ABRACADABRA Members of the Magik Group meet on ferries, in homes and restaurants, on days of supernatural importance
In this series, we cover unusual groups. This week, Ketan Tanna enters the world of white magic
One night last December, a ferry left the Gateway of India and sailed into the darkness in search of magic. It was the Yule night, the longest night of the year. Wiccans and Pagans, disciples of witchcraft and supernatural rituals, celebrate the Yule night as the birth of the sun. Twenty one people were on board. They were members of a society called the Magik Group.
Very few in the group knew each other but that didnâ€™t matter. They had assembled for a purpose far deeper than socialising. They meditated and created a collective â€œspellâ€ to visualise what 2007 had in store for them. The sea was chosen, according to one of the members, â€œto connect with nature and bring out the deep truths that are hidden within the selfâ€.
There was no black magic on board but there was â€œwhite magicâ€ (a positive spell, apparently). Giant tarot cards were strategically placed around the participants. Every card had a different symbol that conveyed different fates.
The Wheel of Fortune, for instance, signified a new beginning. The World Card announced success and enlightenment. The participants then lost themselves in the trance of meditation through which each person conveyed what he or she expected from life.
â€œIt was a group spell to visualise goals for the coming year and to add focus to this goal, followed by an interactive session,â€ says Swati Prakash who founded this group in May, 2006. She is now sitting in Mocha cafÃ©, with permed hair, dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans. She is wearing a pink crystal necklace (the crystal is to achieve love). She has a slight foreign accent. She looks like any other modern young woman and makes a material living from public relations.
This year, on the second day of February, the group came together again on the day of Imbolc, an ancient pagan festival. Crystals, symbols, candles, enlarged tarot cards and the like were used to aid the 22 participants. The group meets like this on special days of supernatural importance. Through meditation and symbolic rituals, they believe that they can achieve their wishes. Some of them take the messages that emerge from such meetings to make career and health decisions.
â€œA spell can be positive when one focuses attention and energy on a desired outcome. It could be the desire for a new job, a new relationship or any other goal,â€ says Swati. The group is aware that most people will dismiss their activities as juvenile rubbish. But they argue that the world is entrapped in a myth called rationality.
Rafique Pirani, a 47-year-old mathematics lecturer, insists that energy within the self is capable of achieving magical goals. The huge, lumbering man says that the use of black magic is more prevalent than accepted.
He says it is a dark force that eventually boomerangs. He talks morosely about a woman who used it to attain the love of a man who did not care for her. It doesnâ€™t work, he says, as well as white magic does. â€œMeditation techniques and crystal therapy can help you achieve your goals,â€ Rafique says.
Sangeeta Krishnan, a 24-year-old postgraduate in Microbiology, says that superstition is a much maligned word even though most people believe in some form of divine power. She implies that any form of faith, like say in God, is not very different from faith in magic.â€œIâ€™m not saying be superstitious but donâ€™t dismiss this group outright.â€
The Magik Group, which has 79 members, meets on ferries and in homes and restaurants. Swati says that there is a steady stream of interested people. â€œThere are relatively fewer members who are magic practitioners as compared to those who are interested in tarot and magic. Mostly, when magical events are organised, they are free for the public. I put the events in newspapers or online listings,â€ she says. The members are happy to narrate how white magic helped them. A woman who requested anonymity says that she agreed to a major surgery that her husband wanted to undergo after consulting tarot reading and following the guidance of the group.
â€œThe surgery was successful.â€ She is a Muslim and that, she says, is not an issue. â€œMuslims believe in the Djinn. Isnâ€™t that supernatural?â€ she asks pointing out that religious beliefs too involve elements of magic. Rupal Gune, a 35-year-old mother who is wearing the Leo zodiac sign as bindi, says that a mark she has inscribed on her body â€”a pentacle in a circle â€” has saved her from major accidents. TNN