Sunday, November 29, 2015

Magic Today?

Magic Today? is a magical life!  What does that even mean?  We have all been informed that fairies and elves don't exist.  That Santa is our parents.  That a bunny does not lay colorful eggs.  Is there still magic out there?  Some people build fairy houses.  Children still leave out cookies.  There must be magic, somewhere?


My Nordic ancestors had a life full of harsh simplicity during long, bitter winters and hard work on the farm.  Many men and women went into battles and travels dying for supplies, land, food, and resources. 

However, among the unpleasantness, there was a lighter side.  They also enjoyed playing games, contests, and competitions.  By the Viking Age, Norsemen regarded skiing as a productive way to get around during battle or recreation.  They even worshiped a God of skiing, Ullr.

Their pantheon was full of Gods, Elves, Goddesses, Giants, and Dwarfs.  Dozens of land spirits, elves, ancestors, and more were a daily part of life.  There were no individual temples and priests; ordinary people maintained it in their homes.  During the Viking Age, when people were away from home, they probably worshiped outdoors.  And many saw the house spirits as being associated with the hearth or fire in the home. 

Elves were originally thought of as beings with certain magical abilities capable of helping or hindering humans.  Brownies inhabited houses and aided in tasks around the house.  Trolls were known to live under bridges that had been constructed in the depths of the forests and mountains.  And don't forget the dragons, giants, and other celestial animals. 

Their elves have become popular today thanks to novelist J. R. R. Tolkien.  But has their magic survived the centuries?


Today, you may start the day with an alarm clock or maybe a Smartphone app.  You then, with a groan, crawl to the bathroom.  Afterwards, you head straight for the coffee.  Thanks to a timer, it is ready and waiting to help wake you up.  With a slow shuffle and you are on the couch watching the news and sipping your drink. 

Suddenly, there is a crash and thud.  Three children come running in from the hall, flying through the air and onto the couch.  Screaming at each other and waking the neighbors.  You rush to get everyone dressed and fed.  Running to the car, you then drop the children off at school and finish the morning dash at work.


No magic there.  Just an average, every day morning.  No trolls to pay before crossing the bridge.  No dragons or giants to run from as they throw rocks and fire.  A brownie to help with house chores might be nice, but there are still dirty dishes in the sink.  No magic.

Or is there?  My ancestors never saw a watch.  To them, a buzzing flashing black box could have been seen as evil magic.  Something that a white-bearded old man waved into being with a stick.  Or indoor plumbing might have been a miracle.  And could you imagine a Viking with a talking GPS unit?  Break out the fire wood, time to burn someone at the stake.

It might be a three-day walk for my ancestors to get any news.  Now, in an instant, we can get news from anywhere in the world.  And a few ancient people might have had one horse to help with that walk.  But today you can use a hundred horsepower car to get to work.  Like magic, you are instantly there. 

No, let's stay connected to reality.  I cannot wiggle my nose, and magically have a typed paper in a flash of smoke.  This computer to type this note has no magic?  Created from bits of carbon, nitrogen, copper and sand.  Merged with heat and water to form chips, wires, shells and more.  Mysteriously, this hard lump of materials lets you talk to grandma across the globe.  Or type notes, that charmingly spell themselves correctly. 

Maybe it is the point of view.  Maybe there is nothing supernatural about magic at all - it's just the harnessing of natural energy that is around us.  The very life that surrounds us is magical - in the birds, phones, rocks, plants, books, humans, stars, computers and more.  Magic is everywhere!  It is a magical life! is the manipulation of energy through our will to create and manifest change.  Working with spells, ritual and ceremony is certainly one way to do this, but there are other ways to work with energy, both our own and that in the world around us, to help us create the life we want that goes beyond the altar and into our daily lives.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath.  (go ahead, breath before reading on...)  Decorate your home with colors that make you feel energized.  Take ten minutes every morning for meditation.  Hang a crystal in your car.  On a cold day, stop to watch the exhalation of warm air leave your mouth.  Make your computer background a forest.  Say 'thank you' to the rising sun.  Consider the impact of your words. 

Exercise often, but don’t ever feel anything except proud of your breasts or your stomach or your arms.  Always have a full bookshelf.  Wear heels that make you feel like a sex goddess.  Sit outside and read a book.  Always have music playing.  Stop to appreciate a full moon.  Do you see the bird sitting on the wire?  (go on, look out the window now, see the bird, tree, sky...)  

Give someone a compliment.  Grow an herb garden.  Put money in an expired meter.  Sweep your floor and visualize brushing out the negative energy.  Wash off the day with a bubble bath.  Use color magic to pick your nail polish shade.  Eat consciously.  Every day is magic.  Magic is everywhere, in everything. 

One of the biggest mistakes we can make when we’re trying to live a magical life is thinking that everything we ask for through prayer, meditation, intention and ritual is going to happen exactly as we visualize.  As Mick Jagger so beautifully sings it “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need.”