Magick: how does it work? Physics has some answers!

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This article gives an explanation on how magick works in terms of physics. This article aims to give a more solid explanation as to why magick has the limitations it has, and how it manifests.

It is generally accepted in the witchcraft community that magick is not supernatural; it is a natural force. Since magick is a natural phenomenon, then it must follow the laws of physics. In this article we are going to explore this concept further, and put a more scientific explanation on how magick works. The aim of this article is to pave the way into understanding how and why magick works the way it does, and why is has limitations (e.g. why you cant just transform into a mermaid at will).

Newton's Laws of Motion:

I: (In an inertial frame of reference) an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.
In terms of magick, this basically means that you have to put work into something, to get something out. If you are not doing anything, then nothing is going to happen. If you're not setting your intentions to the universe, then nothing will change.
Alternatively, if you want something to continue to work, you have to keep working on it. An example would be setting up a shield to protect your home. This shield needs to be continually worked on every few weeks, months, or years or so to keep the shield doing as intended, as over time the energy weakens and wears out.

II: (In an inertial frame of reference) the rate of change of momentum of a body is directly proportional to the force applied, and this change in momentum takes place in the direction of the applied force.
Applying this to magick, this basically means that the amount of work you put in directly translates to how much you get out of it. Spell rituals are all about raising energy towards a specific goal, so the more energy you raise, the more energy you are able to dictate to the universe. If you are performing a spell, and you're sufficiently grounded and centered, and you are skilled in visualizing, you are going to raise a lot more energy as opposed to performing the spell where you are tired, thinking about non-spell related things, and not fully visualizing your goal. Your will and intention also plays a role in this; if you are performing a spell for something you really want, you are naturally going to spend more time and effort on it, and therefore make your spell more likely to manifest. This is why getting witches to perform spells for you generally doesn't work as well as a spell you've performed yourself, since the other witch doesn't have as much incentive as you to perform this spell.

III: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.
This basically equates to The Law of Attraction, the Wiccan Threefold Law, The Golden Rule, or some version of karma. The energy you put out will come back to you. In physics, the reactionary force isn't a different force; it is the same force, just merely going in the opposite direction. So if you're asserting love and light, love and light comes back to you. This is the same with negativity also. (Some more advanced practitioners have ways to combat the law of attraction, but lets keep things basic).

It is worth noting that the laws of physics can be observed in an inertial frame of reference . Of course, the universe isn't like this. The world isn't made up of closed systems with perfect elasticity. There are other forces at play which may or may not affect your spell's outcome or how well it manifests. This is why magick doesn't always work, and it doesn't always work in the way you intended.


Magick follows the laws of physics, but you can also think of it as a system of probability. Say you cast a spell to make your teacher sick for a day so you don't have to hand in that assignment you haven't done... let's say, arbitrarily, your teacher has a 7/365 chance of being sick on any particular day (i.e. a teacher takes 7 sick days off a year). Lets call this probability p. You could:
a) do nothing, in which case your intention is not set to the universe and p doesn't change.
b) cast a spell, which makes p increase
c) cast a spell really well, which makes p increase a lot
But there are other forces at work too, which means that spells don't always manifest (the power it would take to make p go from 7/365 to 365/365 would have to be astronomical). For example, your teacher could be very thorough at keeping up to date with their flu jabs, and they eat, drink, and sleep well. On the contrary, there could be other forces working with you; maybe your teacher needs a day off, maybe your teacher hasn't been taking care of their mental and physical health.

So yes, magick follows the laws of physics. There are definitely things that aren't possible, but it appears to also be a system of probability. There are things that have a chance of 0 (e.g. transforming into a wolf), there are things that have a small chance, and there are things that have a big chance of happening. To be a witch is to perform the necessary actions, both mundane and magickal, to increase the probability of your goals being achieved.

Quantum Physics

Now lets try to explain how magick works using quantum mechanics. Im going to be using some terms which may confuse you, but I will try my best to explain them. I have also linked some YouTube videos at the end of the article which explain some of these concepts further, in case you don't understand (and also because quantum physics is awesome!).

The Observer Effect:

In some experiments concerning quantum physics, physicists have found that their experiments have different outcomes depending merely on whether they were observed or not. The most famous of these being The Double Slit Experiment. When single photons are fired through 2 slits at a wall, they are expected to make a wave interference pattern, since light is a wave. And this is indeed what happens. But when we try to find out which slit the photon passed through using a detector, the light behaves like particles, the interference pattern collapses, and instead 2 lines appear on the wall corresponding to the 2 slits. When physicists take the detector away, the interference pattern returns. Thus, it appears that merely observing which slit the photons pass through, changes its properties from those of a wave, to that of a particle. Even more puzzling, in a similar experiment known as The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment, physicists found that they were able to retroactively change the results of the experiment, even after the photon had already hit the wall!

In brief, because of The Observer Effect, one can make the conclusion that a conscious mind can directly affect reality . In other words, you have the power to create your own reality, and one of the ways to do it is with magick.

Quantum Entanglement:
One more thing related to The Observer Effect is Quantum Entanglement. This is the phenomenon where by quantum entangled pairs of particles can affect one another despite being far apart, sometimes miles (and maybe lightyears) away. This breaks The Law of Locality, which states that every particle can only act on its immediate surroundings, and the chain of cause and effect cannot propagate faster than the speed of light.

Therefore, Quantum Entanglement has the potential to loosely explain how magick (or at least some of it) manifests. If two particles have interacted with each other so that their properties are linked in some way, they can potentially influence each other even whilst miles and lightyears apart! This could be used to explain how your spells can have an effect on something completely out of your control, and over great distances.

If you want to understand better the concepts I've discussed, please see these videos:

The Double Slit Experiment:
The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment:
Quantum Entanglement:


Added to on Nov 27, 2019
Last edited on Dec 07, 2019
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