The Nature of Magick
The Nature of Magick...
In most witchy circles, the spelling of magick as thus differentiates it from the "magic" of the stage magician. Truth told, a little smoke and mirrors will suffice for certain types of spells, but those aren't the ones I will discuss in this article.
As with spells, it is important that we cast away the popular version of what constitutes as spellcraft with what a traditional witch actually uses and does in spellcraft. Much truth is concealed in popular superstition. It can be very insulting for some witches that when we're identified as such, it is often assumed that we are backwards and superstitious in nature. There is a deeper reality that gets overlooked. The same holds true for the term "magick". In reality, "magick" is merely a catch-all word for forces beyond an individual's understanding. To the witch or wizard who works such forces, they will know that particular "magick" by a more defining word or term.
To give an easy illustration of how this might work in layman's terms I'll use an everyday example of how this works.
The television set today is a magickal device that very few of the owners of such really understand. A lot of invisible forces go into the making and operation of this marvelous device. Most will say, it's not magick but electricity without really understanding how that energy is further identified in ohms, amps, volts and watts and manipulated through microscopic devices to collect and amplify yet other invisible forces of electromagnetic radiation to give them pictures and sounds of faraway happenings. The average person simply knows the set must be plugged in for power and some kind of antenna or cable to provide the signal. How that is all possible is just another of life's mysteries. Thus it makes a good study for the idea or concept of "magick".
Like all magick, it has its superstitious masses of believers with their own ideas and formulas for solving the inherent problems of technology they do not really understand. They are watching the football game on the magick box and it suddenly decides not to show the game. This is often blamed on blown circuit breakers (if the house is dark), bad reception or interference, glitches and even "gremlins" (a popular NASA term). The first spell to straighten out the problem involves rapping soundly on the set three times while uttering the appropriate pleas or epithets. Failing that, the techno-practitioner might employ a more drastic means by employing the use of a wand (often called a Philips head screw driver) and poking it about in the back of the set to see if its not working because something might be loose (resulting from all the magick rapping).
At this point, if the problem has not dissipated (and many times it will be as this magick is widely known and popular), it may have even gotten worse by the gremlins in the back of the set attacking the magick wand and sending the practitioner flying in defiance of gravity.
The next step would be to take the gremlin possessed unit to be put to rights by a more experienced wizard of the discipline known as "electronics" (sometimes known as a T.V. repairman). This wizard in their understanding of the forces of amps, ohms, volts and watts will then apply their own wands and arcane devices to correct the flow of such energies and restore the set to working order and to the bliss of the appreciative owner who will render the wizard due benevolence for his craft in the form of hard currency.
The concept is that what people cannot perceive with their eyes or understand, is "supernatural" or "magick." Often that magick is labeled as an unnatural force because of this and the reality is far more the opposite. Magick is always a natural force. Whether it is immediately understood by the general populace or not does not define it. It exists because it is inherent in the workings of the things we can see and think we understand. Why is the grass bending to the north? Is it in worship of the North Star? Or is it the invisible force of the south wind is causing it to bend northward? Can this magick be used to reverse my aging process or turn things into other things? Let me further pique your understanding of these things with another illustration...
Shortly after WW II in various South Sea islands there were discovered what became known as "cargo cults." The shamans of these aboriginal groups had defined for their people the magnificent silver thunderbirds that were observed traveling about the islands and leaving valuable commodities everywhere they went. Those that has sited such places as these mystical beings visited brought their knowledge back to the tribes and constructed effigies of cargo planes and ceremonial airstrips and prayed that these gods of the skies would come and give their tribe prosperity. They weren't really too far off when you think about it. It got some modern attention and eventually they got all the things they asked for (modern conveniences and such).
The defining part of this miracle was that any of these people knew that anything that got tossed into the air came down hard and fast. But the magick of these machines contradicted nature and kept them aloft and allowed them to come down easily. The truth of this is that the law of gravity was not "broken" by the technology but superseded by another law that was brought into effect by that technology and that being the Law of Aerodynamics, which includes such mysterious concepts as the relationship of Lift, Thrust, Drag and Weight manipulated in such a way as to get sustainable and controllable flight. But that's not magick at all, one might say. Not to them... but imagine the effect, if that native shaman grasped the aerodynamics of what he saw, and built himself a hang glider and flew across the island to another village. His wizardry would have granted him near godlike status. Compared to the average dolt, who could argue that this man was not a step or two above normal humanity?
Such is magick when it is worked by someone who understands or is learning to understand those things that others don't see. An electrician knows he cannot see an amp or an ohm, but he has devices that can perceive and even measure the quantities of such things. The way we observed the grass bending northward as an indicator that an invisible force was blowing from the south. Maybe circumstances made it so that we could not feel the wind (watching from indoors or behind a break). We could determine the effects of certain forces by the effect they have on what is present. The seas rise, but is it a flood caused by the addition of more water? Or is it the influence of the mystical moon?
In ancient times, the transmuting of lead into gold was considered some of the highest magick of the day. Ask yourself, what could they have seen to give them this idea? Today, a doctor of physics could tell you that it was merely a matter of changing the atomic weight of lead by ONE to affect the transmutation and the only reason it is not commonly done today is that it is prohibitively expensive to change lead atoms one at a time to make any appreciable amount of gold with today's technology. Since they didn't use particle accelerators and lasers in ancient times, what little known law of nature did they stumble upon to transmute some lead into gold? So many books have been burned by the willfully ignorant as being the "devil's work". In the short century or so when a lot of myths about knowledge were put to rest, look at the advances that have been made. In the prior centuries, certain men and women were every bit as resourceful. Advances made were often labeled as occult, mystical or diabolical and destroyed as witchcraft.
In ancient times the ideas of people stepping through portals into other worlds (Tuatha De Danaans and the Sidhe to name a few) were commonplace concepts relegated to mystical beings capable of great magick. In the modern university, mathematicians and quantum theory opens not-so-new ideas of parallel universes and wormholes to other dimensions where physical laws allow the miraculous as commonplace.
My point is, the magick has always been there. It is not so mystical except to those who do not understand or have not studied it. It is not "unnatural" but very much so. Those who study its workings are called wizards (or witches or just "wise"). When it is known or understood, it is no longer defined as magick, but still there are the masses that will treat it with superstitious awe. There are those fools to this day that will raise their golf club in defiance of the heavens in a thunder storm and call down the wrath of lightning upon themselves. There are those with wisdom who will use the same precepts to construct a lightning rod to protect their homes and barns from such ravages. The difference between magick and science is the difference between the learned and the ignorant.