Whether or not you plan to actively cultivate a magical practice in your spiritual journey, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the basics, especially if you plan to interact with deities or spirits in any manner. Usually, people’s bad metaphysical experiences are the result of poor preparation as opposed to actual malevolent forces at work.
But first, what is magic?
The author Chris Gosden broadly defines magic as an act of participation with the universe—”Human beings participate in the universe directly, and the universe influences and shapes us.” For the purpose of this guide, we can think of magic as a way to move things from a state of potential to a manifested reality. It is also a way for us to convey and enforce our will in the metaphysical/astral plane.
Magic is a process as opposed to a “stuff.” In fact, the way magic works is very similar to the way art works:
- It comes in many forms.
- It can be hard to describe what is/isn’t magic the same way it can be hard to describe what art is/isn’t.
- Some forms may require certain instruction while others can be self-taught.
- It can range from simple to complex.
- It can be done as a strict study or as a casual hobby.
- Magic, like art, exists in our mundane lives whether or not we notice it.
- Magic is something everyone can learn regardless of raw talent.
- Like art, the way to become skilled at magic is practice.
The difference between art and magic is that the first manifests expression, while the second manifests outcomes. Otherwise their nature is pretty similar as far as their processes go, if not their mediums.