Today I dressed as a fairy for Halloween festivities. Several children asked me if I was Tinkerbelle even though my only resemblance to her was through my green color scheme and jagged fairy skirt - which was much longer than hers, mind you! I told the children, "No! I'm a woodland fairy! I'm not from Neverland!"
Several children questioned me about my wand - handmade but not consecrated. Most children are obviously not used to seeing real or authentic looking wands. To them, everything is plastic and bought at a store. My bumpy rowan branch with silver wire and bells caught their eyes. Several asked me if it was a real wand. I said yes because, even though it was made as a prop, it was indeed modeled after my real fairy wand - a tool I use to open and close the gates during ritual. The impression I received from their wide eyes was that they were hoping that maybe, just maybe, it was real. More and more children are jaded to magic, but some hold out hope...
One girl asked me to say abracadabra - just to see what would happen. My heart sank a little. I didn't want her to give up on real magic in this world, but I also wanted to be honest. "Well... it doesn't quite work that way." She went away with her friends. I shrugged to myself. It isn't appropriate for me explain real magic or its ethics to a child outside of my tribe and tradition. I doubt she would have cared at this age. Perhaps she will seek real magic when she's older. Perhaps not. Perhaps she will go through life hoping for a magic that only exists in Hollywood, all the while missing the magic everywhere.
Then again, perhaps the magic of the imagination is enough for some people, for it is indeed a powerful energy! Maybe she'll remember the woman dressed as a fairy with the pretty wand when she's older. Maybe she'll smile and find magic in that moment.
( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )