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Author Topic: How does magic work?  (Read 1437 times)

Annie Roonie

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Re: How does magic work?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 02:44:23 pm »
Quote from: Dashifen;68992
Ho so? My understanding with folk magic would put it in the latter of my two admittedly simplified, general categories.

 
I think folk magic is a mixture of the two you described plus more. Not necessarily petitioning a deity, but sometimes perhaps. Not using just one's own power or a group's, but sometimes yeah. But there are also other energies besides greater power and personal power. Combinations and conduits can vary drastically depending on the practitioner and purpose. I only surmise this from reading how differently people go at doing magic from different folk traditions.

Energies, powers, that are different from one's own or that of a groups but that would not always be attributed to a higher power or deity necessarily might include things like specific plants and animals extant and their spirits and/or energies as they exist in relics. I can't simply toss them under the umbrella of "nature's power" and call that higher power because if that were true, it wouldn't matter which energy I used under that umbrella. But it does matter, to me at least, which energies are in the mix and how they interact and behave as a whole within the environment in which they currently exist.

I do think directing and using energies can be done without petition and without energy expending beyond that which enables a practitioner to recognize and combine the energies he or she might want to use (like a mise en place). So there may be no visualized focus of power on an outcome, but more a ball set to rolling with energies of its own.

But my knowledge is limited to observations, reading and my own doings only, so it's pretty limited. I could be missing something.

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Re: How does magic work?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2012, 08:32:36 pm »
Quote from: Dashifen;68992
Ho so? My understanding with folk magic would put it in the latter of my two admittedly simplified, general categories.

 
Because folk magic systems often don't even frame it in terms of "directing energies".

Granted, you can look at it from outside and say, "That's what they're doing, even if they don't know it" - but that's positioning yourself as knowing their own stuff better than they do.  Sure, maybe you're seeing an angle that they're too close to see, or that's obscured by the traditions surrounding it - but OTOH, if someone is missing something, it's a lot more likely to be the outside observer than the person who's been doing it for years.

I'm not so much saying you're wrong altogether (though I have a generalized distrust of binary formulations), as much as I'm saying that your phrasing for the second definition draws too much on the assumptions of the Western Magical Tradition to be descriptive of folk magic that doesn't conform to the WMT.

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Annie Roonie

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Re: How does magic work?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2012, 09:22:39 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;69445
Because folk magic systems often don't even frame it in terms of "directing energies".

Sunflower


This made me laugh and nod. My grandmother would have thought me too big for my britches if I had used any of the terminology that I have acquired back when she was the head of the family. And I'd probably get a pinch for even thinking I could explain it. But it is easier to use these terms when interacting now because people seem to understand it better. I'm still not super comfortable with it speaking wise, and probably because sometimes it just doesn't fit well. But it's hard to find other words because I really don't remember that many being used for certain things other than like, "doings."

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