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Author Topic: Does magic get better with age?  (Read 12577 times)
Endellion
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« Reply #15: June 10, 2007, 05:02:23 pm »

That bring me to another question that I guess is slightly related. Are smarter people better at magic? What I mean is, if someone of average intelligence and a genius can focus their minds in the same relative amounts, will the genius's magic be more effective?
I'm not sure why it would, unless magical ability is somehow linked to intelligence, and I'm not really sure why that would be the case.
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« Reply #16: June 10, 2007, 05:35:48 pm »

I'm not sure why it would, unless magical ability is somehow linked to intelligence, and I'm not really sure why that would be the case.

Well, a lot of people here seem to define magic as focusing of will/mental force, and the more intelligent you are, the more mental effort force you would be able to put out.
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« Reply #17: June 10, 2007, 05:37:39 pm »

Well, a lot of people here seem to define magic as focusing of will/mental force, and the more intelligent you are, the more mental effort force you would be able to put out.

That's assuming Will = Intelligence or that there's somehow a correlation between the two.  That isn't necessarily the case.
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« Reply #18: June 10, 2007, 06:25:31 pm »

Well, a lot of people here seem to define magic as focusing of will/mental force, and the more intelligent you are, the more mental effort force you would be able to put out.

I don't think there is necessarily a strong link between intelligence and will power. A neighbor's daughter had an IQ in the high 70s but had enough willpower to out stubborn just about anyone. If she wanted something, she did not give up until she got it or was convinced that she could not have it.
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« Reply #19: June 10, 2007, 07:16:17 pm »

Well, a lot of people here seem to define magic as focusing of will/mental force, and the more intelligent you are, the more mental effort force you would be able to put out.

Actually, I would think there's more an inverse relationship there.

The more intelligence you have, the more different options you can come up with and the more possibilities you see .. and the harder it can be to pick one, because you can see downsides to all of them.  Willpower is easier when there are fewer options to pick from.
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« Reply #20: June 10, 2007, 07:18:54 pm »

I always wondered - does your ability to do magic improve or deteriorate with age?

I think I am more skilled and have more knowledge, but I think my actual innate abilities were better when I was younger. I think I was healthier and I was able to summon more energy.

Thoughts?

Hmmm . . .well I am 63 years old and it has been my experience that your ability to perform magic doens't actually decrease due to age.  However . .your methodology and props change though.  

Case in point . . Crowley when he hit a certain age complained of (ahem) "ED" and that forced him out of the magickal pratices that he was used to, (some reports claim that it brought him to a complete stop!)

In my case, I am not going to be jumping over any broomsticks anytime soon, nor am I going to be climbing into any all night sex magick orgies either, but what I have found out is that the energy that I used when I was younger is till there, I just have to tap into it diffrently.  

Yoga, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Meditation, etc. have replaced my wilder years and in all seriousness, I think I am a better member of the craft for it.  Smiley
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« Reply #21: June 10, 2007, 07:22:04 pm »

Actually, I would think there's more an inverse relationship there.

The more intelligence you have, the more different options you can come up with and the more possibilities you see .. and the harder it can be to pick one, because you can see downsides to all of them.  Willpower is easier when there are fewer options to pick from.
Eh, I wouldn't exactly say there is an inverse relationship. I know plenty of intelligent people that are extremely willful and stubborn as well as many not as intelligent people that have no will, no desire to do anything. If you were to categorize people strictly based on intelligence, I doubt that you would find that much of a difference.
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« Reply #22: June 11, 2007, 07:54:52 am »

For instance, as a child I was much, much better at psychometry.  I used to rub my fingers down multiple choice tests and "Feel" the right answers.  I still can do stuff like that, and pick up vibrations from objects, etc. but I was better at it then.  

Interesting. One of the first things I noticed when I was a child was that I if I didn't study or there seemed to be no pressure, a test would get cancelled, we would have a substitute or a snow day. In some way, what I had been worried about would not happen and I sensed it ahead of time.

I also noticed that I almost always got what I wished for, sometimes to my chagrin.

At that time, I never had to focus or do any sort of ritual. I just simply visualized what I wanted. I thought everyone could do that.

Now, I am not sure I have that strength. OTOH, I am so scattered in so many directions that I almost can't focus on one thing as I did as a child. I think my circumstances have definitely impacted my ability to do the kinds of things I did as a kid.
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« Reply #23: June 11, 2007, 11:53:02 am »

Quote
I always wondered - does your ability to do magic improve or deteriorate with age?

I have been wondering about this myself.

I don't want it to diminish (like my eyesight has)!  I am hoping that folklore is correct - that it actually gets stronger with age. In folklore, the most powerful beings are often the oldest! 
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« Reply #24: June 11, 2007, 12:34:36 pm »

That's assuming Will = Intelligence or that there's somehow a correlation between the two.  That isn't necessarily the case.

I'd have to say imo I agree they're not the same thing.
The geek in me would say int and wis in DnD.

As for magic getting better with age, I'll go for the getting better with practise, the same as everything else - along with perhaps doing things differently, more efficiently, and things like that, rather than getting better with age by itself.
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« Reply #25: June 11, 2007, 05:14:59 pm »

I think that there will be a certain point when it peaks, depending on how mentally active you are, especially once you get past 60. If you keep you're mind up, then you'll get better and better, but if not, then I'm almost certain your abilities will go down.

That bring me to another question that I guess is slightly related. Are smarter people better at magic? What I mean is, if someone of average intelligence and a genius can focus their minds in the same relative amounts, will the genius's magic be more effective?

Edit: typo

That's an interesting question - is there such a thing as a magical IQ?  Most of the famous magicians - Crowley, Fortune, and even DuQuette were/are pretty bright people.  There are a lot of Mensa types among astrologers, which is the most complex form of divination. In traditional societies, shamans were often strong on intelligence and leadership.  This is anecdotal, obviously, because establishing evaluation criteria for magical aptitude is a bit tough. 
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« Reply #26: June 11, 2007, 05:30:39 pm »

That's an interesting question - is there such a thing as a magical IQ?  Most of the famous magicians - Crowley, Fortune, and even DuQuette were/are pretty bright people.  There are a lot of Mensa types among astrologers, which is the most complex form of divination. In traditional societies, shamans were often strong on intelligence and leadership.  This is anecdotal, obviously, because establishing evaluation criteria for magical aptitude is a bit tough. 

I don't see how there'd be any way to tell.  Was Crowley a powerful magician?  I have no idea.  To an extent he got what he wanted, but I'd say much of that could be down to his personality/cunning.  Famous does not necessarily mean 'great at magic' - they just got famous.  People who wrote dull, boring, or 'dumb' books would presumably not make that much of an impression on the wider public. Smiley

I think there's too many complications to be able to guess at the answer here.  How good a measurement of intelligence are IQ tests?  How do we decide who is a powerful magician?

As for shamans...I would imagine that varied.  I believe the Native Americans prefer terms such as 'medicene man.'  In Norse cultures shamans and wizards etc were mistrusted.  So in the latter case they wouldn't be chosen, and were generally outcasts.  Just to point out a differing example. Smiley
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« Reply #27: June 12, 2007, 12:23:03 pm »

That bring me to another question that I guess is slightly related. Are smarter people better at magic? What I mean is, if someone of average intelligence and a genius can focus their minds in the same relative amounts, will the genius's magic be more effective?
I wouldn't think that intelligence affects magic so much as wisdom (which may or may not be related to age). I probably won't be able to explain this very well, but if you understand all of the reasons behind what your magic needs to do and how it will do it then it will work better. But then there is also the entirely separate issue of the actual energy you are able to draw up and channel. Hopefully I am making some sense here Cheesy !
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« Reply #28: June 12, 2007, 04:19:44 pm »

I always wondered - does your ability to do magic improve or deteriorate with age?


Overall, I'm of the opinion that the abilities improve with age. It isn't a function of the aging process, but rather a function of as you grow older you should pile on more experience and knowledge thereby creating more ability. When I was younger I had more time and energy, but my magic lacked the focus and knowledge that it has today. I'm much more effective today.

I think there is also an element of it that has to do with when I was younger I could read the directions and either follow them to the letter or change one thing hoping that I was making a good change. Now I understand the reasoning behind the way magic works and so when I come up with something, experiment or follow something to the letter I understand exactly what I'm doing and exactly why and this goes a long way in making my magic more effective. Limitless energy is great, but it isn't a substitute for knowledge and experience and just knowing when to say to heck with magic and pick up the phone and call a plumber.

Melanie
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« Reply #29: June 12, 2007, 04:41:53 pm »

Actually, I would think there's more an inverse relationship there.

The more intelligence you have, the more different options you can come up with and the more possibilities you see .. and the harder it can be to pick one, because you can see downsides to all of them.  Willpower is easier when there are fewer options to pick from.

I agree with this more than the the opposite.

I think maybe it might be that as a rule (there will always be exceptions, you can never work in absolutes) people at either end of the spectrum just don't mix well with magic.

If you've got someone with an exceptionally low IQ (and I question the IQ as a reliable measure of true intelligence, but lacking something else) I doubt their ability to truly be able to perform anything beyond very simplistic magic and I wouldn't want to be involved in their performance of it.

On the subject of those with a very high IQ - I take my husband for an example. He is incredibly smart in a way that makes it difficult for me to communicate with him sometimes. His brain seems to work in a different way than the other people I generally encounter and I have known only a couple of other people IRL who are like him in this way. To make a broad generalization, those people don't usually have any interest in things like magic. They either don't believe in it - claiming there is no proof or simply don't waste any time contemplating such subjects. It's just a fairy tale. This is not meant to be a jab at everyone who believes in magic saying that you can't possibly have a very high IQ, but there are those that do. But overall, I don't think it's the norm.


Now, those in the middle - are the higher tier better at magic than the lower tier? I haven't seem too much of a correlation. I do think that sometimes those whose brains work overtime can get overcome with too many possibilities so that they never actually do the magic. But this can be worked around if it's recognized. One could also say that those who work smarter don't have to work harder, but I'm not sure that relates in magic. There aren't really any shortcuts there. I haven't figured out a way to cheat the "As above, so below" model. Maybe I'm not smart enough  Wink

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