Magical Thinking

Mages are not governed by mundane logic. In a world-view that embraces magic, the rigid, scientific discipline of thought set down by Aristotle is of only limited use. Magic deals with not just science, but myth, emotion, imagination, perception, archetype, symbolism, and the collective unconscious. Unlike normal logic, magical thinking does not shy from contradiction or bisociation of idea; indeed, it embraces the coming together of divergent ideas into an aesthetic whole.

The basic premises of magical thinking are that the symbol is as real as what it represents, that the world is full of meaning, and that there is no meaningless coincidence.

This leads to many mages reading omens or clues in the flight of birds in the sky, the pattern of cracks in the pavement, the order of songs played on the radio, or the first three words a stranger speaks to them. It leads them to create ideas that are patently untrue in the mundane sense, but resonate with mythic power and symbolism – ideas that prove useful in their magic work. It causes mages to have a strange view of causality, looking at things with a fairy-tale, almost backwards style of reasoning: Arthur draws the sword from the stone because he is going to be the True King of England, not the other way around.

They can talk about something as muddied and shrouded in mist as Atlantis or the Holy Grail in terms that make them concrete for the mages who hear them: though they know that the words used to frame the ideas are, in fact, lies, still the words tell the truth.

More than the ability to work magic, more than insights into the true structure of reality, more than the strange threats and companions, it is the process of magical thinking that truly separates mages from the Sleepers and their society.

Magical Thinking

Scio Occultus Res Grendel