M is for Magic


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I love magic.  I wish it was real…well, at least the good types.  I wouldn’t want black magic, like that derived from necromancy, but in books, all sorts of magic are way cool.  I mean, think about it.  How awesome would it be to cast a charm to make an object do something it normally wouldn’t (like Chip, the singing tea cup in Beauty and the Beast)?  Maybe conjure something out of thin air?  Or, transfigure an object into something else?

I read and write lots of fantasy so I started collecting ‘facts’ about magic a long time ago.  The most common sorts you’ll find (think Merlin, Harry Potter) are the following:

Charms:  these are enchantments that cause an object to react in a way abnormal for its normal behavior.  Memory charms are a prime example.  Think “obliterate’ in Harry Potter.

Protection spells:  as implied, these spells protect the target from outside forces, primarily Dark Magic.  These also include your invisibility spells.  They are used to protect, shield or perform a barrier.

Conjuration:  This is in the transfiguration branch of magic as it creates objects out of thin air.  I love this!  Do you know how many times I wished I could just summon a perfectly cooked dinner to the table!  Conjuring is an advanced and complex magic and should not be attempted by novice magicians.

Transfiguration:  this type of magic changes the form and appearance of something.  It also includes conjuration and vanishing of objects, along with spells that change the inherent nature of the object.  Imagine wanting to have a cup of hot coffee but all you have is a thimble.  How cool would that be to change that thimble into a mug so you could have your coffee…that you would conjure out of thin air!  Love, love it.

Of course, you can’t have positive, good magic (White) without the bad, negative magic (Black).  Black magic causes harm, death or destruction either by draining power, transferring power, or simply attacking the object.  Black magic isn’t always evil and good magicians can use black magic in defense.  Black magic includes jinxes, hexes, and curses.

Jinx:  this is a spell used for the amusement of the caster with minimum discomfort to the victim.  They have negative effects and are used as defensive magic.  Most jinxes can be removed with a counter-jinx and can be prevented with an anti-jinx.

Hex:  These spells are more powerful than a Jinx, but not as powerful as a curse. They usually cause pain.  They are classified as minor Dark Magic though they can be used as protection.

Curses:  These are very, very strong magical spells used with the intention of causing great harm, control, terror, or even death over the target. Curses are stronger than Jinxes and Hexes, and are by magical beings in duels.

Divination:  this is the ability to be able to predict things while under divine influence and intervention.  I also use this in my fantasy novels.

Voodooism:  use of voodoo dolls, witchcraft and animistic deities for inflicting effects on selected targets.

Tantra:  this type of magic involves using mantras and mudras(spells) from Vedas (sacred texts) recited for getting things done magically.

Alchemy:  this type of magic is more like a science.  Alchemists have the ability to turn ordinary metals into gold.  They also have a unique understanding of chemicals and the creation of potions.

Necromancy:  a type of very bad, bad Black magic.  It involves conjuring the dead for prophesying.  You’ll usually find necromancy performed along with the use of evil spirits to produce supernatural effects in the world.

If you could do magic, what type would you like to do?

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14 thoughts on “M is for Magic

  1. I grew up watching ‘Bewitched’ and ‘I Dream of Jeannie’. I could never understand why Samantha chose not to use magic just because Darren forbade it. I would love to get my household chores done in the blink of an eye or a twitch of the nose and be able to conjure up a meal in seconds.

    When I first started writing, I wasn’t all that sure about the ‘rules’ of witchcraft. I was thankful to a member of my writers group at the time who practiced wicca. She told me that time travel using magic would not just ‘happen’. The shaman would need an object to focus his magic. That piece of information helped me develop that part of my story line.

    Thanks for filling me in on some of the other terminology and types of magic. It will come in handy if I write any more magical fantasy stories 🙂

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  2. I love this little list. So informative. And also pretty helpful to me right now. All I’m saying is I seem to have gotten something correct in one of my upcoming stories. 🙂
    Thanks, Jen. 🙂

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  3. I think what I liked best about Harry Potter was that magic was the fix-everything solution. Wizards and witches still have the same problems as Muggles when it comes to growing up. I’ve always loved that! 🙂

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  4. Ah, magic! I grew up watching David Copperfield, and still adore magic shows!

    If I could possess magic, I would like a telekinetic kind of power, so I can do the dishes, mop the floor or fold the laundry without lifting a finger … except to wave my wand! 🙂

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

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