The word conjures up images of pointy-hatted wizards, sparkling wands, bubbling cauldrons, and spells that thwart teenagers from their happily ever after.
In the online space, the idea of magic has exploded.
More and more women are embracing magic, coming out of the “spiritual closet,” and working it into their brands. I even saw “magic” on a “Top Ten Trends for 2017” list. (My 20-year-old seeker self was all, “Are you KIDDING me?!?” )
I think it’s AWESOME!
AND… if you really want to activate the power of magic, the first step is to wrap your arms around, you know… what it actually IS.
That’s where things get tricky…
“Magic” is what I call an archetypal word.
Ask 100 different witches, priestesses and magicians what magic is, you’d get, oh, maybe two hundred different answers. Plus a few more.
So in this article, we’re going explore some popular definitions for magic, how magic really works and the importance of finding your own lensing on magic.
We begin with… what magic is NOT.
The magic we speak of here is not stage magic. It is not Harry Potter magic.
It can’t make gold ingots fall from the skies or raise Prince back from the dead for a final epic encore of Purple Rain.
But it is about making things happen.
Things like attracting a partner or clients, restoring your health or vitality, and finding a dream home or career…
You know, manifesting. 🙂
Magic is to make things happen. And… making things happen is just the beginning.
What we know about magic is that people have been practicing it, it in one way or another, for a very long time.
The use of magical ritual to influence harvests and for healing or protection is widely cited in ancient societies. You can find aspects of Renaissance and Ceremonial Magic in books published in the 1500’s. Modern Western magic began to develop around the 1850s, with the most influential traditions emerging in the 1880’s, on into the early 20th century.
Then we have the rest of the dozens-if-not-hundreds of magical lineages, including Native American, Norse, Shamanism, Druidism, Vodun, Rootworking and things like modern energy medicine and healing, just to name a few.
All of this is to say that magic comes with a rich and diverse history that gives rise to many definitions.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines magic as:
“The use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces”
“An extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.”
Traditional practitioners of magic offer a more complex definition.
For example, the ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley, a hugely influential (and controversial!) figure in the magical zeitgeist in the early twentieth century, defined magic as:
“The Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will, including both ‘mundane’ acts of will as well as ritual magic.”
A noted woman magician of the same era, Dion Fortune, offers a similar definition:
“Magic is the art of causing change in consciousness in conformity with the Will.”
The challenge with both definitions is that they’re broad – very broad. If your Will is to open your car door, start the car and drive off, is that an act of magic? By these definitions, the answer is yes.
While the broadness was actually quite intentional – to Crowley, “every intentional act is a magical act” – they don’t really help to explain what we traditionally think of as “magic.” However, they do accurately describe a deeper aspect of magic as a spiritual path, which we’ll return to in a moment.
Donald Michael Kraig refined the definition in his book Modern Magick, to account for magic’s, well, more magical aspects:
“Magic is the science and art of causing change (in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.”
And here’s mine, which we use in Feminine Magic®:
“Magic is the art of using mystical or spiritual forces to create change, or change in consciousness, in alignment with your Essence (highest self).”
And these bring us to a good resting place: magic is the art of creating change, using forces unseen and unknown.
“Will” is an esoteric idea that originates in modern ceremonial magic. The exact definition of “Will” is complex, but for our work here, we can think of it as some combination of your purpose, your destiny, your highest self, and your Desires when they come from the purest place inside of you.
The “Great Work” of modern ceremonial traditions is that of transforming yourself into the highest and most authentic expression of your Divinity, your God(dess)-like nature, and we see threads of this in much older traditions, such as alchemy. (This is why I often refer to magic as the earliest personal growth path.)
Many modern traditions of magic, including Feminine Magic® (which is not a tradition, but rather a personal growth path), incorporate this deeper work, which is to reconnect with and then walk the world as your Divine self.
Now… we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about all the other kinds of magic, which are really exactly what you think about…. spells, workings, conjurings, oh my!!
This is clearly quite different than the magic that comes from connecting with your Divine Self as we’ve been exploring.
That kind of magic has more to do with raising and directing energy to make things happen and get things done.
So there’s the “spell work” type of magic that most people associate with magic, and then there’s the “change in accordance with Will” type… and both can get the job done, but neither is validated by science.
Which leads us to the question of how.
How does working magic, of any kind, make things happen?
Truthfully, that answer is little harder to unpack but here’s the simplest explanation at the tip of my wand… (I couldn’t resist!)
Magic works when worked properly because it leverages the natural, metaphysical laws that govern the Universe.
It works because non-linear time is simultaneous; all dimensions, spaces and times exist in the Now.
It works because everything is energy and everything is connected energetically to everything else (“we are one”).
It works because that which we put into the Universal field always comes back to us.
Magic works because when we raise and direct our energy, and back it up with very specific action in alignment with our Desire and Universal law…
Things will happen—Bar none.
BUT they don’t always happen in the manner, speed or predictability that you might hope for.
Which is exactly how I came to create and teach Feminine Magic®.
Early in my training, I saw a lot of people performing spells and workings, and I couldn’t help but notice that their lives really weren’t changing that much.
I saw a lot of magic that wasn’t very effective. I heard a lot of, “Why didn’t it work?”
At the same time, I saw the classic polarity of the spiritual path, where the outer results of a person’s life didn’t match their spiritual identity.
Since I’ve always been interested in personal transformation, I couldn’t help but ask… “Why?”
Why did magic work some of the time, but was perceived to fall short (“it didn’t work”) when the BIG stuff was really at stake?
Of course, I was seeing this world through my own lens, that of a young, passionate (let’s not say “type-A” * grin *) woman, who was committed to the Goddess, her spirituality, and creating massive success in her life.
Nonetheless, I got very clear that for magic to result in, well, the results we want… we can’t ignore the fact that there are two halves of the magical equation.
If you read between the lines you’ll see the presence of this, subtly in those earlier definitions magic.
For magic to be effective – and here I’ll define “effective” as producing the desired result that we can see, hear, touch – we need to consider both our humanity and our Divinity.
A Course In Miracles teaches us that we are “spiritual beings living in a physical body.” We are Divine, living in a human form.
So you can light candles, cast spells, create thought-forms and all you are called…
But as a human BE-ing, if you don’t understand the mechanics of how your very human body and brain create your reality, and if you don’t understand how to work with the spiritual laws that govern the Universe, you’re kind of flying blind.
Because if you’re going to make shizz happen you need to know WHAT contributes to making it so! Otherwise, your very human self is going to block your manifestations.
Now, a lot of traditional magicians would probably disagree with me. Some priestesses, too.
A lot of people who practice making things happen by mystical, occult or spiritual means would also disagree with me.
But I’ve always embraced life here on the physical plane – including tangible results in alignment with what you truly Desire.
Which means working magic, of any variety, needs to incorporate both our Divine selves and our human selves if we want to manifest consistent results.
And that’s one aspect of Feminine Magic® that is very, very different than magic as it is traditionally taught.
We consciously work with our humanness and our Divinity. We make connecting with our Divine nature, or Essence, our first order of business, then dive into the Core Manifesting Process – the framework that underlies manifestation.
Only then do we circle back into the traditional forms of magic— spells, candles, and the deliberate raising of energy for a result.
So we love and honor and perform both kinds magic… but we focus on our Essence first, understanding our human-ness second.
And we work with specific magical tools and practices to create whatever we Desire, using a very powerful system of personal development and manifesting. ‘
Which is why when you work Feminine Magic® properly… it works consistently.
And that brings us right back to YOU.
No matter what kind of magic you practice, or where you are on the path… your success with magic begins with your own self-authority.
Indeed, landing on what magic is to you, and your specific flavor of practice, is one of the most important discoveries you’ll make when practicing the art of magic.
YOU are always the one who owns the magical experience, so to speak.
The one thing not to do is take any ONE definition of magic as the ONLY definition, mine included.
Instead, it is up to you to drop in, connect with Essence, study (with mentors and on your own), practice, play, work, test, explore and ultimately determine what magic is for YOU.
As you do… and as you begin to uncover and amplify your Divine Power within, you will discover that the art of magic is so much more about who you become, rather than what you do.
And that is truly a magical path, indeed.