When you hear the word magician, do you imagine a bearded old man wearing a pointed hat and waving a jeweled wand, or a gypsy woman in a turban hunched over a crystal ball? In reality, most magicians look pretty much like you. They work at regular jobs, live in typical homes, raise families, and lead normal lives. The mechanic who repairs your car or the waitress at the corner café might be a magician. What's different about them is they seem to be a little luckier than other people. That's because magicians know a secret: Luck doesn't just happen, you create it for yourself.
Magician comes from the Latin word magi (the plural of magus), meaning wise men or women. The best-known magi are the Three Wise Men referred to in the Bible, who came from the East to offer gifts to the baby Jesus. Magi can be healers, shamans, priests or priestesses, astrologers, dowsers, seers — anyone who has learned to access the cosmic web of energy and information that animates the universe and to direct it for his or her purposes. If you choose to seek out this knowledge for yourself, you, too, will enter that rank by the time you finish this book.
But the real secret is that you're already a magician. Everyone is. Magical power is your birthright, a natural ability you were born with. You may not realize it, but you perform magical acts on a regular basis. You can't help doing magic, because you — along with all other human beings — are a creative being who constantly participates in the evolution of earthly events. As quantum physics has demonstrated, when you focus your attention on something, your energy influences the behavior of the molecules that you are watching. You quite literally change whatever you observe. That's magic.
The goal — and the challenge — is to use magic with conscious awareness and intent. Spells are one way to do this. When you cast a spell, you shape your desire into a ritualized formula and galvanize the full force of your intentions, your emotion, and your will to bring about a predetermined outcome. You shift energy. You feel the power in your blood, your bones, your cells. Maybe, in the deepest recesses of your mind, you reawaken memories of an ancient time when you lived in constant contact with the Earth, the cosmos, and your own instinctual nature. To cast a spell is to enter into an intimate relationship with ancient archetypes and your own personal mythology. Spell-casting creates an immediate and direct connection between your conscious and unconscious minds, and it awakens the innate wisdom that has lain dormant in the recesses of your being.
There are many ways to tap your magical power and many ways to focus the creative energy of the universe. This book introduces a number of philosophies, paths, and practices. Some will appeal to you, and some won't. Take what you like and leave the rest.
Regardless of which course you choose to follow, when you do magic, you enter into an agreement with the universe that if you do your part, the rest will unfold. In casting a spell, in performing a ritual, you take what Carlos Castaneda called a leap into the void, trusting that you will land on both feet.