Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by gimmy. gimmy Wonders, “Is there still magic in the world?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, gimmy!

Have you ever watched a performer pull a rabbit out of a hat? Or seen someone seem to disappear out of thin air? Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Join the Wonder team as we explore today’s subject—magic!

The Greek term “magoi” is the historic root word for magic. It referred to a tribe in Persia who practiced the religion of Zoroastrianism. In the past, magic existed where technology, science, and spirituality did not agree.

Those who practice magic go by many names: magician, wizard, sorcerer, shaman, witch, and more! There are several types of magic, including illusion, alchemy, witchcraft, divination, and astrology. Magic linked to evil or harmful forces is called black. White magic protects.

Two related forms of magic are alchemy and astrology. Both seek to understand the power of the stars and how they affect the Earth and people. Those who practice alchemy believe they can change base metals like copper and lead into more precious ones, like silver and gold. They look to the stars for their power. Astrologers believe they can read the position of the stars and planets to see the future. “Seeing” the future, or divination, can also be done with crystals, Tarot cards, or tea leaves!

One of the most popular forms of magic in today’s culture might be witchcraft. Many books, movies, and TV and streaming shows feature witches, wizards, and sorcerers. Those who practice witchcraft use their powers to change people and the environment. In some cultures, witches are born with their abilities. Others believe anyone can become a witch. Spells, potions, dolls, chants, and oracles are all tools of witchcraft. Witches sometimes practice their craft after dark and people fear them because of their association with evil.

Vodou is also a well-known form of magic. Its roots are a religion from the African country of Benin. The belief that everything has a spirit merged with Catholic beliefs when Benin enslaved people were brought to Haiti.

Vodou priests and priestesses practice rites that ask spirits for health and protection. The rites usually involve dance, song, and drumming. Family members inherit Vodou powers. In some cities like New Orleans, people can buy Vodou dolls and visit sites linked to Vodou history.

You may enjoy practicing the type of magic known as illusion. Have you ever played a card trick on someone? Pulled a coin from someone’s ear? Those are a few types of tricks people may learn when they first become interested in magic. There have been famous magicians who created illusions like making the Statue of Liberty disappear.

Many well-known illusion magic tricks are called “sleight of hand.” This means that the performer has practiced the trick enough to convince people up-close that the illusion is real. The next time you watch a magician perform a trick, pay close attention!

What do you think about magic? Do you like stories that contain magic? Maybe you practice illusion. What about other types of magic? 

Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.9, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.4, CCRA.L.5, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.SL. 5, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.6

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