what is magic

What is magic? It seems like a basic question, but it’s actually complicated. The answer will vary according to who you ask. One of the wonderful things about witchcraft is the ability to create your own personal practice. My working definition is using my intention to shape the world around me.

What is Magic?

Here are some basic concepts that I’ve learned over the years through trial and error. My experience might not reflect your own. I believe that magic works with people on an individual basis. So, your mileage may vary.

Is it supernatural?

Yes, it is. It’s the power of positive thought, mindset, intention, and intuition. I do believe it is a force in the real world and gives everything a little push. However, I don’t think it can solve all your problems all the time. Oftentimes, it isn’t the solution at all. But a spell is an excellent tool to have in your back pocket if you need it.

Reduces Friction

Friction, in the business sense of the term, is the little barricades we encounter in life. These little roadblocks keep some people from pursuing things that they want.  A simple non-magical example is forms to fill out, or a lengthy step-by-step process to follow, and other barriers to entry.  This makes me think of my college experience and how I had to have all the right forms, signed by the right people, turned in at the precise time. Ugh. It was irritating.

A spell reduces the friction we encounter when we are trying to manifest something in our lives. It gives you a push, a headwind, makes it slightly easier to do something. The results I’ve seen have been astounding.

Intention Matters

I don’t believe you can cast a spell for something you aren’t invested in. In my experience, I had to be committed to a certain goal to see results from a ritual. I really, really wanted it. And I worked for it.


Another facet is intuition, or these little hints that sometimes pop into your head.The universe or your goddess or nature is whispering in your ear, giving you a tiny hint, a breadcrumb to follow. Whenever your spidey senses perk up, listen to them! There is some correlation between magic and intuition, even though I’m not certain what it is exactly.

Taking Action

Rituals won’t work, in my opinion, without some commitment and real-world action from you. For example, if you are trying to attract love into your life, you can’t do the spell and not sign up for a dating app or attend a party with some likely prospects. Sitting at home by yourself won’t get you a date. Another example is, you can’t ask for a new job, and not send out CVs to employers. A ritual needs an opportunity to work.

Pomp and Circumstance

Some people conduct very long, precise rituals.  They might use many ingredients in a spell, a rhyming incantation, loads of herbs. Others do quick and dirty spells. I’ve done both. Whenever I am really pushing for something, I’ll go all out, like in my Lammas ritual.

But I firmly believe that intention is the most important “ingredient” in a ritual. The rest can help you get into the witchy headspace and will help you along, but it’s all window dressing. At least in my opinion. So, don’t get too caught up in having the right candles, incense, smudge sticks, and the like. They are all tools which can help you, but the magic comes from you.

Different types

There are also various types of magic, performed by different types of witches. I tend to think of these as simply flavors of  the same lollipop. At the end of the day, it’s still the same thing.

High  Ceremonial Magic

This type of magic is most likely practiced by traditional witches. It can involve invoking spirits, using ancient occult knowledge from several cultures like the Egyptians, Freemasons, and Romans. These rituals are highly scripted, very precise, and big on protocol. Usually, the goals are higher-end as well. For example, self actualization or self-love.

Low or Natural Magic

I tend to practice more low magic than high magic. Although, I kinda hate that distinction, as though one is lesser than the other, but anyway…I didn’t choose the names. Again, it’s just a different flavor. This type of magic involves working with herbs, spells for healing, rituals for abundance, and the like. It’s dealing with more everyday matters and concerns. Overall, it’s less esoteric.


This is about using spells for harm like hexes. Some witches practice this type of magic and state they haven’t seen any karmic fallout from ignoring The Threefold Law. I tend to keep my magic more gray and white, than black, but that’s just me. Everyone has to make their own decision as to what feels comfortable.


People who perform this kind of magic are also called lightworkers. It’s basically using your magic for good results such as abundance, healing, protection, and other beneficent uses.

Based on your Brand of Witchcraft

I referenced different types of witches above. If you are a sea witch, you might incorporate water witchcraft into your practice. I’m a cosmic witch and I use lunar cycles in my magic. If you are a green witch, you probably incorporate a lot of plants and herbs into your rituals.

At the end of the day, we all get results, using whatever magical means work for us. What is your definition? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to know.