Magic is an integral part of any fantasy novel. From the beginning of civilization, people have believed in the powers of nature and their ability to appeal to those powers. Even in today's sophisticated world of science and technology, we keep our superstitions and enjoy tales of magic and sorcery. How many of us have 'knocked on wood' or avoided walking under a ladder? Does it give you a moment of unease when a black cat runs in front of you?
Religion and magic often become intertwined or perhaps end up at odds with each other. What is the difference between these two powerful beliefs? Religion is an appeal for help or an attempt to appease the gods. Magic is the attempt to do the work of gods or perhaps force the gods to give you aid. Is it any wonder the base conflict in many fantasy novels is about opposing religions or powerful magical beings acting like gods?
At some point in history, religion and magic drew battlelines and the Christian church declared most of the primitive rituals and beliefs as witchcraft. Today few among us will admit to believing in magic and the things it can do. Yet so many of us lap up fantasy books where magic and magical beings are the heroes and heroines though usually the bad guys use magic also.
I do believe in miracles and perhaps they are a type of magic. I don't believe in curses though certainly bad luck exists. Or is the bad luck just a superstition, a low form of magical belief? Do you have superstitions passed onto you by grandparents or parents?