What do we mean when we say a place is magical?
Magical is something different from beautiful or majestic. It may include awesome, in the proper sense, stimulating respectful wonder of greater powers and new dimensions of time and space. A place that speaks to us of elemental forces, of presence, manifested in the luminous fabric of air, in effects on tree, rock and water especially, because magic is a transformative power and a skill of nature.
A magical place reflects back to us a sense of this potential, of the latent energy in the earth and the atmosphere. It is dynamic. Here speaks the long past, an age when nature was not only enough, it was all. Old energies die hard and in our world so often swift and superficial, we crave connection with those fundamentals of existence, the essence of life, things frequently obscured from us by heavy material and emotional trappings of modern life. They are zoetic and thrumming in magical places.
In these places, layers of being can merge and intermingle: spirits from all strata of existence, above, below and on the surface of the earth. Time is a circular continuity, drawing us into its aeonic embrace. We deeply long for this replenishment.
Magical places can also be a reflection of human endeavour: the site of megaliths, medieval ruins or modern structures can stir the power, through their harmony with the landscape, the shape of their expression, the open welcome they extend to otherness. They are aspirational symbols of connection.
The acknowledgement of a magical place is beyond Romanticism. It reaches out for a limpid simplicity buried deep beneath cultural layers that can enrich but also obscure. In a magical place we feel purer, inspired and elevated by a thrill of attachment.
A magical place is so intrinsically, and regardless of the personal baggage we bring along. Sad or happy, cynical or curious, we do not effect the magic. It comes not from us. But at last we look not from outside, but standing within, drawn through an invisible portal into space shared. We are ourselves in a new way. Alive.