Hollywood ruined magic for so many of us. Not only has mainstream cinema completely failed to depict any semblance of authentic magic, but worse, the Dr. Strange-style special effects cheapen the mysterious nature of magic and leave modern practitioners predisposed to disappointment when their rituals fail to deliver a tangible super-natural experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m regularly amazed at how magical the world is, and how effective magic is at causing change to occur in it, and this is precisely my point. The so-called “mundane” world is intensely magical, when viewed through an animist lens.
Humans have no claim to the numinous, we merely access it, and there are many beautiful, magical, and seemingly impossible things which exist in it. Science insists that it can explain all of these wonders but critical analysis quickly reveals cracks in this edifice of the modern materialist worldview. When you let yourself see the magic in the world it causes reality to shift (for you), re-enchanting your experience of it. Taking the time to appreciate the absurdity and impossibility of life is both healing and mind-expanding. Taking time to observe the intricate interweavings of its diverse persons and lifeways creates coherence.
There is power in recognition -in recognizing the magical nature of Nature, the cosmos, etc. This awareness brings you into better relationship with it and makes its enchantment more apparent to you.
To that end, I’m going to share a few of my favorite “mundane” things which are actually intensely magical…
Growing A Plant From Seed
Despite the zero-sum universe described by materialist-rationalism, which ultimately yields scarcity, the natural world functions on a fundamental premise of abundance. Nowhere is this more evident than in the power of a tiny seed to grow a grand old tree or a single blueberry to generate a field of bushes. Nature’s abundance is exponential.
Wild flowers will fill a field naturally over time. After hitching a ride on the wind, or through the gastrointestinal tract of a bird or other animal, Nature brings their genetic material to fertile ground and -like magic- flowers appear. In each flower are dozens (or hundreds) of copies of their genetic material (seeds) loaded and ready for convenient transportation to arrive. In a few seasons, a single flower can populate a landscape.
Bearing witness to the lifecycle of a plant, from seed to seedling to flower to fruit to seed once again, brings us into relationship with that plant as an individual, as a species (its genetic material), and as a spirit (through proximity and observation). And it demonstrates clearly that Nature desires to produce abundance; as each seed bears the potential within it to fill a field, a forest, or your garden, indefinitely. What’s more magical than creating exponential abundance?
The Influence Of The Moon On The Tides And The Menstrual Cycle
Nothing more aptly demonstrates the interconnectedness of all things, or explains the attribution of time and its cycles, than the relationship between the Moon, the tides, and the monthly “flow” of menstrual blood.
Humans first tracked time according to the movements of the Moon against the backdrop of the stars along the ecliptic. The behaviors of migrating animals, lifecycles within tidal pools, fertility and birth, planting and harvesting, all follow predictable rhythms measurable by the rotations of the lunar sphere around the Earth.
That the monthly cycles of females of child-bearing age across all species synch to the 28-day lunar calendar demonstrates the inherent lunar-centricity of time. All life follows the tripartite cycle of growth (self-growth, bearing offspring, and giving back our energy to the community) and is thus nurtured throughout life by the sacred feminine.
Similarity in pattern implies an occult (hidden) connection. The cycles of the Moon, and therefore time, life, death, fertility, growth, etc. are all governed by the sacred feminine and interconnected in their mundane (and magical) effects -and this implies a great deal about the nature of Nature and how best to be in it.
Our Capacity For Self-Healing
The body is miraculous in all of its functions but perhaps most of all for its incredible ability to regenerate. With their DNA blueprints our cells grow, die, and self-arrange in symphonic coordination to benefit our higher-order selves -and they do this without a conductor to guide them.
Our radical modern age does much to suppress this miraculous ability to heal ourselves but if we remove ourselves from toxic environments our bodies move quickly to rebalance their damaged systems on their own.
But its not only our bodies that self-heal but also our mental and spiritual vessels as well. The mind is capable of all sorts of maneuvers which protect the being it governs (you) from damage from trauma, hostility, grief, etc. It filters out unpleasantness and confusion, compartmentalizes toxic experiences, and processes all the overwhelming data from each day in the recesses of our sleeping brain. When damaged, it takes self-protective measures and, when allowed to heal, it relaxes again into a state of well-being.
And when these natural processes are interrupted or disturbed into malfunctioning, it is our social tendencies which automatically redirect us back towards health. Healing takes place through intimate physical contact, nurturing environments, through “feeling safe”, and almost effortlessly -by instinct. Craving interpersonal engagement, affection, love, etc. is an expression of self-healing, by proxy.
And though, in cases where natural healing is inhibited or taking too long, the process can be stimulated with energetic healing techniques, these methods leverage the mind / body / spirit’s own natural healing systems to accomplish their work.
A lifetime supply of autonomous and socially-reinforced healing, enhanced through the deliberate sharing of positive energy and love…truly magical.
The violent and competitive world described by materialist-rationalism and its almighty Science, sits in stark contrast with the one revealed by studying the relationship between biodiversity (the volume of species within an “ecosystem”) and the resiliency of the related ecosystem. Research has conclusively shown that more species -more biodiversity- leads not to scarcity but greater mutual flourishing throughout the system through increased interdependency.
When a single species becomes dominant (typically through human manipulation), that species’ pests, and the diseases to which it is vulnerable, also thrive. This weakens the species and threatens not only its dominance, but its very existence. Nature prefers diversity and we are all made more resilient through the breadth of our differences. One species’ weakness is another’s strength and, in a properly balanced and diverse system, the strengths of one are enjoyed by all (indirectly) because all the threats are mitigated by the collective and all species (including the pests and diseases) can flourish.
Nature’s patterns scale infinitely, like fibonaci sequences or mandelbrot sets, and therefore much can be learned from observing the incredibly small and the cosmically large alike. As such, we can absorb an important truth from the messy relationality of biodiversity at work: that our differences make us stronger -even those of us in competition with one another.
This essential truth is so critical to maintaining balance (the homeostasis of Mother Earth) that it is woven into the most obvious and immanent aspect of life, its abundant and amazing diversity. This is the universe talking to us, leading by example -and that is magical as fuck.
Dreams And The Imaginal
I don’t always remember my dreams, but when I do…they mean something. There is a faint and indistinct line “separating” the imaginal (where our imaginations “are”) and the realm of spirit; they are, for all practical purposes, one and the same. Our imaginations, though, are often clouded with our own intentions, whims, and limitations. Dreams, on the other hand, are absurd and ungovernable by our conscious minds. They represent a backdrop of limitless potential for engagement with external awareness and much of what we experience and remember is, in fact, a form of communication.
Sadly this communication is often unintelligible to us and requires a certain skill with metaphorical thinking to decipher. Still, the wondrous absurdity of dreams allows not only for us to imagine and experience the impossible but also to process and contextualize our own experiences as well as transmissions from the divine.
We are at our most accessible in the quiet receptivity of sleep. In sleep our minds, unburdened by physical activity, shift into an unseen, imaginal reality adjacent to our own. The intoxicating permeability of belief present in this “place” allows the stories which tell themselves to us to weave hyphae (fungal “roots” which, even a tiny speck of, will regrow the entire fungal body) of occulted knowledge, visions of the future, and experiences beyond human comprehension, into the mycorrhizal web of our consciousness.
Everything Is More Magical Than We Realize
Sure, science has an explanation for everything…but do such “mundane” causes imply an absence of magical purpose? The universe functions in largely explicable ways and it is generally though so-called mundane occurrences that we are able to witness the effects of magic. Hacking reality with magic doesn’t imply a supernatural cause but a divine purpose at work. The “What” is mundane, the “Why” is magical…
Embracing an enchanted worldview requires personifying every aspect of reality from the seen and felt to the sensed, as well as those invisible parts only apparent through their effects in the world. It is necessary to ani-mate the world, to recognize its anima (soul) reacting and responding with intention, in sacred communion.
When we remember all aspects of the universe are alive then we can enter into dialogue with them and influence how they express in the world. We can negotiate with spirit and change reality…but first we have to recognize the intensely magical nature of everything we’ve previously thought to be “mundane”.
Featured Image: Life Tree by robydesignsofficial