This is a revised and extended version of the piece I read at the “UNITE XII” Virtual Fire Circle on September 26, celebrating the Fall Equinox. I was privileged to gather (outdoors and socially distanced!) around the fire with several friends, connected with many other people in an experiment to bring some of the magic of the fire circle on-line through a collaborative working of ritual, drumming, chanting, and spoken word.
Friends, I’d like to give you a word.
And that word is: ENCHANTER.
For some reason — maybe just the state of the world and my personal life, maybe just Byron being such an excellent speaker — this phrase really hit me and stuck with me this time.
I mean, we really need to re-enchant the world right now, don’t we?
It doesn’t feel like a very enchanting place right now. Just watch the news. Vast fires rage, driven by global warming. Oceans choked with plastic. Coral reefs dying as the oceans acidify.
Precious human lives left to slowly leak away, or thrown onto the pyre to feed the machinery of imperialism and global corporate capitalism.
And through it all, stumble a gray-hearted people, not even feeling sorrow, unable to recognize the devastation, numbed on chemicals and a culture of consumption.
Somewhere along the way, we lost the magic.
Now, of course, it’s still there! The magic is indestructible. But our hearts fall down heavy with the load of living in a world designed for profit and endless expansion and conquest. Trapped in a world we never made, we find it hard to see that magic.
And so we settle for a world without it.
When we do encounter it, we walk by without looking, eyes on the black slab of distraction — “like, share, swipe left, swipe right” — minds on whatever visions the marketers of the apocalypse have sent us.
But. There’s that word, that idea:
Re-enchant. The. World.
Redirect the gaze. Look for the magic. It’s the simplest thing, but when your attention goes to something, you see more of it.
That’s how the Discordian Law of Fives works. Do you know the Law?
ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE BY OR ARE MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO 5.
This is true. It is!
And the harder to you look, the more you will see it.
I said, the harder you look…the more you put your attention on it…the more you will see the Law of Fives in action.
That’s a key magical practice. And that’s how the world can be re-enchanted. Get people to put their attention on the magic, the beauty — the enchantment.
And it struck me — well, who’s going to do that?
The Enchanters, obviously.
And that’s not a word we use much!
I know people who call themselves or are initiated as witches and wizards and magicians and shamans. I think I’ve even met a sorcerer or two.
But I don’t think I’ve met anyone who calls themselves an Enchanter.
And it’s interesting because it’s a broad and general term. It can mean a practitioner of magic — sharing its Latin root cantō with “chant” — but also “a person who enchants or delights”.
Delight! Something we’ve almost forgotten exists.
But even in the worst of times, not just magicians but artists and musicians and writers, philosophers and teachers, jesters and lunatics, have sought to bring us delight. Historians and anthropologists who remind us of the delightfully diverse ways of being human. Scientists motivated by wonder, pointing out both the everyday enchantments of the natural world and the grand ones of cosmological spectacle.
So you don’t have to be a magician to be an enchanter. (But it helps!)
So friends, I give you this word: enchanter.
Now, I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. So if you don’t want it, don’t pick it up!
But if it calls to you. If it lights up a circuit in your brain. Then by the power vested in me by…
…well, whatever I can get you to believe has vested power in me.
By the power of this night, standing between the light and the dark at the equinox.
By the power of this fire.
By the power of this company.
By the power of the thousand thousand conditions that have brought us together so that you may hear these words
By these powers and more, I tell you this:
You Are An Enchanter.
Go forth and re-enchant the world.