The word magic evokes many things to different people. In fact, there are several varied definitions of magic. THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY defines magic as:
- The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.
- The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or to control events in nature, or the charms, spells, and rituals so used.
- The exercise of sleight of hand or conjuring for entertainment.
- A mysterious quality of enchantment: the magic of the distant past.
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF MAGIC by Milbourne and Maurine Christopher states the first recorded description of a “royal command performance” magic act took place in ancient Egypt. The show was put on for the Pharaoh Cheops (who built the Great Pyramid) around 5000 years ago. A wall painting, accompanied by hieroglyphics, in a tomb in Beni Hasan, Egypt about 2500 B.C. depicts a “cup-and-ball” trick, still performed today. According to Egyptian mythology, the god Thoth was the inventor of magic.
Of course, every culture and country had their own forms of magic, magical lore and famous magicians. The Chinese had Ching Ling Foo, “the Court Conjurer to the Empress of China.” The British had P.T. Selbit. America had Houdini. The list goes on.
As a child, I put on magic shows for my friends and family and wasn’t too bad at it. As an adult, I’ve seen the performances of both the late Doug Henning and David Copperfield and, though I knew what they were doing onstage were illusions, they were incredibly believable as real legerdemain!
To me, in reference to my writing and to my day-to-day life, magic encompasses all of the above definitions be it subtle or grandiose. I imagine dragons, super-powered beings and eldritch creatures every day, which are truly magical to me. I see the magic in living such as celebrating the holidays with friends and family or playing with my cats. The power of love is a real magical force.
In my upcoming fantasy novel, BLOOD OF THE DAXAS, being published by Assent Publishing in 2014, there are several factions of magic-wielders, each one unique and able to conjure in different ways. The Priest and Priestess-Mages of the Imperium have no magical abilities unless certain sensitive ones of their order drink dragon blood. The Perliox Animists possess a magic fueled by the natural world around them. When that world is under siege, they too weaken. Farsensers possess a magic of the mind, able to read the thoughts of others and broadcast their own. Beast Witches can commune with animals.
But the magic of Wyverna, the Queen of the Daxas, the last adult dragon in the world of men, is the greatest of all. And the most surprising.