A guide to all things magical and mystical
The world is constantly evolving and improving especially through technological inventions all around us, yet when it comes to supernatural forces, spiritual beliefs, superstitions and magic it looks like all the maze of modernity just falls off and reveals the true human nature, that’s pretty much the same as it used to be back in the ancient times. What are the reasons magic and all the rituals which surround it remained so captivating for most of us?
This is what I try to explore in this blog, which also serves as a guide providing you with descriptions about all things magical. This work will grow with time and I will also make individual posts with more elaborate information on some of the topics I discuss below.
Until then, I hope you enjoy this journey in the world of magic and mysticism.
Magic goes back to the pagan times but it still lives with us pretty strongly with just as many people believing in magic than back in the day.
Why are we so fascinated to believe in magic, the magical effects of things? And why do we perceive certain happenings, such as weather conditions, natural disasters, and any other as events done by higher forces? Why do we still believe in the existence of fairies or spirits let them be good or bad? Let me guide you through the world of magic and mysticism, in its various ways and forms as we know about it, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world which includes Europe and the United States mainly. I will soon follow this up with my features about the world of mysticism in Asia, particularly in Japan.
The idea to write about magic came to me just yesterday, as I was back from a movie which was about Halloween and magic and its title was “The House with a Clock in its walls”. It was a nice, magical movie which, among many other events included the rites such as the revival of the dead and all sorts of other magic finishing with the final clash of good and evil forces. I think what we see in these movies perfectly echo the same things which kept the human mind busy in the past several thousand years. So why is that, that although we are all modern, so-called civilised people we still fear in the dark from all sorts of monsters? How is that, that we are so keen to believe the existence of supernatural beings or believe that certain people possess magical powers? Let’s see the answers to that together.
I have always been fascinated by magic and all sorts of different superstitions. I also love to read about certain cultures’ different belief systems, national superstitions and global superstitions. In the US and in Japan people are so serious about their superstitions, that you won’t find 13th or 4th floor in common buildings and in hotels in these buildings. I would love to find out where they come from and how they were created alongside all the legends. It would be also fantastic to know how much reality all those legends have. I also find it absolutely amazing that there are still so many villages which have their own „weird magician or witch” who sells all sorts of home mage potions, crèmes which serve for all different reasons, one of which also includes the dispelling of bad magic applied on someone. Is it natural to believe in superstitions?
The Origins of Magic
The belief in supernatural forces goes way back in the ancient times when there was no electricity, no medical sciences, no radios, TVs or internet to watch, practically no high-level education. People back in the day had to rely on nature and on faith and praying hoping things would get better. This is what served as the key ground for magical rites and for whole religions to born. Faith is extremely important especially in times when we don’t have much else to rely on. The same goes for luck as well. And if magic could help, why not give it a try? There isn’t much to lose.
Then, magicians have started to appear. People strange in appearance or behavior, often living as outcasts who said they have connections with the supernatural or otherworldly forces. They offered help in creating contact with these forces to make them do good, in return for food, respect, for money or for all of these. They were the first Medicine men or women who seemed to have more knowledge about supernatural forces and who seemed to be able to get in touch with these forces with the use of certain herbs, drinks or other substances. The community has started to rely on local magicians and they also often served as the local healers for a long time. Each community gave a different name to these people. They can be called magicians, shamans, witches and medicine men. They did secretive rites and people feared them and respected them. These people still exist to this day, especially in smaller communities all around the world.
Then, over the next centuries the science of magic has also evolved with the help of secretive groups such as the Freemasons, their strong allies the Illuminati and other groups who engaged in occultist studies, who studied the ancient rites of Hebrews, Egyptians and who have also built their own belief system with the Sphynx and pyramids gaining a large role as the servants of the key the forces of the universe. Magical maps were created, the good and bad magic was divided and the world of magic has started to evolve in all sorts of different directions along with the use of science and scientific researches.
But with all this development, the core of magic remained the same. And the core of magic is about bringing good or bringing bad upon someone or someones through rites, calling the help of mystical forces. Magic is all about doing something that someone is not able to or doesn’t want to do on their own.
The secret of magic
Magic cannot be touched, it can only be experienced. Magic cannot be proved either and I think this is why most people find it fascinating to this day. We love movies about magic. About people who can change the circumstances around them with the use of magical spells. Magic has ancient roots. It’s only recently been divided to Black and White magic, it used to be one back in the day. Magic had its priests, who performed magical mystic rites, used potions of different nature to fall into trance. To this day, shamans of the ancient times swear, they can ride to the otherworld, only their time is limited. Shaman can have accidents when they fail to come back. In this case, their soul would be stuck in the other world forever and their body would go on to exist without the soul.
Magic and the unknown
Magic is also everything what we don’t know about the universe which is still a lot. Therefore, it makes us try to find out more about it, trying to find all those forces which may guide us or limit us throughout our lives. It’s a practically unending research where every single person finds out about different things and finds different ways to spirituality.
The ancient Chinese belief system called Feng Shui practically gives guidance and specific instructions about all areas of someone’s life. I have recently started to apply some Feng Shui in my life and so far I feel pretty content about it. Many people like me looks for comfort in applying magic in some way or form to bring benefits in our lives.
Magic as the ultimate reasoning
It was always easier to say something bad happened because of someone getting the evil eye or not bringing presents to the local witch or doing something bad ourselves than simply looking for no particular reason at all. Did the cows not give enough milk? Perhaps it’s because you got the evil eye. Did your baby fall ill? It might be bad will coming from the local mediwitch. Magic is the ultimate reasoning when we just don’t know what happened. It’s pretty convenient therefore it’s used to this day in form of sayings, superstitions or as part of the local tradition.
Magic and religion
While the key religions such as Christian Catholic religion or Islamic religions are all against magical beliefs, beliefs in Medicine Men and Women and superstitions, they have are not without magical abilities. Just think about exorcism, when the Bible and verses from Bible are applied just like spells from a magical book. Jesus also had magical healing abilities. In Islam it’s strictly forbidden to believe in magic yet there are plenty of people who visit local medicine men for potions and for having magic applied on to them or someone else. The famous Islamic Evil Eye talisman, which people wear and feature in their homes is to ward off evil eye or evil will of others is in theory against Islamic beliefs. The Hand of Fatima, another talisman which is often paired with the evil eye talisman also serves to ward off evil spirits and it’s featured by the entrance of most homes in Islamic countries. Strong religious symbols such as the Cross, The sign of Holy Trinity are both used as very strong symbols by all those who deal with wizardry or magic. It is understandable that cross turned upside down is being used for exercising black magic. Voodoo for instance creates a weird yet natural connection between religion and magic, making people believe they can cure or that they can kill someone solely with their willpower basically. There are millions out there who believe in voodoo and the rites of Makumba while being devoted Catholics in the same time.
Magic and sciences
Let’s not forget that even about a hundred years ago medical science was still in baby shoes. There was no aspirin and even a flu could prove lethal. Most people didn’t even have access to proper medication therefore they relied on the magical and supposedly medical knowledge of the local witch or mediwith (or Medicine Man) and this was often also supported by magical rites to help in curing.
Magic and chemistry
Chemical reactions were long used for doing magical tricks by fortune tellers and magicians long before proper chemistry as a science was born. The Christian Catholic church did it’s very best to prohibit natural sciences as these brought up questions, which were against religious beliefs. For long, there were only very few people who dealt with natural science in secretive ways, such as alchemists who were among the first scientists, who examined chemical reactions of certain elements or when they mixed with each other and who connected science with occultism. Guns were also regarded as magical devices by many who haven’t seen anything like that before. Then, from the age of Renaissance, when the Catholic Church weakened in power natural studies were finally officially included in academic studies.
Occultism and Freemasons
Occultism is the type of action generally used by people who exercise magic, particularly black magic. Occultism also has roots with Satanism. Freemasons are especially famous for their occult rituals.
Alchemist as a word and a profession is tightly connected with Freemasonry. The main goal of the alchemist is to be able to create the Elixir of Life to live forever and to gain the ability to turn anything to gold with the help of magic and doing occult studies. Alchemists were among the first who engaged in studying natural science. I want to write more on Freemasonry and the ways they connected natural sciences, especially chemistry with occultism.
Magical powers go along a very long line. While back in the day, some of the most popular magical power used to be to make things disappear, to heal someone or to put a spell on someone, other things, such as the ability to fly, to transcend to another universe or to magically make things move are all considered magical powers. I know there are other words which these magical powers are named such as telekinetic abilities. Yet it’s not fully proved that there is one person alive who has real telekinetic abilities.
Magic is also the ability to hypnotize people or to make them fall in trance: this way, the magician can do with them whatever their want. We get to see videos of people being hypnotized. Either we believe in this or not, we still cannot explain sleepwalking either.
The connection of magic with natural elements is evident. One of the most preferred natural elements include the Moon, whose effect on sea is still something that cannot fully be explained. Full moon still tends to make people more stressed, nervous or even crazy. We have no idea why. But we can connect several legends to this phenomenon, such as the legend of werewolf.
One segment of magic is particularly concerned with two things: this is also the integral part of the Freemason’s magic system. The first one is the ability to create gold out of any metal the other is to create the Water of Life, a potion which gives an unending life. Another important segment of magic is to revive the dead. In Haiti people deeply believe there are some who use the correct methods to revive the dead and make them barely alive. The belief system of the living dead is strongly connected to the beliefs about ghosts, spirits and fairies.
Defense systems against magic
There are tons or rites and methods, which solely serve one reason: to defend oneself against magic, particularly black magic. While each culture uses different rites and blessings the main goal is to be free from any forms of magic. In many areas it’s still priests who must bless a home, before it gets inhabited so that the owners make sure, it’s defended against magic. Superstitions also serve as defense systems against all sorts of magical activities
There are certain places in the world which have become infamous or famous for having magical powers attributed to them or of being cursed with black magic. Stonehenge is one of the most popular magical places. It’s said to be along a very ancient line, which cannot be seen but along which people subconsciously built lots of villages and towns back in the day. These power lines go through all of England and all the world. These power lines deliver magical powers and they say most magical places are along such a power line.
The US is also famous for places which have become magical perhaps due to the high amount of tragedies happening there. Salem is one of the most famous cursed places, where many women who were said to be witches were executed in various ways. Other places such as Lourdes mix religion with mystics, where the Statue of Mary sheds real tears and there are many places more like this. This inevitably brings us to the topic of religion mixed with magic.
Not many people know, but Turin, in Italy has been long referred to as another magical place. According to ancient beliefs in Turin there is the magical line that divides black magic from white magic It is also rumoured that you can find the gate to hell also in Turin. However, the Christian catholic Italians are not that keen on advertising this fact it’s only known in the circles of mystics. British on the other hand love mysticism and spiritualism and there are tons of tours along the power lines featuring some of the most mystical places alongside haunted houses all around the country.
Magic and the Celtics
The magical power of the Celtics is still literally unknown. But with creations, such as the Stonehenge many of us suspect that there were in fact Celtics druids who had supernatural powers.
For now, what we know is that the places where we found signs of Celtic rituals have a special importance, they may be under one power line of Earth Energy. I would love to find out more about this in the future.
The connection between this ancient nation and magic is very clear. This is perhaps why people in Great Britain have a very strong belief system in magic.
Including all tools, things, substances which are used for doing magic.
The power of the cystal ball
Glass ball has supernatural effects according to almost every culture. While Chinese believe Glass ball has a fantastic ability to apply positive effects in any space, us in Europe and in the US mainly know the crystal ball for its secret and yet to be proved ability to reveal the future. The ball has long been used by gypsy predictors. The crystal ball also appears in the Lord of the Rings movies, where it plays the role of messenger basically, and an object which gives magicians the ability to see through them and to show the future. Indeed the crystal ball is one of the most ancient magical symbols we have in the world.
Magical books, spells, signs and languages
We are all amazed even by the thought of ancient magical books showing magical forms, runes, spells and all sorts of mystical things through which the world can be changed. This is one important thing that keeps the human mind excited and that’s exactly why we get to see so many magical books on the market even today.
We all know them and have seen them in several movies and documentaries. Secret studies written with secret letters. Hebrew was once a favourite with strong association with the Kabbalah and Freemason belief system but other languages were also used. Words have strong meanings and especially words which are associated with magical spells and magical powers can be extremely strong effect when said or even written down. This belief system is present also in Asia, particularly in Japan.
Magic and blood
Blood is life. Back in the day it had an even larger importance, when medical science was still in baby shoes. Yet, even back in the ancient days blood had an extreme importance. It is of no wonder that evil creatures gained strength through consuming human or animal blood according to old folktales which still live on today and that certain occultist rites and sacrifices were deeply connected with blood.
Magic in the cards
People have long been use cards to provide them guidance on the future. These cards are called Prediction Cards and back in the day, they were first used by gypsies who went all across Europe and regularly showed up at all sorts of fairs. Using cards to predict the future is still very popular all across the world. Today, the Tarot cards are the most popular prediction cards but gypsy prediction cards are also often used.
Who wouldn’t want to give love potion to someone, to make them love us the way we love them? Although it’s definitely a wish coming from fairy tales, there are tons of people who try to use such potions to this day. The making of magic potions of all sorts is the most important segment of witchcraft and it’s a huge business even today! The aspect of applying magic on someone with the help of a substance to make them do as we pleased is a wish which most of us have thought about at least once in our life. Of course so many potions are connected with herbs and other plants which can naturally have certain minor effects on people. But we still cannot explain the phenomenon as to why people still get potions of unknown origins, to get the ability to exercise power upon others: be it with love or with hate. The market of magical potions today is just as big as it used to be back in the day. In Mexico you can buy soaps to dispel curse, to make others love you and for tons of different things. Believing in the effect of a potion can almost make them actually effective in certain ways. Even in Europe villages do have their medicine man or woman to cure people, to help girls with natural abortion ( this sometimes have lethal outcome) and most importantly, love potions alone have some of the largest market all in all, no matter which belief system or culture we are talking about.
It’s almost unexplainable, that people still take potions, oftentimes not even wanting to know what exactly that potion contains.
magic in things, forms, talismans and amulets
So many cultures attribute magical powers to certain things, or forms which we call symbols, talismans, amulets or so. Some of the best examples include the 5-pole star of magic the Pentagram, the David Star and the triangle (that has connection to the religious Holy Trinity). Magic can also show in writing: writing down the spells and saying them out loud would activate them. Talismans, the things which have magical powers attributed to them are worn widely to this day. Most talisman serves against evil spirits. These days, there is a huge interest in crystals and gemstones which can also serve as a talisman. There are also several things which have black magic attributed to them, which carry bad will and which will bring bad to their owners.
Magic is strongly connected to special events, such as the full moon or to Halloween, the Day of the Dead when supernatural and otherworldly powers are unleashed according to several old myths.
Magic and the night
Magic is inherently connected with the night. Because it’s dark and this darkness reveals things in a whole different aspects. Things change, the predators come out to hunt for a prey. We have long associated night with mysteries and danger. I think these feelings and perceptions are remnants from the ancient times, when people had to get stones and all sorts of cover to hide in their caves and to always have an active fireplace to keep the beasts out.
People with magical powers
Magician were never really equal with magicians and tricks are more strongly associated with wizardry than anything else. Still, magicians are ever present even today and they are still important parts of fairs, shows and even TV shows, even when we can sometimes reveal how they do a trick. Great magicians however, such as David Copperfield did unbelievable tricks to which the solution is yet to be found.
Witches and mediwitches
We all find witches alluring riding on their brooms, having a black cat by their side and wearing those funny hats doing mysterious things. The belief in witches goes back to the middle Ages and still exists today. With most villages and farms sill secretly having someone who is said to be the local Medicine man, woman or a Medi-witch (Medicine Women) who are alive and well, secretly going to witch meetings, constructing potions which are often deemed magical and often serving also as local doctors too. Witches are long feared and respected by people, even if they are unsure whether their magical abilities are in fact true or not. Many modern witches deal with the preparation of herbal medicines made out of natural plants, herbs and spices. Their power on a community could be so strong, that in the Middle Ages Catholics have even decided to burn every woman alive who was suspected to be a witch in order to dispel the myth around them and the fear from their power.
Although the word is equal in meaning with magician, still it’s the wizards who have more supernatural abilities attributed to them. Wizards can be good or bad, depending on the type of magic they exercise, yet according to literature, we can get to find more bad than good wizards out there. The most famous wizard should definitely be Merlin, one of the few wizards who are present in a country’s most important legend, namely of the United Kingdom, where he had a very important role in electing Arthur, the first real king of England.
Strongly connected with gypsies and the Greek mythological Oracle/Sybil by tradition prophetess or a fortune-teller is a profession which still flourishes today. In type it is also strongly connected to being a witch. Prophetess is a woman who can see someone’s future and can make predictions, good or bad. The role of a prophetess it was an integral part of fairs from the middle Ages and it still is, even today, especially in the UK. Most people who deal with prediction have learned abilities to read the basic signs that reveals someone’s marital status, mental status and other factors, just like any good psychologist would do. The key things fortune tellers do includes palm reading, telling the future using cards and crystal ball among other methods.
There are people who are more sensitive and who can sense magical or other otherworldly activities just like animals being able to sense storm or natural disasters coming. However, the number of real mediums is very low and due to the fact that one cannot really prove supernatural in any sure way or form this creates a good ground for tons of frauds and tricksters in this field, especially with today’s great technologies, when we cannot believe what we see on screens any longer.
Today’s superheroes and people’s overall fascination with superpowers have very strong connections to the ancient creatures with supernatural abilities. Yet, there are millions out there who in fact believe in the existence of some or all of the above enlisted magical creatures.
Mythical and magical creatures
We can differentiate several sorts of magical creatures, starting from being human or non-human in form and origin, alive or dead by nature and good or bad by their habits. The legends of magical creatures differ from culture to culture yet some of the most popular magical creatures are the following:
- Fairies – fairies are good, such as the so popular tooth fairy. But there are other fairies who live in the forest and generally help animals and the whole flora and fauna. There is a strong belief in fairies, which is also supported by market where one can buy fairy houses to place in their garden.
- Will-o-the-wisp – strongly associated with swamps where people are said to see lights suddenly appearing to misguide people and to make them lose the right way.
- Goblins – generally with bad or mischievous will goblins would often fool or scare people in the forest or in caves. Goblins are often small and look grotesque such as kobold.
- Dracula – one of the very few creatures which was actually a live person Count Dracul used to be a Romanian lord with his own castle and small empire. He was infamous for his cruelty learned back in Turkey. Because of this, people started to associate otherworldly qualities to him, such as living forever as someone who is not fully alive but dead. Only drinking blood would make him fulfil his appetite. Dracula was revived internationally as a blood thirsty monster who can infect other humans and make them bloodsucker dead too, by a British writer called Bram Stoker.
- Werewolf – being mainly a Northern American legend, werewolf is a human being that becomes a wolf hunting for human blood every full moon. It’s a disease that can be spread by other werewolves. In books such as the Twilight the legends of Dracula and Werewolf were combined basically.
- Leprechauns – originally Irish, Leprechauns are long connected to bringing luck and money but being also mischievous and doing tricks with humans. The gold of the leprechauns is therefore mostly not real gold.
- Dragons – being present in European and Asian mythology dragons are extremely powerful and important creatures. While in Europe they are associated with evil forces in Asia they are strong defenders of people and homes, when treated appropriately.
- Mermaids – the creatures living under the sea have long been present in mythology and there are many people who believe in them. Others want to believe in them so much, that they become mermaids by profession.
- Unicorns – there has never been a time when unicorns were so successful like these days when this magical animal has been somehow elected as the symbol of cuteness (thanks to Asia finding out about unicorns). This horse-like creature who has one single horn on their forehead has long been a magical animal with tons of good power attributed to them.
- Phoenix- one of the most famous animals which in fact never lived, the phoenix symbolizes rebirth from time to time. Its legend is supported by famous stories just like Harry Potter.
- Demons – demons are among the most popular creatures because they are the most evil of all creatures, and they can exist in so many shapes and forms. They have the ability to intrude anyone’s body be them human or animals if they feel like. Demons are the embodiment of Evil or the Devil and as such, they also exist in several religions such as Christianity and in Islam too. Demons are so popular that there is a whole range of science called Demonology which deals and researches after them. Demonology is strongly connected with theology and exorcism.
Animals with magical powers
Last but not least let’s enlist some real life animals who has magical powers attributed to them.
Cats: cats are predators, who often hunt at night and can be scary as hell, especially black cats. Perhaps it’s no wonder that cats have lots of bad luck attributed to them. To their dismay most witches in movies also do keep a black cat as their company and helper in doing magic.
Owls: owls, another fantastic nocturnal creature, the owls have long been attributed with magical powers. They are the ones who can signal the coming of death for instance, so they are pretty bad news by European beliefs. However, lately they have been featured as lucky symbols, thanks to Asian effects on our culture, which is definitely good news for owls.
Raven: Just like owns ravens are also labelled as the messengers of death.
Each culture has its magical animals. I will introduce Japan’s most important animals with mythical powers attributed to them and other symbols very shortly.
Bats: creatures of the night and with species who like mosquitos have to consume blood to live, bats have been naturally connected with Dracula and from that point on Dracula could take the form of a bat anytime he wanted to.
On trying out any form of magic
While magic seems fun you must be aware of the dangers which lie within trying to experiment with magic whether you believe it or not. First of all noone really knows if it exists at all. Many people start to deal with becoming fortune tellers or start making potions. These can also be like hobbies and in case the ingredients are clear and don’t contain any shady things, they can even prove to be useful or at least not cause any harm. Witchcraft and witch gatherings when done with normal people can also be harmless. I suggest you not to join any groups of witchcraft or magic though because there can always be some underlying, or evil reasons behind these. Black magic and evil are connected but one doesn’t need to be a real wizard to do bad things. Evil exists without magic too. Can we really divide black magic from white magic? I believe it’s a question of pure will and character.
We will never find out whether magic really exists or not and I think this is the part which is why magic and all its aspects remain so alluring and exciting.
Do you believe in magic and if so, in which of its aspects?
I am aware that there are so many mystical aspects I didn’t cover here such as numerology, astrology which are also used by fortune tellers and by spirituals, but all can’t be fully covered in a single piece. Please let me know which aspects of Magic would you like to learn more about?