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Perceiving the Threads of Magic

What Does Magic Feel Like

Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by ritual and magic. The room felt different when the incense was lit, the space was cleared and ritual began. I understood the shift in energy and what it felt like when work was being done, but I didn’t yet fully understand how to manipulate it.

The first time that the feeling of magic truly clicked with me I was sitting under the bright lights of our middle school stage. We were mid orchestral concert and approaching a particularly tricky part of the song. I had a solo part and I had been struggling with this piece quite a bit. It required a lot of quick finger placement and bow work and I had a habit of falling behind tempo in an effort to fit all of the notes in. Suddenly as the part arrived, the world around me slowed down, everything muted, and I had an extreme moment of clarity in which my fingers miraculously fell into place. As soon as it happened, it was over.

Now, most people have experienced something similar to this at some point in their lives. Time didn’t actually slow down, my perception of it did, and in that moment of clarity I noticed much more than the violin in front of me. I could feel the strands of energy wrapped around and within everything. I could feel the energy of the wood under my fingers, the thrumming of the strings, the ties between all of us as a group and in that moment,  I made the decision to surrender my own energy to it.

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Tugging on the Strings of Magic

To me, the waves and threads of magic feel a lot like tuning an instrument. When tuning a violin, I will play multiple strings at a time in order to perceive the dissonance between them. I will then manipulate the strings until the dissonance blends and everything smooths out.

It is this energy that I work with when I do spellwork. I look for the strands of energy surrounding the people, items or circumstances and I tune them to together. Just like playing and instrument, this perception takes work. There will always be some people who are more inclined to it that will pick it up quicker, but it is a learned ability.

I imagine that the feeling of this probably comes to people in different ways. It probably connected this way for me as I had been playing violin from a very young age. We each have different ways of connecting with and perceiving the world around us, and that’s a beautiful thing. Nonetheless you will know when you have observed magic in this way. As I mentioned before, most people are capable of perceiving shifts in energy, but it is another thing entirely to be able to engage with it.

If you are looking to learn this ability you will need to practice the way in which you perceive the world. You will need to learn to see liminally. Here are a few ways in which you can do that:

  1. Regularly perform spellwork and ritual. Yes, it’s that easy. Just like with any skill, repetition and regular practice will eventually lend itself to success. When you perform ritual or spellwork you are altering your perception into a ritual mindset. This is the easiest place in which to perceive the inner working of magic in the world, but it will take time and work.

  1. Practice second-sight. You can do this in many ways. I grew up devouring folklore about the fae and took it upon myself to practice looking at everything from the corner of my eye. You will be amazed at what you can see through your periphery. If you learn to see through hooded eyes then you will be able to perceive even more. You can also use tools (such as hag stones and mirrors), salves, waters and incense in order to provoke second-sight.

  1. If you work with familiar spirits (or spirit guides) ask for their aid. Spirits live within this frequency so they are fully able to perceive it. If you have a functional working relationship with any spirits then you can ask for their help. Obviously use your own discretion for this.

Losing Sight of the Magic

There is a lot of conversation and material out there about spell components, however I rarely find a lot of material on the feeling of magic. Be wary of allowing yourself to become overly materialistic in your spellwork. You don’t want to get to the point that you lose sight of the magic. Spell components allow a lot of people to get in the right frame of mind to do the work, but they are simply tools to make the job easier. I have attended many rituals in which the ritualists have focused too heavily on the theatrics of the ritual and less on the way in which they are actually manipulating the energy.

Spell components can all be extremely strong amplifiers when they are used correctly. Just like tuning by playing two strings together, make sure that the components are not creating dissonance between them. A forced rhyme or focusing too much on a script can make the energy stop dead in its tracks. That being said, there are some spirits who thrive on dissonance, so once again, use your own discretion. When it comes down to it, if you become well-versed in manipulating these threads of magic, you can perform complicated spellwork without the use of tools at all.

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