“Our miracles are of our own making, not because we are superior to the divine, but because we are their children and capable of no less.”
I care about words and their meaning. I accept the changes brought about in the meaning of words to accommodate modern parlance or legal definitions and have also watched with sadness when words that meant something, like tradition or ethics, are reduced to empty husks used only for ceremony or as a selling tool for people or things who have anything but either quality. In the arts, the words great and superstar have become applicable to the mundane and untalented. Hyperbole is everywhere and sophistry is the preferred form of communication and we communicate more and more while saying less and less.
History has seen the word Witch become distorted by the religions of Abraham and here in the US, the same society that is still spending millions of dollars in court fees to grasp the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction and its destructive impact on the fabric of American society, is stomping on our rights and gleefully revisiting the old lies and living in the dark ages.
On the radio the other day I caught the tail end of a conversation and a psychologist was discussing the bestselling book “The Secret”. Her point was that anyone reading it was delusional and that such books falsely encouraged people towards hope and were doing more harm than good. She concluded saying that in today’s tough times, Magical solutions did not exist and only through a realistic approach could anyone survive.
I agree in some ways that “The Secret” is at best an incomplete work, but if it helps motivate someone into action then so much the better. The Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft holds the Hermetic principles as central to our ways and I watched with amusement as The Secret claimed some “occult” connection to them, a claim with no real validity whatsoever, but a fun read nonetheless. Occult is another word which I do not like, but that is for another day. Similar books like the Celestine prophecy and the Alchemist, were also nice enough but far from functional. This is the way of mass communication and a symptom of a society that has an increasingly short attention span, things only need to seem deep and we are satisfied that because we own the book, we are deep as well.
So getting back to the radio program, the thing that got me thinking was her use of the term Magic as some illusion and wondered how much of that rubbed off on our term Magick with a K. We should all understand the difference between Magick and magic but I am not certain how deep that understanding actually goes. For those of you who do not know, the quick definition is that magic is sleight of hand, the tricks that entertainers practice, while Magick to Witches is the manifestation of our Witchcraft.
Going a bit deeper and comparing the word Magick now with the word Miracle and you will see that people are more likely to believe in miracles than Magick. If someone is healed by a Witch it is coincidence, yet if Christians are around it is a miracle. The difference between these two words is significant except to the cynic who views both as equally farfetched, to them, hoping for a miracle is as stupid an idea as hoping things will change magically or Magickally.
The main difference between Magick and Miracle, is that the idea of miracles is generally thought of as an external intervention by an outside force (typically God, Jesus, Mary or a Saint or in other cultures the deity structure that is in place) operating on its own or in answer to supplication and acting in some grand gesture to fix something. Many have firm belief in such things, but I ask you, how firm is your faith in Magick? For the sake of this discussion, let us eliminate the big Magick of Covens and gatherings and special occasions which are easy to connect with. I mean the everyday manifestation of Magick in your lives? Is it all make believe and delusion as the radio commentator said, or is it a life force that manifests in you with every beat of your heart? Are you a cynic that thinks everything is a trick or coincidence? Are you a believer that accepts everything you hear? Is Magick only relevant when things are hopeless? I see so many people turn to us when all else has failed, don’t you? How much of your recognition of Magick is based on faith or affinity to a lifestyle and how much on actual practice? Do you still think the Universe will reach down and make things better while you watch tv or wallow in self pity?
Witchcraft is a holistic path centered on a working philosophy, it teaches us that we are responsible for ourselves first, then we can help others who might stumble on this day and return the favor by preventing us from stumbling the next. It is an endless cycle of care and assistance, all powered by the ALL (God Goddess, Universal mind). Our miracles are of our own making, not because we are superior to the divine, but because we are their children and capable of no less. Our Magickal paths teach us how to do this, the craft makes it practical in the world of today while our religion allows us to know from whence this power originates. The true miracle is our creation, the rest is up to us and our ability to align ourselves with the ALL. This is not an easy thing to do in a troubled society, but we have the Magick to help us on our way. Magick takes work but it is no illusion.
© Laurie Cabot 2009 all rights reserved.