Slow magic makes me smile

Picture of a glacier filling much of a winding valley.

There’s no rush.

I was slow in growing an interest in magic.  I was slow to trust that using it wouldn’t cause more problems than it solves.  I was slow to find a magic that I have confidence in, and that magic is slow magic.

There’s a spell I’ve been working on for three years, and expect to take another seven to complete. At the same time, I’m stitching some intentions into a counted cross-stitch piece that I am making as a gift; I think I promised it two Giftmases past.

That’s what magic is about for me:  expending small amount of energy on a regular basis to effect some kind of change.  Just like life, the consequences of small acts can be felt for years or decades afterward.  Just like life, it requires no planning but can benefit a whole lot from it.

Slow magic isn’t, so far as I know, a particular tradition or set of practices.  It’s just magic that takes a good long time to use.  There are probably slow spells in many different systems.

And there are parallels for how the slow buildup of energy works, like compound interest.

What I like about slow magic is the sheer power involved if you’ve got the patience to let it build.  Earthquakes don’t happen in an instant; the forces build over long periods of time until they overcome the friction keeping the tectonic plates together.  So too is it with slow magic.  Force builds upon force until it is inexorable.

On the other hand, slow magic lends itself to understanding the consequences of our actions.  It’s the unintended effects that give me pause, and by performing a slow working my mind is all but forced to consider the different alternative results.  Because it takes time for the spell to be cast, this can also provide a safety valve if circumstances change; the working can be adapted as time goes on.  Just like life.

Now if only I could get better at knitting, that would open up all sorts of slow possibilities for me.


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