So, we celebrated the transition into May with some May wine and mead and the eating of delicious donuts. I'd have tried to make some of these, but we had a scare with almost putting my parents' dog down, so instead we bought them. But either way, we stayed up until dawn pigging out and I, at least, being really happy that spring is here in NY. More and more I find myself celebrating things in a way which is my own. I like to give a nod to the traditions of the holidays (literally, holy days) without following any strict rules. I do what feels good and respectful and brings me joy. Anything which doesn't, I leave off! But I love spring and I take any opportunity to celebrate it. Today it's overcast, but I smell the upstate NY summer coming and it feels magical to me.
I'm on the fence about my own definition of magic. I think there are several senses and I've been trying to cobble my own definition together mentally.
I think the first and most obvious sense of magic is what most people have touched on here. It's the sense in which we effect change by non-ordinary means. I was thinking that I'm probably willing to commit to a definition which includes only those instances in which change actually occurs. Just because you perform a ritual intended to product some effect doesn't mean that you automatically performed magic. Something must occur as a result of your efforts. In addition, I don't think that the effect need necessarily be the one you wanted, but any effect will do. And I think the fact that it is produced by non-ordinary means is the crux of this portion of the definition. In this sense, magic is a noun; it is something that occurs or the practice of bringing that thing about (like sorcery).
The second sense of magic is also a noun, but it is far more broad. Maybe it would be better phrased as "magicalness" or something. But it is something which is all around us. It is something we can feel when we witness beauty or are in deep awe. It is numinous, holy and, well, magical. I think it's this that we fail to be able to really explain. This is the area wherein we fall short of explanation, but I think that may also need to be included in the definition. Magic is something inherently inexplicable beyond a certain point.
So, I've tried to encourage people to make their own posts so that individual discussions can spring up around each definition, refining and questioning and causing several distinct branches of conversation, instead of a big lump under one thread like we did before. But maybe that's not the right approach? What do you think? How do you learn from one another best?
The ability to achieve results through the use of non-linear methods.
Good magic is the ability to achieve desired results consistently, through the use of non-linear methods.
Moral magic is the desire to bring about results without harming innocents....
Of course to some extant even after all is said and done, it is still true, that "I may not know what magic is, but I know it when I see it."
to paraphrase the classic art line.
Let's see if I can remember the wording I used to use when I was on irc channel #wicca in the early 90's.
Magic is a wide range of techniques for becoming aware of various subtle aspects of reality, and sometimes influencing them with ones intent.
That's not exactly what I used to say, but it's close. I'll post that now, and think about how I would I define it at this stage of my life. I'll probably post a new definition this weekend.
How do you define magic?
The use of occult arts in order to achieve results.
To those who celebrate, happy Beltane! What are you doing for the holiday? Please converse, make posts, etc. We're also coming up on Walpurgisnacht, which is very interesting as well. Do you know about it? I live in a city, so I can't have a bonfire, but I'll probably be lighting some candles. As always, if I haven't posted your holiday, make your own happy holiday post, if you're so inclined.How do you define magic?
For the change of seasons, I hope we can attempt some discussion. So please respond to the following question by making your own post. Then, comment on the posts of others.
Sorry for my long absence. How has everyone been? Won't you please share your current rituals, research, musings, etc in the community? Feel free to make it a new post so it will become a topic of discussion!