Why Magic Works

Perhaps the best known definition of magic is that given by Alister Crowley: “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” Notice the capital W on Will. He means what your soul truly and deeply wants, not just what you would like to happen. This desire is the driving action of magic. Without it, it is unlikely that the result will be what you wanted.

It is also interesting to note that Crowley also said that “every intentional act is a Magickal Act.” That is, every act that is directed by your true Will is an act of magic. I am creating magic as I write this essay because it is something I am intentionally doing. It is my Will to write and share information, and that is where I work my magic. There are no candles or herbs involved, only me. And this magic works because I know it will.

It is important to remember that every event produces an almost endless variety of choices. You have free will to pick that which leads to the outcome you desire. Take, for example, a simple menu choice at lunch. You can pick a salad, pasta, or a sandwich. Think about what you’d like to happen, and what might happen, and make your choice based on that. If you want to remain (or become slim) then the salad would be a good choice. If you are afraid of ruining your silk shirt then don’t choose the pasta. It is your choice; you decide the outcome.

How does this relate to magic? Again, it goes back to your Will. If you are casting spells to help lose weight, yet you are still indulging in fast food, then you are going against your Will and your spells will fail. You have a hand in determining your future, and spells cannot and will not go against your actions. To make magic work, you need to take actions to reflect your Will. You must reinforce the goals of your spells, instead of casting and forgetting them. Take time to discover your Will and to make your actions match it, before attempting magic.

But how do the changes in reality actually occur? There are several theories. The two that I find most likely, and most interesting, are the idea of multiple universes and of the relational universe.

The theory of multiple universes believes that there is a separate universe for each possible action. For example, there is a universe in which I had cookies for breakfast and one in which I didn’t. (Which do you think is the universe in which I am slimmer?) When working magic, you align yourself with the universe where the outcome you desire will (or will most likely) happen. In a sense, you jump from this universe to another, where the only change is the increased likelihood of achieve your goal.

The theory of the relational universe states that everything in the world is interconnected. Some people believe it is our energies that our interconnected, others believe it is our souls. When working magic, we make use of these connections to help move people and events in away that makes our desired goal more likely. This isn’t a form of mind control, but rather a way to let the world know what it is we want, and to have it cooperate so that we can take the steps to achieve it.

There has also been a lot of talk lately about magic functions as part of quantum physics. (Read The Science Of The Craft by William H. Keith for a long and interesting look at this theory.) I’m not sure how much I personally believe this, but there are some interesting ideas that perhaps should be explored further.

When it comes right down to it, magic works because you believe it does. It is your Will, your desire, and you actions that bring your magic works to fruition.