Why Do You Love Magic So Much?
I am the type of girl that always craves magic.
I am the type of girl that, within a month of settling into her new place in Amsterdam, googles “Amsterdam magic” in an attempt to find cool magical places nearby – perhaps old buildings where witches used to hide, pagan sites, or simply magical stories set in Amsterdam.
I am the girl that grew up reading books about wizards and dragon tamers; the girl that seeks mythical creatures in the morning mist; the girl that listens to legends and studies fairy tales.
Not everyone gets why.
What is it about magic that resonates with me and many others so much?
Let me explain.
Magic is a wonderful escape.
There is nothing like diving into a world of dragons, magic spells and impossible quests to escape the grim routine of everyday worries. A witch’s problems may be similar enough to mine that I identify with her; but the alternative reality of her world would be just enough to make me forget, for a little while, about my own mundane existence.
A whole new world is sometimes all you need to recharge and inject a little creativity back into your life. Fantasy is a huge mood-lifter for me. It reconnects me to the feelings of wonder I’ve had since I was a child reading and watching magical things for the first time.
Magic empowers you(ng readers).
When I was but a little nugget, I was already caught up in fantasy. I loved Harry Potter, I loved the witches from Charmed, I loved the idea of having magic powers. What kid doesn’t?
If you think about it, magic is a fantasy of power. Being able to control the elements, other people and even events are extremely comforting ideas. For a child (dare I say especially for a female child) who doesn’t get to decide much about their own life, there is nothing more appealing than the idea of being in control.
Magic satisfies this fantasy to an extent while at the same time respecting the teachings and morals of the real world; not using your powers to hurt others and continually keeping your morals in check.
It has allowed me to identify with characters that took charge of their own destinies, fought both literal and metaphorical demons and emerged stronger from the perils they had gone through.
Magic honors and amplifies the beauty of the real world.
Fantasy stories are often misunderstood as merely being made-up worlds made for people to bury their heads in the sand and hardly stay in touch with the real world. But what this fails to recognize is that the point of fantasy is not the magic.
Fantasy is deeply metaphorical and shares very human struggles.
Magical stories revolve around issues of identity, difference and belonging; responsibility and morality; life and accepting death; the power of communities and love; resourcefulness in the face of adversity; and overcoming whatever stands in your way.
If that isn’t what life as a human is about, then I don’t know what is.
Magic is a gateway into these complex issues. And they may be personified and allegorized but that doesn’t make them any less real.
Magic appeals to your sense of wonder.
Wizard and fantasy stories are where I get my fix of unbound enthusiasm. I love magic at its most beautiful: when Hermione conjures up a pocket fire to keep her and her friends warm in the winter. I love it when it is playful and simple, turning water into snow or making a flower open and close its petals.
The gracefulness that I find in magic is just an echo of the gracefulness of the real world, and I think that’s pretty great.
It reminds me that beautiful things are to be found wherever the eye rests – with a little imagination.