That is the thing with magic: it is not exact, it is not precise. It is about taking nature and twisting it into shapes you control… or, in most cases, try to control. Some people, mostly those who do not think about it, assume there is some separation between the human and the rest of the natural world. They see our cities, our armies, our universities, our markets and our brothels and how all that is so different to the rest of this world. They assume – and invent religions to explain – how mankind and nature are two: separate and distinct.
For those of us who look further, peer a bit deeper, into the nature of this world though, there is a difference. Look closely and you can see how the human connects to, and intertwines with, the rest of the natural world. We are no images of gods set down here to have mastery over the natural world. We are part of it… and if there were any gods, then they are long gone or indifferent.
The magic lies there, in the natural world. There are strands, threads, a careful observer can see, then learn how to grasp. In time – and with practice – it is possible to weave those threads together and – in more time with more practice -learn how to weave a cloth from those strands to throw over the world.
A mere conjurer, a magician, touring the inns and courts to entertain the drunks and carousers can do tricks. They can throw a cloth over some mundane items, perform some stage chicanery and pull back the cloth to reveal some change…. A maiden’s silk handkerchief becomes a dove… or something like that. Some call such mere conjuring magic and it is – in a way – the magic of illusion and diversion. But true magic, real magic, lies in the weaving of a cloth that we – the real magicians – throw over the world to change it fundamentally. And that, my students – is the art, the magic, you are all here to learn.