Magic vs Miracles

One of my teachers says that “magic is where you are trying to get the universe to give you what you want” and “miracles are where you are putting yourself in service of divine intelligence.”

There is so much to unpack here.

First, let me tell you that I think this is bullshit, so that you don’t think I’m going to spend this whole blog supporting and explaining the nonsense.

Second, “one of my teachers” is an important sentence. I’m not the person who follows one person. I have been around long enough to know that there isn’t one person who has all the information and answers I need. I take pieces and parts and see how they fit together into the whole of my experience and world view and cosmology. So I have lots of teachers, and pretty much zero (s)hero or worship.

Third, I don’t follow anyone blindly. I give myself permission to disagree with my teachers. I do challenge myself to consider what they say, examine for truth and perhaps change my own opinions. So I don’t follow or dismiss blindly. I think that’s important. I also think I learn just as much from disagreeing as I do from agreeing, maybe even more, because it is clarifying.

Okay, into the heart of the disagreement here – not agreeing on the definition. I don’t know anyone who really understands magic who thinks that it is about trying to get what you want. It’s a false distinction.

Here’s my opinion, and you can choose to agree or disagree! I think that magic and miracles are just different points of view into the same thing – the unfolding, healing, mysterious connection to our Universe. (Feel free to substitute your meaningful higher power language here!)

There is an element in virtually everything that involves humans that includes our desires – even if we are praying for a miracle for someone we love, it’s still based on us wanting the best for someone, so that’s not the distinction.

Magic is participatory – we have to do our part to bring about the change that we want, either directly or indirectly. It requires us to ask, to invoke, to connect and to acknowledge the mysterious power beyond ourselves. Giving food to someone who is hungry can be as magical as lighting a candle. Magic doesn’t dissipate with understanding. For example, even though I understand how the phases of the moon work, there is still magic there. Magic exists on it’s own, without us, but it is where we can enter into the transformation process.

Miracles are a point in the transformation process. When we hope or pray for a miracle we look forward to that particular point. When we recognize that a miracle has occurred, we see that point and beyond.

So in my world, there is a place for magic and for miracles. Neither is superior – that’s just not a necessary thought. Both are love.

My wish for you is that this new year is full of magic and miracles.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,



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