The simple answer: Magic = Energy + Focused Intent.
Some magic happens on its own – flowers bloom, birds sing, the rain brings refreshment.
Magic that is practiced by people is a channeling of energy with a clear, focused, intent. This can happen using a ritual – which is a framework that is either passed down from others who used the framework with the same or closely similar intent. Or it can be a ritual created by the hedge witch to evoke the energy associated with an intent.
People create rituals all the time, that are associated with a clear intent. Knocking on wood for luck or to counter a jinx, is a simple example. The process of knocking on the wood is meant to evoke the spirit of that organic material to act as a protector or shield. But most people these days are unaware of the origin, but the energy is tapped all the same.
A more complex example of a ritual, is the process of creating a mix tape/CD or playlist for someone the creator is interested in, romantically. There is a focused intention, and an emotional energy that goes into the creation. Selection of songs for their ability to evoke a resonant emotion, and express the intent with that energy.
Some rituals are more arcane, and dip into more obscure pockets of energy. The word occult means hidden, and most practitioners of magic, prefer to remain hidden, and to tap pockets of energy that are not generally known. We’ll talk about energy pockets in another post.
Some magic is spontaneous. And some hedge witches have a particular brand of magic that they are naturally good at, requiring only their own energy and focused intent. Those would be the people who bake, cook, garden, teach, create art – seemingly effortlessly and with great joy. They, too, may create their own rituals which might be as simply as always wearing their favorite apron (infused with repeat boosts of their happy energy) or using their favorite pen, or starting the lesson with a touch to their lucky penny and a review of each student in their minds,to connect with each and every one of them.
Magic can be big or small, formal or informal… but always there is a focused intent that directs the energy.