Although the title of this post may sound like a contest or a game of some kind to see who wins out, the two spellings here highlight a subtlety of difference in the same understanding.
To begin with, let us throw out the idea of stage magic, for I am not referring to this with either spelling.
Also, let me share the importance of my understanding and knowledge in this post as it relates to my practice, whether you use one or two spellings of magic, or even the word at all: when you are experiencing health and wholeness, and you come to taste and touch on what this means and may mean, you might say the magic of life meets you, gives you the freedom to feel who you really are and might be.
Magic, however you spell it, which I will get to in a moment--experiencing it becomes a marker on the road to being yourself and to reaching wholeness.
I have previously defined magick with the letter k, to distinguish it from stage magic. For all intents and purposes right now, unless I indicate otherwise, I am talking about the same magick when I spell it without a k. Magic and magick then, from this point on, are interchangeable and synonymous on this site, unless I purposely refer to stage magic, which would be a separate definition.
If magic and magick are the same in essence when I mention either, what is the subtle difference between them?
Consider magick a formal definition of the word, which I have used purposefully to reference those who practice it and how it may have been understood and referenced in times past, not to mention current practitioners' usage of it.
There is truly something magical about the word, and powerful.
To conjure my definition again for magick:
A shift in perspective of reality where mystery and symbols hold power and the key to providing answers and knowledge which can alter reality.
More recently, I have used the word magic without a k and essentially meant the same thing.
However, when I have said magic more recently, I have been referring to a less formalized feeling and expression and experience of what it means, as in the life around and about you providing you with moments that feel like magic, are made up of magic, contain magic, to the point that you really understand and do believe in magic and know what it means in those moments.
Again, it marks progress in life.
Now whether you wield it formally or not, and whether I myself have more to say on that--honestly, I would not have much to say right now due to lack of knowing, and this perhaps may never change. I do believe in its practice though.
I consider the formally defined magick the same as the experience of magic in life, and to distinguish them further does not seem to be required at this point in my practice.
Being who we are, there becomes no greater magic than this.
This I truly believe and know.
For a summary of the overall knowledge I draw upon and make use of in my practice, the lens of alchemy helps highlight key areas. Through honoring the esoterica I know, which includes alchemy, I share ways of knowing associated more with darkness, obtained by going off the beaten path to be safely away and protected from the world. Under the processes of healing, I highlight more conventional counseling ideas, where we reach for and maintain ourselves operating in the world, or at least whatever our own particular version of the world may be. Within understandings of the sacred feminine, I share transcendent ideas, no less true, where love becomes the truth of what we know and experience.
All three of these areas can be seen as emblematic of alchemy's three processes, coded black, white, and red, respectively. (See the post Alchemy: A Journey of Discovery for more information on this.)
When I say Mystery of alchemy, I am purposely using a capitalized version. For mystery, in general, I mean that which we do not know. Almost all of the work I do and how I try and live have become more and more informed by my relationship to mystery or what I do not know.
I sometimes feel inclined to share a bit of reasoning or logic behind why I share and say what I do, but, in honor of mystery, I will leave a bit of that for now as I continue.
Without not knowing, how can we know or claim to know or come into knowledge of any kind? How can we explore, find truth, experience and enjoy what is new? More importantly, for the map of living and life which I find to be valid for experiencing one's own happiness and evolution: how can you experience any wonder in life or living without a sense of mystery, of enjoying not knowing how or why something occurs, which may include a sense of awe at times?
I might say that mystery involves itself quite intricately with the enjoyment of life and leads to its enchantment.
When I say Mystery, versus mystery, I am not using that designation lightly. I feel we are all a unique, and at times not a unique, expression of this ultimate mystery as Mystery, or, you may say, God or Goddess, the universe, Truth, whatever personal representation of Mystery speaks to you.
To say or even think we will come into the knowledge of all someday while still living on this earth, as we know ourselves to be living right now, this becomes an incessant drive and a fruitless quest in terms of the desired goal of knowing all.
The secret of Mystery: you must surrender to it. You live your life, knowing what you know, not knowing what you do not know, and you come across important experiences of wonder where you have enjoyed being who you are, while at the same time enjoying what you do not know in a way which gives a nod to and honors Mystery.
I do believe the Mystery of the universe will reach down and assist and help, in perhaps unpredictable ways at times, if we just follow our own path but make room for and allow ourselves to let go into, surrender into not knowing, not ever knowing all we would like to know.
The stages of life as seen through alchemy reach milestones of wonder, and without Mystery being honored, these become less likely to occur. Certainly, it makes sense to ask, why not consciously allow a place for Mystery in life if we will never know all, but we can at least honor this not knowing by having a place for Mystery in life?
For me, this allows wholeness, allows it to occur more easily.
The Mystery of alchemy becomes a process of allowing ourselves to remember who we are.
Tat tvam asi.
I have made a change to my website today, supplying more practical esoteric material, while hiding others I still believe in but which did not have a place in the change as of this day.
Briefly, to comment on the day, I think a day of foolishness might be just a wonderful thing, a fool's delight. A fool delights in not knowing, in not giving a care. The revelry, the joy, the freedom in this, this supplies perhaps a wonderful way to help us shift out of any daily drudgery or routine or haze.
I always think honoring the mystery of life brings rewards which we can experience if not always express, and I think the image of the fool, and what comes to mind with this, in some ways shows an ideal of how to embrace and live from what we do not know.
So, in keeping this post brief, a happy April Fool's Day to you!
Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
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