Random Thoughts On Magic

Random Thoughts On Magic

A brief catalog of heretical thoughts.

Random Thoughts On Magic
Terrie Gayton

On the one hand, you have actually zero sustainable evidence in favor of the existence of the supernatural—but on the other hand, you have movies like The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins, based on an actual Father Gary Thomas’ actual life spent performing around sixty actual exorcisms. You have books like The Field Guide to Demons, half-instructional-pamphlet, half-guidebook, complied by Carol K Mack on the subject of various demons and demonic entities; and countless Tumblr witch blogs, which expound countless rituals and prayers and (un)successful spells. There’s that girl Megan from high school, who had the best job at the coolest coffeeshop and allegedly performed some prosperity spell to get it—and who would hire her, you wonder, without some kind of magical coercion going on? There’s also me, beginning my essay with in favor of, although all artistic reasoning would place the positives at the end of an evaluative paper. It all belies partiality on my part.

Maybe what’s so immortally attractive about witchcraft in particular is that it can’t be dissociated from the baggage of femininity. A witch is a woman who essentially fails to fulfill the expectations of her sex—she is unchaste, unpassive, and ugly. She is the worst-case woman. The archetypical crone is so exempt from the status quo that she becomes monstrous, although what is most fearsome about her is how she wholly embraces this darkness. She is willfully anti-feminine, passionately unpleasant, and absolutely threatening. It offers an interesting subversion to any young girl just starting to panic about body odor.

But outside of the theoretical discourse, why has the practical aspect of magic persisted? My sister used to read these “teen witchcraft” books back when she was a tortured teenager. She had these naked black candles that drooled stinky, sticky wax everywhere, and all these kooky books fawning over the right phase of moon to perform a love spell under—she must have tried them out? And they didn’t work. So that should put to rest the entire notion of witchcraft.

And we can reason it out, too. Like in the Mahabharata, literal sister wives Ambika and Ambalika (the third sister is named Amba) are widowed without heirs, so the late king’s viciously-unkempt brother, Rishi Veda Vyasa, is conscripted to father the next princes. When he first approaches Ambika, she shuts her eyes in fear, so her son is born blind. He comes next to Ambalika, who blanches, and her son is born white. This story has always made a lot of sense to me, because it’s so reasonable. If you’ve never learned Punnett squares, how are you going to make sense of genetic abnormalities like albinism or sightlessness? You pin it on the mother—in this case, two grieving widows who had to fuck some allegedly-monstrous ascetic, at the behest of their mother-in-law. Magic isn’t real and never was: it’s a term we use to describe a guiding force we can’t perceive, like genetics, and love, and the luck of getting a really cool job.

And yet none of this is satisfying. It could be that maybe one story in a thousand is true— maybe there’s one demon in the whole of Colorado, lurking deep in the snowed-over forest, agitating dogs and frightening hikers; maybe one young woman is afflicted with genuine possession in the entire United States, every fifty years, and only during the heavy-flow stage of her first bad period. Some accounts could be true, but they’re so mild and vague, and so unlikely to be true at all it’s silly to even consider it, but here I am, sitting in a house that has every light on, still wondering.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

It wasn't until I hit 23 years old that I started getting hangovers. It could've been from two glasses of wine or even a margarita at happy hour, the next day, consider me bed-bound until further notice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Air Travel Looks Different Now

If you have to travel, you can — you just have to take a few extra steps.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

As we are learning how to live our lives in the midst of a pandemic, one big question being travel. States that were initially labeled coronavirus (COVID-19) epicenters, like New York and New Jersey, are extra cautious in how freely residents can travel and then come home. Other states may not have the same travel restrictions as the epicenters, but one thing is for sure — no matter where you fly within the United States, that trip will look different than your usual summer vacation. Sure, it can still happen, you just need to take a few more steps to make sure your trip will go smoothly.

Keep Reading... Show less

Top 10 Santana Lopez Performances On 'Glee' That MADE The Show

In honor of Naya Rivera's passing, I compiled a list of her best performances as Santana Lopez as "Glee".


Hearing about the tragic passing of the beloved actress, singer, and model Naya Rivera was tragic to say the least. "Glee" was a huge part of my life, Santana being one of my favorite characters, so it was shocking to hear the news.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Caribbean is a place where people go for vacation, but if you set out from a cruise ship you miss out on all the beautiful culture. Their exotic beaches are nothing without their zinging food and hospitality. Locals in the Caribbean are warmhearted with a zest to live life to the fullest.

This is exactly where most of their words and phrases come from, having a good time. I definitely enjoyed myself living in the Caribbean, but it's not always about lounging. They get work done too and I've learned proper phrases for accomplishments.

Keep Reading... Show less

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In August For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your end of summer binge-watch list.

Flower Films, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema

August is here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during August.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Urban Dictionary, a "simp" is defined as "a man that puts himself in a subservient/submissive position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the female bringing anything to the table." There are many other definitions for a "simp," but basically it's shaming men who are kind to women without getting anything in return.

Let's just stop attacking nice men. Work out your own issues, don't project your shortcomings onto another man. What happened to the brotherhood? Y'all can lie for each other, but can't raise each other up? You guys can encourage murder, gang rape, and violence against women — or at least stay silent about it — but can't let your brother know it ain't cool when they bring you down for being nice to women with no expectation?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Living With Bipolar Disorder Is An Everyday Battle, But I'm Fighting It

I went from depression, to anxiety, to bipolar disorder.

I've thought about how to write this since my diagnosis. I've thought about what kind of feelings it might bring up from my mom, former friends, and even myself. I've rewritten it a thousand times in my head, but never could quite get the words onto my notepad, but tonight I'm going to sit down and write it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Self-Love Is The Best Love, That's Just How It Is

Do you ever feel like you can't please everyone? Self-love will do the trick.

I've been feeling a little down lately, with the understanding that friends don't last forever and that I can't always please my parents. Life has been rough for everyone lately and it's not easy to stay happy and optimistic during these times. But I promise you, you are on this earth for a reason. You are here because God formed you, to love, and to be loved.

When things are tough, realize that you have yourself always. No one can take that away from you. You will always be you. No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you've been in life, at the end of the day, you are you. You can love you, therefore giving you one reason to stay here on this Earth.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ranking 'The Umbrella Academy' Cast By Their Powers

I'm ranking the characters of Netflix's show "The Umbrella Academy" by how cool their powers are.

With the new season of "The Umbrella Academy" coming out tomorrow, I took the time to revisit the first season to refamiliarize myself with the characters.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments