The Mystery of Magic (Plus a New Release)

by Kirsten Weiss

The mystery of magic
photo by Maxim Lugina on (cropped)

Part of the fun of writing witch mystery novels is the research. And since my trio of witchy sisters in imaginary Doyle, CA are busy trying to get rid of a cursed spell book, it’s led me to thinking about the mystery of magic. What is it? How does it really work, if at all?

The infamous occultist Aleister Crowley defined magic as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” But what does that look like? How does it work?

A magic spell is a form of ritual that may be simple or complex and is believed to have magical force. The spoken part of the spell is the incantation. But the words and the ritual don’t in themselves create the magical force – it’s the magician’s intention behind them. That intention is built and amplified by the ritual. And yes, that is a bit circular.

A spell-caster will usually start by psychically “clearing” the space and creating a protective barrier for the spell work. Then the incantation will be chanted, focusing the spell worker on the intent of the spell. Other magical objects, such as candles or items representing the elements, may be used to further charge the intention.

While no one really understands the mystery of magic, there are several working theories.

The mystery of magic
photo by Joanna Kosinska on (cropped)

Quantum physics has a different answer to the question, what is the mystery of magic? It tells us the act of observing or paying attention to an object may affect its behavior – at least on a sub-atomic level. Can a spell-caster, by paying attention, amplified by ritual and intention, affect an outcome at a molecular level?

The psychologically-minded argue that a spell changes the caster’s own behavior, and once her behavior changes, the people and things she interacts with react differently to her. She changes, therefore, so does her world. I like this answer, because it gives us all some personal agency… if we can change. As many of my characters have discovered, change doesn’t come easy, but it is possible.


Author Dr. Masaru Emoto tested the impact of intention on water. He printed out words and taped them onto bottles of distilled water, leaving them out overnight to see if the structure of the water molecules changed. Photographs taken of the water the next day showed that they did – loving words created gorgeous snow-flake molecule patterns. However, Dr. Emoto concluded that it was his thoughts and intentions that affected the molecules; the words were just the medium.

My Witches’ Magic

Doyle witch Lenore Bonheim is a shamanic witch. She sees ghosts and can seek the help of her animal spirit guides in Middle World. In Oak, the first of my novella trilogy about the cursed spell book, she must not only try to keep the book’s evil in check but she’s recruited by Doyle’s sheriff to help solve a murder.

Her sister Jayce unconsciously practices a simpler kind of magic. She’s attentive to the present moment, otherwise known as mindfulness. She pays loving attention to her world—not an easy thing to do in this era of constant tech distractions. But it’s a way of life that can unfold in surprisingly magical ways.

In Stone, she and her sisters continue to search for a way to destroy the book, and Jayce discover its ties to a local haunted house where a recent murder occurred.

And yet sister Karin, who sees the magical bonds that tie things together, may be the one who finally finds a way to break the cursed book’s grip on the witch triplets. Check out her story in my new release, Stream.

What’s your answer regarding the mystery of magic? What do you think it really is?

Stream, A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery ~ releases 7/23/20

Will murder cancel this Doyle Witch’s Christmas?

Certain holiday spirits are keeping Karin’s hands full. And the challenges of motherhood and a cursed spell book have already put a dent in her usual good cheer.

But when she discovers the body of a man in a mountain stream, she’s swept into a mystery that will take all her magic and mental powers to solve. Because the dead man’s mysterious colleagues have taken an interest in Karin’s children…

This Christmas holiday novella is a complete cozy mystery and wraps up the story of the cursed spell book once and for all. If you’re a fan of Charlaine Harris, Heather Blake, or Amanda M. Lee, don’t miss Stream, book 9 in The Witches of Doyle cozy mysteries.

Stream is a witch cozy mystery featuring true-to-life spells in the back of the book, a trio of witchy sisters, and a dash of romance. Stream can be read as a standalone.


Posted by Kirsten Weiss. Kirsten’s never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway. She writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

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  • Reply
    Shannon Esposito
    July 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I’ve always been fascinated with magic. There’s so much we don’t understand about our Universe, I truly believe anything is possible. Plus, since everything is energy, doesn’t it make sense that directing our energy toward something in the form of intention or attention would affect that object or outcome? I guess that’s why I enjoy these books so much! Best of luck on the new release!

    • Reply
      July 21, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Shannon!

      I definitely feel there’s something to it — whether it’s psychology or something else.


  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    July 21, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    I love this post! You really did your homework, Kirsten. And I love these novellas. Best of luck with them!!

  • Reply
    K.B. Owen
    July 21, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    I love that idea of intention, Kirsten! Very cool. I’ll have to deliberate on that some more. I’ve always felt a bit sheepish about pursuing the subject of magic, but I have to admit to being fascinated – I feel especially drawn to crystals for some reason – and I love the concept of being more attuned to the world around us and what potential that can unlock. Best wishes on your release!

    • Reply
      Kirsten Weiss
      July 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      I think it’s interesting that just writing down your goals seems to dramatically increase the odds of achieving them. Maybe that’s all it takes for intention?

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    July 23, 2020 at 12:22 am

    I don’t know if it I’d call it magic, but I do think mindfulness and attention change things, at least for the person practicing mindfulness, and probably for everything around him/her. There is growing scientific evidence that even plants respond to the way we touch them, and possibly to the way we talk to them, too.

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