The prevalence of magic cards, the recurring theme of magic in adult and kid movies, the high number of Ouija boards sold, the resurgence of New Age beliefs and witchcraft, the popularity of role-playing games with witches and warlocks –
These are signs that the lure of magic is soulical, spiritual and powerful.
When I was around nine years old, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. With all seriousness, I told her, ‘Either a horse or magic.’ Although I knew that magic was not something my mom could buy at a store, wrap in a box, and give to me, I still really wanted it. In wanting magic, what was I really after?
I longed for the power to change things. My parents divorced when I was three years old, and the courts had ordered my siblings and I to live with my dad and his second wife. I was never close to my father and his wife and I didn’t get along. I felt a hopeless longing to be with my real mom, whom I only saw every other weekend, or when she was able to pick me up.
I longed for the power to change myself. My way of coping with growing up in a household made up of estranged relations was to stay in the basement. My sister and I shared a room in the basement and I spent most of my time downstairs, playing ‘work,’ reading smutty novels, and writing poetry. I developed a withdrawn personality that was disconnected from the world around me.
I longed to be somebody. Like everyone else in the world who is honest with themselves, I wanted to feel like I mattered to someone. To feel loved is a fundamental human need, essential to our well-being and emotional and mental growth into adulthood. Because I didn’t feel like I mattered to anyone growing up, I wanted the power of magic to make me important and special.
Is there anything about my experiences that are like your own? The desires I had for change and significance manifested in being entranced with magic. Have your unmet needs manifested themselves in similar or different ways?
Instead of turning to full blown witchcraft, I found my own brand of magic in crafting stories and making up characters and destinies. But this outlet was insufficient and I would feel lonelier and more disconnected than ever.
I needed something more, something real. I needed God. When I was fourteen, I went to an Acquire the Fire conference with the youth group at the church I attended. I had no idea that I would be saved – I had never really thought of myself as needing to be saved. But when the gospel was preached about my sin and God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, I felt the Holy Spirit surround me like a distinct presence and come into me when I received my salvation.
This was wonderful, better than magic.