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Magic's Spiritual Side

What magic truly magical and mysterious

By BlankmarksPublished about a year ago 4 min read
Magic's Spiritual Side
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

There’s a side of magic I’ve sadly been neglecting.

Magic can be a science yes, but there’s another side that is just as important.

Magic is wondrous and in that wonder lies spirituality. To reduce magic to just science and formulas will erase the thing that makes magic interesting.

Today I want to explore this side of magic as a counterbalance to my usual posts.

Let’s explore the weirder side of magic and its effects on a story.

The Weird and Unknown World

First I want to mention that this was inspired by Last Minute Essays’ “Magic in Fiction Feels Limp”.

The main idea I got from the video was that Magic at its most primal is the opposite of what’s usually shown. It’s not something to be understood with rigid study but to be felt through the heartbeat of the world.

Normally, there’s no spiritual awakening when learning magic or a single spell. In this system it would be the rule, a master mage would be a complete person with inner peace.

Wisdom and spiritual knowledge is the ultimate goal of this type of magic. A great example of this is “The Dragon Prince” when the human Callum has to learn magic the hard way.

The effect on the world is that magic is everywhere and usable in subtle ways like in our world. Charms, traditions, culture, and habits revolving around common magic would dominate the world.

Those that fully embrace magic would find the world wondrous, dangerous, and mysterious. The way to understand this magic is to feel it through experiences with people/places in the world.

An example of a world like this is “The Ancient Magus’ Bride”.

As you might have guessed, this type of magic would only work in a soft magic system. The focus on mystery and a character’s experience with magic based on their unique perspective are telling signs.

Speaking of characters, there are some important impacts on how they would use magic.

The Effects on Spell Casting

You will never be able to fully understand or master all magic.

In this system magic is something infinitely above all its users. Because of this, it’s not possible or wise to use too many types of spells. Enlightenment doesn’t come often so neither should different magic types for one person.

Learning a spell takes learning the inner meaning behind what you’re doing.

What truly is Fire? What is its relation to life and you? Why are you using it? What is your connection with this element?

Questions like that need answers before you can come to your personal conclusion. The good news is that doing it this way allows for easier manipulation of whatever you’re learning. No need to go through enlightenment for both Fireball and Fire Storm.

After reaching enlightenment, it comes down to doing what you need to do as if you’re one with your concept.

That’s how you get spells, using them is also different. Magic is still chaotic and ultimately unknowable, spells won’t always fire.

Mental State and environment will be extra factors in determining whether a spell/action will work. Magic here is not a formula but an unattached muscle. It has more in common with psychic abilities than typical magic.

All of this is for mages that want more out of magic than just charms and trinkets. From what I’ve seen, those work all the time if used right. But, they only do one thing and have inconsistent strength.

Still, in a society that knows about magic, everyone would use them.

The final thing to talk about is magic’s effects on the mind.

The Effects on a Mage’s Mind

Learning magic like this is like diving into an endless abyss.

Enlightenment lies in its depths but there are dangers and people can take the wrong lessons from it. A mage can easily become even more withdrawn than normal due to the strong mental focus it demands.

That’s especially true if magic is tied to ideology. Look at our own world to see the effects of ideology.

On the bright side, if a mage goes in with the right mindset and persists then they achieve enlightenment usually reserved for monks.

This doesn’t mean they’ll become good people, it means that they would be their best selves. Inner conflict and doubt will slowly become a thing of the past as they get better at magic.

So yes, this type of enlightenment can still produce villains and heroes, ones that don’t doubt their path in life. Magic at its most primal can produce some of the wisest and most deranged mages ever seen.


That’s a general overview of the other side of magic rarely explored. The main things to remember about this type of magic are:

• Personal and Spiritual growth is the main point

• Magic is ultimately unknowable, a force beyond the full grasp of people

• Magic doesn’t always work, especially for beginners

• Magic is learned not through study but through unique experiences related to what you want to learn.

That’s all I wanted to say about this cool side to magic. Later, maybe I can delve deeper and include actual philosophies to the idea.

With that, I’m done.

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About the Creator


I’m Blankmarks and I love magic and fiction. I’ll write about various magic types and concepts not only for fun but to help writers create new magical worlds. I'll also post short stories, writing tips, and more.

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