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What Is Magick and Why On Earth Do I Want to Do It?

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Just the other week I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a year-long class in magick (I prefer the "magick" spelling to differentiate from "magic," a la David Copperfield, which incorporates illusion and is designed to entertain rather than change anyone's life or circumstances.) And our first assignment was to write why it mattered to us and how we defined magick. While writing, I was a bit surprised at my reasons, but it feels like something has fallen neatly into place. So here you go ...

Magick, for me, is a walk in the woods and watching a flock of birds wheel over a lake, lifting my mood and thereby altering my direction for the remainder of the day. Magick is the ability to hear that still, small voice within that gently beckons, calling me toward a life that isn't found on television or the Internet. Magick is finding connection and community in the most unlikely places and people. Magick is embracing profound experiences that cannot easily be explained.

Is magick supernatural? I don't know. I think it's more commonplace than most of us realize, but we're often too busy, our minds too cluttered to recognize it. I think magick is more subtle than our movie-fueled fantasies will admit, and I don't believe magick is reserved for a chosen few. I believe magick is open to everyone. It's also risky, because to practice magick requires us to go against the grain. It means seeing the world and people with a compassionate and hopeful perspective that stands in contrast to how we're conditioned or expected to act and think.

I don't believe magick is about wielding power or getting what you want from some force that must obey your commands. Rather, practicing magick allows us to tap into a universal current that has always been and always will be. Life can be lived just fine without magick, but a truly magickal life, I believe, is much richer, multifaceted and original.

Magick is recognizing that you already possess the resources needed to do whatever you need to do. We don't need to worship someone or something, read just one more book, attend just one more class. Sure, living magickly requires practice and dedication, but I believe we only need to look deeply within rather than to external saviors.

I've found this to be true for myself, and that's why I want to learn more. I've seen my life and circumstances transformed by what I call magick. My world has been re-enchanted, brightened and enriched -- and who doesn't want that? Practicing magick doesn't mean we won't encounter difficulty, struggle or pain, but magick can transform these challenges into something positive. At least, I want to think so.

After losing my partner, John, in 2012, the world lost its magick -- which caught me off guard, because I thought I could easily tap back into the magickal current and move on. But moving on after his death has been the most difficult period of my life. So I want to learn more for two reasons: 1) I realized that although I've practiced some magick, I've never taken the time to build a strong foundation, to immerse myself in the basics, ask questions, challenge assumptions, and 2) I know magick is real; I've experienced it. And I want to believe that it can help in our darkest hours -- and if it can't, then what good is it? I might as well be collecting postage stamps.

I want to practice magick because I need it. I'm ready to put it to the test and see what I can really do.