The Awareness of Magic

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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The Awareness of Magic

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black »

Magic, the awareness and beingness of magic, comes in stages to folks -- if it comes at all. When does a person become aware of the existence of magic, that there actually might be such a thing? When does a person choose to believe that magic is actually real? And when does a person accept that magic for themselves -- as a part of themselves?

Right now, we're starting a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Harry becomes aware of the existence of something different ... and his whole world changes.

This happens in many books, in many series of wonderful books. Think about where the awareness of magic begins, when it is accepted as possibly true and real, and when (and if) a person accepts it for themselves -- as shown in one of your favourite books.

Portray, either with words or with pictures, the stages of awareness, belief and acceptance. Tell us of the book, the author and the character and what stage they are encountering (and what is happening if it is a graphic).

You are also welcome to write about, or portray through a graphic, someone who encounters magic, any of the stages, and utterly rejects it. Yes, that does happen. So I guess that could be considered Stage (or Option) 4.

Please keep all graphic submissions to 600x600 or smaller.
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Shiloh Adlar
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Re: The Awareness of Magic

Post by Shiloh Adlar »

I thought of many different books to use for this, and I finally decided on the Shadowhunters series by Cassandra Clare, specifically, the first book, City of Bones. Now while Shadowhunters does not use magic perse, Jace (or maybe it’s Alec) goes into this explanation of what mundanes believe magic to be and what it really is, I’m going to focus on magic as an event of change rather than courses of action. I'm putting most of this in spoiler tags just in case because I am spoiling the first two chapters of this book.

I will be looking at Clary Fray, a fifteen year old, (“I’ll be sixteen on Sunday”), girl who suddenly realizes that something is not the way it seems in her family. Her mother refuses anything that has to do with the magical world of fairy tales. Clary says that she has the most normal mother in the world. That is until Clary goes to this club known as Pandemonium and sees three boys and a girl, all around her own age, fighting. One of the boys, who Clary discovers later on to be called a Shadowhunter, is about to kill the boy with blue hair, who Clary finds out later to be a demon, and she yells to stop him. The three shadowhunters are shocked that a mundane can see them.

Clary has already told her friend Simon to get a bouncer, but when Simon and the bouncer arrives, Clary realizes that her best friend and the other man only see her in the room. The three shadowhunters are invisible to them.

At this point, I think Clary is confused by what is going on. Maybe she is sick or something, but I think there is this curiosity about Jace, the one shadowhunter, and his two friends. She begins to ask Luke, a friend of her mother’s, what he would do if he saw things that others couldn’t. He never gets the chance to answer.

Clary starts to question things to Simon about her mother. She knows nothing of her mother’s past. At this time, Clary begins seeing even more weird things including a strange looking man coming from her neighbor’s apartment. When she meets up with Jace again, who she presumes is stalking her, he explains more to her and about how she has the Sight, but he does not understand how because she’s a mundane.

Clary is now fully aware of this world whether she is accepting it as true or not. Either way, she knows something's not right, and whatever it is, she is certain right now, that she does not want to be apart of it. Little does she know, that this awareness is about to change her world forever.


Continuing on with the story is when Clary accepts this world as true and real. I have drawn a graphic to show the things that cause her to believe this for certain.


In this graphic you'll see a healing rune (Jace actually uses a mendelin rune which is similar), the Institute, and a ravener demon which Clary stabs and kills. When Clary meets Hodge, Jace tells about how the rune would have killed her if she had been a mundane so she had to have shadowhunter blood in her. She also had the ability to see and kill a ravener demon which Hodge agreed was not an ordinary feat. There's also a stele depicted in the picture which is the weapon of shadowhunters. Jace uses this to make the rune on Clary's arm. The institute also has a glamour on it so it looks like a run down church to mundanes. To those with the Sight, they will see a magnificent cathedral. As the chapters continue, Clary easily understands that she is not normal, and now she has another reason to find her mother. She has so many questions to ask her about this world and if she was aware.


I think Clary begins to accept this new world as real and a part of her when she and Jace go back to Clary’s home. Her neighbor, Dorothea, is aware of what has gone on, and Jace talks to her. Dorothea then reads Clary’s tea leaves and discovers that she is unable to read her cup, that the images are confusing. They start talking about the possibility of a spell blocking Clary’s memories. Clary outright refuses that that’s the answer, and when Dorothea reveals to Clary her mother’s secret, that her mother was a shadowhunter like Jace, Clary once more refuses to believe it. After more information is passed from Jace to Dorothea and they discover the portal, Clary realizes that it’s all true. Her mother wanted to leave the night before but wouldn’t leave without her. That’s why she never used the portal to get away. Clary is now completely into this world of shadowhunters and downworlders (of which do use magic), and jumps through the portal which begins her journey and her life in learning about the clave.

There’s also this small moment later on when Clary is talking to Alex once they rescue Simon from the vampires. Alec calls her a mundane, but Clary has seen enough and had it confirmed enough to where she replies, “No I’m not. I’m Nephilim-- just like you.”
Shiloh Adlar, Seventh Year
"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire
Prof. Maxim Trevelyan
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Re: The Awareness of Magic

Post by Prof. Maxim Trevelyan »

This summer, what with holiday cancellations left and right, I decided to revisit some of my old favorites. One of them is a podcast, only one I like really, Welcome to Night Vale. However, since reading has always been closer to me, I bought all their transcripts, which are gathered in several books. The first book in the series is called Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the podcast's creators.

Rereading the series (although it was difficult for me to adapt to the unusual format) has reminded me why I loved the podcast in the first place. It has everything, adventure, fantasy, horror, mystery, love, bizarre characters and healthy representations of all manner of minorities.

Those not familiar with Welcome to Night Vale, the story is presented as a radio show, by its host Cecil, who tells of the going-ons in a small, friendly desert community that "ordinary" people might find adventurous and horrifying, but it is just your usual Tuesday or Thursday (as Wednesdays are often cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances) for Night Valeans.

In the first episode, a scientist called Carlos and his team arrive to Night Vale and despite being subject to numerous strange phenomena (like a house that does not exist, books that stop working, time slowing down), they still try to explain the occurrences scientifically rather than believe that it could be magical or supernatural in nature. Carlos the Scientist slowly starts accepting his place in Night Vale and the existence of these phenomena One Year Later (Episode 25) after his arrival. While he and his team still search for scientific intricacies of Night Vale weirdness, they focus more on exploration than explanation.
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Hiya Debnath
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Re: The Awareness of Magic

Post by Hiya Debnath »

I would like to talk about the book "The Chronicles of Narnia". This is a book about male and female siblings who travel into the magical realm of Narnia through a wardrobe and are guided by various talking animals and forest creatures. They are mostly guided by a lion who acts as their main guardian there. They even become kings and queens in the lands in the four directions and make use of their best quality to survive and lead their people. Once in the realm, they are no longer worried about losing their parents, or being missed on Earth. They discover about magic when one of the four siblings, named Lucy, accidentally hides in a wardrobe, only to discover that the back of the wardrobe opens into the magical realm of Narnia like a portal. Great is her surprise and though unbelievable at first, eventually all the four siblings become part of the magic. The book leaves an impression on the readers' mind telling us that we never know where we may suddenly discover magic and be transported to a magical realm as long as we know how to believe in it. Most beautiful discoveries and also quite a few of the best inventions are accidental, and a magical realm is no exception.

Edit: C. S. Lewis is the author -- I know that Hiya knew this so am just adding it in while I'm posting about sending Beans because I'm here. - Tarma

2.11.2024 - Beans sent - Tarma
Last edited by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black on Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: 2.11.2024 - Beans sent - Tarma
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore.
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