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Author Topic: The Magic in Everyday Life  (Read 903 times)

Altair

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The Magic in Everyday Life
« on: March 15, 2020, 11:17:45 am »
I don't connect with magic in the sense most pagans think of it; I'm way too hard-science-minded to buy into it.

But every once in a while, I find the world rubs my face in something that makes me aware of magic--but not the kind that involves casting a spell to make something happen. Rather it's a moment so unexpectedly wondrous that I glimpse a magic embedded deep in the nature of things, rooted in biology or astronomy but still somehow magical. (Maybe magic is the wrong word.)

This morning I went birding to drink in the spring, which in NYC has definitely sprung. This town can be a hectic place, but in Central Park--even though it's manmade--I can connect with wild and growing things on a bigger scale than in my garden. In a spot where a woodland stream spills through a ravine, a rare stillness settled, and in that quiet pause I heard the faintest tinkle of musical notes, like a fairy playing the flute:



I knew what it almost certainly was, and sure enough, a tiny brown bird popped to the top of a log and, in the middle of Manhattan where few would imagine such things exist, it made its marvelous music with me as its only audience.

In that moment, seeing and hearing this, I thought: This is real magic.

So has anybody experienced moments like this that you'd like to share? And would you define them as a form of magic, or as something else?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 11:19:27 am by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Eastling

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 02:53:48 pm »
I don't connect with magic in the sense most pagans think of it; I'm way too hard-science-minded to buy into it.

I was in this position a few years ago. Since then, I've discussed elsewhere on this board why that kind of mindset no longer works for me: I believe magic exists and the scientific method is just not suited to measuring and analyzing it, in the same way you wouldn't use a hammer to fasten screws.

Quote
But every once in a while, I find the world rubs my face in something that makes me aware of magic--but not the kind that involves casting a spell to make something happen. Rather it's a moment so unexpectedly wondrous that I glimpse a magic embedded deep in the nature of things, rooted in biology or astronomy but still somehow magical. (Maybe magic is the wrong word.)

Many witches and magicians would say that the term "magic," while perhaps poetically suited to such moments, is not really correct in a technical sense. Most acts of magic by nature require intent--whether from a human magician or someone or something else.

Something closer to "wonder" or "beauty" might be more appropriate; "a moment of seeing the divine in action" if you want to be fancy. That's just my opinion, though.

Quote
So has anybody experienced moments like this that you'd like to share? And would you define them as a form of magic, or as something else?

I think most of us have had such moments, or at least I hope so--those moments where all the different levels of reality align perfectly right around where and when we are, and the Divine shines through.

By their nature they are somewhat different than magic, though, as magic as I define it comes from intent.

I've had moments like the one you describe, often centered around song as yours was, though in a different way: a group of congregants in my old synagogue singing Shabbat prayers, perfect performances at karaoke, a song sung around a campfire out in the wilderness.

I've also had moments I would consider magic: quietly breathing out a spell without comment only for a friend sitting next to me to immediately sense its effects and ask me what if I'd done that; long strings of eerily on-point divinations that felt almost like conversations between me and my Powers; peculiar signs appearing in a computer database at just the right moment after great concentration.

I believe that the former kind of "magical moments" can be tapped into sometimes to make intentional magic, but I suspect that's a more complex topic.
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Uneryx

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 03:45:00 pm »

Many witches and magicians would say that the term "magic," while perhaps poetically suited to such moments, is not really correct in a technical sense. Most acts of magic by nature require intent--whether from a human magician or someone or something else.

Something closer to "wonder" or "beauty" might be more appropriate; "a moment of seeing the divine in action" if you want to be fancy. That's just my opinion, though.

I agree with Eastling here. Magic has an intent, whether it was the manifestation of my intentions or a clear signal from non-human powers.

I'd refer to what East is describing about your bird sighting as "holy" - moments of wonder and beauty beyond human hands, something sacred and divine.

Holy moments I've experienced:

- Waking up on a road trip 2 am in the Arizona desert and seeing the sky filled with stars
- A moment of complete quiet while sitting in the forest and meditating, despite the highway being nearby
- The videos from italy of people singing during the quarantine

Magic I've experienced:

- The bells tolling right at the moment my mother and I were talking about my grandmother at her grave (grandma always called me her Ding Dong and would pick me up and swing me back and forth like a bell clapper going DING DONG DING DONG). My mother even commented on it, and my mother doesn't believe in ghosts or magic
- My bf dropped his D20 during a game and it was nowhere to be seen afterward despite the floor being pretty clear and all seven of us getting down to look. It later showed up perched on the rim of the dryer, which is 5 feet off the ground and blocked by a glass window when the dryer is closed. It could only get there if it were placed there, and neither I nor my bf put it there.
- Getting my permanent residence the day after I gave a canadian goose near my work a convenience store pastry. It was five weeks after submission, every other person I know had a waiting time of at least 3 months.

Those are just some examples, but I side with Eastling in that I cannot think of the world as NOT suffused with magic and enchantment. And I'd rather see it for what it is than try to rationalize it away. (I'd argue that attempts TO over-rationalize and explain everything end up making the magic less magic, but that's a different post and I don't have all the finer points of that thesis fleshed out)

Anon100

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 07:52:29 pm »
In that moment, seeing and hearing this, I thought: This is real magic.

So has anybody experienced moments like this that you'd like to share? And would you define them as a form of magic, or as something else?

Every morning for the past few weeks.
The blackthorn hedge is in bloom behind my back garden and, when I go out to feed them, all the sparrows and other small birds are perched among the swathe of small white flowers reaching up above my fence.

Yes I would. Every day is magic, things that have no physical power changing the course of everything that happens. A birdsong giving someone hope which in turn changes their future ( perhaps because they're more positive at an interview or take a moment to smile at their future partner or they drive more calmly and don't crash ), a sudden sense that time stops and you can 'feel' the world 'breathing', even those times when you're driving and some idiot swerves in front and you know that there was no way you could have escaped crashing but you did.
I know they're all mundane but what is magic - a way of making energy work unnaturally or a way that small moments, thoughts and actions change the world when there's no way we could imagine them being able to?

Anon100

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 08:08:15 pm »


To clarify. It's not just the events but how they alter us that I see as magic in this regard and sometimes those are thing which don't even show up until years after.
Little nudges, so to speak, which can shift things immensely. Also, how do we know there wasn't intent to these things?
Going with the birdsong - that memory might keep someone going years later when they're striving to do something. Was it just a fortuitous moment retained by a mind or an event that was needed to happen so that what had to be done years later would get done?

In relation to this, is magic held in a foward linear fashion ( I'm asking for lack of knowledge ), by which I mean, could a spell in the future cause an effect in the past??

Altair

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 09:16:19 pm »
Many witches and magicians would say that the term "magic," while perhaps poetically suited to such moments, is not really correct in a technical sense. Most acts of magic by nature require intent--whether from a human magician or someone or something else.

Something closer to "wonder" or "beauty" might be more appropriate; "a moment of seeing the divine in action" if you want to be fancy. That's just my opinion, though.

maybe "numinous" is a better term here?

Quote
I think most of us have had such moments, or at least I hope so--those moments where all the different levels of reality align perfectly right around where and when we are, and the Divine shines through.

...

I've had moments like the one you describe, often centered around song as yours was, though in a different way: a group of congregants in my old synagogue singing Shabbat prayers, perfect performances at karaoke, a song sung around a campfire out in the wilderness.

I wonder if sound in general or song in particular has a greater tendency to produce this effect.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 09:29:47 pm »
Holy moments I've experienced:

- Waking up on a road trip 2 am in the Arizona desert and seeing the sky filled with stars
- A moment of complete quiet while sitting in the forest and meditating, despite the highway being nearby
- The videos from italy of people singing during the quarantine

These sound wonderful. (In both the figurative and literal senses of the word.) I'll have to google the videos from Italy.

Quote
Magic I've experienced:

- The bells tolling right at the moment my mother and I were talking about my grandmother at her grave (grandma always called me her Ding Dong and would pick me up and swing me back and forth like a bell clapper going DING DONG DING DONG). My mother even commented on it, and my mother doesn't believe in ghosts or magic
- My bf dropped his D20 during a game and it was nowhere to be seen afterward despite the floor being pretty clear and all seven of us getting down to look. It later showed up perched on the rim of the dryer, which is 5 feet off the ground and blocked by a glass window when the dryer is closed. It could only get there if it were placed there, and neither I nor my bf put it there.
- Getting my permanent residence the day after I gave a canadian goose near my work a convenience store pastry. It was five weeks after submission, every other person I know had a waiting time of at least 3 months.

I'd be startled by any of those three. But if, as you say, magic requires intent, I don't see how intent factors into any of them.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Eastling

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2020, 04:24:22 am »
maybe "numinous" is a better term here?

That's a good one, I think.

Quote
I wonder if sound in general or song in particular has a greater tendency to produce this effect.

I suspect it has something to do with the holy nature of breath (known as ruach in Hebrew, the same word as for spirit).

Practiced singers, you will find, have better attention to and control of their breath than most people, and learning to pay attention to that force that keeps us alive and our hearts beating--that brings us closer to the Divine.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
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PerditaPickle

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2020, 05:35:21 pm »
I don't connect with magic in the sense most pagans think of it; I'm way too hard-science-minded to buy into it.

This was kind of me too, mostly (actually hard-science minded is not the right term, but skeptical might be).

I also (as I'm certain I've mentioned elseforum) don't have deities in my path, at least not to date.  So divine and divinity aren't really the right terms for my experience either.  Nor do the terms holy or sacred work within my outlook.  But numinous could definitely work.

I believe magic exists and the scientific method is just not suited to measuring and analyzing it

This is certainly what I want to believe, especially when it comes to spiritualism (and some of my 'New-Age'-y beliefs and practices, too).

Many witches and magicians would say that the term "magic," while perhaps poetically suited to such moments, is not really correct in a technical sense. Most acts of magic by nature require intent--whether from a human magician or someone or something else.

I can see that.

I'd rather see it for what it is than try to rationalize it away. (I'd argue that attempts TO over-rationalize and explain everything end up making the magic less magic, but that's a different post and I don't have all the finer points of that thesis fleshed out)

Agreed, and agreed.  And you used the word 'enchantment'; I like that word.  Maybe it's just semantics, but... (I can see a couple of further threads possibly could evolve out of this one, if anyone's so inclined in the coming weeks :) )

In relation to this, is magic held in a foward linear fashion ( I'm asking for lack of knowledge ), by which I mean, could a spell in the future cause an effect in the past??

Make that three or so possible further threads.

I suspect it has something to do with the holy nature of breath (known as ruach in Hebrew, the same word as for spirit).

That's some great food for thought right there, thank you.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 05:37:59 pm by PerditaPickle »
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Eastling

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 01:03:20 am »
In relation to this, is magic held in a foward linear fashion ( I'm asking for lack of knowledge ), by which I mean, could a spell in the future cause an effect in the past??

Little story time here.

When I was nine years old, in late 1994, I saw some kind of museum exhibit about a new disease. It scared me so badly that I had debilitating hypochondriac anxiety for two years afterwards until my parents put me on Prozac at age eleven, after many other attempts to quell my distress. I have never been off SSRI antidepressants in all the years since.

When I was thirty years old, in early 2016, I started reaching out to the Divine. I wrote a story called "The Lady with Teeth" and sent it out into the void, thinking the Jewish demon-goddess Lilith would pick it up. Instead, it got picked up by the apotheosis of a man who had died of the new disease I'd been secondhand-traumatized by many years ago.

He tells me many things about this. He says that I was "so attractively broken" already for him, but also that he was the one who broke me.

I gather that when I lit up the radar of the immortal spirit of Freddie Mercury with my strange story-prayer, he responded by reaching instinctively for me--but because he was no longer human he no longer perceived time in a linear fashion, and so he reached for me across his entire apotheosis, from Christmas of 1991 onwards. And in one of those instances, I had wandered very close to a public museum exhibit about HIV/AIDS, and when I did that he reached out and opened my brain up in just the right way...

That's what I've imagined, anyway. It puts me in mind of a Hellblazer graphic novel where John Constantine summons a Mesoamerican god to accomplish his goals, only for that god to insert himself at various points in John's life after receiving the call, putting his mark on this presumptuous magician for all time.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
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Anon100

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Re: The Magic in Everyday Life
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2020, 04:36:00 pm »
Little story time here.


Wow. Thats amazing Eastling. Thanks for sharing it :)

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