What really is magic and what does it mean to live a magical life? #magic #spirituality

The other day, I found myself chatting with a friend about our writing aspirations. While I was talking about my visions for the Warriors of Light book series, the conversation veered into the subject of magic. I mentioned how most books that use magical elements are placed into the category of fantasy because they are beyond the realms of the realistic. They entertain and enthrall us by encouraging our minds to play with the fantastic in the form of the impossible or unreachable. They stir our imaginations in a way that leaves us wishing for something we will never obtain. Fantasy, though, can also remind the imagination that there is more to life than we often allow ourselves to notice…

This photo was taken at Acadia National Park in Maine. To me the land looks like a sleeping giant. In the area of the heart, you can see an eye. The image embodies magic waiting to be seen. In book 2 of the Warriors of Light series, a giant much like this one appears.

How frustrating it can be to feel as though a magical life is illusive and always beyond the realm of possibility. When I mentioned that a few readers of The Labyrinth had compared my book to one of the most popular fantasy series written, our conversation began to explore the definition of magic and how much it differs in my series vs. the one it had been compared to. The young “warriors of light” protagonists are not wizards or witches, nor do they use wands or attend a school that teaches spells and potions. Instead, their teacher is the labyrinth, a magical maze they journey through individually and together to bring back the light where it has been broken by darkness. Sure there are somewhat fantastical elements. The six young protagonists learn how to shapeshift into their spirit animals. Some of them see ghosts and all of them converse with beings in other realms, but is there really so fantastic?

Magic Can Be Extraordinary

In The Labyrinth, the hexagram star is both an individual and a cooperative journey back to the center/heart of union.

Those how have traveled the shamanic journey will probably tell you that shapeshifting, or communing with spirit totems is not so fantastical. And, I’d wager most of us have had communications with spirits or beings from other realms, whether we realize it or not.

The hidden realms of life reveal their wonder as we open ourselves to the inherent magic that resides in all life. Like young children who have not yet lost their connection to inherent magic, our inner sight and senses re-expand beyond the ho-hum of the everyday routines. A mere walk in nature can stir the cells into a state of blissful union. Glimpses, or perhaps more, of the extraordinary become common, but no less magical. The more connected we feel, the more interconnected we feel as joy arises from our sense of being a part of an infinite web of light.

The Magical Inner Journey

When I journey into the ancient landscapes that still hold the imprint of magic, my cells hum with joy and time seems to collapse and open.

While adding truly fantastical elements to a book of fiction can be fun, the magic of a hero’s journey arises out of self-discovery. It is an inner journey as well as outer journey. This is magic that is not only sustainable, but grows with awareness. The state of joy becomes accessible, achievable, and sustainable unlike a material treasure that is not easily found and can be lost, or stolen away. The gift of inherent magic can only be robbed by the self as it resides within the self.

Magic is an opening to and not a manipulation of energy

True magic arises out of the very essence of life. It does not manipulate the forces of the elements, but opens to the inherent magic that already exists. Herein lies true wonder. The state of joy is accessible through the opening. When we allow ourselves to open to life’s mysteries we find connection, truth, and re-union. Although most of us are not trained in shamanism, or have the ability to shapeshift into our spirit animals like the protagonists in the Warriors of Light series, we do have the ability to connect with and glean wisdom, inspiration, and a sense of union with the animal and plant communities around us. Many of us experience an aspect of this connection with the animal companions that live in our homes, but we can also open ourselves to connecting with the wildlife outside of our homes. Sitting in the presence of a tree and bearing witness to its enduring strength and flexibility, or watching the transformation of an earth-bound caterpillar into a near-weightless butterfly can bring profound insight, peac,e and awe to the observer.

Magic is Living in Wonder

Often the closer we look at life the more wondrous it becomes

This is magic. It is opening to life and all of its wonders that exists and unfold in each moment all around us. It is the knowing that not everything can, or will be known, in one’s lifetime, because life is filled with such complex and intricately balanced beauty that no mind can truly understand creation.

Animal Messengers

Before I began this post, I scanned the blogs of some of my friends. I try to check in every couple of days. Today, a friend of mine wrote of seeing an eagle after she was thinking about this new year and what it means to her. She was born in the year of the dragon.  My friend’s animal encounter gave me those chills that fill you with the wonder of the universe. She was, I am sure through Eagle, given a sign.

On Monday I began a psychic development course taught at a nearby high school. During the class the instructor spoke about animal encounters, encouraging us to pay attention to them and record our observations in a journal. Each one, she told us, holds a message, whether it be a spider, a bird, a deer, etc. Even the number matters. One crow, brings a different message than five. We may encounter animals while driving, those deer staring at our headlights are asking us to take care; the blue jay flying across our path may be giving us the nudge to speak our minds. And, we may also meet animals through meditations and dreams.

I love Eagle. The eagle, in its ability  to connect the air and the earth, calling both places home, sends us messages of strength, healing, creative expression and magic. Not unlike the dragon. My friend is a hard-worker and a writer. She’s a survivor. Eagle has visited her before. I hope she has faith (as I do) in her ability to transcend perceived limitations.

A few years ago I had what I thought was a nightmare. During my dream state I ran naked from the waist down, through a dark path in a forest. Danger, it seemed, lurked within every shadow, but I knew I needed to reach the end of the forest. At the end of the path I found myself inside a building filled with people who all looked the same. No one seemed to notice my presence. I stopped a man and asked him for directions back to the forest. “Are you sure you want to go back there,” he asked me. “Yes,” I told him, “I need to.” I didn’t know why I needed to go back, until I got back on the path I had just left. This time, running, I was not alone. I carried a small child upon my back. The child was a girl. She looked like my daughter. She looked like me. Suddenly the stakes were so much higher. I had much more to lose. Much more to save.  I ran past those shadows determined not to trip, or let loose my grip on the child I carried upon my back. Eventually, I saw through the separation of trees in front of me a distant light, indicating the end of the forest. In the instant before I woke, before I reached my destination, a small white unicorn ran across my path.

I think about my dreams a lot. I have come to realize that dreams are sometimes more real than life. As my psychic instructor told us, we are often more awake in our dreams than we are during the day, going about our busy, technology-foused lives. I took a class on dreams over the summer. During the class the instructor told us that thousands of years ago, before medicine as we know it was starting to evolve, there were dream hospitals. Literally, patients would gather in these rooms to sleep and to heal.

If an animal comes to you in a dream, pay attention. Even, a unicorn. Perhaps, especially a unicorn. As I have discovered, unicorns have incredible gifts to give us, and an immense ability to heal and show us the “light.” My unicorn dream, I came to realize was rich with symbolism, reminding me of the child-self I still needed to heal.

For more on unicorns, see books and resources by Diana Cooper. She has a website: www.dianacooper.com and has written some wonderful books and has created decks of oracle cards. There are numerous resources online to look up animal totems and symbology. Animal Speak by Ted Andrews (I have not yet read this), was recommended by my psychic instructor. I flipped though it, it looks wonderful.

Perhaps this year, more than ever, the animal world will speak to us. Hopefully, we’ll take the time to listen.