When you think of magic, what comes to mind? Cinderellas fairy godmother waving her wand around? Harry Potter and his boggart-banishing spells? A trio of warty-faced witches throwing eyes of newt into a bubbling cauldron? A stage magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat?
In Western society, the term magic has often been associated with a sense of superstition or sleight of hand.
As it turns out, magic isnt as straightforward as you might thinknot even the spelling is a simple affair. The more current spelling of magick, first defined by Alistair Crowley in 1875, means anything that moves a person close to fulfilling their ultimate destiny, one’s True Will.
Magical practices come in many shapes and forms, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which avenue might be the best fit for you and your spiritual journey. Heres an overview of some of the most common varieties of magical practice, with suggestions on how to find out if exploring them might be right for you.
What is magic?
A fairly all-encompassing explanation of the term is that it is a method of manipulating the physical world through metaphysical means by employing ritual action. Magic has been practiced by many different cultures throughout history. It stretches to encompass a wide range of phenomena and practices, from incantations, charms and potions to mystical arts such as astrology and divination (the ability to reveal information about past, present or future events). Magic isnt just practiced by pagans or witches, but by a diverse swath of spiritually-minded individuals. Many religions believe that magic exists as a force for good in our world something that can be used for both healing and harming. In fact, some Christians still use blessings as an alternative method for healing people with illnesses instead of conventional medical treatment.
What types of magic are there?
There are many kinds of magic movements out there; some are formalized, while others are informal. The more common kinds include Wicca (both white and gray magic), Voodoo, Heathenry (or Asatru), Witchcraft, Spiritualism, Reiki and more. Some magical practices fall under multiple categories; for example, you can practice witchcraft but identify as a Christian or Muslim. Most magical practices involve some kind of spiritual or mystical connectionto deities like Isis or Gods like Thoror find their source in spiritual energy or vibrations to help individuals accomplish goals they might not otherwise be able to.
How do I choose what type of magic is right for me?
What we practice in magic is really a matter of preference and individual circumstance. Ultimately, your magical and spiritual journey should feel right and work for you. So if you’re just starting out and can’t decide what type of magic will work best for you, start by letting your intuition guide you. After all, its your intuition that lets you know when something feels right or wrong in everyday life; why would magical practices be any different? As time goes on, though, it may become clear that one type of magic attracts or aligns with your personal beliefs more than others do; once that happens, learn everything you can and give it a try! Connect with like-minded individuals who are in the space to ask questions, seek guidance and take your time developing your practice.
What are some specific examples?
Wicca is increasingly popular in mainstream media, but what is it, exactly? The word Wicca itself means Craft of The Wise. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of witches around the world who practice Wicca. Wicca and Witchcraft are part of the larger contemporary pagan movement, which includes druids and heathens among others. All these spiritual paths, as pagans refer to them, base their practices on pre-Christian religions and cultures. Wiccans have one overriding rule: Harm none and do as you will,. Most Wiccans practice alone and are free to develop their own unique practice. For those interested in embracing divinity in nature and developing an individual practice, Wiccan magic may be right for you.
In ancient times, a Druid was a philosopher, teacher, counsellor and magician. The word probably meant A Forest Sage or Strong Seer. In modern times, a Druid is someone who follows Druidry as their chosen spiritual path. It can be described as a spiritual way and practice that speaks to three of humanitys greatest yearnings: to be fully creative in our lives, to commune deeply with the world of Nature, and to gain access to a source of profound wisdom. Each of these yearnings comes from a different aspect of ourselves that we can personify as the Singer, the Shaman and the Sage. Druidry appeals in particular to people who have become disenchanted with much of conventional religious practice, and who are seeking a sense of spiritual connection with the land, and with their ancestors. In todays fast-moving and environmentally-threatened world, they are looking for a sense of rootedness in Time and in Place, and for a sense of reverence for the Earth.
Exploring the world of magic practices and finding your unique place within that world can seem daunting, but learning to grow and evolve in your spiritual walk is deeply meaningful and significant. Asking questions and learning from a reputable source of information and wisdom is essential.
Looking for a safe space to learn, ask questions, and connect with other seekers in the pagan community? Come join us at Coven Cloud to find your people and get advice and answers from experienced, caring spiritual leaders.