Last week I declared I don’t know if magic works.
Not everyone liked that declaration.
I had people ask me why I practice magic if I don’t know whether it works. I’ve also been asked why I would come out and say that when my business is selling magical scrolls.
My recent posts are my answer, and exist as a source of information for any reader on whether “it really works.” Let’s look at what we know about magic in the 21st century.
First off every magician ever tested by skeptics has failed to provide results. But the kind of magic that’s been tested is a set of tricks used to entertain or defraud audiences. It’s different from traditional systems of magic. Very few traditional magical techniques have been investigated by science, but of those, several have been proven to work. However, those techniques don’t seem to work for the reasons the magicians say they do.
The magic that works is not supernatural. If you define magic as a supernatural agency, it probably doesn’t exist. On the other hand if you define it as using rituals to obtain results, then the rituals seem to work for a variety of reasons: because of our unconscious control over our bodies, because of the power of psychology and belief, and because of the materials used in some of the rituals.
The traditional ceremonies and charms that I use likely work on the same principles.
I’m comfortable not knowing. I’m a priest who’s not sure if the gods are real; an adventurer who isn’t convinced there’s an afterlife. I’ve used my magic spells for 16 years. I’ve cast love spells and seen people fall deeply in love. I’ve removed curses and seen people turn their lives around. And I earned a degree that taught me that none of those experiences prove anything.
Some people hate not knowing. It’s more comforting to believe an invisible force will come to your aid; more gratifying to be so smart you see through the act. But I believe in science, and science supports neither of those views.
I’ve made my peace with uncertainty. Magic is a beautiful set of ceremonies. When I perform these ceremonies my heart sings. When I give people my scrolls it fills them with determination and the resolve to change their lives. If that’s all that’s going on, I feel okay with that.
And if a choir of spirits gathers at my side? Bonus.
This is the atelier where spells are made. Welcome aboard.
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