Brad Pitt does it. Sophia Loren and Heidi Klum do it. Even ice cool Serena Williams does it. What exactly is it they do? They all have their own magical practice to petition the Universe for the outcomes they desire. Brad Pitt wears a shark tooth necklace with the ability to keep its wearer safe from harm. Serena Williams bounces every ball exactly five times when she serves. Heidi Klum keeps a bag of baby teeth to bring good fortune and Sophia Loren refuses to wear purple believing it to be a magnet for evil.
Magical rituals and beliefs are so hardwired into the human consciousness that many of us are practicing some form of magic every day. This can be so subtle that we aren’t even aware of it. If you look hard enough the evidence is plain to see.
Marriage ceremonies involve a diverse number of magical practices. In Greece the bride hides a sugar cube in her glove to sweeten the marriage. In the Middle East, brides paint henna on their hands and feet to ward off the evil eye. Swedish brides place gold and silver coins inside each shoe to bring prosperity, while in the Netherlands a tree is planted outside the newlyweds’ home to attract fertility.
New Year magic includes opening all the doors of your home before midnight to release the energies of the old year and kissing loved ones to ensure affection continues. In Italy old possessions are thrown out of the windows to allow for new possessions to enter. The Spanish eat twelve grapes to represent each of the coming months. A sweet tasting grape secures a month of happiness. In England a dark haired individual must bring bread, coal and salt through the door to guarantee that food, warmth and money will flow in abundance.
Objects also have magical meaning and power in our lives. Family heirlooms are passed down through the generations to signify a mystical link to our forbears. They remind us of past achievements or important events that have helped shape who we are. They symbolise ancestral consciousness. Like sacred objects in a temple, family heirlooms connect us to the unseen. They bring the powerful aura of the past into our present experience. Keepsakes, given between two people, act in a similar way to create an invisible bond. They establish a magical link across the divide.
Even though over a third of the world lives in urbanised societies, we crave the opportunity to connect with the magical spirit of nature. Walking in the park, hiking in the mountains or swimming with dolphins all reveal a yearning to become one with the world around us. We look for ways to feel our unity with the universal consciousness through communion with the natural world.
The way we use language reveals a connection to magical principles. We bump into a friend and tell them, ‘I was just thinking about you.’ We counsel somebody to ‘be careful what you wish for’. We describe the magic of yoga, the magic of Rio or the magic of the open road. We give pet names to inanimate objects like cars. In doing so we hope they will be benevolent and reliable in return.
Whether through words, objects, family celebrations or calendar events, the art of magic is all around us. You don’t have to look very far in your own life until you find it.