Lesson 1- What is Magick?

[These lessons are written to be taught as a discussion more than a lecture. Before starting, ask the kids what they think Magick is. Make certain to ask them questions throughout the lesson.]

“Magic is the movement of natural (yet subtle) energies to create positive change. It’s an ancient art, rich with centuries of history and practice. It isn’t supernatural, evil, or dangerous.” p 7 Scott Cunningham and David Harrington in Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects (Harrington, 2001)

“Magic is something people use to change things. It is a way of using their intention to create that change. Your intention is your purpose; it states what you wish to do with the magic.” p8 Rowan Moss in What Is Magic? (Moss, 2013)

Magick is the flow of the natural energy that connects us.  This natural energy flows through all of us and all things, whether they are alive or not.  Learning how to work that energy, learning the Art of Magick, will help you shape your world, your environment for the better. If used wisely, it’s a tool that can help strengthen you and help you to mold yourself into what you want to be. If used foolishly, carelessly, or for silly reasons, it can backfire and harm you.  “Misuse of magic destroys the misuser.” – Scott Cunningham. We’ll talk more about this later.

You’ll notice that I spell Magick with a “k” at the end.  It’s an old spelling of the word. A man named Aleister Crowley made it popular to add the “k” to be able to mark the difference between stage magic and natural magick.

First, let’s talk about what magick is not.  It’s not what you typically see on the screen, in shows and movies. That’s what we call “supernatural.” Remember, I said “natural energy.”

“Super” means bigger, or greater, right? So “supernatural” would be greater, or bigger than “natural.”  Is it natural to be able to ride or fly on a broomstick? No, not really. Is it natural to be able to snap your fingers and your room be clean? As awesome as that would be, not natural.  How about being able to make your dog disappear or speak in actual words? Or maybe move your house to the other side of the street with just a wave of your hand? Or maybe turn your dad into a toad? Nope, not natural, not going to happen.

As you get older, you’re going to run into people who think that magick is evil, or that it’s the work of the Devil.  They might tell you that it’s against God and that you’ll be sent to hell when if you practice it.  Maybe you’ve already met people who have said bad things to you about it, or bad things to you for practicing it.  They’re wrong.

Magick is not against God. It’s not against any religion.  In fact, people of all different religions practice magick but, they call it something else.  Praying is a type of magickal practice, for example. So are many forms of meditation.  Both are ways in which people try to change the flow of energy to affect, or make, a change in their lives.

Magick is not a weapon to be unleashed on your enemies, friends, not even your teachers.  Wiccans (people who practice the Wicca tradition) have something we call the Wiccan Rede.  It was written by Doreen Valiente.  The long version is very nice, and you should make it a point to read it one day but, the part I will focus on is “‘an ye harm none, do as ye will.” Rayne Storm has another way of stating this in Everyday Magick: (Storm, 2012)

“If what we think and what we do.

Will not harm a soul…not a one…

Then practicing Magick can be done!”

There are people in the world who do practice different forms of hurtful magick.  We don’t agree with them.  We also know that whatever we send out into the world comes back 3-fold. Some people think that means three times stronger, while others see it as affecting your heart, mind, and soul.  Either way, it’s bad news if what you sent out was hurtful.  And good news if you sent out good. Later in the year, we’ll talk about ways you can protect yourself.  We’ll teach you some protection spells and techniques.

The Goal of Magick should always be friendly.  Ultimately, the goal is to improve our lives and the lives of our loved ones.  Magick is a tool for self-improvement.  It follows the line of your intention.

Your intention is your purpose, the reason why or what you’re looking to accomplish.  For example, maybe I had a fight with a friend and it hurt my feelings, maybe even her feelings were hurt.  My intention might be then to repair a broken friendship, to smooth out the troubled waters between us and heal the hurt.

The best and most effective spells are backed up on the Earth Plane – which means you still need to do the work. Magick is not a short-cut. Let’s use the example of me wanting to repair the broken friendship.  Along with doing the spells, I’d also invite my friend to talk or do other things to help mend the relationship.  The spell would help strengthen our talks and speed up the healing. It might even clear up any misunderstanding so that we’re able to be friends again much more quickly than if I hadn’t used a spell.

Magick is always there but, in order to use it easily, you must practice.  Practice focus and intention.  Practice controlling your personal energy and connecting to other sources.  Like a martial artist or a musician who has practiced his or her art until they no longer need to think about it; their bodies are now programmed and know what to do, a Magickal Practitioner (Witch, Wizard, Mage) practices the art of magick until they can call it up easily when necessary.

Sometimes, magick doesn’t work. Even if you’ve set your intentions and did all the work, it might not work.  That doesn’t mean that you failed.  There could be many reasons, one of which is that Deity (the gods, the goddesses, the universe) might have something better for you in mind.

We all have magickal powers and can learn to use them.  It comes more easily to some than others but, if you have an open mind and the willingness to work, you’ll be able to achieve a lot!

There are three types of Magickal Energy – Personal Power, Earth Power, and Divine Power. Personal Power lives inside of us. We use it daily.  Our thoughts and actions empower it, give it strength. In fact, you’re using your personal power right now to listen to me.  Like our physical energy, it’s not endless.  When we run, jump, or do other forms of exercise, we use up our physical energy and can get really tired.  The same thing happens when we use our personal power. We can get magickly tired, too.  But, just like you rebuild your physical energy with food and rest, you can rebuild your personal power. We can mediate, or absorb it from the sun, food, water, air, and through emotions directed towards us through love and concern.

“Earth power consists of the manifestations of energy around us; the products of Earth as well as the planet itself.” – Scott Cunningham (Harrington, 2001).  What do you think he meant by “products of Earth”? Think of crystals, stones, gems.  How about plants and herbs – would they be considered products of the Earth?  Someone skilled in the Art of the Craft knows the right stone and/or herb to use in the spell.

There are many words for Divine Power, like power from the gods and goddesses, from the faeries and spirits, from deity.  While you don’t have to combine Divine Power with the other powers in your spells, it certainly gives them more oomph and better focus!  And, they can help steer you in the right direction or fix your spell if needed.  Remember, it’s always a good idea to run your spells past a knowledgeable adult.

How do we practice Magick? With focus and attention though Spells and Rituals.  Rituals are routines that we practice daily – like sitting down to the table to eat, brushing our teeth, putting one shoe on before the other.  Spells are incantations or words that state your intention.

Magick Rituals are done for three purposes. First, to put us into the proper frame of mind to be able to connect with and work with magickal energy. Second, to allow us to combine personal power with Earth and/or Divine Power. Third, to raise that power (many call it a cone of power) and send it off to do its task.

 

 

Suggested Chant:

Free the Heart / Powerful Song (Reclaiming – Second Chants)

 

Suggested Activity sheets or pages:

Growing up Pagan: A Workbook for Wiccan Families (Hill, 2009) p8

Pagan Kids’ Activity Book by Amber K (K, 1998) pp27-28

The Earth Child’s Handbook: Crafts and Inspiration for the Spiritual Child (Vol 1) by Brigid Ashwood (Ashwood, 2012) p35

Craft ideas:

We choose to do the mobile craft for Air from The Earth Child’s Handbook (located on pp 75-77 as it fits in with our year’s curriculum this way).

Make your own wand from What is Magic (Moss, 2013)


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