Well Game of Thrones is over for another...*squints at calendar*, really? Wow ok...two years, so with this rich seam of fictional magic out of our lives for a while, let’s talk about the real thing.
Yes, ok hear me out on this. I have recently, and very tentatively started to practice magic.
See previous question.
Ok, some background. I have been an atheist my whole life and that hasn’t really changed, I did have the briefest of flirtations with Tarot and auras and all of that stuff in my teens but a mix of my own cynicism, the weirdly blatant commercialism of much new age stuff, and turning out to be a very poor candidate for cold reading, all killed that quickly and thoroughly.
The interest hadn’t come from nowhere though and it didn’t return to nowhere afterwards, I retained my enthusiasm for the weird and supernatural even if I didn’t believe in it.
Some things have changed for me recently, and the world at large. One element is the increasingly poisonous atmosphere of many atheist communities which have started to list towards transphobia, sexism, biotruthism, or even just a dismissive attitude towards anything insufficiently STEM, such that even though I don’t believe in god/s I no longer feel that the things that word now represents describe me.
The other (and bigger) element though, is myself.
I have struggled with depression for much of my life and whilst I have sought help for this on and off over the years I’ve only recently gotten to a place where I can pursue this properly, and where I am starting to be more happy with the life I’m living.
I am becoming more comfortable in myself, and more comfortable in the things that I get pleasure from and make me feel better, and for me, that is magic, or at least, practices that magic seems the best way of describing.
Some these practices are drawn from fairly familiar traditions, I have recently taken to wearing a lucky silver threepence that had been languishing in a box of my granddad’s old things for example. Others are regional folk practices like keeping holey stones or even just engagements in the natural world like foraging.
I don’t doubt that many, heck probably all the people reading this have some kind of quasi-magical practice in their life under the guise of tradition or good luck.
But for me, the personal joy I get from these things are making me want to pursue them beyond only the most socially accepted of habits.
Don’t worry I’m not about to go all Wicker Man on everyone.
But I am getting interested in practices like divination and more personal rituals.
Divination is probably the easiest to explain, and by far the most rational of all these practices, even if it might not seem that way at first. Working out what to do with yourself is hard, and the idea throwing it to chance on something like a coin toss or even the more varied odds of dice seems awful to me. Divination however is more nuanced, you’re not putting it into anyone else’s hands but your own, it’s a way of thinking, of working out what you might feel in confusing or emotive situations. Whatever you are using, be it swirls of mud in a puddle, picture cards or something much more modern like Wish Fishing it is random, but the thoughts it draws out won’t be.
Why I want to encase daffodil bulbs in string nets and bury parcels of fired clay is a little harder to explain to others so maybe I should just leave it here for now.
But thank you for reading, and maybe I’ll write about this more in time.
Stones, coins, string and buried things. Blackberries from graves and cards and games.