enchantment, charms & glamourie.
when we enter our magic circles we leave behind the enchantment of the apparent world and move into one of our own making. we know at least some of the elements that have gone into the making of the enchantment of our circles. we have chosen their locations according to the ambience of the
place, the natural enchantment cast by the trees, bushes and herbage, and birds and animals surrounding them, the rocks and stones and soil, taking into account the presence or absence of buildings, roads, and people nearby.
we may have planted a grove or garden around it, choosing each plant for its ability to contribute to the atmosphere we want, whether of holiness, of wildness or of magic. we will have invoked certain mentalities to inspire and share with us in the work of creation, and to infuse it with their own nwyfre – gods, nature spirits, archetypes, aborigine spirit beings, maori ancestors, devas, the elements, faeries…
we will have introduced friends and fellow pagans into the circle, admitted or excluded pets, neighbours and children, and each of these will have affected our enchantment. and we will have worked magically in the circle, performing everything from the elaborate rites of the eight festivals of the year to brief meditations, divinations, healings or consultations with the inner and sacred groves.
everything from the fleeting thoughts of ritual participants and the logistics of the rite to the climate, the disposition of the stars, and the tidal pull of the moon will be working upon our enchantment and modifying it for better or worse as we create it.
the same of course is true of any enchantment: that of a supermarket, for example, of a tv soft drink ad, the design of a car, the decor of a room, the disposition of fauna and flora, stones and water in a landscape or garden, of an item of dress, a piece of jewellery, or the tones of a voice, the roar of a jet plane or the song of a bird. some of these are beyond our control, others we deliberately manipulate to procure just the right effect.
are some effects magical then, and others not? from some points of view, all effects can be seen as physical, the result of the interplay of energies. from others, all effects are magical, from the mere fact of the existence of the atoms and energies of the material world as it is manifested out of pure spirit by the senses by which perception is possible, and the consciousness that allows us to know we are alive.
from the first viewpoint, there is no magic; and from the second, since all things are magical, there can be no effective discourse upon it, since it can have no specific meaning. you might just as well call the whole lot ‘reality’ and have done with it. if enchantment is just the possession of attributes that contribute to the fullness of a reality, why bother to denote it?
yet there is a third way of looking at the question. we live in a universe that is made of a single, richly complex fabric of interacting enchantments, and we engage perceptually with a narrow selection of them from which we construe what we call the apparent world. our selection criteria are genetically determined, determined by the interfaces we create via the molecules of our being – like being tuned to a particular tv station, except that this is the cosmic holograph with its infinitude of possibilities from which we make that specific selection which locates us in and indeed creates for us our apparent world of matter, energy, idea and attitude.
science deals with events occurring within this selection, with the manipulation of the perceptible attributes of the materio-energetic world. magic deals also with the invisible worlds, with the attributes of the universe beyond the range of perception, deliberately bringing into manifestation forces and attributes not normally selected by human perception.
when we dress we choose colours, textures and symbolic elements to create particular impressions. some people go to great lengths to create false impressions of youthfulness, beauty and health by the artful manipulation of visible signs and of other applied attributes. this is an example of glamour.
an interior decorator creates an enchantment by manipulating colour, shape, character etc to produce effects that are primarily aesthetic, effecting mood and feeling through the sensoria in a simple, scientifically intelligible way.
there’s no doubt that these effects are themselves magical, but in addition, accidental magical of a higher order may be employed or engaged unintentionally. for example, a furniture design may incidentally capture runes, permanently or momentarily, in the angles of design or in the intersecting edges of light and shadow, but these are not magically activated. a rune or ogham deliberately carved on an anchor stone in a magic circle is awakened, its magic invoked, its metaphysics manipulated by the exercise of the magician’s will, and so it has more power than a lagu or huath formed accidentally in the lines of a chair or the twigs of a bush.
enchantment means ‘singing in’. if we’re loose about what a singing is, enchantment can be seen as the ‘singing in’ of magical attributes. when we do this deliberately we begin to learn to take control of the enchantments operating in our lives. when we give attention to the magical attributes of power objects, wands and runes etc, we activate them in a controlled way in our lives. indeed, we become able to craft our own enchantment and to modify for human comfort and the benefit of the community and beyond, the enchantment of the mundane world.
but who has sung in the magical attributes that create the enchantment of this apparent world? we all do, of course! birds do. flowering plants feed back conditioning energies into the worlds, fish constantly ‘sing’ the water they swim in, in intimately magical ways. the chemical properties of stone constitute a ‘singing’ of the air, of the elements and of the cosmic radiances in which they have their being.
everything charms everything else around it. that is how the universe evolves. everything wishes, wills and works our surroundings this way and that, for its own comfort, though each one’s effects may seem to be lost in the cumulative effects of all, which we call nature. the magician studies these natural techniques of charm and enchantment and learns to use them for healing, divination and for magical acts, for the raising of a glamourie, and for the casting of spells, under the supervision of the gods of the sacred grove.
be it for the good of all beings!
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