The Art of Magic

. . .the art of magic, though it may be used for false ends, deals with what is real, and the words it works with are true words. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin, The Finder, 2001

There is magic,
that much is true.
And there is truth,
that much is magic.

You will find the truth of magic
written in the intense and focused places ~
In the heart of a daisy,
and the eye of a storm.

You will find the truth of magic
spoken in the vast and limitless spaces ~
By the stars in the sky,
and the grains of sand on a beach.

The truth of magic can be seen
in the word patterns of clouds
as they sail across the horizon,
And in the moving shadows of leaves
when the sun filters through.

The truth of magic can be heard
in the music of rain on thirsty soil,
And in the silence of slow moving roots
in the fertile underground earth.

You will find the truth of magic
in all these elemental places.
And someday you might also find
the truth of magic in your heart.

Yes, truth is at the heart of magic
and magic is at the heart of truth.
That is the art and the heart
of the matter of magic.

In the stories of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin weaves a world that is informed by and exists within the arts of magic. Here is a little more on the subject of magic from The Finder:

. . . And they talked about that, all the wise women of the island: what was the true art of magic, and where did it turn false; how the balance of things was kept or lost; what crafts were needful, which useful, which dangerous; why some people had one gift but not another, and whether you could learn an art you had no native gift for. In such discussions they worked out the names that ever since have been given to the masteries: finding, weather working, changing, healing, summoning, patterning, naming, the crafts of illusion, and the knowledge of the songs. These are the arts of the Masters of Roke even now . . .

Ursula K Le Guin

Image: Cover art from Tehanu, the final book in the Earthsea series.


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