“The language of the Mystic Arts is as old as civilization. The sorcerers of antiquity called the use of this language “spells”, but if that word offends your modern sensibilities, you can call it a “program”; the source code that shapes reality. We harness energy drawn from other dimensions of the Multiverse to cast spells, to conjure shields and weapons, to make magic!” ― The Ancient One, Doctor Strange
From Doctor Strange to Harry Potter and Gandalf the Grey, MAGIC is at the heart of every fantasy story. Magic gives writers the chance to explore the fantastic, do incredible feats, and visit places we never expected to go. Its what makes fantasy writing a journey into other worlds every time I sit at my keyboard.
But what is magic? To state it simply, magic is energy. However, the type of energy can vary: dimensional, demonic, divine, etc. If you think about it, something like “The Force” can be considered a type of magical energy. I mean, think about it?
“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
This is what makes magic so versatile in the hands of a writer. We can use it in any way imaginable. There is no wrong way for a writer to use magic. It can be an ancient art practiced for thousands of generations; and it can also be a sources of energy for high tech magicians.
One of my favorite anime’s is “The Irregular at Magic High School” and its use of magic. In the series, magicians tap into psions, non-physical particles that come under the dimension of psychic phenomenon. It taps into this energy through CADs (Casting Assistance Devices) in which spells are programmed through activation sequences. These devices range from something like a wristwatch, smartphone or a gun. Even in a show like this, they still adhere to ancient magic use, like seeing spirits and using spells, to help explain their thoroughly modern system of magic.
Granted, in my day, when I thought of magic, I thought of Merlin. Today, most kids associate magic with Harry Potter. It’s such a broad stroke, when you think about it, as to how writing has change when it comes to the arcane arts. Before today, most people associated magic with evil, devil worship, or demonic power. You didn’t think about magic being a force for good under a boy with a lightning bolt scar picked up a wand. That’s how much the opinion of magic has changed.
So, whether you invoke traditional magic through ancient spellbooks or using high-tech devices, it still boils down to the ability of ordinary people to tap into extraordinary power. How you get there is up to you, the writer.
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.