I know I'm starting this post off with a cliché, but...magic is everywhere. It's in the air. It's the blissful feeling when you're around someone you love. It's the hope you get in a beautiful morning sunrise. It's everywhere.
For me, magic is what I prefer to call "energy". In my not-so-scientific opinion (as I drink my glass of cab sav) I view the "energy" I sense as the thing that puts movement to mass—regardless of whether or not it's kinetic or potential. It's just energy. It's what makes atoms vibrate. It's what ties this reality together. I may go as far to even say mass (in the physical realm anyways) is really just thought-forms vibrating at the lowest and densest frequency they can vibrate (without going negative) and energy is the force that puts these thought-forms in the state of kinesis.
It's even in science, in my humble opinion. Science has this funny way of historically trying to catch up to things magic already had a handle on...and just when Science thinks it has a handle on things, along comes Quantum Mysticism and Von Neumann–Wigner. I've also noticed when studying energy and its behaviors that an even basic understanding of Quantum Physics/Mechanics can be useful—especially concepts like Schrödinger's cat and Tesseracts.
What is magic?
Yep. In all likelihood, you've probably done magic (or "magick" as some like to spell it) without even knowing it. It's in just about every religion (sans Atheism) and numerous cultures.
The concept of magic has been on an interesting roller-coaster throughout history and I'd like to clear some misconceptions up about it. But first, let's have a look at its definition:
According to Merriam-Webster, "Magic" is defined as:
"1 a : the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces
b : magic rites or incantations"
...or, my favorite interpretation:
"1. used in magic or working by magic; having or apparently having supernatural powers.
'a magic wand'"
So, if you've ever prayed, believed in a lucky charm, listened to a weird (yet accurate) feeling, or crossed your fingers, that's a form of magic. When it comes to magic, it is all about intent. It boils down to doing something to encourage or alter seen forces with unseen ones. And just because it didn't work, doesn't mean the magic wasn't necessarily working. It just means it wasn't working strong enough. Not enough gas in the tank, so to speak.
Let's take prayer, for example. Prayer is a form of communication to a supernatural entity (often times in my case, asking God for help). The act itself of communicating to God is magical because he's supernatural...and even more so when he answers my prayer!
But what about that "feeling" you've gotten about someone—a feeling you couldn't explain—and it turned out to be right? That time you just knew your friend or family member was in trouble, or that dream you had that came true. That extrasensory way of knowing could technically be called "magic"...
...Psychics especially so. I've even begun to break it up into levels and a noticeable (though not necessarily a causal) correlation in personality traits. Read it here, in case you were curious...
Magic is for EVERYBODY!
Just like being psychic, magic isn't just for "special" people, or for people belonging to a specific religion. It's for everyone. Belief and intent are the gas and steering wheel, so to speak, behind doing magic. The best way to understand it is this—magic is like a hammer. You can use it to make a home or smash someone in the head. It depends on the person wielding it.
I have personally used spells and rituals to encourage the outcome of certain events and circumstances, and they have always worked to one degree or another. I also consider myself (very loosely) Christian. In the VERY old days, before science, hygiene or antibiotics, people used magic and rituals all the time. God gave people magic as a tool to affect the world around them. Certain religions adopted and integrated these rituals into their beliefs, but if you do enough research you can find there are basic common "themes" to magical rituals and prayer. I guess what I am trying to say that magic is magic, and no one religion or another owns it. As long as you are respectful, mindful and ethical, it's no holds barred.
Magic You Can Do
There are plenty of rituals out there involving magic. Some you might've even heard of. I'm going to list three common, ethical and safe ones I do that you can do at home as well.
This one is crazy simple. Lots of cultures & religions base rituals on the phase of the moon. Especially Paganism. However, just like magic, the moon doesn't belong to any person, religion or culture in particular.
The moon has 4 phases: Full Moon, Waning, New Moon, and Waxing. Many people, including myself, believe certain times of the month, depending on the phase of the moon, can increase the potency of other rituals. This ritual, however is pretty basic—but first you must have a basic understanding of the meanings/symbolism behind the phase of the moon.
The Full Moon is all about releasing. It can be associated with the apex of inhaling. You're about to let go of all of that air in your lungs. So can be said with the light of the moon. If you're wanting to release or banish something—worry, anger, frustration, people, you name it—a full moon is the perfect time of the month to do just that. Just stand outside under the full moon (doesn't matter if it's cloudy or not) and visualize letting go of whatever it is you want to let go of. Imagine the moon's rays taking it from you. You could also write it down and burn it in a candle. As the month progresses and the moon shifts from Full to New, you'll notice the issue dissipating.
The New Moon, as you might've guessed, holds the opposite energy of the Full Moon. It's all about intake. Just like when you've exhaled all of the air in your lungs and are about to take in a breath, the New Moon is all about bringing things to you. Just as with the Full Moon ritual, stand outside under a new moon (regardless if you can see it or not—though preferably at night) and imagine receiving the thing you're wanting. The stronger you believe in the ritual, the greater effect it has. As the month wears on and the moon shifts from New to Full, you'll start to notice the energy of what you're wanting start to come to you.
Not to be confused with Salt Bae, salt baths are perfect for releasing. I recommend them all the time to clients—especially empaths who've taken on too much energy. I take one about once a month. It's perfect for releasing just about anything, and is great to do at bedtime because it puts me in a relaxed state.
What I usually end up doing is cleaning the tub out first ('cause let's face it, it needed it), then get 4 white tea candles and place them on the four corners. I'll take 2 cups (or more) of kosher salt and dump it in the tub. Then I take 2 cups of epsom salt (especially the lavender kind) and put that in the tub as well. I fill it with hot water, maybe add some sage drops to the mix and BOOM—Amy soup.
The best thing to do before you get in, however is to pray first. Ask God to bless the water and for your angels to help you release what you need to release. That's the part that is most important. I usually make sure I submerge myself and even dunk my head under water to get everything in contact with the water. I recommend sitting in the tub for at least 10 minutes, 30 ideally for optimum effect. Then afterwards, simply drain the water and rinse off.
I briefly mentioned this under Moon Rituals and saved it for last—partially because they're so powerful. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. The most effective way to use candle magic is ethically. Make sure your intent is clearly stated in your mind before you even go out to get the candle you're wanting. Also, please keep the free will of others in mind. Getting a "love" candle to attract a certain person is a big no-no. Getting a "love" candle to attract love into your life however, is just fine. Another tip is to always keep positivity and God-like love in your heart to attract the best outcome that serves everyone's highest good.
I tend to buy my candles at Phoenix & Dragon here in Atlanta—especially Coventry Creations brand. What you do is buy a pre-dressed candle (or dress one yourself if you have that kinda time on your hands) and write your name (or the names of who you want the spell to effect) on it (I do it with a pin/needle). Then, set the candle on your oven on a cake pan or cookie sheet, since this ritual will be involving fire. Heck, you could even set it in the sink if you're not planning on using it for a while. Just be sure to use a fireproof surface.
Write down neatly and clearly your intent for the outcome of the ritual. Do so as clearly and neatly as possible. If it involves specific people, use their full name(s). Please also be sure to mention that you want the outcome that serves the highest good for all.
After writing what you want down, fold up the piece of paper and light the candle. State your intention out loud as clearly as possible (you could even practice beforehand) and use the flame of the candle to burn the paper. I like to hold the paper with a pair of tongs so I don't get accidentally burned. Then simply let the candle burn. Sometimes it can take up to 48 hours to burn—though I would strongly recommend to NEVER leave a candle burning unattended.
When I light the candle I'll start to immediately feel the effects of it. It feels like tingling or a "shift" of sorts. It's also handy to pay attention to the wax after the candle has melted. It has interesting symbols that can form. Also, keep the wax in a special place to retain the effects of the candle. You can keep it in a cabinet, under your pillow, or even under your bed. Often times the candles will have a nice scent to them so they're fun to keep around.
So, In Conclusion...
Magic is neither out of your grasp nor complex. It is easy to do and accessible for all—regardless of religion or beliefs. It's all about intent and ethics. The more ethical you are with magic, the better the results.