The Magic of Fantasy
If you could have any type of magic power, what would it be?
I fell in love with magic and fantasy in 7th grade when I found a short story on dragon impression on Pern written by Anne McCaffery followed by a big dose of Mercedes Lackey with her Herald Mages of Valdemar. I know those stories shaped how I view magic. First impressions usually do!
When I dream of magic it is something you are born with that bubbles inside of you or burns like wildfire. You are born with it or not. You can learn to control it better and stretch your ability to become a wizard who wields magic with intelligence as much as skill. But having magic also means some innate control, just like no one teaches you how to see or how to hear. You just can.
That is a mage and the magic I want!
But if I wasn’t born with it (because I certainly haven’t figured out how to use it yet!), does that mean I don’t have any other choice? Heck, no! Not in the realms of wonderful fantasy books anyway. 😀
In the Harry Potter books you have to be born with magic, but it really comes down to spell casting, which means you need ingredients, a wand, and the right incantation as much as that innate bit of magic. This is typically called witchcraft (wizardcraft for the guys?).
With a deep connection to nature throughout history, witchcraft follows the same basic rules, with the possible exception of needing to be born with the gift. Maybe everyone has a spark if they are desperate or in need enough to focus their will power just so? It is possible in some stories, which is a nice thought… or not when vengence is involved. Eeep!
Witchcraft is possibly the first type of magic I heard of, far before reading my first true fantasy story. Who hasn’t heard tales of witches at Halloween from their earliest memory? But it isn’t how I perceive of magic, at least not first. The necessary spell ingredients, crystals, wands, daggers, candles, and incantations just feel like they’ll take too much time. lol.
Akin to witchcraft, but a whole different vein in my book, is demonology. This is the realm of necromancers and warlocks. I’ve been following the TV show Supernatural for years and love it! Angels and demons, vampires and werewolves, ghosts and so much more! Anyone can learn to harness, or be used by, this type of power. You just need to survive long enough to understand the lore (and having a bit of demon blood in your veins might not hurt). Though even the best demon hunter will probably die young anyway. There is something freeing in the idea this magic is accessible to all and walks in the shadows nearby where most people simply don’t see it, even if the power is old and terrifying. I’m not quite ready to walk around with a hex bag, but I do have extra salt in my kitchen kit. 😉
And if I wasn’t born with it, can a magical object still give me what I seek? I hope so! Only I need to find a magic object… Crystals and gems are often linked with inherint magic. Add some runes to enhance the power and voila, I might have been born with it! Until someone takes my special talisman away. So that might not work and isn’t as desirable as simply unlocking the potential I was born with.
Of course, there is also the very old tradition of fairytales! I don’t mean Cinderella and all that, but they work too. I mean that other realm that hovers beside ours and is accessible through mist, at dusk and dawn, stone gates, and wrong turns. I’ve never questioned it before, but what power does a fairy have? They can be invisible, give luck and fortune or take both away. There are so many tales and across just about every culture… surely this magic does exist and can be found accidentally if I take a wrong turn. But do I really want to end up in a realm of unearthly beautiful beings who might view me as something similar to an insect (possibly less!) and whose strange rules can lead you to being a prisoner if you misstep? Heck, yes! I’ve been looking for a portal. So if you know of one, please let me know!
And, of course, there is the elemental magic from my epic fantasy books! For the type of magic I initially imagine and would love for myself, something powerful and wild, I’m so surprised that my first fantasy trilogy involved elemental magic. But it fit the world and the characters! Who can argue with that?
I at least could make the rules and in my books you are born with the ability to control an elemental, occasionally two or more, or you aren’t. But there are ways to gain power and greater power, which is fun. I had to give anyone the potential, because I’m just a sucker for magic and want everyone to have the chance to know what it is like. Though there is also the possibility of losing it… which usually doesn’t end well. 😉
There is a mishmash of all the above and everything in between, including the old standbys of telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and ESP. I can’t say magic is boring!
Now I just need to find the key to the magic I secretly harbor. Somewhere….
What about you? What magic is in your soul? Were there any books that help form your views of magic? Let me know in the comments!