(This is part of the text from a project I am working on)
The best way I have of talking abut magic & sorcery is this:
There is a field. This field is all manifest reality that we can perceive. Everything manifest is a part of the field. Ideas, dreams, visions, art-unborn are all part of the field. Every living thing is a part of the field. All the spirits seen or unseen are part of the field. Any degree of manifestation from a pre-echo of a whisper to an earth-shaking explosion is a manifestation of the field. Ideas, thoughts, dreams are part of the field. Physical actions, words of beauty and words of pain all influence the field. But not everything is weighted the same.
Sorcery, sacred arts, prayers, devotional arts, all exist in their ‘really hard to pin down in any clear or useful way’ to influence the field and what manifests from it or in it. They are, in other words, methods of weighting some influence more strongly than others.
There are a variety of possibilities in any situation. There are a smaller (usually much, much smaller) number of probabilities in any situation. Nothing is actually static, but there are tendencies in play at all times. In most cases, the ball rolls downhill. In most cases, getting injured in not a good thing. These are the probabilities.
Sometimes getting injured saves you from a worse fate. Possibilities are of course, endless. Practical magic is largely about shifting things from the ‘possibilities’ side of things to the ‘probabilities’ side. And then working to increase the likelihood of a particular probability to manifest.
Another view. There is a field. It is explicitly like a field in nature- a meadow. All of our life plays out on this meadow-field. It’s full of vibrant life. Soil bacteria, microbes, fungi, teeny tiny insects & creatures from very small to huge. The nature of the field is an organic matrix that favors some things over others at different times. A year of hard frosts where there are usually none will change the life-makeup of the meadow-field, maybe a little, maybe radically. Some creatures will die off, some seeds will sprout while others are killed. The probability was for a gradual shifting of the ecosystem over time, business as usual. But the frosts (possibility) changed all that. And it didn’t have to be frost! Coyotes may have moved into the area & wildly changed the balance of small mammals in our meadow, which can have far reaching implications.
Spiritual-magical practices seek to influence the balance of possibilities & probabilities in the field. Through sorcery, prayers, magic- whatever we choose to call it- we try to call the coyote, bring on the frosts (or stop them!), so the seeds & other inhabitants of the field-meadow shift to a form that suits & serves us better. Which usually allows us to serve it better in return. It’s always a two way street (at the very least)!
Aidan Wachter, 2015
note: 'Sacred Arts' is a term that I picked up from Bri Saussy, and it is very worth diving into her site for more information.