You may laugh, but magic is as alive and well in the twenty-first century as it was in pagan times. How many of us still cross our fingers in the hope of reaching a positive result? Do you still knock on wood, after mentioning something with a dubious outcome to ward off negative events? Superstition is the label we give to magic that once had people burning witches at the stake.
Magic has undergone profound changes over the centuries. The druidic rituals of yore, re-written and re-branded to form organised religion, are now tales of fiction read to children. Harry Potter’s wand could well be mistaken for the Papal ferula (the expensive stick thing that the Pope bandies about) to an outsider of our planet. Both believe that the bearer of those wands is imbued with magical abilities. Harry Potter can expel dementors with ill intent. The Pope can transform wine into the blood of Christ.
Whether you think magic is a quaint tradition or a powerful agent of reform, it remains deeply embedded in our culture. An utterance of “Bless you!” after someone sneezes, may be a polite custom, but was once used to prevent an evil presence from entering your body during the sharp inhalation that follows the expulsion. The spoken word still retains enormous power. Prayers for the sick, prayers for peace, words of comfort, all of which are backed by the genuine desire to improve circumstances for those on the receiving end. Intention appears to be the key. Truly mean what you say, and the statistical chances of it coming true are raised. I refer back to the blog post about The Global Consciousness study and the use of Random Number Generators to measure changes in collective societal emotion.
“Pah!” I hear the scientists cry. “Magic is for cheap conjurers to make money.” Really? How then do scientists explain the baffling results from the famous double-slit experiment, where electrons bombarded at a surface that has two apertures, behave differently when they are observed? And what about Quantum Entanglement? The science of ‘spooky action at a distance’, as defined by Albert Einstein. Is that not a magical effect on two particles that are separated by time and space?
Whatever your beliefs, Halloween is almost upon us, and the ceremonies surrounding it seem to grow with each passing year. A smattering of other-worldly horror mixed with a balm of excess sugar doesn’t hurt us once a year. Magic is here to stay, even after we reach a time when the science catches up and explains the rituals and festivities as folly. Happy All Hallow’s Eve everyone. Stay safe.
Sam Nash is the author of the sci-fi conspiracy thriller, The Aurora Mandate. Release date TBA. You can find her at https://www.samnash.org or on Twitter @samnashauthor or Facebook.com/samnash.author.