I spend a lot of time thinking about what magic means to me, how I can reconcile it with my atheist and science-oriented upbringing, and how I’ll ever be able to explain it to people who may never understand.
For me, it’s about belief.
I have anxiety, and with that comes a mental pattern known as catastrophizing. Basically, I have a quiet track playing in the back of my head at least half the time with such hits as, “I definitely left the stove on, my apartment is definitely going to be a charred ruin when I get home”, “I wonder if my husband died on the way home from work”, and the ever-present “I haven’t seen my cats since I left the house this morning, I’ll probably find them dead in the kitchen when I get home”.
It’s really not a fun thing to deal with, but I’ve had it for years and I’ve gotten much more comfortable about disregarding that little voice. There’s still part of me, though, that worries that if I don’t do x or y, something terrible is going to happen. I can’t squash that feeling entirely, so I’m turning to witchcraft to see if I can control it.
Whether or not a given person thinks magic works, I think it will give me a feeling of control over my world that I currently lack, and a way to focus a lot of the nervous energy that comes with anxiety and ADHD. It isn’t about causing a tangible effect on the real world, but rather about creating a more balanced and confident mental state for myself.
In the end, even if it doesn’t “do” anything, it helps.