From time to time, I talk about magic here.
Even with a science-brain, and, having a good upbringing in finding out the logical facts, I continue to believe in magic. Apparently, there are quite a few of us, all the world around.
Magic has been around since humans made sparks between two flints, probably. But, Religion and Magic became conceptually separated at one point. It all happened around the time when western monotheism was developed. (That is, the belief that there is only one God.). The Bible, the men who wrote it, and all.
So yes. That is where the distinction arose between those supernatural events that were defined by mainstream religious doctrines as those amazing ”miracles”. And. Everything NOT sanctioned by the religious folk was considered unbelievable stories of mere magic which were rooted in folk belief or occult or occult thinking.
But even still, after all this time, modern psychologists have stated that people continue to believe in magic. All over the world. It is prevalent in all societies, regardless of whether they have organized religion or more general systems of animism (attributes of the soul to inanimate objects) or shamanism (belief in a person having access to the influence of good and evil spirits).
I started getting curious about this when I read a lengthy article about endangered species and how magic is affecting them. The gist was this. Scientists, who were on location studying various endangered animals, found that local cultures often had superstitions or magical beliefs about certain animals. In Madagascar, for instance, if someone sees a Lemur, specifically, an Aye-Aye Lemur, it is a harbinger of death or sickness.
In the same area, there are snakes with red tails. They are neither poisonous nor restrictive. Yet, the locals believe they can fall from trees, and transform themselves into spears. Blood-soaked spears of death.
This one brought me to laughing out loud, ONLY because of an incident here this past summer. A pool party on a hot day. And on the north end of the pool house, we have a large artistic ironwork piece, with plants entwining upward the entire wall. At the top were a few birds’ nests. So. On that day, three very large Black Snakes decided to make meals of the eggs in the nests. The Party People gathered to watch and to try to photograph the event. They were on the patio pavers near the north wall. Well, one of the snakes was clumsy, and fell.
I have never, EVER, seen ten people scatter, dive, fall, lurch and scream, as I did on that day. You would have thought that snake had transformed itself into a spear, a blood-soaked spear of death, and it was descending on the villagers.
I could write a book on this. All the beliefs in magic, the superstitions, the happenstance, and the actual events and sightings of things quite magical.
Just consider little things, like the example of the Loch Ness Monster, which brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Scottish lake each year. OR, the place up in Iceland, where the respect for Huldufólk, or elves, has halted the construction of a highway through their traditional lands.
So many more, right here in the United States. You, and a black cat, the number 13, walking under ladders, rabbits’ feet, bad thing coming in threes, putting up an umbrella indoors, 666, breaking mirrors, and oh, so many more.
Pixies in the forest, trolls under the bridge, a ghost upstairs, and an angel standing behind you.
Is it real? Is it magic?
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
“Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.”
― Arthur C. Clarke