|flickr / Alice Popkorn|
While these are actually excellent metaphors for the magical experience, as veteran magical practitioners well know, they're not exactly how it always plays out.
In reality, the way it plays out is usually much, much better.
One way to describe the process is that a new doorway of possibility opens in your mind/body/spirit. To illustrate, imagine you're looking for a parking space. You're in a place where you've been a million times before and you can see that, according to the potential spots that you are aware of, there are simply no parking spaces available: none whatsoever. But as you speed through your usual route, thinking, "no, not here, no not here," you suddenly slow down and think, "But what if there were a space for me somewhere. Just what if!" Now, instead of just cruising past, you are alert when you see someone's lights go on and you realize they are just about to leave. Or, perhaps you suddenly notice a new free parking lot that you just didn't see before because you were previously not awake to the "what if." The reality you desired came into being because your awareness became receptive to new possibilities. The doorway was open.
For whatever reason - perhaps because of limiting beliefs instilled by family or culture - it might seem to you like something that your heart of hearts desires is "just plain impossible." You might think that it can only come from certain channels which seem obviously closed, or perhaps some part of you might feel disloyal for being happier or more successful than your parents and so there is a block. By performing a ritual to manifest this desire, you are overriding these old programs and working within your own consciousness to re-write the program of your life.
The wonderful thing about opening doorways of possibility is that it means you are expanding your personal universe. It means that suddenly there is more to explore! Life is not something you've seen a million times before. It's eternally reinventing itself as beautiful country you've never visited but have always wanted to see.
In truth, magic is the most natural of natural laws, and there are infinite ways to define it and describe the way it works. This is just one.