When I was a child, I was deeply into literature which spoke of magical worlds, of people and places that were beyond the horizon of what was considered “normal”. Such was the basis for what would become my journey into the Mythica, documenting my adventure of understanding the real, grounded version of that mystical terrain, and after twenty years of that journey, I feel I’ve gained a certain understanding – a grounding in the subtle arts and how they play out in the worlds.
I say that with a caveat. Understanding something in it’s principle is not the same as fully embodying it’s mechanics, and while I own my own throne of mastery regarding the awareness of and presentation of that world as a seer, I find that I am always a student, always discovering new ways to make sense of the subtle, to anchor what magic means to me into practice.
So first off, what is magic? Magic, whether you spell it with a ‘k’ or not, is the subtle application of the arts of change. It’s the working with the energies of life, with the subconscious patterns that define our existence, with the archetypes and energies which make up our reality. It’s the realization that what we’re experiencing as our everyday circumstance has it’s roots in something energetic, and that by focusing on that energetic underpainting and changing it’s substance, we change the outer expression of our reality. In this way, ‘magic’, or the subtle artistry of change, lay at the core of everything we do in a subtle way, ranging from classic spellcraft to self-empowerment, from the branding of ancient castles and elemental circles to techniques of coaches of personal improvement to that of prayer work, medicine journeys and the like. In short – magic underlie everything, for magic is verb that changes the nouns of the world.
This can be confusing to people who tend to look at magic as something they’ve seen in books or movies, filled with cultures and couture from fantastical worlds and flush with the all-too-archetypes heroes and villainy of our lore. Yet while these are beautiful and awe-inspiring ways of being reminded of the mystical world within ourselves, they are ultimately just a projection, a way of remembering and referencing the qualities of consciousness that lay within ourselves, and which form the basis of the layers of our mind. Here, our intrinsic mythological nature gets reframed, the spellworks and sanctities rebranded into the form of ‘life coaching’, ‘clearing subconscious beliefs’ and other currently vogue branding on the timeless process of self-work through the subtle arts. We talk about ‘changing our mindset’, about ‘seeing our heroic journey’, about facing the repetitive limiting patterns which lay within our consciousness, rarely seeing the simplicity that what we do every day to change our mind and it’s perspective is at heart a magical act – we just don’t call it that.
And herein lay the irony in talking about the magical world, for the simple truth is we are already IN the magical world. Already doing spellwork. Already working with the elements of our mind and its manifestations. We are already bringing ourselves into daily rituals, setting our intentions, divining our way through the inspirations that come to us along the way and transforming, step by step, the patterns within ourselves that make up our reality. We are the magic. We are the sorcerers, the priestesses, the queens and the kings. We just don’t realize it.
This is both a beautiful and a terrible thing, for in not realizing the nature of what we are already doing we miss an important part of who we really are. We can fail to see the myth beneath the mission of our lives, seeing the exploration into the fecund underland of our subconscious in a shallow way. While we are no doubt doing magic in the setting of intention and the journeying within, such is merely the surface of a much greater story – the upper crust of a landscape which both includes and goes beyond who we currently imagine ourselves to be. We must learn to see ourselves in the depths, to go beyond the context of self-development in terms of our mind and it’s patterns into the larger look at our story, coming to see ourselves beyond the surface into the larger world of mythology that lay beneath.
To heal this, we must learn to change our perspective in an even deeper way. To both recognize that what we are already doing in our subtle arts is an act of magic while also realizing that there is always a deeper level, that what we perceive as our self and it’s story exist in a much larger context. In the cosmology of the Mythica, that context is the land. Not simply the land of our subconscious patterns and the mythos of their interpretation, but the very land herself, the trees, the rivers, the cities and mountains which form the landscapes of our stories. We must come to see ourselves as not simply individuals in perceived separation moving along our heroic timeline, but as characters who exist in the context of a much larger world – a world of many characters, of many interactions and intentions, all of which are happening in a vast tapestry of interwoven experiences upon the layers of both our mind and the world we call our home.