When a reader used the expression ‘everyday magic’ in an email to me recently, it got me thinking. Where does magic start and end?
It might start, for example, with the beauties of nature—a glorious spring day, a still snowy night. These wonders have a magic all their own.
Moving on, we might come to the magic of falling in love. It’s so powerful, so unpredictable, and so wondrous that we can’t get enough of it. (Thousands of books are published about it every year!)
Next we move on to other sorts of everyday magic—the healing properties of the bones of a saint, for example, or the magic of dew collected (or rolled naked in) on May Day. There are rituals and dreams to show a girl the name of the man she will marry, although I was always suspicious of these. What if the magic showed me the wrong man? It seemed like asking for trouble. I think ghosts and curses fit into this sort of everyday magic, too.
A little farther into the mist we find magical creatures—fairies, hobgoblins, buttery spirits, leprechauns, and so on. Are they part of everyday magic? For me, the answer is yes. I am particularly partial to hobgoblins and have included them in a number of my stories. (Years ago, while visiting in Germany, the King of the Fairies came to me in the form of a white cat. Apparently I am supposed to write his story someday…)
Lastly, we step into the realms of greater magic. Wands, magic spells, shifters, vampires, and so on. Is this everyday magic? Not that I know of. I don’t know whether to say ‘alas’ or ‘thank goodness’!
Where do you draw the line between everyday magic and other kinds of magic? Between the possible and impossible (or at least highly unlikely)? What customs and folklore do you know of that make use of magic in some way? What magic have you experienced in real life?
One lucky commenter will win a duet of novellas with magic that may or may not be the everyday sort: The Magic of His Touch and Bewitched by His Kiss.
Or another two of my novellas, or one full-length novel, winner’s choice.