One of the things I've been thinking about lately is lifestyle magic vs living magic. Now before I get into the main part of this article, I should unpack what I mean by lifestyle magic and living magic.
Lifestyle Magic is where people get caught up in the image of magic, of trying to create brand around magic that says this is my lifestyle. It's the rings and necklaces, the bling and appearance of being magical without necessarily practicing magic. Its making magic hypey, something to be marketed as opposed to actually being practiced.
Living Magic is actually the choice to practice magic, to make it a part of your everyday life regardless of whether people do or don't know you practice. A great example can be found in William G Gray's Attainment Through Magic where he talks about taking the act of clothing yourself and turning it into a magical ritual that connects you with the tree of life. It's making your every action part of your magical work.
I have a confession to make. I have been guilty of the lifestyle magic thing myself. There was a time where I became more focused on the image of magic as opposed to the reality. Fortunately I had a hard fall from grace that helped me recognize how much I'd strayed from living magic to focusing on the image of magic.
I think when we get caught up in the image of magic, of trying to create a glamour of magic in order to appear a certain way we end up missing out on something much more fundamental, which is the experience of living magic. Don't get me wrong, there's value in the image of magic, but when the appearance becomes more important than the doing of magic, then you aren't practicing magic anymore. You're playing at it, and for what? To look a certain way, to be a cool kid, or to be in on the latest trend.
In some ways that's what magic has become, a way to look trendy and fashionable. But where's the depth, the experience, the actual knowing of magic? That's something else altogether and no matter how many pentagrams you wear or however else you craft an image of magic, it won't be the same as living it.
You are living magic when you can take an everyday experience and turn it into a genuine connection with the numinous that speaks to you and through you. You are living magic when your relationship with yourself and the world around you changes and you consider how what you do connects you to the universe, as well as how those actions can improve yourself and this world.
It's easy to get caught up in the hype of lifestyle magic. I did for a while when I branded myself a "mad scientist and magical experimenter." I've always been a magical experimenter, but when I made it in a title, into an image, it actually took away from the reality of my relationship with magic because the image became more important than actually doing magic. It was only when I shed the image and refocused on living my practice that I really began to recognize as easy it was to get caught up in the image and lose touch with what really matters about magic: That it transform your life and your connection with the world and universe around you through every experience you have.