I never really thought that being a wizard was ever a possibility. Not realistically anyway. As a child I was always enamoured with the ideas of the arcane, with spirituality, and the mystery of special powers. I suppose any child is obsessed with magic at one point or another. But for me, seeking truth and wisdom had always been a primary drive. I had always imagined myself becoming some great sage or a hermit filled to the brim with arcane secrets. When I look back on that I realized the childness for what it was, both naive and heartfelt.
As I grew up, a seed of enchantment persisted with me through all kinds of phases. I hopped around quite a few times seeking some kind of solace in the right mythology or lack of one, but nothing quite fell into place. On my journey I was always coming to new dimensions of the mythology I was practicing, so I suppose it was inevitable that I was so majorly influenced by the mono myth and perennial philosophy.
I know the mono myth isn’t true and the perennial philosophy isn’t quite as universal as we would like to believe, but it helped me peel back the layers of symbolism to reveal common themes, themes which seemed to represent a central yearning of the human heart. And as I became more aware of that power of myth, the little seed of enchantment I safeguarded began to break open and sprout. It was just a matter of time before I stumbled upon my own notions of mythic narrative. As I delved deeper into the mythic realm of our existence, I came to see a common thread that pulled a cultural mythos together. It was the land. It was always the land and the indigenous wisdom that emerged out of it. Sure the myths were different, but where they came from and how they emerged were always from the natural world.
There was a certain day in which I came to realize that I couldn’t resist the seed of enchantment. It was an awakening of sorts. Perhaps it was a subtle calling? I am not really sure to be honest. But I was sure of one thing. Up until then, I was engaged with a story that had disenchanted my life, a story which made my worth commensurate with my power, a story which locked me into a deterministic nihilism. And like a small sprout in the dead of night it just somehow came to break the surface, poking its head out of my broken heart. I knew what that seed was. I had carried it all my life, waiting for the day that it would sprout and reclaim my own own childish wonder.
I was talking to a good friend of mine, the kind of friend which forces your personal evolution every time they are around you, and we were discussing the damage that reductionism and dualism had wrought upon the world. There was a point in the conversation where I had mentioned that we had become entirely disenchanted with the world as a result of our reductionism, that we used those very systems of reductionist logic to de-legitimize magic, but what was questioning the legitimacy of reductionism itself? How could we honestly conclude that enchantment was a lie when the very cause of our disenchantment was itself a faulty premise? In a world pushed by scarcity and commoditization, why should we have to accept institutions of desecration as the only authority on truth? It was such a simple flip in my world view, a simple sprouting to the surface after a long germination in the compost of my soul, and yet it was everything in the world to me. It was magic.
Ever since, it has been a courtship of sorts, a sweet love affair with the mythic realms, a blushing subtlety of dream, the weaving of heart beats. All the previous philosophy and religion I had studied clicked into place and shed so much light on this new mosaic. It seems they provided that seed the essential nutrients that could bring it into the light of day. There was a world out there that was more than human, and it was just as real and physically present as nature.
I quickly came into an animist mindset with magic. There wasn’t ever a “supernatural” world separate from the natural world, but rather a mythic world with which we were entangled. And it is in our various entanglements that a kind of emergent intelligence can guide us in our dance and revelry with the regions of our existence. The land is an all important factor in this mythic realm. Its intelligence is a kind of dreaming song that weaves together the various teleonomic functions of the agencies that make up its ecological systems. Each place has its own sense of being, its own identity, a kind of liminal guardian holding sacred space for the act of the land’s weaving narratives. There is a whole ecology to magic that many folks are sadly unaware of.
As a magical practitioner, I have grown extremely fond of communion with the land, and I like to believe that in many ways the land is growing fond of me. But of all the things my magical practice has led me too, I believe that the two greatest works that I can do is in re-enchanting the world and re-indigifying myself to the land. It is my heartfelt belief that to be a wizard is to be a liminal creature that lives on the edge of land and mythos.
Re-enchantment is an act of making things sacred again, or rather exposing that they have always been sacred. Wendell Berry had once said, “There are no unsacred places. There are only sacred places and desecrated places”. I find this to be truer as I grow into my magic. It is hard to deny that humans have commoditized the world around them, that we have turned life into resource and resource into trash. Such a world is unsustainable to say the least, but it is also soul crushing in its implications. For when you see yourself in the world, and the world in you, the overwhelming grief is resounding. As you treat the world like trash, you must inevitably confront the cognitive dissonance that arises from the realization that you have been treating yourself like trash as well. You must eventually come to terms with your participation in the world’s desecration.
I don’t seek a total primitivist rewilding of nature, but rather a deep appreciation and entanglement with nature’s intelligence. True I would like to see the re-emergence of roaming bison on the great plains, a rise in the natural mountain lion population of the Texas Hills, and a more rooted human lifestyle based in reverence for the land, but I do not see such things as mutually exclusive from technology and our great western scientific advances responsible for decreasing human suffering. Rather I believe that there is room for balance, that science has a deep place in it for enchantment to emerge. And in many ways this re-enchantment is already underway with such things as naturalism, agential realism and ecopsychology. It is a good sign.
But the deeper problem of the western mindset persists. We have been uprooted from the land due to colonialism and capitalism. We have been taught that the world is meaningless and only power defines our right to live. These spells of illusion have embedded themselves into our hearts and minds, and it takes a diligent person to dispel these illusions. Part of what it means to enchant the world is to simply dispel the illusions that lead to its desecration.
I do not believe that magic needs to follow the false dichotomies of good and evil, where we operate from an us vs them narrative. Rather one of the jobs of a wizard is to seek out the origins of things and their liminal edges, and to realize how our interbeing connects us to the problems we face. Magic is an act of balance with the natural world, and to achieve this balance it is always important to seek the full spectrum of the mosaic which makes up the world. The more we unveil about the perceived monsters of our world, the more we find just how much we have taken part in creating those monsters. And the more we seek to dismantle oppression, the more we realize how much of ourselves we need to sacrifice in order to do that. But truth has never been an easy matter, and real magic has real and sometimes dangerous consequences. However, when practiced in communion with the land and the agencies that take part in its dream, one can find a plethora of guidance and an open invitation to reclaim one’s power with the grace of the land.
I believe that there are massive openings in society for professional wizards. From creating rituals of transformation to re-enchanting sacred spaces, there is a whole spectrum of work that must be done in order to help people come to terms with a new mythic narrative. It has never been enough to just show people the facts or else the world would have already achieved peace years ago. They need a story with which the meaning of their lives can take root. And yet one story will never be enough, it has never been enough. The unified field of the Earth’s dreaming intelligence is a multitude of stories, a rich mythic diversity just as abundant as nature and it is up to the magical practitioner to weave these new stories into the magical ecology of the human mythos.
My goals for the future are to find those people that want to live within the liminal world of the mythic realm, the folk that yearn for enchantment and magic, the eccentrics who crave for loving wildness. I want to bring these folks into communion with the land so that they may weave their songs into its dreaming intelligence and sprout the seeds of their own enchantment. Magic is rising, and the land is calling us to action. I hope you will join me.