The Library: Power and Magic

Time spent in The Library invites me to ponder the difference in certain words that are often considered to be the same.

One of our family’s favorite TV series is Charmed,  the story of three sisters who discover as they become young adults that they have inherited powers, are powerful witches whose calling is to combat all kinds of evil in the world.  Every action packed, mystery-laden episode finds the sisters growing in the use of their powers and the complexities that wielding such power creates for their otherwise normal human minds and lives.

Having just watched a recent re-run of the series, I found myself reflecting on the difference in “powers” and what I consider to be “magic.”  I think of many things as magic: the cooking of a special meal for a special gathering; writing prayers and poems to use at gatherings to celebrate and remember; prayers, intentions, spells and affirmations offered and said for a good outcome; planning, designing, building and growing gardens; creating ritual for a season or an occasion that draws people in and helps them experience more than the sum of the parts.

Magic is worked.  It is worked slowly.  It starts, often, within, with a dream, inspired and non-verbal.  It feels connected to many other things.  It is worked with intention.  It requires attention, creates attention and focuses attention.  Magic calls together, creates, and is non-linear. It’s outcomes are, when worked well, more than the sum of the parts. Very often, those who work and experience magic are left with a new sense of themselves that takes time to live into.

Powers are used.  They are often used quickly and with dispatch.  Because speed and finality are often involved in the use of powers, they may include intention but that intention may be overridden by the intensity of the moment and situation.  The use and most often the misuse of powers destroy, even while they accomplish their outcome. Powers leave the users feeling vindicated and everyone else vanquished.  The use of powers can create a finality from which human beings do not emerge much intact even when they are still alive.

We live in a world well acquainted with powers and their use.  We also live in a world full of magic, but a magic that many fail to recognize, own or work.

Both power and magic are at our disposal today.  Let’s work more magic!

Bob Patrick

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