(note – this is copied over from a post I made to the AODA Yahoo group as part of a discussion on the nature of magic. This is what I mean when I talk about doing magic – it’s not necessarily what other people mean when they talk about the same thing. )

If there is something in my life that I think needs to happen, I’ll go to the spirit (for me it’s nearly always either plant spirits, if it’s a health issue, or the fairies) that I think can help and ask for some aid. It’s always a request, never a demand, and sometimes the answer is “no.” Or “not yet.” And that’s OK. Once, when there was something I wanted very much, I pushed past the “no” and insisted on, or maybe begged for, the outcome I thought I wanted. So, I got it. It turned out to be the single worst experience of my entire life. Now I take “no” for an answer with gratitude. But often it’s “yes,” and then, well, stuff happens (ask me about the time I manifested an automobile…)

I don’t see it as symbolic – if I carry a bit of angelica root for protection, for instance, it’s not because the root symbolizes anything – it’s because it is a direct material connection to the protective spirit of the angelica plant. If I’m carrying the root, the spirit is with me, and that’s where the protection comes from. If it’s a root from an angelica plant that I planted and nurtured and talked with while it was growing, the spirit will be with me much more strongly than if I bought a root in a botanica. It’s the relationship that brings the power.

I don’t see the magic as coming from me at all – it comes through the ones I call on. What I’m responsible for are the relationships I’ve formed – the connections I’ve made and nurtured. That’s what comes through me. Any kind of ethical choices I make have to come from my own personal concept of virtue, but if I wanted to do something hateful or destructive, well, I’d have to make those relationships and I’m really not into that.

I’ve been told before that what I do isn’t really “magic” – that it’s really shamanism or theurgy or whatever other buzzy word of the day is going around – but I’m not sure I need a whole different word for it. Do I?