Yes, Magic is real... and you can make it
A lofty title for my first blog post, I know. But I mean every word of it, and I’m excited to tell you why!
For years I used to think magic was all just made-up fairytales and stories our parents tell us when we’re young. But then something in me shifted, and I asked myself “well why the heck CAN’T we just make our own?!” I set out to do just that, by creating my first Wondersmith event (before I had even invented that title.) Once the guests left and the dishes were cleared, I was left in a new glow that night… all of a sudden Harry Potter and Narnia and other fairytales didn’t really seem that far out of reach.
As I sat amongst the twinkling lights by myself that evening, I realized that I had created actual, real life magic. I was filled with a different kind of joy than I’d ever felt before and with it the determination to find a way to continue the work I had started (which is where my Patreon system was born from!)
Isn’t throwing dinner parties for strangers pretty magical already? Or creating delicious foods out of ingredients from the woods? Or leaving bits of artwork behind to be discovered by surprise? I know if I were to stumble upon any of those things, they’d seem magical to me. It’s real life magic. And it’s so easy! You just have to do it!
I put a lot of thought and intention into each event I do. I consider many factors, including the ceremonial structure of the event, the natural flavors and patterns I want to highlight through the menu and the serving vessels, how to hand-craft the vessels, what my particular motivation for that event is (is it about child-like play? Intense relaxation? Ultimate safety?), and so on. But at the root of it is simply a wish to bring some good into the world and a wild love affair with my inspiration. And really, that’s all you need to make your own magic, for yourself or for others. Just a wish to do it.
There are tools I use to build these events, though, and that is what I want to begin sharing with you.
So since you’re still here, let’s begin:
There’s an undeniable link between magic and ritual or ceremony. I love researching meaningful structure - the format of storytelling, different ceremonies and rituals, of connection to the land and other people and, well, just “other…” The more I study various ceremonies, the more they speak to me… Despacho. Mandala. Baptist choirs.
But does a ceremony need to be associated with a spirituality or religion for it to be meaningful? Is it possible to design ceremonies that are accessible to those of other faiths, providing a way for them to connect to it in a way that feels “right” to them? A familiar groundwork, archetypal symbols and activities, but an openness to all people of all faiths. I believe this is not only absolutely possible, but pretty common! We all take part in numerous ceremonies, regardless of our spiritual beliefs. Some of these are as simple as a personal morning ritual - shower, brush teeth, start coffee, etc. Some of these are grander and are recognized by most in our culture: graduation ceremonies, for example. But the thing that puzzles me is just why we don’t do MORE. Why don’t we write our own when we long for that feeling of meaningful connectedness?
So, I’m going to start. And I’m going to share what I’m up to with you. I consider this research for my work as a Wondersmith. This is the way I am learning. Would you like to learn with me?
You can expect this blog to have a variety of explorations to this theme, from little personal rituals for you to try out to ideas for meaningful celebrations in your community. Perhaps some weeks I’ll talk about processing wild ingredients or share a special recipe. I expect this will evolve and change over time, as all good things do.