic is energy, what matters is that you sense that energy, and direct it appropriately. Directing it is where the rituals, rites, spells and incantations come in.

Rituals, rites, spells, incantations and the like give energy an outlet. If you are directing magical energy, there should be some purpose to it. Perhaps the purpose is that you want something to happen. There are spells to attract good luck, and to find things that have been lost. Perhaps you just want to meditate, to clear your mind, and safely release any negative energy or excess energy that you may have picked up. That would be a rite. A ritual usually has an underlying purpose, such as greeting a new season, a new moon. All of these are ways to direct the energy that is magic.

All right, you might agree. That seems to make sense; Magic is energy that is produced everywhere and you can direct it in various ways. But…why? Modern day has technology, which was once thought to be magic. Why is there a need for actual magic? (Other than, magic is cool.) One possible answer to this query is that magic is also one way of finding your path. That energy is a way of helping you along your path, wherever that might lead. Directing your energy towards a certain spell or goal can help you not lose your way. That is not to say that magic users never lose their way; magic is a means to help with keeping on the path.

There are many forms of magic, and many different kinds of people that use them. Magic, because it is energy, is unique to each individual using it. As such, a discussion of how magic can be used in modern, everyday life is only speculation. There can be a list of what some people, or even most people do, but it will never cover all. And that is fine. As much as magic can try to be defined, as much as in this discussion there were three dictionary definitions, no one definition is properly correct over the others.

There is also the fact that because magic is energy that starts in the small things, anyone can begin to practice it. It does not matter what religion a person is, magic can still be used. And who is to say that every religion does not have magic anyway? Perhaps they all do, just not in the ways that one would think. Something does not have to be called magic to be magic.

While (somewhat regrettably), schools to learn magic are fiction, as are sparkly vampires, magic does exist, and in conjunction with the modern day world. Some of the magic users of today are keeping the old religions alive in their own ways. Some are creating a new path for themselves, and any that choose to follow. The magic is there.  Magic is everywhere, waiting for you to stop and notice it. In nature, in music, in laughter… and in yourself as well. But while it is waiting for you to notice, it will not stop being magic, and doing what magic does best—be magical.



Funk and Wagnall`s “Magic” 2018

Merriam-Webster “Magic” 2018

Oxford University Press; Oxford Dictionary “Magic” 2018