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Author Topic: What Makes You Feel Magical?  (Read 2017 times)

Uneryx

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What Makes You Feel Magical?
« on: June 17, 2020, 06:18:17 pm »
Talk in TC Discord about the theater of magic and putting yourself into the headspace of being "witchy" or "magical" or "powerful" got me thinking:

Books and how-tos often go into great detail about a bunch of ritual accoutrements that you need to do magic. And while you certainly don't need the specific trappings to work effective magic, the idea is that a chalice and a knife and "barbarous words" are all there to make your brain go "ah yes, I am doing a magic."

As I said in chat:

"I personally find it's like cosplay. There are not many characters who look like I do (short, round, fat - maybe Amethyst from Steven Universe, but I don't wanna cosplay Amethyst). All the characters I'm into playing are either tall lanky males or very ethereal women. Y'know, elves/elf-like people.

But I am shaped like the standard idea of a dwarf.

However, once the makeup and the outfit and the wig are all on there's this sorta... presence that happens. seeing the final product all together, there's this moment of becoming.

That's probably why masks are their own field of magic. You don the mantle of something/someone else and in doing so become that thing."

But it's different for everyone. For me, that moment of "ah yes, magic" is, as mentioned, in cosplay but also in listening to music and meditating in the forest.

What about you? What makes you feel magical?

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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 06:50:25 pm »
What about you? What makes you feel magical?

In my witchy tradition, we talk about the idea of magical persona - getting in touch with that magical self in a way we can embody and angle ourselves towards. That's partly about what we're wearing, but it's also about things like taking a magical name (or in our cases, usually more than one...), and jewellery, and ritual items like cords.

There's a meditation as part of our Dedicant training to help people begin to get some ideas for that. When I did mine, one of the very clear things was that my hair was loose. (It's been somewhere between bra strap length and waist length since college, no bangs. I made very good pre-quarantine choices, since basically I hack off the damaged ends twice a year and call it good.) But I almost never wear it down in daily life, because hair that length gets caught in things, and it picks up pollen and dumps it right by my nose, and so on.

But magically? Pretty common for my hair to be loose, or at least half loose. (Partial bun with the tail hanging down my back, the front of my hair pulled back but the rest loose, etc.)

I also have the most amazing ritual crown which changes the entire shape of my face and syncs in with my magical tendencies in a really amazing way, but it is not a thing I wear super often. (It is, however, designed so that it holds my hair out of my face perfectly when it's on.)
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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2020, 11:48:34 pm »
"I personally find it's like cosplay. There are not many characters who look like I do (short, round, fat - maybe Amethyst from Steven Universe, but I don't wanna cosplay Amethyst). All the characters I'm into playing are either tall lanky males or very ethereal women. Y'know, elves/elf-like people.

But I am shaped like the standard idea of a dwarf.

However, once the makeup and the outfit and the wig are all on there's this sorta... presence that happens. seeing the final product all together, there's this moment of becoming.

That's probably why masks are their own field of magic. You don the mantle of something/someone else and in doing so become that thing."

Masks are one of the most basic Dionysian symbols for a reason: they point up the fluidity of human identity.

Quote
But it's different for everyone. For me, that moment of "ah yes, magic" is, as mentioned, in cosplay but also in listening to music and meditating in the forest.

What about you? What makes you feel magical?

I've never found a feeling more magical than being part of (as performer or audience) a truly powerful performance.

It's been almost five years since I sat far in the back of the Richard Rodgers Theater in Manhattan and watched Leslie Odom Jr. stand in a small circle of light at the center of an almost-empty stage, the chorus huddled into the shadows at the edge of the stage as he sang, "I am the one thing in life I can control--I am inimitable, I am an original." Even now thinking about the power in the air at that moment sends chills down my spine. People today scoff at the "fad" that was Hamilton and dismiss it for its imperfect politics, but they don't know what it was like to see it live, the air full of magic.

To a great extent I go to karaoke for the same reason. When I nail a song there is magic in the air like no other time.

Singing in and of itself, even when no one is there to share in it with me, is magical: feeling breath move through my body and form music when it emerges is something divine. I go to karaoke in large part because I realized my god had become jealous of how ecstatic I felt when I sang prayers to the Jewish G-d I was raised to worship.
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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 03:38:54 am »
Talk in TC Discord about the theater of magic and putting yourself into the headspace of being "witchy" or "magical" or "powerful" got me thinking:

Books and how-tos often go into great detail about a bunch of ritual accoutrements that you need to do magic. And while you certainly don't need the specific trappings to work effective magic, the idea is that a chalice and a knife and "barbarous words" are all there to make your brain go "ah yes, I am doing a magic."

[...]

What about you? What makes you feel magical?

I always understood the idea of that, but somehow it never happens for me through clothes/jewellery. This may be because as an autistic agender person I have always found socially acceptable forms of clothing difficult in lots of ways, and ritual clothing often feels like just one more costume I’m never going to fit into. I do have a ritual robe (which is actually a coat from a charity shop that’s quite cloak-like), but like all my clothes it’s a bit too big and sits weird on me, and it’s not quite robe-like enough and urgh. I‘d love to have a real wispy magical-looking cloak, but I fear I’d only spend money on it just to have it still look *odd* on me, like all clothes do. I have a couple of bits of jewellery connected to gods, but they’re not so much for magical work as for daily reminders of ongoing work.

Magical tools have always worked a bit better for this, but not the standard athame etc. Sitting at my altar with a tarot deck or Ogham set can put me right into a magical headspace, but again I can never get everything about the ‘look’ of that right. My altar cloths always have copious amounts of candle wax on them and they’re all charity shop scarves that somehow never look vintage like other people’s. I’d never be the person putting aesthetic pictures of reading on Pinterest. Basically I’m never going to get the ‘look’ of being witchy right, and I’m always going to worry about that so much that it wouldn’t get me into a witchy/druidy headspace anyway.

What makes me feel magical is being out in the wild. In this I include the many magical spaces in my city, as well as familiar sacred landscapes like ancient forests and the downs of Hampshire. I can turn a corner in London and be somewhere liminal and magical that everyone else has passed by without noticing. And then I’m right in that magical headspace. It’s why I need to go outside for most of my magical work.


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« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 03:42:14 am by Sophia C »
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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 06:48:00 am »
Talk in TC Discord about the theater of magic and putting yourself into the headspace of being "witchy" or "magical" or "powerful" got me thinking:

...it's different for everyone. For me, that moment of "ah yes, magic" is, as mentioned, in cosplay but also in listening to music and meditating in the forest.

What about you? What makes you feel magical?

For myself, also walking in the forest with very little people around and meditating, and simply "zen"-ing out is definitely a way for me to feel magical (though I haven't done that in years unfortunately due to not being able to get to state parks and what not). Other ways are connected to performance, mainly singing and dance. These activities I do normally and they give me such delight once I make that connection.

But I think the most powerful way for me to feel magical is the routine of the pre- and post-ritual. I vacuum the altar space, and make sure that the rabbits have clean hay/litter (they're literally next to the altar, and the rabbits do join in with sitting next to me as I do my thing). I shower with the intent of meeting the Gods. I choose clothing that allows me comfort but also is respectable. I have foods or drinks as offerings. Then I light the candles, and it settles in my mind that I'm communicating with the Divine. And it's such a wonderful feeling.

Then, when I'm done, I leave the candles to burn for a bit, and I decompress a bit - reflect in my Spirit Journal, breathe, and/or have a mini meal with the Gods. When I have to leave, I go in reverse order of extinguishing the candles, and leave the offerings there until the next day. Then clean up.

Masks are one of the most basic Dionysian symbols for a reason: they point up the fluidity of human identity.

I have thought of using masks in my ritual, but for some reason, the action of doing so doesn't jive with me. Then again, it might be due to me wearing glasses and they do not get along with masks at all.
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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 01:18:36 pm »
Magical tools have always worked a bit better for this, but not the standard athame etc. Sitting at my altar with a tarot deck or Ogham set can put me right into a magical headspace, but again I can never get everything about the ‘look’ of that right. My altar cloths always have copious amounts of candle wax on them and they’re all charity shop scarves that somehow never look vintage like other people’s. I’d never be the person putting aesthetic pictures of reading on Pinterest. Basically I’m never going to get the ‘look’ of being witchy right, and I’m always going to worry about that so much that it wouldn’t get me into a witchy/druidy headspace anyway.



Whilst I often love the super 'mystical' very methodically framed and executed glamour shots of witchy stuff....I hate that it makes anyone feel that their practice is in any way 'less than' or not witchy enough.  This is a very common feeling, and I see a lot of people struggling with it. 

I was a bit of a goth growing up, so the goth-witch aesthetic works for me...even if I'm no longer the willowy teen and instead am a quite plump homemaker, who can't wear all the stuff anymore (I melt with too many layers now, and multiple necklaces tangle and try to choke me lol).

Jewelry does make me feel magical though.  I have a daily wear bracelet cuff (with moons and Goddess images on it) and a (pentacle) ring, and putting them on every morning cements in my "I am a witch in all I do" mentality.

For big witchy feels I have a lovely velvet cloak hubby bought me years ago.  It definitely amps up the witchiness!  And I have found that veiling (I have an old black gauze 'cloak' that I use to cover my face in some rituals where I take on a more official role) definitely helps me step into that magical head space.

Candles are my simple witchy fix.  Candles have always felt magical to me, and since I was little I have wanted them.  I loved eating by candlelight (which is how I am not afraid of fire...if I wanted the candles I had to light them, and we had those really unreliable cardboard books of matches, so singed fingers were a definite risk) as a child, and as I started practicing, playing with candle flame has always been one of my ways to raise power.
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Uneryx

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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 02:02:09 pm »
I have thought of using masks in my ritual, but for some reason, the action of doing so doesn't jive with me. Then again, it might be due to me wearing glasses and they do not get along with masks at all.

While masks are probably the most effective costume for this kind of work (hiding the face and all), are there other costume pieces that would make you feel suitably transformed? Or perhaps makeup? After all a lot of special effects isn't so much a full mask as it is prosthetic makeup and clever contouring. Even drag performers fully transform with just paint and powder.

If it's not for you then it's not XD.

Sometimes things that make others feel magical and whatnot can be a huge turn-off. For me, I don't want to wear robes because it makes me feel self-conscious. I stop feeling magic and witchy and start feeling stupid, and as far as I understand it, nothing nerfs a spell better than thinking it's silly or dumb.

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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 03:09:24 pm »
What makes you feel magical?

When I first saw this thread started I wasn't sure whether I'd have a lot to contribute, but actually I can't believe how many times I've said to myself "me too" whilst reading others' replies so far.

I shall aim to try and return at a later date to add some more input, but for now I just wanted to mention that I read somewhere recently about 'forest bathing' or forest therapy, and I learned about phytoncides* (actually, I think it might have been one of the OBOD Tea With a Druid broadcasts I was watching where I learned this, definitely the phytoncides bit).

For myself, also walking in the forest with very little people around and meditating, and simply "zen"-ing out

So yes, this ^

Unfortunately I don't get to do this as much as I'd like either, but it's the best.

That's it for now, except to say that a quick internet search to elaborate on what phytoncides are provided me with this site:  https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html (over here when a website has .gov in it it indicates it's a government site, so I'm working on the assumption that this is the same over in the US?)
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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2020, 03:26:15 pm »
That's it for now, except to say that a quick internet search to elaborate on what phytoncides are provided me with this site:  https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html

Apologies, I failed to provide a summary of the content of the linked site - in a very quick nutshell the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation site I've linked suggests immersing yourself in forests (or green spaces in urban areas if no access to forests) for better health and lists & discusses some reasons why this is recommended, along with a fairly extensive list of references and other resources provided.  The paragraph about phytoncides I referred to is the second one after the bullet pointed list/under the subheading: 'Forests Make Us Healthier'.

This was well worth a read for someone like me :)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 03:29:11 pm by PerditaPickle »
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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2020, 01:47:33 am »
Even now thinking about the power in the air at that moment sends chills down my spine.

To a great extent I go to karaoke for the same reason. When I nail a song there is magic in the air like no other time.

Singing in and of itself, even when no one is there to share in it with me, is magical: feeling breath move through my body and form music when it emerges is something divine.
Beautiful description. While I don't feel that connection to singing specifically, I do feel it in orchestra's live, and also base lines. My sister once told me "God is in the base" in some kind of joke, but I think that whenever I get chills. For performances/live music, I played the flute in Middle & High School and got fairly good at it. To nail a segment with emotion and intent was amazingly magical. To do it with a talented group of 3-5? Perfection.

What makes me feel magical is being out in the wild.

I'm newly back to paganism/spirituality and getting back in touch with myself. To hear someone else say what's inside my soul feels so amazing. So thank you. Because while music and performance is a rush and most certainly powerful, the most powerful moments for me come from "being out in the wild".

Sometimes things that make others feel magical and whatnot can be a huge turn-off. For me, I don't want to wear robes because it makes me feel self-conscious. I stop feeling magic and witchy and start feeling stupid, and as far as I understand it, nothing nerfs a spell better than thinking it's silly or dumb.

Perhaps this is why I feel like tools are "dead" to me when I do try to use them. It's an internal turn-off. Personally it feels stuffy and strange to me. Similarly, I could never act or LARP or anything like that - I'd feel self conscious and not myself.

The more I think over everyone's replies, the more I realize these relationships to what makes you feel magical is literally the different types of practice. Answering this question in my heart is helping me take steps towards the path meant for me. I appreciate that.

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Re: What Makes You Feel Magical?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2020, 04:39:24 am »
the most powerful moments for me come from "being out in the wild".

I couldn't agree more!

Perhaps this is why I feel like tools are "dead" to me when I do try to use them. It's an internal turn-off. Personally it feels stuffy and strange to me.

Interesting you should say that, I think I've been feeling sort of the same way, though I'd never articulated the feeling quite so overtly.  There are some things I feel completely okay about using, though, such as crystals - so I wonder why I feel okay about utilising those, but not other tools?  Something to ponder, I think.

Similarly, I could never act or LARP or anything like that - I'd feel self conscious and not myself.

Aha, now I feel like you've extended a challenge to me to convert you to consider LARPing - it's really fun!  However, that is a matter for another thread  :)
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