Adventures in Wortcunning: Is Magick Real?

Adventures in Wortcunning: Is Magick Real? June 3, 2016

Is magick real?

This is a question I am asked all the time, and to my ears it is a puzzle. Not the actual answer, but how the person gets to a point of asking it. You may as well ask if Science is real. Or Love.

It is more difficult to explain than either of those. And, magick is one of those strange things where the actual believing of a thing can make it so.

Lately, scientific theory is beginning to catch up with magick and develop concepts that can be borrowed for this discussion.

three frog figurines each holding difference sporting equipment
Alexas_Fotos /

Baseball players believe in magick, sort of. Human beings are very clever primates. We pick up on patterns and are quick to assign corollaries from coincidence. It works like this, “I won the game with those knickers on, therefore those are lucky underwear.” It doesn’t have to be undies, however. A few years ago it was all about the beard.

This is the sort of magickal play that is termed superstition. Being a “super”-stition, it lays over our regular ideas about how the universe works, and the only thing that makes it real is the amount of faith the player has in its veracity.

Often, that is enough.

I have seen deeply religious people who believe in superstitions. I have also known complete agnostics and atheists who wouldn’t leave the house on game day without the lucky knickers.

The pants are on, the game goes well, and we allow themselves the luxury of belief for just a moment. It’s all in good fun, and just a game. The brief indulgence of a hope that there might be something we can do to sway an outcome that is far more dependent on the diet and training of the teams involved than upon a pair of shorts.

Washing the shorts is another part of the same system, and intricately involved with building the mojo for the team. If you work with energy, but are not necessarily a sports fan, the subtle shift in momentum from one team to another during the play of a game can become quite intoxicating. When things go well for the team, the energy in the stadium is almost palpable. The air and every cell in my body tingles with the waves of happy energy.

While the other side dusts off and takes what they can from the loss. Get home and all the game gear goes in the wash, pronto. But with a win? Let’s just say those game socks can get pretty stinky by the end of a winning season. You wouldn’t want to wash off all the good vibes from a winning streak, would you?

It is the energy, the good, happy, hopeful energy of a win that we wish to build upon. Mental and emotional energy that is just as real as crude oil, but far more subtle. The effect of what we can call personal energy that happens on the tiniest of scales. The quantum level, if you will.

The difference between magick and science is the amount of data that we keep on our experiments. Call it a Book of Shadows, or call it a Laboratory Logbook, during an episode of Myth Busters ballistics expert Adam Savage once quipped, “You’re just screwing around until you write it down. After that, it’s Science!”

Taking your Magick seriously, as if it were real. Real as Science. Real as Love. It implies a few things. Perhaps, if Magick is real, we can make a difference by building the right kind of mojo for the team. Or even for ourselves.

Having faith in an ‘unknowable’ outcome is a gift. Carrying that faith through with focus and action is an undeniable force, even if the experiment doesn’t quite work the way we expected it to. Keeping record of these details gives us valuable information for the next time we try the experiment.

And having that kind of power (oh yes, you do) is also an awesome responsibility. It means you have to believe, and follow through just as if you mean it. You can’t win on game day without good food, sleep and training in between. And you wouldn’t go through the bother of all that without faith in the eventual win.  If wearing a pair of lucky pants adds to that magick, that faith in the probability of your will, then I say go for it. At least it’s not a rabbit’s foot.

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