I believe all magic comes from (to use Martin Prechtel’s words) Grief, and Praise.
When I think about the wisdom of early civilizations, I tend to think of the lessons they held on to from their pre-civilized animist heritages.
The Eye of Horus above provides an example to me of wisdom. You can look for yourself into the mythology spun around this symbol, as I won’t go into it. Suffice to say this eye has special ‘luck’ and magic to it, because it replaced the plucked eye of someone who had many struggles after descending into the Underworld.
This, to me, represents the eye of someone who has successfully grieved. Grieving opens up the door for magic to happen. Miracles can happen when a tear sits on your cheek, as symbolized by the Eye above.
In much of the animist world, seekers ‘cry’ for visions, make themselves small and pitiable, so that the world of life will notice and take pity on them.
What a simple thing!
I remember one green and sunny Springtime, walking along the street in Khabarovsk, a city in the Russian Far East. There on the sidewalk I saw an injured puppy.
An injured puppy for god’s sake!
Watching him ignored by passers-by, I had to take him home to my tiny cramped room on the tenth floor of a high-rise slum.
I took pity on him. I’ve experienced the world do this all the time for me. Though the Laws of Life say one must kill to live, in the right situation, with enough sincerity, the world will take pity on one freely and openly grieving, as vulnerable as a mouse under the wide blue sky.
On the other side, we fulfill our role too when we have empathy for the world, and take pity on our other-than-human family hurting within it.
Both together make a cycle where needing to kill to eat, and inevitably dying so that others may live, becomes a beautiful dance rather than the cruel cycle of suffering and control all-to-familiar to civilized and domesticated peoples.
So miracles, magic and power in animism comes from the simplicity of real feelings.
Animist peoples see spirituality as simple as behaving in a sincere, human, and real way.
So to experience the magical reality of the animist world, you might start with learning how to cry again.
I’ve certainly had to.