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When I see a magick ritual, I often think, “There’s no way that the laws of physics have a special case for human lips forming those words, or human hands moving in human-recognizable shapes. That’s just not how physics works. Whatever the underlying mechanism, there has to be a faster, more precise way to trigger it.”
Usually, I think that as I’m getting bored.
But at a recent no-particular-tradition pagan ritual, it occurred to me: This ritual isn’t about altering the external world. They mean something different by the word “magick,” something closer to, “Engaging psychological phenomena to build a community.” They want to optimize for that, not for efficient manifesting results.
Going a step further, some friends use “magick” to mean “Maslow-style peak experiences.” Others mean “Anything non-medical that makes me feel better, from placebo to herbs to energy.” I like my more precise meaning, but it’s worth remembering that not everyone means the same thing by “magick.”
When I’m at rituals, I find I get less frustrated by remembering that we’re solving for different problems. Then I can learn about building community, rather than focusing on how inefficient their magick is.If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.