“K” or no “k” as part of the word magic(k), whichever seems to be applicable in line with your belief system can be used and I was surprised to find a well-defined and rather fiercely opinionated breach between the two camps of “K”. And even more interestingly there are contemporary magicians of whom the “k” followers would say are attempting to bring more of the spiritual aspect, the “understanding of oneself” into their performances, thus themselves bridging the gap between “k” and “no k”.
The “k” came about via Aleister Crowley, who instituted the use of the “k” at the end of the word to differentiate between stage magic (think David Copperfield) and the transformation or change that occurs in accordance with one’s intention for that change to happen. Specifically, a quote from Wikipedia by Crowley: “Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one’s conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.” The magician’s act being an illusion and magick itself being real is the supposed premise and need for the single letter qualifier. I would beg to differ with Mr. Crowley as the ultimate effect of the magical/magickal action – the oooh and ahhh – is the same although again, it may be personal preference as to the origin of the outcome and which, I submit, may limit your exposure to magic.
Because most of this has to do with humans making up quasi-definitions as they go along and as they please (apologies to Mr. Crowley) I would offer a different framework for the use of the word magic(k) just in case your belief system around the word magic(k) is still forming – because you’re still living. It’s a context that I hope would bring you back to the place of physical response to something that causes your breath to catch, your heart to flutter and for you to feel slightly lifted out of your own body because of how you feel in the presence of magic(k).
A generic definition based mostly on the body’s experience with that realm (yes, indeed, it’s a whole realm) of magic(k) be it of the illusionary type or the transformative type is that for that one brief shining moment all of what you knew or thought you knew about physics and the physical world is suspended. For one brief shining moment you are between the worlds where nothing makes sense and it is at this point that your body says – “whoa!” – in a really excellent way.
These magic(k)al situations can be had both far and wide from a theater where magic(k) is usually performed and as well from a ritualistic gathering of like-minded souls who share spoken words and deeds in a group with a single intention. You and your body will experience magic(k) when your newborn smiles at you for the first time and most definitely upon the arrival of this newborn via birth. Magic(k) comes at you when you first set eyes upon a future beloved in your life because the body knows a kindred spirit when that energy comes into your own field of energy – there is no denying that response. A walk in the woods and a request for wildlife to come say hello yields several magic(k)al moments when deer, elk, birds, or foxes appear even briefly to answer your call of kindred spirit sharing. The list goes on and on and on.
It matters not the origin of these experiences whether when watching a film of Houdini or David Blaine escape seemingly fatal situations or the magic(k) of a smile and hug from a favorite person – the effect on the body is the same. So why are we splitting hairs – or more accurately – “k’s”? That seems to me to put a middleman in between the experience and oneself so that a separate category, a defined category of human-interpretation exists which serves only to dilute the effect of magic(k) itself. There’s a thought, a pause that interrupts the body’s intake of pure energy while the brain searches for a context within which to put the experience based on definition, dogma, or structure that’s completely and totally unnecessary. A child doesn’t stop to think before becoming one with the body’s interpretation of being in the presence of magic(k) – nor do animals. And, gentle readers, neither should we. For it is the overall effect of magic(k), of synergy with hidden realms complete with dragons, fairies and unicorns that beckons to us in the midst of our daily lives. Take that leap of faith, with both feet and feel yourself land in the space-in-between where all things are possible and everything is special on a regular basis – you’ll be very glad that you did. Photo credit: Sarah Buckley