A good magic operation: when you panic, celebrate

A good magic operation: when you panic, celebrate October 21, 2020

Selfie with an incense stick

In times of crisis people’s awareness of magic and magical discourses awakens. Especially in the encounter with panic, we want to know things. This is fortuitous, as it means that we still have our wits with us. The not so fortuitous is the situation when we lose our wits, for it stands to reason that without the capacity to reflect and distance ourselves from the perceived disaster, there’s no remedy.

So I read the cards lately for people whose wits are intact, albeit weak, and we talk about magic.

‘Flow is flow,’ I tell them. ‘Step smack in the middle of your panic, and watch,’ I further say. ‘But what can I do?’ people ask, and I say ‘nothing.’

‘Aren’t you a magician?’ people insist, and expect me to say something about altering the flow, intervening, sending demons to hell, and generally fixing the situation.

‘Absolutely,’ I say, ‘but since I see that flow is flow also when you alter its course, there’s still nothing you can do.’ Now, although this talk comes across as vexing, sounding like something for the advanced, the truth is that what we call a magic intervention is still nothing but part of life happening as it happens. So what exactly is there that we can do? All we can do is imagine shifting a few metaphors around, speak in a differently tuned and amplified voice, and use language that places us in a more powerful position. This is not doing something about it, whatever it is, panic, fear, anxiety, despair. Shifting metaphors around is called adopting a position vis-à-vis what we observe in the flow, if we care to pay attention to it, that is. As far as I’m concerned I entertain zero arrogance about what I can do, using my will and altering events in a super power way. For fuck’s sake, I’m not Batman. I’m just a Zen fortuneteller, smelling roses that reach me without effort.

Photo: Camelia Elias

Meanwhile today, I observed the following: as my sister had cause to celebrate an important event – after 11 years in Denmark she got the Danish citizenship – I popped the bubbles, and stuffed myself with chocolate, sending her good vibrations all the way from west coast where I live to the east coast where she lives. As she also bought a new house right next to mine, and as a result she currently stresses about the move, panicking about the job situation too, I performed a dance with an incense stick for her under the watchful gaze of my iPhone, recording dutifully the moves. What else can one do, than stand smack in the middle of both joy and pain?

My sister as a Dane.

A few minutes later someone rang the doorbell. The neighbor came in with flowers, cookies and wine. First I thought, ‘wow, I’m really such a powerful magician… beyond match. Someone else is celebrating my sister.’ Then she said, ‘happy birthday.’ To me. Well, as it’s not today, the birthday, but tomorrow, I got to think about flow again. This was proof that it’s here, just as it is. Sister dearest celebrated a type of birthday for herself. I did the same on her behalf, and so did the neighbor by proxy. Ultimately it’s not even important whose birthday it is, or what event it is. What significance can such a thing have? The same applies to panic, stress, and distress. No significance at all.

Photo: Camelia Elias

The only thing we can do is step into whatever befalls us. This requires a strong stamina, though, as stepping into what befalls us is a matter of accepting what is, not being in denial about it, for better or worse. We can all have an idea of being happier than we actually are, or more miserable than we actually are. The idea is to get rid of the idea and lean into the flowing flow.

I read some cards for this too:

Marseille Tarot, Grimaud, 1930 originals (Photo: Camelia Elias)

10 coins, the Sun, and 5 coins fell on the table.

The sister on the left has 10 of it. The sister on the right has 5 of it. As we both have it, whether one has more or less of it is besides the point. Or as my partner suggested, ‘you’re off to spend half of your fortune’. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘but we still have it. And that’s what we need to acknowledge.’

I hope what what it refers to is our wits. Without our wits, there’s be no reflection on how we can celebrate on all days.

Stay tuned for cartomantic activities.

About Camelia Elias
Camelia Elias, PhD & Dr.Phil., is a former university professor. After 20 years in academia, she left her career to pursue her interests in teaching and writing on the philosophy and practice of reading cards. She works with contemplative arts, oracular language, and martial arts cartomancy and Zen at her own school, Aradia Academy. You can read more about the author here.

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