Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What is High Magic?

Recently someone asked me to clarify what High Magic was. After some muttering, and lots of talking to my cat, I wrote an answer--here is the best, non-snarky part of my answer. And yes, this is why I am not allowed to have students.

“High Magic” is a fancy term for the magic developed by medieval magicians who could read and write. Likewise, “Low Magic” is the magic that those who could not read used. The “High” and “Low” labels are based on…something. One theory is that Low Magic was developed in the low lands where the farmers lived, and High Magic was developed on higher ground. Another theory is that High Magic deals with achieving union with the divine, and Low Magic deals with lowly things like money. High Magic tends to be ceremonial and can takes hours or days, and Low Magic tends to be more spur-of-the-moment freeform “What do I have on hand, and can I do this spell under a half hour?”

I resisted the urge to make a Colorado magic joke...but for just for you, I will.

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