The Energy of The Magician
Okay, I haven’t been here in a very long time. Those of us who blog, sometimes need to take an occasional hiatus to refresh and refuel. But, recent circumstances have called me back here.
Sherry Blue Sky, at Poets United, asked me to share how I came to create three of the titles for recent poems I had written (she found them particularly impressive and was curious). She turned that conversation into a chat which she posted on the site http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-chat-between-two-poets.html
In the comments section after the chat, I found myself briefly addressing the reality that those of us who write share the same energy as that of the Magician. That is what got me back here. I wanted to expand that all too brief statement. To explain, more fully, how I came to that idea. It called for an essay and that meant more than the comment space on someone else’s blog. So, here I am again, more than a little late on this blog I have allowed to languish for far too long. Silence can be a restorative, or so one hopes.
The Magician has long held a position of power because he creates (often with sleight of hand) something from nothing. We who wield a pen, keyboard, or pencil, do the same. There is magic in creativity. It starts with a thought, an idea. The creative individual often brings that idea to fruition, expresses it, by using his/her hands. Whether that be with a paintbrush, a chisel, a knife, or some other instrument, it most often involves holding the instruments of the chosen trade and using them with some amount of skill. In that act, the individual defines his/her idea by giving it shape and form.
When we write we do the same. We begin with an idea and use words to shape and form it. But, those words have no meaning unless they are shaped into a form that can be seen (read) by another. I have often thought, after finishing a particularly good poem, that I’ve just pulled another rabbit from my top hat. And words can be as slippery as any white rabbit might be.
Now, the Magician has a lot of tricks up his sleeve (it wouldn’t be called sleight of hand if he didn’t). Tricks are the tools of the trade. We wordsmiths have just as many, if not more. We use metaphor and simile and all kinds of techniques to get our message across to whatever audience might be in attendance. We use story, hyperbole, humor, exaggeration, comparison, contrast, mystery, and especially our own experience to form whatever idea we are trying to arrive at. And we know we have been heard and understood when we hear that soft sigh of recognition or acceptance from our reader. It might even be a gasp of surprise like that heard by the Magician when that very alive rabbit or white dove appears.
Merlin was much more than a Magician, he was a statesman and he raised the conscious awareness of those around him. He did that by defining their reality. Giving it a name as well as shape and form. He named a King, as well as defining the difference between good and evil, truth and falsehood. We writers do the same. We use words to express how we feel about the world around us, and by doing so, often define that world for those who live in it. We can and sometimes do change their awareness simply by the words and tools we use. That is power, a power one can only hope we use with both care and wisdom.
Strangely enough, or not, the three poems Sherry asked me about were all written within the period of one week. I wrote them to prompts offered by prompt sites here on the web. They were not written with any particular idea of raising someone else’s awareness, but simply came from my own frame of reference. Because of that reference, they were clearly steps in my own healing process. They were, in reality, an act of raising my own awareness. The frosting on the cake was that they were heard and accepted. Yes, I even heard a few soft sighs in the comments my visitors made.
Which brings me full circle. Sharing the energy of the Magician might be pretty heady stuff. It certainly means sharing some of his power. Power can be as slippery as a rabbit or a white dove. It is best to remember that any power is balanced by responsibility. It is also good to remember that Merlin didn’t have an easy or simple existence. Anyone who chooses the life of words must first choose to think deeply about the responsibility entailed in using those words.
Elizabeth Crawford 3/26/14
*Image is from Photobucket
A note to the ladies: Throughout this essay, I refer to the Magician in the male gender. He is the active aspect of that energy. However, standing right next to him is The High Priestess, another aspect of that same energy called Intuition. She is no less potent and wields just as much power. And both of those aspects of energy can be and are found within the same individual.