Mar 122016
 
Artwork by Jiwoon Pak

Artwork by Jiwoon Pak

We tend to think of magic as something that, in times of doubt or lostness, might intervene upon us. We listen for its clarion call, an oracular declaration, the prophetic dream, the jungle medicine that, like a tsunami, sweeps us out of the stuckness of our lives.

But if we take a more rigorous look, we find at the core of this yearning is the belief that something knows better than we do what our vocation is, what our direction should be, where our people live, and so on.

Certainly there are times in everyone’s life when something greater pushes you in the direction of your destiny, but these things can’t exactly be sought out. They must be invited to reach us in their own time. If we want magic to come alive in our lives, we must tend to our everyday relationship with it.

One of my favourite lines in a David Whyte poem is, “Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.” In other words, there is a practice we can engage in which brings us down in the subtle world where magic waits and dwells. For me, this practice is dreamwork. Dreams provide a wellspring of normiracles in the form of symbolic guidance which strengthens our instinctual response; the key to our sense of location in the family of things.

But once we receive the dream, we must take symbolic steps towards that which knows our true name. This can be as simple as keeping a daily list of those beautiful things which conspire in your favour, recognising the tiny triumphs that are keeping you from downspiraling, or exalting in some physically symbolic way the life you are calling towards you.

Magic is a relationship forged in the ordinary. It is our endurance through the unknown, unyielding times. It is faith in the as yet unmanifest. It is the invocation of the large, but while praising the small. Magic is the redoubling of our vow when disappointment befalls us, a shoulder to the wheel of our intent.

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About 

A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.
 

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  4 Responses to “Practicing Ordinary Magic”

  1. Every word in this post resonates deeply. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  2. As usual, the timing of your messages is perfect confirmation to early morning meditations and thoughts. A dear friend asked me why, if my job was so miserable, did I stay? And I replied, “Because I my Work there is not finished.” I was reminded last night that the Work, the holy Work of our Karma that puts us in the places to learn the lessons and speak the words and heal the hearts (especially our own) are sometimes miserable, especially when when forget why we have been placed there. And so your words, along with my friend’s reminder have humbled my heart and opened my eyes again to see. Thank you. ❤️

  3. “Downspiraling” is a great, and timely, word! I’m eager to receive your book, Toko-pa. Dreamwork is my most delicious magical tool.

    A comment/request: The dark teal background on your blog is too dark and harsh for my particular pair of eyes. It makes reading your wonderful words a bit of a painful exercise instead of an ease-filled flow. Are you open to “lightening it up” a little?

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