It’s a Kind of Magic by Torie James

From Christina: Do you believe in magic?  Author Torie James has some fascinating thoughts to share.

It’s a Kind of Magic

by Torie James

The word in and of itself, conjures up the most fantabulous images of mages, witches, dragons, fae, goblins and all manner of mythological worlds that delight us as children and make us yearn for something just a bit more as adults.  It is the sum of its parts; terrible, beautiful, powerful, tragic, mysterious, enigmatic and eternal.

Modern theories of magic may see it as the result of a universal sympathy where some act can produce a result somewhere else, or as a collaboration with spirits who cause the effect. But there was a time it wasn’t considered a “theory”. It just…was. And it was applied liberally to anyone who could effectively entertain any type of illusion, a ready description for the unimaginable, the undefinable and the fantastical. Soothsayers, sages, sorcerers, mages and healers. Magic in their hands, magic in their minds and more often than not at least 90% of them were travelling charlatans incredibly adept at what amounted to no more than a knowledge of herbal remedies and parlour tricks.

So, DID magic exist then? Does it now? I mean, we could get all Nutty Professor Scientifical on it and I could lug out example after example of both pro’s and con’s.  We could get weighed down in the Magic vs. Science vs. Religion melee or take a trip down the path of formula laden “facts.” Magical objects, spells, languages. We could swim through the sacred and profane definitions and connotations until we’re not even sure what we’re talking about anymore.

I can only ask you to lend me an ear (and eyes would be good too!) as I try to explain what magic means to me, right now, right here.

CamelotCamelot. Just the word is enough to send a shiver of fascination through me. It evokes a hazy, ethereal feeling of delight that opens the doors of my mind and makes all things possible. Camelot was named for both the castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur. Absent in the early Arthurian material, Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances and eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur’s realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world. The stories locate it somewhere in Great Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, though more usually its precise location is not revealed. Most scholars regard it as being entirely fictional, its geography being perfect for romance writers. (I have to agree!) Nevertheless arguments about the location of the “real Camelot” have occurred since the 15th century and continue to rage today in popular works and for tourism purposes. Rumor even has it that the name is actually a corruption of the moniker, Cavalon. Avalon, Camelot. Hmmm. Both realms of magical possibilities and perhaps the very reason they hold so much appeal lay in the magic of no one being able to formally prove either existed. Magic is in the unknown, the faith that it does exist despite no record to the contrary!

Perhaps it’s the symbolism rather than the literal geographical “place” that strikes a resonant chord in me. Not a location to travel to but rather an ideal to hold to? And isn’t that magical in its own right? Arthur Pendragon wanted a world where honor, loyalty, valor, honestly, obedience, chivalry, respect and mercy were the touchstones. Commonly referred to as the Knight’s Code, it grew to mean a bit more to all who dwelled within Camelot.  Did you see those words above? Honor, loyalty, valor, honestly, obedience, chivalry, respect and mercy? THAT is and ever was the real magic of that world.

I can’t whittle it down to anything base. Or even human, if that makes sense. And I often think we mistake the word Magician for Magic and there is a critical difference! A magician is one who performs seemingly impossible spells by sleight of hand or misdirection. Magic…just is. One can be taught, the other must be felt, experienced, believed.

I embrace the notion that magic lay in each of us. We’re all privy to some untapped skill or art or talent that is ours and ours alone. Most people go their whole lives without seeing it or doing anything about it, so life seems mundane and slips by, bit by bit.

And then they are the dreamers; the writers, the artists, the singers, the dancers. People who see their own magic and share it out loud. And when you share it, when you show it and know it, then others see it and if you’re lucky, you help them believe something they forgot a very long time ago.

Anything is absolutely possible, if we just keep believing.

* * * *

Torie is giving away an autographed copy of “Timeless Night”.

For a chance to win, leave a comment and tell her what Camelot means to you… in a single word.

* * **

Now, for today’s “snippet”!

“Your dirty little secret is safe with me, husband.”


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