Magic & Transformation

Magic & Transformation

Using intention and energy to create the realities we want to live in.

Trans people have been associated with magic and transformation throughout time and across cultures.

In Orlando, the novel by Virginia Woolf, written as an extended love letter to Vita Sackville-West, an English Aristocrat, author and gardener who identified as both masculine and feminine. In the 1910s and 1920s, Sackville-West read scientific literature to help understand their own identity. They concluded:

“I advance therefore, the perfectly accepted theory that cases of dual personality exist, in which the feminine and the masculine element alternately preponderate”

Portrait of a Marriage, Vita Sackville-West

In Orlando, the main character lives as a man for 30 years and then wakes up one morning as a woman. The story is told by a fictional biographer who describes the transformation –

“Orlando had become a woman – there is no denying it. But in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been. The change of sex, though it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity (…) The change seemed to have been accomplished painlessly and completely and in such a way that Orlando herself showed no surprise at all.”

“Many people, taking this into account, and holding that such a change of sex is against nature, have been at great pains to prove (1) that Orlando had always been a woman, (2) that Orlando is at this moment a man. Let biologists and psychologists determine. It is enough for us to state the simple fact; Orlando was a man till the age of thirty; when he became a woman and has remained so ever since”

Orlando, Virgina Woolf

If you were thinking to read or maybe reread the book, be warned. From the opening page, it’s peppered with casual yet shocking racism. Some will argue that this is of its time. Whatever. The film Orlando, directed by Sally Potter in 1992, doesn’t have these scenes or descriptions in but does show the magical gender transformation beautifully.

Visit our Orlando in Lockdown wormhole on the Adventures in Time and Gender site.

One of our interviewees describes her own longing for a magical transformation

“Well, from about 4 years old, I had this feeling I ought to have been like my sister, because I couldn’t get into my head that I had to be a boy and not a girl, and being a Catholic, I used to in my prayers each night, pray to God that I’d wake up in the morning, and my body would be more like my sister’s. And my parents would say ‘Oh, we had a girl and not a boy’, and I’d just be able to be myself.”

What magical transformations would you like to happen for you?

Research shows that how we think and use our intentions has a big effect on our outlook. For instance, practicing gratitude is associated with greater happiness and resilience. Our thoughts are a type of magic.

Here is a ritual using intention to create some magic and transformation in your world.

Ritual – Drinking it in

You will need: Pen, paper, a glass, or bottle of water.

We can work magic with water in different ways. It can be used to clear and cleanse; it can be used to infuse and energise and lots of other ways too. For this ritual, we’re going to use it to infuse and energise.

Just like when you make peppermint tea, you put mint leaves or a tea bag into water and after a while the water takes on the qualities, flavour, and nutrients of the mint. Then you drink the water and that passes on to you.

You can do the same with your intentions, infusing yourself with qualities, flavours, and ways of being that you wish for.

To begin with, sit up straight, close your eyes and take some long slow deep breaths. Relax your jaw, shoulders, hips and spine….

Drop into your heart and think about your intention. What quality, flavour or way of being would you like to welcome or amplify in your life. Think about how you will feel when this starts to show up in your life. See if you can get a sense of how your body will feel when your intention manifests for you.

When you feel connected to your intention and have an embodied sense of how it will feel when it manifests, grab your pen and write your intention down on a piece of paper. Draw a circle around the word or words to create a little container for them.

Now pick up your glass or bottle of water and hold it in both hands. Imagine pouring love and gratitude from your heart into the water.

Now place your bottle or glass of water on top of the intention you’ve written down on your paper.

Leave the water to infuse for a while and come back to it later.

Before you lift the glass or bottle off of the words you wrote place your hand on it and see if you can feel the new vibration in it – the vibration of your intention. It’s totally ok if you don’t feel it, just know that it’s there.

Now slowly and mindfully drink some of the water. Feel the intention infusing into your body, into your cells. Know that your intention is now on its way to you.

To finish the ritual, hold your glass or bottle and offer the Element of WATER your gratitude for helping you with your intention.


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