Sunday, May 22, 2011

Your Own Brand Of Magic

In my book THE RISE OF MAGICK, people have recently discovered magic is real. This is after wars and natural disasters and the emergence of creatures from myth and legends. Most of the cities no longer exist and many people believe technology was the cause of all the problems. Something had to fill the void. You know the old saying - Idle hands....
It is in the time that magic is not unknown but there are no schools or formal training to learn it. Hogwarts-type instruction isn't even on the road map. Each person is like a gunslinger or mad scientist. They each have their own method and style.

I believe everybody believes in magic in some form or another. Maybe not whole-heartedly, but to some degree. I have proof of it too. The evidence I am about to share may be laughed off or called tradition. I would argue it is a little safety net - Something we do "just in case".


Have you ever crossed your fingers to ward off something bad? Like preventing the other team from scoring the winning point. Hoping your friend or child doesn't stumble as they cross the stage or perform some difficult maneuver. Sure you have. Have you ever spilled salt and then tossed a pinch over your shoulder? Why did you do that? To ward off bad luck.

I came to this conclusion a while back because of an interesting incident. My wife is a very well-educated lady. She has a great position in technology and puts together deals with international companies on the other side of the world. She is sharp and intelligent in a way few others are. In short, she is an amazing modern woman, mother, wife and business person.
However, after being together for nearly a decade, I saw her do something for the first time. She spit out of our car window three times in rapid succession. 
We were in a parking lot and had just finished a fantastic dinner at Babe's. A cat ran across the parking lot in front of our car. Kim stopped the car, rolled down the window and spit three times. She looked over at me and smiled. Rolled up the window and continued driving.
I asked, "What the hell was that?" I was actually trying not to laugh.
"What was what?" she asked back.
"The whole spit out the window thing."
"Didn't you see that black cat run across our path?"
"Yeah and then I saw you spit out the window," I said.
"Right! We're traveling and the last thing we need is bad luck or something horrible to happen."
"Oh! OK. I get it. It's a magic spell to ward of the evil."

We went back and forth in a good natured and slightly amusing conversation about whether it was superstition or magic and what the difference is. We neither convinced the other to change our point of view. I am still convinced that superstition, miracles and magic are all the same thing by a different name.

We have some great friends, Jimmy and Gina, both well-educated and intelligent (those two things do not always go together). Gina is firmly in the court of my wife and Jimmy is of no particular opinion. Jimmy's current focus is on the afterlife and trying to understand why we are even here. I tried to goad Gina into explaining/defending her point of view. She stated that it was just her choice to keep her religion in a classification separate from Harry Potter. I can respect that but I don't have to like the explanation.

So I still say they are the same. We all believe in some degree of magic. We can label it whatever we want. We can brand it in any manner we wish. Regardless, it's magic. I will not budge on this one.

What do you think? Religion, superstition and magic - Are they one in the same or distinctly different from one another?

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