What is everyday magic? And a #giveaway

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.

Magical blooms on my camellia bush

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.

In which the toe bone of a saint has magical properties

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…)

Why roll naked in the dew?

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.

Disbelieve at your peril. 🙂
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Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and historical romance. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

12 Responses

  1. dholcomb1

    I try not to draw a line, because if it does exist, I don’t want it used against me.


  2. Lisa Brown

    I have not experienced magic in my life, that I can tell. All things are possible if one keeps a good attitude.
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  3. elizabethkeysian

    Nothing to do with romance, but I think dowsing is pretty magical. I’m not particularly good at it, but I managed to find the location of a hidden well on a medieval site where I used to live. I learned how to do it from a dowser who was looking for buried archaeology. He said one of the ancient barns on the site used to be longer, and sketched the extent out on the ground. Excavations a couple of years later proved him absolutely right! I have also had my dowsing rods respond to prehistoric features at Avebury and Stonehenge. Besides this, I can demonstrate a kind of supported levitation- I just need 4-6 people, a chair, and a willing victim!
    So to my mind, magic stems from the natural world, the power of which never ceases to amaze me.

    • Barbara Monajem (@BarbaraMonajem)

      Hi, Liz. I think you’re right re magic stemming from the material world. What seemed magical two or four or ten centuries ago is old hat now. I would love to see dowsing done, but I don’t think I would be a willing victim of levitation. Well, unless there was something very soft to land on…

  4. barbarabettis1

    I haven’t experience anything like magic either and I found the post fascinating.

  5. Teresa Broderick

    I don’t know if this counts but many many years ago my Uncle was walking home in the early hours of the morning having first walked his girlfriend home when passing a field something caught his eye. A leprechaun was dancing and singing to himself in the middle of the field. At first he thought it was a trick of the mind but he kept watching and eventually the little man just disappeared. He could even describe what he was wearing. My Uncle never touched a drop of drink in his life so people couldn’t say he was drunk. Until the day he died he swore he saw him.
    As you probably know a leprechaun is a little man of Irish Folklore. I was always fascinated by this story growing up.

  6. Teresa Broderick

    Oh we’re full of magic and folklore here. My mother told me lots of stories over the years.