Updated: Dec 24, 2018
So I have many people who come to Dual Crossroads with an idea about what magick is, but want to know if they are right in their thought of it. Some feel that it is a display of power that only a select few people truly possess, and that with a well versed poem, they can make anything happen. Some believe it is fueled by evil is an abhorrent practice that shouldn't ever be tampered with. Then, there are those who see it as a clever way to manipulate things to one's will, or it is something they don't understand and believe may be impossible to really understand.
That's the thing about Magick/Magic. It is a word that is used to describe something that is taboo, ancient, alluring, and it also has been built up to be something fantastical due to the interpretation of modern day movies/TV shows -- but you may be surprised to learn that Magick is actually a lot simpler than that.
Magick is energy. It is prayer. It is the belief in yourself and others. It is faith. It is that feeling in your gut. It is the connection to earth. It is the healing of water. It is your will power, made manifest. It is the sense of there being too many "coincidences". It is that ability to remove yourself from negativity and allow into yourself positivity.
Magick is also just a term used to describe the things I just mentioned above. What I mean is, Magick may also be called Meditation. It may be called Intuition. It may be called Spirituality. It may even be called Prayers to God or One's Will Power. In a nutshell, it can have many names.
I think the moment when some people begin to feel uncomfortable, or when they at least feel it go off the path of "Good" vs "Bad", is when they start to introduce tools into the working of magick. This can be something as simple as lighting a candle, to casting a circle and performing a spell with things like salt, sage, sigils, or even a mojo bag. It is ritualistic, and is meant to be used as a way of taking your desire and putting it into action through the use of nature-made materials or human-made tools.
Now, it may seem scary or unnatural to some people to see someone light resin incense, fill a room with smoke, then light a candle with carvings etched along the wax, and to throw together a concoction of herbs into a bowl as an offering. But perhaps I can give other examples of rituals and tools that may seem less scary:
1) Lighting a prayer candle in church
2) Crossing your fingers
3) Throwing salt over your shoulder
4) Blowing out candles on your birthday when you make a wish
5) Knocking on wood
6) Hanging a Dream Catcher above your bed
7) Using Fung Shui when redesigning a room's layout
8) Sketching out the Peace Sign or a Happy Sign on a piece of paper in hopes to feel that sense of peace within yourself
9) Using Peppermint essential oil to get rid of headaches
10) Looking up your horoscope for the day
Suddenly not so scary, huh? ^_^
Now even with all those examples, I am sure some people may still feel the working of Magick is unnatural. I think it is because it is seen as the act of manipulating things in accordance to your will. For some, this is contrary to the belief that something can only be done "if God wills it". While that belief holds true for many people (myself included), it still doesn't stop people from asking God to make their will be done. It's just that there is the condition that if God doesn't want it to happen, we are trusting Him to make that be so (but with the personal hope that we are still taken care of).
Put simply, nothing bad can happen if God doesn't will it.
With that being said, it may be good to know that many pagans, especially those who consider themselves Wiccans, have a rule of their own to prevent bad things from happening as well. It is the rule or condition that "so long as it harm none, so mote it be." In other words, do no harm onto others/do what you want so long as you don't do harm/be mindful of what you ask/don't force your will onto others. I like add in the extra condition of "that it harm none, and that no good be undone".
But of course, there are two sides to every coin. Just as how there are two parts to nature (the "light" and "dark" if you will), there is that concept in magick as well. The funny thing is, the idea of light and dark can only be acted upon by the person who is using the magick.
Think of Magick as a pen. With a pen, you can write a beautiful letter of encouragement to someone who is in need of help. Or, you can take it and write a horrible note to someone as a way to bully them.
In these situations, the pen itself is neither good nor evil, yet the way it is being used by its wielder that makes all the difference. I like it how they said it in the movie The Craft (I know, it's Hollywood, but they still got this line perfect):
"True magic is neither black nor white. It's both because nature is both, loving and cruel, all at the same time. The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. life gives a balance of it's own." -- The Craft (1996)
There is a lot more to Magick (such as that which comes from the Earth, from Above, and from within ourselves), but I hope this gives a good idea of what Magick is. Just remember to be respectful. If you feel it isn't for you or you're uncomfortable, then don't do it. If you want to do it, don't treat it like a toy, and be sure to go in with knowledge (research and understand what you plan to do before you dabble), peace and love in your heart, and a concrete sense of goodness around you.