When I was in the Christian community, there was a lot of talk of doubt and faith. Christianity has a solution for when you stop believing in God: Have faith. There are constant reminders from people in the pews and the person on stage about God’s power, just in case you forget He’s there. Everyone agrees that doubt is a part of the test of faith and the God never leaves us no matter how alone we feel.
Now that I spend most of my religious moments alone in meditation, I need far less convincing. I feel magic all the time and it has changed my perspective on everything, including doubt and faith.
Superstition, magic, and religion were once a core piece of society, the effects of which we can still see in our language, politics, and art. In 2018, 76% of Americans believed that religion was losing its influence in America. Perhaps the rise of atheism has pushed these once mainstream social connections further toward the fringes to make way for the rise of science and discovery rather than imagination and worship.
As witchcraft gains mainstream traction, we can all start getting a head start on accepting religion and mysticism as a part of the human condition, even when we don’t accept it into our own lives. In much the same way I wouldn’t taunt a Christian for their beliefs, I expect to have my practice respected.
Science and magic are friends, not enemies. As more magic becomes available to us, we simply call it science because we have an explanation for a previously mysterious phenomenon. This simplified connection of magic and science is easy to make even if you know very little about either.
So why don’t I call it science when I smudge my house, make a potion, and cum on a sigil? What’s the difference between what I’m doing at what they do in grant funded labs all over the globe?
Mainly, the scientific method.
This rigorous process of determining what is real in this world has a lot of value. The world that we can perceive is defined by how it stand ups to the scientific method. However, it is a magician’s decision to understand that things that have not been proven by the scientific method can still exist and, of course, do.
Why is it so hard to let ourselves believe this? Is it because the world would fall into chaos if we believed in the paranormal? I don’t think so. I think it’s because conceding that there is more in the world than what we can observe with the scientific method feels like admitting that we are not the smartest one in the room (or the universe).
Inside myself, I perceived this barrier as an act of ego. There is a fear in letting go of the fallacy that science is our god. When we bow our heads in prayer or raise our hands in ritual, we are admitting before the universe that there is something that we do not fully know or understand among us. We must remain humble to receive the divine information and that is very hard to do in world that puts humans above all else.
Scientists are growing crystals to check for dark matter and quantum computing uses particles from other places in the world. Genetic trauma has been proven, connecting us even more deeply to our ancestors and sensory deprivation tanks are trendy. Science is moving toward the uncertain and the human response of practicing magic makes perfect sense.
We are in a time of truth being revealed by science and, though it might take some of that exciting enticement away, it is a really good thing that we are learning more about the nature of the universe. It is objectively beneficial to the human race to have progress in the matters of space, time, medicine, and biology. What we cannot afford to do is believe that all of these things revolve around the human experience.
The universe is far more grand than humans and does not exist for or within the boundaries of our perception. This truth is one that can break your heart or accelerate it toward a path of divine education and graceful humility.
It also helps me to remember this when I lay my humble will before the yawning chaotic mouth of a clockwork universe to send my light into it with the hopes that some might make it back to me here on my meditation cushion. Spells will not work every time for every person and they are especially not fond of laboratory settings.
Fair magic making!