I am often asked (by youngsters who really do want to learn!) what is magic? Is it like science?
Well, where to begin? It means so many things to so many people. Over the centuries a great wealth of knowledge, that was once thought to be magic, has been proven to be true as "science". In the very early days of humans, everything was "magic"!
When my teacher began to teach me witchcraft I didn't know that she was a witch. She just seemed to be telling me things that I was not being told at school; telling me about old legends, old Gods.And telling me about things of nature; how animals lived, how insects lived.
All this went on until I was about ten, or a bit older.I asked her if she was a witch. She said that she was not! So I asked if there was such a thing as magic. She said,
"Take a few tiny seeds in your hand. Look at them. Do you know, that if you put those seeds in a jar, they will stay exactly the same for hundreds of years? But, if you put those tiny seeds into the ground and add water and sunshine, you can watch them grow into plants. They will grow big and strong,and grow flowers! And then the flowers will produce more seeds, and it can start all over again. That's magic. Now, how much magic do you want?"
By the time I was a teenager it was obvious to me that Mrs Marshall was a witch. Witchcraft was becoming more widely known, even though it was still against the law.
I asked my teacher to explain witchcraft to me. She said,
"Witchcraft is the knowledge of the few, for the benefit of the many.It is not about Gods, or Saints.It is about how things work. How the Earth works. How the Universe works."
So I asked, "Then witchcraft is magic?" She said,"No, it isn't. Witchcraft uses magic to change things. There are two kinds of magic. Natural magic and "applied" magic."
I asked,"What is applied magic?"
As usual, I was told to write it all down in my notebook. She said.
"Magic is all around you! Every day! Let me give you an example of simple magic. You have watched your mother do it. But, unless you know what magic is, you don't see it!
Take an amount of flour. Some water, some yeast. A little salt, a little sugar,a little oil. Mix them all together. Would you eat it? If you ate that soggy mess, it would not only taste terrible. It might very well make you ill! But,if you add heat to that mixture something strange happens. It changes into something else.It becomes Bread! And that! Is magic!"
I said, "But that's just science!"
And my wise old teacher said,
"Of course it is! Magic IS science!"