I went online to dictionary.com and pulled three definitions for the word “magic.”
The art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc., conjuring.
To pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.
The art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.
Any extraordinary or mystical influence, charm, power, etc.
The magic in a great name; the magic of music; the magic of spring.
The first definition is the one that most people think of when the word is used. The second is what people think storybook witches and wizards do and the third, a great way of using the word when talking about marvelous things in life.
I am going to toss out definition number one because, while valid, it just isn’t the kind of magic I want to discuss.
Let’s look at the second one. Any good witch can tell you, it isn’t the incantation of other techniques that assure the desired outcome, that’s all for effect. It might even be called “fluff.” What does create the desired results is what is happening in the mind as well as the energy applied and even then, controlling the forces of nature is no easy feat! And my magic is never about contolling supernatural agencies. I am not even sure what they mean by that. Is it our goddesses, spirits, our ancestors? I am not sure, but attempting control is not a good idea in any case!
My favorite definition is the last one, not the definition itself, but the actual joy of experiencing magic.
When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by snakes and lizards and yes, even bugs. The idea that a snake sheds its skin was an amazing thing. I would often find those skins after the snake shed it. That was magic in my little girl mind.
When I would come home from playing in the mountains, which I was forbidden to do, it was magic to me that my mother always seemed to know I had been there. In reality she could smell the sagebrush on me but I didn’t know that!
When I was a the beach, the sand crabs I could scoop up in my hands were magic to me. How could they possibly live under that sand in the water as well? I would scoop them up and then watch them bury themselves back where they came from. Amazing! Magic!
Even as a child I found the sun setting over the Pacific a most magical happening. This giant red ball, so brilliant the whole sky would follow suit and turn red as it lowered itself into the far distant water. That surely is where my child mind thought it was going. Magic!
As a teenager I would drive into town on Sunday mornings to go to church. I would always go early so that I could sit on the boulders overlooking the ocean far below me the waves would crash at the base of those boulders sending spray all the way to the top, the smell, salty and fresh. Magic!
My first child was born when I was twenty, after an easy labor. When I looked into his eyes for the first time, this beautiful little boy, all his fingers and toes perfect. Magic!
All my life I have loved trees. It amazes me how a tree can move through the seasons, knowing just what to do! Magic!
Here is a poem I wrote about that one year.
Bare Tree, here in the cold of winter,
I stand here and gaze at your branches.
You are so adaptable to the changing seasons.
Each year, as the days begin to shorten,
you prepare yourself for the coming cold,
your leaves turning color and then dropping to the ground.
Those leaves, so full of moisture
would freeze with the cold
and cause you grievous harm.
Your branches would grow heavy with ice and snow.
In your bareness, Tree, you show us your wisdom.
In this time of cold,
You are preparing for future growth.
You are readying yourself for spring
When you will send out new leaves and flowers
and begin the growth cycle again.
Would that I could feel this cycle more within my own core
and know when it is time to be still and to rest,
when to pull back and listen,
when to be still and stand, rooted in the ground,
when to drop what could harm me
and when to go within to ready myself for the new.
Thank you, Bare Tree, for showing me this lesson
Thank you for the gift of your knowledge.
There are so many other things I could share here about my experiences with magic. Lately I have been having many synchronous events. People met, connections made. Magic!
Here’s my point …. Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you there is no such thing as magic!
Deanne Quarrie. D. Min. is a Priestess of the Goddess. She is the author of five books. She is the founder of the Apple Branch where she teaches courses in Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, Northern European Witchcraft and Druidic Shamanism. She mentors those who wish to serve others in their communities. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ocean Seminary College and is the founder of Global Goddess, a worldwide organization open to all women who honor some form of the divine feminine.
6 thoughts on “Do You Believe in Magic? by Deanne Quarrie”
Beautiful! Thank you for this post and reminder that magic is all around us, every day, if we will just stop to experience it.
I have the sense that your definition of magic is paired with a deep sense of gratitude, a “how lucky I am to be here and experience this wonderful (insert name of magical thing here).”
That is true. I am grateful for and appreciate so many magical moments. I open myself to them every day.
How about Dion Fortune’s definition: magic is a change of consciousness at will. Your little-girl mind was expanding and changing as you found magic in the natural world. Thanks for the poem!
That is true. My little girl mind returned when I found Goddess, Barbara.
What a special little reminder of the mystical lives we lead. Thank you.